After some socializing over tangerines(quul), Korean pear(peh), and water, I went to bed, thankful for a successful voyage. I'm so glad to be with such a nice host couple- they are very kind to me, and always go out of their way to make sure I'm happy.
My first day in Seoul started by going to University of Seoul, where the group that I'm staying with does their ministry of one-on-one Bible teaching. There was an outdoor art exhibit:
People often asked what my major is, so everyone knew that I liked welding(aka yong-jop). A lot of the outdoor sculptures were welded, like this rose:
Next, we went to the old palace/seat of government- I'm not sure about the name in Korean. The modern seat of government is here too, that is, their presidential living quarters (aka the 'Blue House'). We took the subway to get there, and it (in certain places) is well ornamented:
Here's a view of a Chinese tour group taking a group photo. This is inside the first wall.
The outer eaves of each building, and at the top of many inside walls, are decorated with a very ornate woodcarving/painting combo. Lots and lots of work went into these! This photo is taken inside the King's chamber.
Here's the throne. (Sorry about the blurry picture)
We also went to the Korean National Folk Museum, outside of which was this neat arrangement of statues. Each statue is an animal(well, animal-headed man) which represents one of the years in the 12-year cycle. Ever heard of 'year of the tiger', 'year of the dragon', or read the placemat at a chinese restauant? That's what these are. I'm year of the rabbit. (1987)
The Folk Museum had lots of neat exhibits, but because I'm Ned, I'm going to show you a picture of the lady who was zooming around on a broom-equipped scooter:
Dongyu was my guide for the day. Here we are after seeing the palace and museum.
This is as close as we could get to the Blue House(equivalent to American White House) . It was right outside the palace grounds. Neat mountain in the background.
Next we took a cable car up to the Seoul Tower, which takes advantage of its position on a mountain(well, more like a big hill) to broadcast maximum cell coverage. As you can see, it was fairly foggy, so we opted out of buying the tickets up the the observatory.
Ice cream cone sculpture.
There were several chromed steel spheres outside near the base of the tower. They all were covered in mathemagical formulae and (less so) flower designs which had actually been cut into the (hollow) spheres with a plasma cutter. I don't really know what the significance of these are, but nonetheless- neat.
In Korea, many it is common to use kerosene for heat. Again, I don't know why- I suppose it may be a holdover from older times that the US didn't experience. Anyway, everywhere you go, there are many of the same 20 liter kerosene containers. These little trucks run around the city and sell kerosene. Tiny little trucks, they are. I wish they'd sell efficient and well-engineered trucks like this in the US. Probably not the safest vehicles, though.
The particular area that we were visiting was known for its fashion, and one of the companies/organizations hawking their wares to the public erected this giant glowing pyramid over a subway(or underground shopping center) entrance. I wonder how many watts this thing is sucking down.
And on that note, this day's worth of pictures is over. At the time of this writing, it's actually over a week since these pictures were taken, so I'm relying on the pictures to be my notes. At some point in the evening, Dongyu and I ate Jajangmyeon, which is a black noodle dish with lots of onions. It's a pretty special dish, we had to search for a Chinese-Korean restaurant that served it and wait for a table. Everyone there was eating it, which shows that it's a bit of a specialty dish. I liked it.