Sunday, May 23, 2004

The Adventure Continues

Okay so I have been here for month and have now been officially lost twice! Lost in Seoul is amusing to say the very least, especially at night. Speaking English is a generational ability (younger) for the most part and so getting lost at night presents a challenge as there are no small people out to ask for directions and the adults are usually to drunk to be very helpful, I did find someone on Sunday night and on Saturday I managed to find my own way.

So why am I getting lost in Seoul by myself, because my roommate has decided to go home early and as a result is working 7 days a week to make extra pennies before she leaves. My other friends where all busy this weekend doing other things and thus I was flying solo. But that was not going to stop me from seeing things. So on Saturday I went shopping with the babies (other teachers, they are really young) to two of local markets were ou can buy anything and everything usually for pretty cheap and then had to go off to my private tutoring (30 bucks to sit and gab with an 18 year old for an hour) after that I decided that I needed to visit the used english bookstore in Itaweon. Itaweon is the forgiener part of town were you can get anything and everything American. So off I went, I had an idea were the bookstore was but had never been there alone, nor had I gone there in the dark. So I started looking for the mosque because the bookstore is near there. The mosque is on a hill, I thought that it was near Hooker hill ( yes it is named that for a reason) but appartently I was wrong. I didn't ever find the bookstore but I did find a few american men who seemed quite concerned that I was lost and thought that giving them my phone number might help. Will guys who try to pick up girls on the street ever realize that we would not give them our real phone numbers... any girl with half a brain anyway. Anyway, I had a good laugh, didn't ever find the bookstore. Instead I bought some groceries and came home. I wasn't really ever very lost because I knew how to get back to the subway... unlike sunday night.

So then on Sunday night ( I work for 3 hours on Sunday afternoon) I decided to go to Seoul Tower (the equivelent of the CN tower) again I was on my own and so I ventured out thinking that it would be really neat to see Seoul at night from up high and that the photo opportunities would be good (they were but didn't turn out very well) Anyway so I followed the directions in the guide book and got off at the right subway stop and started to walk, the guide book said that it was a nice 15-20 minute walk, HA, it was a 30 minute walk and 20 of it was up stairs, lots of stairs! I met a very sweet elderly gentleman (he spoke english and had lied all over Asia) as I was looking for the stairs and he walked me to the foot of them and showed me how to get up to the tower. He was suprised that I did not go up in the cable car but I thought that it seemed silly to pay to ride a cable car in the dark. So off I went I finally got to the top, it took awhile given the billions of steps. The best part walking was laughing at the korean women who were doing the same walk in short skirts and high heels. I get of the top of the hill, pay my 5 dollars, get in an elevator and go 358 feet above sea level. I saw the city, it was an amazing view and then decided to leave so I could get home before it got to late. Seoul is really safe, I mean I feel safe alone at night unlike at home, but still I wanted to get home before it got to late because the subway stops running at around 11. There were lots of people walking down from the hill and so I thought that I would go down via the road instead (mistake #1) as I walked down I noticed some stairs that went through the park (the tower is on hill in a park) and thought that would be nicer than walking on the road (mistake #2) it was a lovely walk but I ended up on some road on the other side of the park. Anyway to make a long story short I ended up lost on this road with few poeple around who could help me out. So I flagged down a cab and told him to take take me to the subway station I thought was nearby... it wasn't and as he was driving I saw what I thought was a subway station in Dongdamun market (mistake #3) so I told him to let me out (cab drivers speak no english!). I get out of the cab and head down the stairs thinking I am at the subway only to discover that it was an underground mall not the subway. I found a person who pointed me in the right direction and eventually found the subway after a very long walk. It was quite the adventure. I did make it home and had a good laugh about my evening. The only sad part is that the photos from the towere did not turn out to well, oh well, maybe I will go back.... maybe!

Ahh the wonders of living on the other side world.... the adventure will continue. I am looking forward to going to the islands off the south coast in two weeks with the Korean Adventure Club and doing some time near the water in a warmer climate. I guess that is about all for now, nothing else to exciting to tell you about. I hope you have had a good laugh at my expense.

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