Sunday, August 01, 2004

We actually left the house today! I know, that's kind of pathetic, but we have both been feeling so crappy. Today we went to the Deagu Tourist Information Centre which is situated in Duryu Park. The park is huge and is really's the Central Park of Daegu(well not really...Central Park is pretty awesome but you get the idea.)

We walked around the park and watched all of the families who were having picnics under the trees. It's really neat here - people seem to have the time to just sit and relax. A lot of people were playing Checkers or different card games. The kids were on rollerblades and the old people fanned themselves or slept on their picnic blankets. The picnic blankets incidentally are all identical and made of silver material. I am assuming they are designed to reflect the sunlight? Anyway, it was very peaceful and a beautiful day to be outside.

The information centre wasn't really all that helpful but they did give us free postcards of Daegu. We bumped into a couple from California last week downtown and they told us to ask for the postcards at the Info. Centre. Apparently they only hand them out to Whities and only upon request. Once again, talking to random people pays off.

Speaking of random people...

So Brian and I went walking tonight in the park and eventually ended up in an area a little more, how shall I say? Korean, than other areas of the park. I had flashbacks of stumbling into a shanty town near Kasane in Botswana. I love those kinds of situations because it offers such a good picture of real life in the country you are visiting. The effect your attitude has on the people around you is amplified in situations like these...such a good experience. Anyway, there was music playing and so we decided to follow it. We came across a group of local elderly people dancing to music being played on the back of a parked motorbike. We stood and watched for awhile before we joined in. It was so great. I danced with the group, which got larger and larger the longer we were there, and Brian took pictures and chatted with the men. They gave us some Soju (more on that in the next paragraph)and gave Brian some dried fish. We danced and laughed and we all really enjoyed ourselves. It was a great time...I was sweating like crazy by the time we left. Dad if you were there, we probably wouldn't ever have left!!

Soju. Ahhh...Korea's national beverage. It's made of fermented sweet potatoes and tastes like a mixture of vodka and formaldehyde. But heck, if you can drink Jagermeister, you can drink Soju. The funny thing is that it's sold in bottles like beer but it's just over 25% alcohol. It's cheap and everyone drinks it. We have been warned of the effects of Soju but have yet to encounter them ourselves...all in good time. Heh, heh.

This country has the best popsicles I have ever had. They are only 50 cents and they are delicious! I should know because I have been living on nothing but for the past three days. Who knew? Korea: undiscovered oasis of all things popsicle-y.

The Korean currency is the Won and it's worth about a tenth of a cent. So 1,000 won is about one dollar Canadian. Here is the weird thing though - their highest bill is a 10,000 note. That means that if you want to carry 200$ around you need at least 20 bills. Does that make any sense?

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