Saturday, July 19

Day 12

Today was the first day of our field trip, which was really exciting!  I'll try to remember everything, so bear with me!  We started out on Friday really early--7:30AM.  This may be a bit too early for most of the students here because we had to wait on several people because they woke up like at 7:30AM.  Because the cafeteria is not open in the morning, they served us breakfast--rice cakes.  I'm sorry I did not remember to take a picture of it before I bit in.  The package was beautifully wrapped--almost like a present.  The long rainbow stripped one was a bit plain and easily eaten.  The other two were like glutanous rice balls which made them super chewy.  The yellow one had a lemon flavored centered, but it was not all that great.  The green one had a red bean flavored center and was delicious.

On our drive, we were able to see Namsan Tower, which I will hopefully be going to with my language exchange partner.  We also passed the Han River and some other sites.  I tried to take a picture of the Hyundai and Kia motors buildings which are side by side for my brother!  There are so many things owned here by Hyundai.  It was very very foggy out, so some of my pictures did not come out so well.  The rural parts of South Korea are by far the prettiest areas I've ever seen in my life.  The best part was that while I have been here--including this weekend with ALL of the trees (which was way more than there are in WV)--my allergies have not bothered me one bit.  I'm not sure if it's a change in diet or what, but I need to figure it out soon.

Namsan Tower

Hyundai and Kia side by side

The mountains are SO beautiful here.
It took about 3 hours in which most of us slept on the bus, but we finally came to our first destination.  We were supposed to go to the Andong Viewing Platform, but because it had been raining outside while we were driving, they decided it would not be safe.  So our first destination was lunch.  I love it here in Korea because in America we would probably think twice about going to some of the restaurants I have been to here in Korea because of the way it looks outside, but when you go inside, it's always so nice!  I was even more excited about this restaurant because we were eating traditional style on the floor and it was make your own Bulgogi.  I have already tried Bulgogi and loved it, but it was made for me.  I wish I could capture the smells here because it smelled SO good.

Our restaurant.

New 친구 (friends)--Keith and JinMin.

Bulgogi cooking.

Bulgogi almost cooked! -- The little tin at the bottom left corner is my own little rice container.

Large pots that they ferment food in.

You have to take your shoes off here!

One of the large soy sauce containers.

After we finished eating, we got back on the bus for a short ride to the Hahoe Village.  We were able to explore a bit and then see a Traditional Mask Dance.  I thought the Village was gorgeous.  This is what I've been dying to see since I got here--traditional houses.  Not only were the homes pretty, but the scenery was beautiful.  I could have stayed here if it was not so hot.  Once we were done exploring, we went to the Mask Dance, and I'm not sure how to explain it.  It was very slow and I felt like it was not so much a dance, but a play sort of.  There were different sections to the Mask Dance and I'm glad one of the 선생님's told us about it earlier because I would have been a bit lost.

Fields of rice.

After the Mask Dance, we drove an hour and a half and got to our hotel and AquaWorld.  It was really nice and a bit traditional as well!  I wish I would have taken a picture, but we slept on mats on the floor.  It was the best sleep that I have gotten in so long!  Again, it's like most of the buildings in Korea where you have to take off our shoes at the entrance and it has floor board heating for the winter so the floors are wooden.  The thick mattress pad thing was in the closet with the blanket and pillow (which was filled with beans, I think).

I wish that I would have taken some pictures of AquaWorld, but it was mostly an area for little kids and families.  We first had to go into a room and take our shoes off into a shoe locker.  Then, we went in and put our clothes in a locker room/changing room.  This is where I will mention that it was a lot like what I imagine a 찜질방 (jimjilbang) to be--so many nude Asian women/children walking around.  You were able to go to the bath house area if you would like, but I was there to go swimming--not to go to a 찜질방...maybe another day if I can convince someone else to go with me!

When you walked into the pool area, there were sections with jets all over the place.  Those were really nice.  They also had hot tubs of different temperatures and a tube slide.  Overall, it was nice to swim around, but we didn't stay too long.

After AquaWorld, we got back on the bus and went to dinner--Korean Dishes at a restaurant that specializes in garlic.  Ten of the dishes were garlic presented in a different manner.  I was so excited too because they had pigs feet!  I've been wanting to try this dish and was not disappointed because it was delicious.  I also really enjoyed the odd fish (I believe it was some sort of Mackeral) with my rice.  The fish was super salty.  

When we got back, we all went for desert downstairs in the hotel and just hung out outside and in the guys room.  We had a lot of fun.  As other students were going to bed, we decided to stop into the 노래방 to sing and hangout until really late.  When we finally got back to our room, we were so tired that I don't remember making the bed on the floor!

This is a good time to also mention that I may have fallen in love!  South Korea has these vending machines that dispense books!!!!!  ^_^

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