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Zachary's Story: Christmas in Korea

[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.



The first place we visited was Gyeongbokgung palace. The palace was very beautiful, and I was able to see the royal throne. There was also a Korean history museum in the vicinity. If you see the picture with the guard--it is a real guy! There were also some other guards with different uniforms and weapons, which were so cool. They have guard-change ceremonies similar to Buckingham Palace in London. It was quick, so sadly I could not record it in time. Lastly, we went to Namsan tower, which was really beautiful, too! From the top, you can see the whole city of Seoul, a great sight at night time. It is also quite funny, because they added a King Kong ornament as if it were climbing the tower (which you might be able to make out in the photo).


Also, of course we ate some delicious food! Dongaseu (pork cutlet), Hotteok, which tasted like a cinnamon strudel almost, and for dinner, we ate Jjimdak, which has come to be one of my favorite Korean dishes, always a good meal! It was a really fun and enjoyable experience as my first time being to the city, and a major one at that. To end the night, I went to a place called a Jjimjilbang, which is basically a place where people can go in a spa to sleep. It is much cheaper than just renting a hotel for the night, so I decided I should experience it for the first time. It was very interesting, because there are many people who sleep in the same room on mats. When I had woken up to catch my morning train, there were quite a lot of people sleeping there.


Overall, such great and interesting experiences!

Happy New Year, everyone!


Read more about Zachary's adventures!







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