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[Blog written by Zachary]

Zachary's February Update

Hello everyone!

As I write this, it is still winter vacation in South Korea, but classes will begin again about two weeks. Actually, the first academic semester begins here in March, as opposed to beginning in September like in western countries. I want to share my recent trip to Seoul with you, and also some updates on classes and what I plan to do next semester.

My friend and I visited Hongdae (one of the many precincts) in Seoul, the capital city, and I was able to try a Korean karaoke room for the first time. Since it is very popular, there are many karaoke rooms along the streets! It was a very interesting experience, and even though I can't sing, it was still fun despite the embarrassment. We also checked out Lotte World! It is a famous Disney World-style amusement park in Seoul. Unfortunately, we were unlucky with the weather, so we stayed on the inside part of the park, but waiting in lines for those rides took hours, anyway.

Hello!

In November it got colder here in Korea--about 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit during the days! I'll be heading downtown to buy some warm clothes (Thank you Randolph Savings!) 

And of course, here are some more food pictures. The dish with the cheese is Jjimdak, and I didn't catch the name of the food in the pan, but it is mainly fried rice and chicken. The tray was a breakfast from the dormitory I live in. It may be interesting to see! I think in the United States, people would only call that a dinner, and it would be strange otherwise. Quite frankly, I enjoy being able to eat such things in the morning without any criticism.

[Blog written by Zachary]

Hello again!

I had so much fun over Christmas Eve and Christmas time, and I wanted to share what I did with you.

I was invited to spend Christmas Eve with a family I met during a KNU Medical Mission, who were giving free medical services. So, since we are located in the same city, I decided to accept their invitation and make connections. We had a nice Christmas Eve dinner together, which included ham, mashed potatoes--some very familiar foods I haven't had in a long time! There were also some Korean foods such as rice cakes. Actually, the dad in the household is American, so It was interesting to see the crossing of culture among them. I was able to see how Korean apartments look like for the first time, and they are really much better than I expected, very nice architecture and well kept. They invited me to come and see what church is like in Korea after the dinner, so I tagged along for the church's Christmas Eve performances. I'd say it is pretty exactly like how church is in the United States. I am glad to experience many of the aspects of Korea, including this. I felt really welcome there as a guest and it was a pleasure to have some people to spend the day with, especially overseas around this season. They are a really nice family! 

In Korea, Christmas Day is more exclusively a couple's holiday than a family holiday. My friend and I both had no plans with other people for the day, so we decided to spend the day together in Seoul--I guess it was a Christmas date! We visited many landmark areas in Seoul. Luckily, I had her to help me get around, because going around Seoul can be quite confusing, especially by subway.

 

sushi

Greetings from South Korea!

Earlier in the semester, I had some amazing times in downtown Daegu that I would like to share! 

Firstly, I went to a South Korean baseball game! It was a match involving the Samsung Lions vs. another team from Dongsan. The Samsung Lions are the team of Daegu, and "Samsung" comes from the famous company that originated here that I am sure most of you are familiar with. The game was very energetic, and as opposed to American baseball, there is cheer leading involved throughout the game, and ironically it seems to be more intense. It was interesting because each player on the Samsung Lions had their own sort of theme song that everyone chanted while they were preparing to bat the ball. While I am not a hardcore baseball fan, I found myself caught up in this atmosphere. I attached some photos and a video! I went with my friends so it was a fun time. 

Hello, it has been a while!

These days I am studying for midterms, so it has been quite busy academically. However, I found the time to visit Gyeongju! This particular trip was really amazing. I'm sure you will find the pictures interesting, and I would also like to tell you a little bit about it.

The places in Gyeongju I visited were Bulguksa Temple, the Royal Tombs, and Mt. Namsan. The temple is Buddhist and has absolutely beautiful architecture. I could really feel the history and past of the place. Some keepers were tending to the areas inside the temple, but no cameras were allowed. The hills you can see are the royal tombs, and they were built for ancient royalty when there were separate kingdoms in Korea. This particular area belonged to the Silla dynasty, which comprised of the south-eastern part of the region. Tombs were built and then workers would dig all that dirt on top to create the mounds. Really crazy! One of the tombs were open for tourism, which was excavated, and there were neat little artifacts in there such as a golden crown, an ancient map and such. Sadly, no cameras allowed in there either. Also, hiking about halfway up Mt. Namsan, the scenery was absolutely beautiful. I look forward to having more interesting travels! I had another trip to Mt. Sobaeksan two days after, and I will share the photos in a next email.

 

Best regards,
Zachary



Here are some photos from my brief hiking trip at Mt. Sobaeksan. This place has Buddhist roots, as well. The day I went, it was a little foggy, and you can see it rolling over the mountains--really cool to see! On the way there, I saw the truly rural part of Korea, and it is so interesting to see the polarity between the modern cities and rural areas. It is a good reminder that Korea has only been truly rapidly modernizing for 50 years or so. 

Until next time!

Best regards,
Zachary

 

Read more about Zachary's adventures!

DOWNTOWN DAEGU

 

FIRST VISIT TO GYEONGJU

COLDER WEATHER AND MORE FOOD!

EXPERIENCES IN SOUTH KOREA

CHRISTMAS IN KOREA

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