This is a series of posts about my earlier life and travels. It’s an exercise of gratitude to reflect on the many places I’ve been able to see and the things I was able to do. I consider them to be deposits in my memory bank account, from which I am able to draw on now at a time when traveling is less manageable, if not impossible.
From California, we moved to our home state where we lived comfortably and happily spent most of our free time traveling to visit family. After four years and two more children were added to our family, we were given the opportunity to live in South Korea for two years. While family life was our priority, we did see some of the country too.
I saw temples in the countryside, shopping markets in big cities, I drove on roads where traffic rules seem to be only suggestions, and I ate things I could not identify. There is such a mix of ancient and modern there, and also an assortment of class status; so it was often difficult to tell if things were built thousands of years ago or built recently with fiscal resourcefulness and artistry. This beautiful wall was one of those things.
Here is a traditional Korean building with kimchi pots in front of it. The pots allow seasoned cabbage to ferment.
Here is a typical Korean temple and statues.
Korean architecture is so different from ours with its tile roofs and bright colors.
This beautifully carved and painted Korean window was photograph worthy.
Look at the underside of this roof on a Korean building.
Such intricate painting!
And here are additional interesting buildings…
This is a hillside in Korea with grave mounds. During Chusok, a Korean holiday, families travel as far as they have to to present food and gifts at the gravesites in their ancestors’ honor.
Rice grows on beautifully terraced fields.
This picture shows rice drying.
We traveled to the city of Po Hung on the eastern seaboard to attend a wedding with Korean friends.
We saw a shipyard there on the coast and viewed this squid set out to dry.
We traveled to Chinhae during its cherry blossom festival. The trees were gorgeous.
We saw and toured a replica of Admiral Yi’s Turtle Ship. The cover of this ship with it’s spikes provided protection for those in it.
Here is part of the inside of the ship.
The success of Admiral Yi and the Turtle Ship is celebrated annually with a parade and festival in the city of Chinhae. This shows a portion of the parade showcasing the many colors of traditional Korean dress.
This is a fashion show of the traditional Korean women’s dress (hanbok).
And here is a woman playing a traditional Korean string instrument (gayageum or kayagum).
I saw incredible shows of fan dancing…
On a more somber note, this picture was taken in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between South and North Korea. Inside this building is a South Korean soldier and outside looking in to the building is a North Korean soldier. This is where peace talks take place between two countries that are technically still at war.
This is a view from a tower in Taegu, South Korea, the huge city where we lived.
I had to include this for fun. It’s a typical public toilet in Korea.
After about two years, we moved back home. Come read my next post to find out where.