Hayley and Ben's adventures!
12th May 2012 - Back to Korea
Getting lost in Daegu
So we have lived here now for 9 months, I can't believe how fast the time is going, only 3 months left until we are finished! We realised that there are still many parts of Daegu we haven't explored properly so today we went on a mission to get lost downtown and see what we find!!
I took some photographs of the apartment blocks by our flat. Most urban areas in Korea will feature many of these blocks - they look quite imposing and they remind me of George Orwell's 1984 novel - uninviting, uniform concrete structures with no individuality - quite repressing housing really. My coteacher explained to me that most Koreans aspire to owning one of these apartment flats as they are big (Korean standards) and modern, and they are surprisingly expensive. To us they seem horrible and confining and tower blocks usually present a less desirable image back home yet here they have to be used - Korea is covered with mountains (70%) of the country and they have a huge population to squeeze into small flat areas! Also I guess with the Korean war and the Japanese invasion most of the country was destroyed so these blocks were easy to build post-war.
I just thought I would include some info about Korean housing as it was something that we noticed when we first got here! Most of the blocks are built around a communal park area and have many trees round the edge, and NO graffiti or gangs of dodgy hooded youths in the stairwells!
So back to Daegu, we wondered a bit away from the main downtown area and stumbled across a park with the longest name - Gyeongsang-gamyeong park (try and pronounce that haha!) It was quite pretty actually for an inner city park and had a pond, bridge and a traditional looking building in the middle!
We got to see a performance by some traditional Korean sword dancers and drummers so that was quite cool! They had seats for all the old people to watch and we got a few glares from the locals! I also got chased by a person dressed up in a weird cartoon costume of a traditional Korean guard and he only left me alone when we had a photo taken with him! Then a young Korean couple asked Ben if they could take a photo of him! I think they were startled by his shaven head - only Buddhist monks or Japanese gangs have shaved heads so his haircut is causing quite a commotion! Many of the kids at his school have told him he looks scary this week!! I told him he should've done another blue mohawk - although the principal might have gone into cardiac arrest at that sight!! hahaha!
So after this park we wandered for a further 3 hours getting lost around the huge Seomun market area and along the more run down side streets! Obviously not many foreigners venture down this way as whenever we asked for directions in our flawless Korean (hmm) we were met with scared looks and one old guy even ran away from us (must be Ben's hair again) - quite amusing and frustrating at the same time! The joys of being an obvious foreigner continue...
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