Am I married???

Trip Start May 13, 2010
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Trip End Aug 02, 2010


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Saturday, July 3, 2010

02-Jul/2010

The seminar this morning was somewhat delayed and not really a seminar at all.  We moved to the gymnasium – it was raining outside (of course I stupidly shipped my rain jacket back to Canada – Why???) and what was supposed to be an outdoor event needed to be indoors.  The event today was a dance/music event – a group from another university visited and demonstrated some traditional Korean instruments and dance.  We had some chance to try it, but…well, to be honest, some of the instruments/dance may have been a bit beyond me and I could not hear the instructions well anyway (100 students in an auditorium with drums etc… is not helpful!).  It was a good show though – I enjoyed watching the students perform though it would take me sometime to get to their level!

After the demonstration, we had lunch and had free time.  Myself and a couple of the teachers here went to visit the National War Museum (after marking the students’ papers – another story, but suffice to say, I may have some friction with one of the instructors here – hopefully not though).  Anyway, the museum was great – perhaps half was focused on the Korean War while the remainder discussed historical wars and more recent conflicts.  We were there two hours, but still did not see all the museum.  Unfortunately, we did not have time to stick around as we needed to get to an evening concert by 7:30pm and still needed to grab dinner.  I did manage to pick up a pin, a Korean flag, and a towel at the gift shop though…and we grabbed dinner in Insadong district where I also found the Korean football team shirt (which featured a tiger on it – the reason I bought it).  The rain has continued during the day and I, stupidly, forgot that I had an umbrella in my luggage and didn’t bring it along.  Suffice to say that I was somewhat wet before we arrived at the Theatre.

The production we were seeing was Nanta show – a Korean fusion production.  I was not sure what to expect – the show itself was made up of dance, and drums and acting.  It was pretty good actually…and I was even brought up on the stage for a short time.  Surprise…surprise…I am now  married apparently!   I even have a picture to prove it hehe..

I wish I caught her name at least! (apparently it was one of the students!  Go figure.  She came from across the room and I honestly did not really have a chance to even look at her face).

03-Jul/10

Today was a relaxing day.  I met up with my friend for lunch and to check out the electronics market.  In a word -- the market is huge.  Fantastically huge with a bunch of small outlets (almost cubicles) piled high with computer motherboards, components, monitors etc...it is definitely not a Best Buy or Futureshop!  And no prices...mostly anyway...I didn't really need anything anyway, but walking through was certainly an experience.  It is listed as the largest in the world and, for now, I need to believe it. 

Had hot pot at the Jungsan station and later a ice cream with fruit and ice shavings for dessert.  I only stuck around that area for a couple of hours as it seems that tiredness is beginning to catch up on me.  I had wanted to get back to the university to get in a run before dinner but almost fell asleep on the subway so decided that just relaxing would be good enough.  The students had an entertainment evening tonight (which we attended as judges) where each room (of 9 students) had to come up with a skit or dance or...well, whatever for about 10 mins.  They had prepared for the better part of the day for it, and generally went well.  Some in particular were quite fantastic actually...One event won a prize!   Honestly, we (the instructors) should have put something together -- I am not terribly artistic and planning stuff like this is not my forte (I like spontaneity -- or perhaps I am just boring!).  The others were terribly enthusiastic either although our presence was missed...

It is strange actually -- here professors are definitely separated from the 'group; and it is hard to interact.  I am not entirely sure about the relationship here as it is not as casual as I have seen in Vietnam even...All we can really do is watch as the students grow, obtain new friendships and memories -- some put photos up and these photos are not what I will be taking home with me from this trip.  It is a bit sad actually -- has this point in my life passed?  Can it be recovered?  Or have I never really had this side?  I think not, as I do remember these events, and memories -- it is different now.  Most people around me are worried about kids (or even grandchildren) and the casualness and spontaneity of youth is being lost.  Geez, I sound like I am getting ready to retire!  I definitely have a different relationship with people here than I did with those I met in Vietnam and even in Taiwan.  We are...grown-ups (for lack of another term) - before, I could act more like a kid.

Oh well...We will head to Gyeongju tomorrow for a three day field trip.  I will speak more when I return.
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