A rhythm has been slowly developing around my activities and actions in Korea. I have done a good amount of networking and met lots of people. I have identified a number of opportunities and they are working out well. Here is the cumulation of what I have accomplished so far, as described in a day that is slowly becoming a regular pattern.
7am. Alarm goes off. Not mine, my wife’s. She gets up and gets ready for work and leaves about 7:40am.
8-8:30am I give up trying to go back to sleep. So I get up and get ready for the day.
10am Meet one of our new Korean friends for a morning hike to a local mountain(Dobong). Grab a coffee along the way.
– Now, I would normally have inserted pictures of said hike but the brand new camera (bought just 2 days ago) had a dead battery. It’s a Sony Cybershot and I had left it plugged into my Netbook to unload the pictures I took earlier with it. As it does not charge through the USB cable (wish it did), and I left it in ‘USB Transfer mode’, the battery died overnight. Ugh. Will have pics on my next outing.
12:30pm. Back home to shower after the hike.
1pm Cook lunch/supper for both of us. Wash laundry and hang (driers are kinda rare here.)
1:30pm Watch some videos/work on websites/geek out.
2:30pm Get things together for my volunteering
4pm volunteering starts.
10pm finished and on way home.
10:30pm Catch up with wife on daily happenings
Rinse, lather, repeat.
Although I am currently only doing the mountain a couple of times per week. My first time (last Tuesday) was in running shoes and jeans. My ankles were sore (lots of new ways to twist when climbing non-flat surfaces) so I bought some proper hiking shoes. Today, it’s the front of my lower legs (Tibalis Anterior and Soleus for you medical types) that are sore because my ankles are no longer flexing as much but the rest of my leg was. Oh, and my ankles were sore but that was mostly due to them not fully recovered from Tuesday and more work for them again.
Now that you are properly disappointed in the complete lack of pictures, I’ll talk about the hiking we did the week before….with pictures :)
I think that every subway stop in Uijeongbu (in case you forgot, that’s the city we live in. It’s kinda like the Mississauga-to-Toronto of Seoul) will let you walk to a mountain. Mangwolsa station is no different. We didn’t really get into the mountain, just far enough up to visit a Buddhist Temple. Although we didn’t go inside, it was still worth the walk.
Now, what story isn’t worth telling that didn’t have a good starting point? This pic suits that need.
Those are empty bottles of Soju (click link to learn more about it). Basically it’s like vodka but made from rice. And while you may be tempted to think that the owner requested a couple hundred empties from the manufacturer, I need to point out that many of the nation’s hikers are ‘elderly’. Meaning 50+. A very common thing for them to do is to bring bottles of Soju with them and drink at the top of the mountain, then stagger back down to the subway. So I am fairly confident that these were all from customers over the years.
The walk to the Temple here is not that long at all. It was a quiet day for hikers so we only passed about 20 or so of them.
The temple was quite beautiful. Then again, they all are. I am so glad I have been given the chance to see them.
This is but one of many different paintings on the back of the temple. Click on the album link below to see more of these.
Not only does the temple have it’s very own ‘mouse management system’, there is also a way cool Dragon water fountain :)
Click on the following to see the whole album.
Congrats to Shawn Brush for being the first person to correctly guess the Korean word translation. Got a special prize soon to be shipped for you!