Korean Folk Village
The Korean Folk Village near Suwon, South Korea, is immense! It’s packed full of exhibits outdoors showcasing the traditional ways Koreans lived thousands of years ago. There were acrobats doing amazing stunts while riding horses. There was a traditional wedding ceremony. This is a great way to learn about the traditional culture of Korea’s past.
My co-worker, Jon, and I were walking away after seeing the acrobats on the horses when a female voice said, “Jon!” It turned out to be Danielle, the teacher I had replaced at school. The Korean Folk Village may be immense, but ‘it’s a small world after all.’
After a long hot and humid day at the Korean Folk Village we were very tired, but up for one last adventure for the day. The Hwaseong Fotress in Suwon is another site not too far from the Korean Folk Village. The fortress was built by the 22nd Joseon king, Jeongjo. Jon and I walked up many steps on a very steep hill. The view of Suwon at the top was awesome. We walked around and followed the fortress wall. I kept thinking that there was some sort of building behind the fortress. The information center had closed so we were on our own without a map. The fortress wall was pretty cool. What a workout though. Jon, who’s moving to the Suwon area, may now walk up these stairs for exercise. It’s very peaceful place once you make it to the top…and don’t pass out.
Now that’s a bell!
My first weekend involved a lot of firsts. It was my first time riding the train. It was my first time heading to Seoul. The other teachers and I went to Itaewon, a heavily populated area for tourists, foreigners and the military. We ate at a Mexican restaurant, Los Amigos, and it was fantastic! I thought I had left good Mexican food behind me in LA.
I exchanged some money. I bought a book on the history of Korea at a bookstore called What the Book? Then we headed to Coffee Bean. That’s right. There are Coffee Beans here. Ne! (Yes!) It only took about 12 minutes to order, make that explain that I wanted a bag of coffee (kuh-pi) grounded up and a separate iced blended mocha with soy. I spoke to 3 different people behind the counter. Finally, I got my drink and my grounded coffee. It was a funny experience. The last counter person and I shared a laugh. It was so worth it. I need to learn Korean fast!
Then the other teachers and I headed to class. We had to hop back on the train. The class was great and I plan on attending weekly. Then I had another first as we had boba after eating some Korean food. The classes all go out to eat afterwards. My boba was just strawberry banana fruit. I can’t have smoothies due to being lactose intolerant. But that was my first boba. Slurp, slurp.
This blog is mainly to show my initial transition from the U.S. to South Korea. I have gone through the portal on the other side. I’ve boldly gone…well, you’ll see by viewing the video. You’ll see my new apartment and hear about some stories. My entire first Orientation Week will follow in an additional blog.