Sunday, September 23, 2007

Hello from Korea

So anyhow, I'm here in Korea and I have a class that I need to teach in about 7 hours. My sleep schedule is all screwed up, and I've never experienced this sort of jet lag before in my life.

If I come to either Google or Blogger from my hotel room here, it happily picks up my Korean IP address and renders every page in Korean. I thought that there existed a google.co.kr page or something that would work for people wanting that, or that there might be a way to easily switch back to English.

If anyone knows of a way, feel free to call my cell phone (or reply here) and let me know.

Anyhow, I did some exploring here, and walked all around the city. I must have gone about 8 miles in total since it took me a few hours. Some of it was steep, too. I made it all the way over to the Norwegian embassy, and then found my way back to a location that I knew well enough to find my way back to the hotel from.

I think that this is the safest city I've ever seen. I'm pretty sure that you could let your kids run around freely and they'd find their way home unscathed. Women can likely walk around at night alone and not be accosted. At no time was I in any danger, and some of the places that I walked past were pretty run down.

At one point I was able to look down into a set of dilapidated houses. I mean that some roofs were actually collapsed, and only a subset of the original homes were still standing. In the back yard some little girl (maybe 12 years old) was dancing around as if she were rehearsing for a play, or something. I thought that was neat, and should have brought my camera battery charger. It was akin to a scene from one of those dramas.

I tried without success to locate either a charger or a new camera (maybe they have smaller ones over here, and I like small), so I have no pictures, but I have the memories.

I'm guessing that my Tuesday will be my next shot at going out and about, since I think I'll probably pass out tomorrow night after the class and dinner.

Some other things that happened were that I had a guy address me by saying: "YOU WANT BETTER SHOES?" Me: "I think these are pretty good!" I have very nice shoes, and doubt that he could create a superior pair for me.

Another couple guys tried to fit me for tailoring to give me suits. I would have definitely done this if I felt like I'd be this same weight for a while longer. I'm planning on using my next couple months of work to lose weight, since I always skip lunch and burn more calories when working than when in between projects.

I found the future location of the Hard Rock Cafe here in Seoul, but there was no store to be found. I was unable to buy the requisite shirts that were asked for by people back in the US. Perhaps there is a store somewhere else? I'll be out and about at least a couple more times before I leave.

My hotel is right over a night club, so if I were here with friends that might be a neat thing to do. Apparently they go out on Sunday nights too, since there was a steady stream of cabs when I walked across the street to acquire some coke for my fridge.

Another thing that is kind of bizarre is the scale of things. I saw doors that anyone over about 4' would have to duck through. I also have tiny furniture in my room. By tiny, I mean:


korean chair and me


korean table and me


Anyhow, I'll try to take a few pictures outside before my camera is completely dead, but I can't guarantee much. I typically shoot a ton of pictures if I'm in "picture mode," but I'll have to be more selective since I'm guessing that I have fewer than 20 before it dies.

Oh, and dinner was alright. The food is marginally inferior to LA Koreatown, but that's mainly because of the meat quality here (it's sub par). The preparation is basically identical.

I'm sure I've forgotten to mention some things, but I'll probably remember them later.

Cindy's up, so I'll cut this short. Not that I was going to remember more anyhow.