Thursday, August 22, 2013

What I Saw

Today, I am breathing.
Today, I am married to a wonderful man.
Today, I have traveled.
Today, I have seen.
Today, I have experienced.

Today, I saw some pretty darn cool things in Korea.

Our orientation group (a collection of at least 100 teachers from seven countries) went on a field trip today to Seoul. It was quite a full day of experiences. 

Bi Bim Bop 
The Korean House
Guards at the Royal Palace 
Royal Palace 
A local temple we found 
Ancient temple with modern Seoul in the background

I feel like there is no better to start than by telling you: I LOVE bi bim bop. Yes, love. Yes, I mean it. After the last four days of so-so-I'm-not-sure-I-can-survive-in-Korea-eating-this meals, today, I found "the" dish I'll be ordering everywhere until I find something else I like. Bi bim bop literally means rice mixed with vegetables. Simple. Spicy. Delicious. Today, I was reminded what a joy food can bring to our lives. 

We saw a few cultural performances, that were...well, let's face it: SO COOL! I took some videos and I'll post them as soon as I can figure out how to do so. (Sidenote techy question: is the easiest way to post them onto YouTube and then embed the video here?)

Then, we went to the Korean Modern History museum. And let me tell you, they need separate museums for both "modern" and "ancient" history. Geez! It's so crazy to live in a place where their history books span thousands of years!

Lastly, we went to the Royal Palace which is the renovated version of their original temple that was demolished during the Japanese invasion. The "old" temple backs right up next to The Blue House which is where President Park (said, "Pok") lives. 

Throughout the day, I found myself wondering what the American equivalent of all this was. Where's our traditional song and dance? Where's our costumes? What's our food? We are such a baby country, I realized again, we don't really have any of that. We've got a National Anthem, maybe you could tout Puritan clothing or Native American head dresses as our garb. Food? Hamburgers?

It was fun to journey to Seoul and see and experience a culture that is rich in it's long and well-traveled history. While it was a nice place to visit, I'm glad we aren't going to be living there. It's a crazy-busy congested place. 

The BIG NEWS is: We will be teaching in Chungbuk province in the city of Cheongju teaching elementary school! 

Orientation ends on Sunday and then on Monday we'll head to our next spot: Cheongju!


Bryan H said...

Youtube works :) Google+ also works (auto upload is convenient!)

Jessica said...

I'm glad that you finally found some tasty food!

Ashley Barber said...

You're encountering a lot each day and I'm glad some tasty food found its way into that mix! :)