I had that dream again, the one where Lance Armstrong visits my little city in the Seoul suburbs as part of a new tour for LIVESTRONG, and for some reason, the powers that be put me in charge of giving him the bike tour of the city. It’s a strange dream for a few reasons, chiefly among them being that I’m not Korean but in fact a temporary resident of this town, here to teach English for the year and then be on my way. It starts at my tiny office-tel apartment wheeling my Surly out of the oversized walk-in closet of a living space I call home.
Having recently returned to the land of parking lots and fast food, bread and cheese, and friends and family, I find myself in the United States with an an abundance of both sentimentality for all things Korean and newfound time. This blend lends itself perfectly to reminiscence about the last few month’s with the time to write about it. Continue reading “Gyeongbok Palace: A worthwhile stop”
Summer vacation came and went this week and, given that we have not yet seen a pay day, we decided to explore our suburb’s parent city, Seoul. We toured the Changdeok Palace in Seoul. Rich with history, it is among the most beautiful structures in all of Seoul. It brought back memories of Beijing’s Forbidden City, except that, unlike Beijing which lost many historical landmarks over the years due to urban planning under the growth-at-any-costs mantra it is a city with palaces, monuments, museums and other landmarks scattered throughout, reminding visitros and Koreans of the country’s long, proud history. In addition to historical significance, Seoul is also a magnificent cultural hub; a city in league with Paris, London and New York in its internationalism. Classical music, fine art, and Broadway musicals all make their way through Seoul. As we learned more about the city, and explored deeper and deeper into its nooks and crannies, we quickly realized that Seoul is probably one of the most under-appreciated cities in Asia.
Continue reading “A Diamond in the Rough”