Chuncheon and back to Seoul

Well I escaped the storms on the East Coast. There were pictures on the TV this morning of workers repairing the rail link I had traveled on the day before as the sea tried to claim it for itself.

By morning the rain had stopped, though it seemed to still be raining to the south. I did the half hour walk to the intercity bus terminal, past the remaining sand bags to stop yesterdays flooding and did the three hour trip to Chuncheon. For the first time, I felt like I was back in a western country. The clothes are much more informal and the city very new.

The place I was planning on staying was being renovated, so with my new confidence in working in Korean, I simply chose another near by. It was a good choice.

I wandered off to find some lunch, which failed, and to see the lake. I did the latter and visited one of the Islands in the middle of the lake. Before I got there, there was an interesting historical display in a glass pyramid. They had lots of photos, taken some 40-50 years ago, along side a photo from the same spot taken in the last 5 years. On the way back I stopped off at the Tourist Office to use the free internet and they gave me a free cup of coffee to boot. After this I returned to my Hotel room. On the way I purchased some dinner. An amazing thing happened, I started reading the Korean as syllables. It is so much easier. I did not find the meal I was looking for (out of the local town map) but instead settled for my first dish of Bib Bim Bab. It was a good vegetarian affair.

That was yesterday. Today, I caught the bus to Seoul. I had been trying in vain to contact the people at work as we had a bit of a mix up (caused by me) about the day. I visited the Museum of History (very good), the palace behind, and the Museum of Modern Art. All amounted to time very well spent. Returning to the Tea Guest House, I sill had no contact from my work colleagues. So I went down to Insadong to try and call them on the phone as my mobile seems unable to make phone calls. After a while I was able to track down a phone that would accept coins rather than a card and made the call and thus made contact. I had a modern Korean meal and we had a milky white Korean rice wine called long life. It was an excellent evening. We had a seafood pancake, the others had oyster filled pickletty things, bean-curd and some kind of bean patties, of course kimchi and the yellow pickle stuff that I have quite a liking for.

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