Monday, March 30, 2009

Local Hike & View of Anyang

Its hard to overstate the difference between Korean and English. I thought I was bad at Spanish...I know for certain I'm bad at Korean. Luckily most Koreans don't expect you to be any good at it. I started Korean classes a couple weeks ago and have learned a lot. Its possible that I'll be able to have a conversation with a cabbie before I leave, but not definite. The alphabet is systematic and easy to learn but with an ear for language as bad as mine its hard to get over the initial "what is this". Surprisingly the most frustrating result of my difficulty with the language has been my inability to remember the names of places I've been and the ones I want to visit. I've seen a lot of great spots in Seoul since I've been here, but would have a hard time remembering the names of 1/3 of them. They're so alien they go in one ear and out the other. I end up describing places using their landmarks, which isn't very effective (Korean architecture is pretty boring and homogenous).

The pictures above are from an amazing hike a fellow teacher took me on last Friday. I was amazed to find a bit of nature so close to my apartment. When I travel out of my little town all I see are building-lined streets or the inside of a subway tube. I forget that I'm in a hilly little pocket of greater Seoul. The first 3 shots are the view from the hike's peak. My building is amongst the tall white ones in the foreground of picture #2. Seoul is beyond the mountains and to the right. Hopefully you can see what I mean when I say Korean architecture is a little boring. I've recently learned that the pictures show Anyang, and that Pyeongchon (what I've referred to as my neighborhood) is really just a section of Anyang...........I'm still learning my way around (see paragraph above).

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