Taking a Trip Back in Time

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July 1st 2010
Published: July 4th 2010
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Happy Canada Day to all you Canucks back in the mother land! The fact that no one knows this holiday here makes us miss home even more! The fireworks, the parades, the day off work! Today also marks the official 2 month mark until we leave Korea! But, that does not mean we are coming home! More on that later, but we will be traveling in Asia for 100 days before returning home in December!

So what have we been up to the last couple weeks? Mostly, World Cup! Seeing as Korea actually has (had) a team in contention, there was a great atmosphere here! We bought Korea shirts and took to the streets and stadium as any proud Korean would do, cheering with the crowds "Dae Han Min Gook" (the great Korean people!). Alas, the journey was short-lived and after a decent showing against Ghana, the Korean Red Devils are no more. But that didn't stop us! No! Due to the time change, all games are at 11pm and 3:30am. Luckily Korea's last game was on a Saturday so we hit the bars to catch the game. With an infectious energy at the bar, it didn't take much to
Korea v ArgentinaKorea v ArgentinaKorea v Argentina

Watching the game at the Yangsan Stadium on the big screen
talk us all into staying to watch USA/Uruguay at 3:30 (maybe in part because we wanted to watch US lose?!?!?) So, yes, that night we stayed up all night cheering our hearts out, watching the sky lighten in the morning as we were still sitting in the bar, wondering, "is this really happening? After the game we grabbed a Mickey D's breakfast and rode the subway home. Luckily at 7am on a Sunday the subway isn't too busy so we were able to each take a whole bench and stretch out for the 1h+ ride! Sunday was obviously a write-off, being exhausted and all, and in fact, so was Monday! I don't think I like soccer enough to ever do that again, but it was fun!

But it hasn't all been partying and soccer. The weekend before that, we took a trip to Andong where there is a famous traditional village. For Mike this was a second visit, as he had been briefly with his family. For me, this was my first visit and of the "must-see" things left on my to-do list in Korea. We had actually planned to visit a different town that weekend but got to the bus station to find out that all the times listed online were wrong (go figure!) so we made an on-the-spot decision and we were soon en route to Andong.

We arrived in Andong city just after lunch and had time to kill before the next bus out to the village so we had some lunch and met an interesting guy from Texas who was teaching English at a University. Now that would be a nice job! So much vacation time and students that can actually have a conversation in English!

We finally got on the bus for the Hahoe Village and spent a few hours roaming around the village. Basically it's a mini village with houses as they were wayyyy back in the day. I'm talking straw roofs, fences around the yards made of dirt and clay. It was so beautiful and awesome! We got to see inside a couple of the homes but for the most part, the village seemed pretty quiet. Some of the homes had amazingly wonderful landscaping but they were not open to touring. Luckily, one of us is really tall and could see over the fence 😉 I just loved the vibe from the village and the colours - dark wood, clay, rocks, straw mixed with pretty red and pink flowers.

Back in Andong we had the famous Andong beef for dinner, which was quite delicious then walked out to the longest walking bridge in the country. It's a wooden bridge spanning a river and is not really that long, but I guess for Korea, it's long. That night, hovering above the water was a layer of fog and mixed with the lights from the bridge, it created an amazing effect. The water was perfectly calm, creating a perfect mirror image of the bridge and blurring the line between the real bridge and the reflection.

Sunday we took a bus to Daegu, the 3rd largest city in Korea hoping to check out a few unique things, such as Sock Street and the Oriental Medicine Market. Unfortunately, everything was closed so after 2 hours of wandering around, one hope being dashed after another, we decided it was time to get home and took the train back to Yangsan.

Now that we are into July, the school year in winding down. All students will be finished writing their final exams this week which leaves 2 weeks of class. For what, you ask? I have asked the same question many times and gotten no real answer. So, here is my answer: games and movies! A perfect way to end the semester!! In 3 short weeks my Mom and Sam are coming for a 9 day visit, then after that we are off to Jeju (Korea's Hawaii) and Japan for summer vacation! Upon our return, we have 9 days left in Korea before shipping off again on our 100 day adventure! Phew, it's all going to come so fast! We hope that you are all enjoying your summer and the fact that Canada does NOT have a rainy/monsoon season right in the middle of it (in case you didn't get my tone, I am less than thrilled with rainy season here! It rains for days on end, hard rain and it's not fun!). We miss you all and would love to hear how you are spending your summer vacation!

Additional photos below
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Typical SundayTypical Sunday
Typical Sunday

Koreans gather in parks to play this game. There were about 10 different matches going on here and many onlookers.

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