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Monthly Archives: November 2008

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There is something about Sundays in this city that makes me feel different.

On Sundays, I like to just wander and explore… find things I haven’t seen yet. There is something so romantic about this city on a Sunday afternoon. The air seems cleaner. I feel like I really belong here.

Today I decided to check out Yeouido. I came out at Yeouinaru Station. This is a special station because instead of crossing the Han River by bridge, it actually goes under the river, 90.4 feet below sea level. This is the deepest subway station in all of Korea.

The first thing I noticed was a HUGE kite, or rather kite of kites being flown over the river. It was actually emotionally moving to see something like that. There were many people flying their own kites so high over the river. Some of you may not know, but I LOVE KITES. Always have, don’t know why.

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This guy’s got it goin on.

After that, I decided to cross one of the bridges. On foot. It was quite a trip. There is a lot of construction happening in this area. They are building some really nice wooden observatory-type structures on the bridge. To be honest, I’ve never been on a bridge like this before, and I was freaking out at times. I guess I’m afraid of heights. I was happy though because I got some of the best views of the city I’ve had in a while. Well, except for the mountain stuff of course.

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After that it was off to get some food. I was suddenly really hungry. I sat and ate my 돌솦비빔밮 (stone bowl bibimbap, rice with vegetables and a bit of meat) and marked some tests.

dsc_2249You know you’re an English teacher when…

See more pics here.

PS: Sorry for the delay in updating. I’ve actually had people complaining, which is a great thing!

img_02111It looks like a face, ok?

On September 27, 2008, I announced my 500th visitor. I’m happy to announce that this morning, I received my 2,000th hit. So, from my first post on August 1, to November 17, I’ve had 2,000 visitors.

Here’s some math:

– Average of 18.75 hits per day.

– Over the past 2 months, I’ve averaged 30.5 hits per day, every day.

– WIth 500 visits on September 27th, my new number of 2,024 shows an increase of over 300% in traffic over the first month.

– Since my 1,000th hit post, I’ve doubled my traffic in one-third the amount of time it took me to reach 1,000 views. That’s an average for the past month of 33.3 hits per day.

– Many hits come from Google, with search terms such as “hyundai dept store”, “clean Korea”, Seoul, and others.

– My 3 most popular posts are (in order):

Random Thoughts on a Dreary Day

Holy Bingsu! Over 1,000 Visitors!

Han River HDR Shots

– My YouTube videos have received a total of more than 330 views.

Just thought I’d let you all know about my numbers. I’m really proud of this, and thanks to everyone who checks back here regularly. I promise to have something more interesting next time.

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This past weekend, I was sick and feeling kinda down. It was rainy too. Anyway I decided to go explore. I have heard of Cheonggycheon before, but never been there or seen it. It is a 6km man-made river running through Seoul that was demolished after the post-war boom of South Korea. They decided to restore it, and after its completion in 2005, it opened.

I ended up getting off at a station near there and walking around. I found a ‘World Heritage Site’ (there are tons of them here), and I decided to go check it out. For a place to be designated a world heritage site, it has to have some significance to the history of all mankind.

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It was built in 1394 as a place for memorial ‘spirit’ tablets of deceased royalty. Talk about spooky. It was used for confucian ceremonies for the dead. There are 19 memorial tablets of kings and 30 of their queens, placed in 19 chambers. The south entrance gate was reserved for spirits to enter and exit. The east gate was for the king, and the west was for the performers of the royal ceremonies.

After taking all that in, I went to find Cheonggycheon. After a nice walk, I found it. It’s LONG.

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So that’s pretty much it. Of course you can see the pictures from that day here. As always, all my pictures are available here.

Oh, and here’s a video I made of my apartment for whoever’s interested.

I should have died today. By all means, I was in grave danger, on slippery rock faces, 700+ meters in the air.

But I didn’t. Obv.

Today I finally conquered Dobongsan. I got to the very top. And I saw some things that were shocking and appalling. People here have absolutely no fear. From 60+ year old ladies, to an 8 year old kid, they were climbing steep rocks like it was a walk in the friggin park.

You can see my pictures from today here.

So yeah, it took about 4 hours to get to the top of the mountain. I thought I was in good shape, but I had 50+ year olds beating me. Some literally beating me. Old ladies here have really sharp elbows. They’re too damn cute to be mad at though.

The climb is really complicated. Some areas don’t look like they should be walked on, but it’s the only way up. Other areas have stairs carved into the rock, the steps worn smooth from the millions of steps walked across them.

dsc_1609Notice the people walking awkwardly around the rocks.

The mountains here are awesome because they’re littered with temples. The one thing I wonder is how the hell they build these things way up high on the side of a mountain. They are made of brick and wood, with stone floors. They’re absolutely magnificent as well. Huge bronze Buddha statues can be found inside them. How do they get these things up there? We may never know.

Here are some more pictures I’d really like you guys to see. Just remember that what you’re seeing took me about 2 hours to get to, and is built into the side of a huge mountain.

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There were hundreds of these statues. You can see a panorama of them here.

dsc_1636Running through that black brick wall was a water line that comes straight from the mountain.

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dsc_1657 Cute little guy, but not as cute as Mackenzie

At one temple we stopped at, I met a nice dog. He is a special breed of dog that is native to Korea. One old guy told me that it is ‘the Korean traditional dog’.

This pretty much concludes my Dobongsan victory post. I may head to another mountain next weekend. We’ll see.

You can see my pictures from this trip to Dobongsan here.

As always, you can see all my pictures from Korea here.