Through misty hillsides, and jet lagged eyes, we finally saw the gorgeous Korean Peninsula for the first time. After nearly a full day of travel, including an 8 hour layover in San Francisco, we arrived in Incheon, from which we took a bus to Daegu. Beyond the Hangul script covering the walls, our new environment was viscerally different from where we came, but we were both prepared to take it all in.
We arrived at our new apartment at around 10PM KST (8AM CST on the same calendar day), where we live above a traditional Korean pub. Below is an image from our front gate facing West, with the pub in the foreground, and a public park on the left.
Within a five minute walk, we have multiple grocery stores, the subway system, a handful of public parks, a police station and pretty much anything else you’d require for every day life. As you’ll notice, everything is unique in it’s own special way; interestingly, nearly every car is black, white or gray, and is either Hyundai, KIA, SsangYong or Samsung (that’s right, Samsung makes cars too).
This is the park across the street from the apartment we’re moving into on July 24th. There is a basketball court in the background, and the court on the right with the pole is for a Korean game that mixes Volleyball/Tennis and Soccer called “Jokgu”. The sign on the below photo says something like “please remove your shoes.”
Near our apartment is the local Police Station, and they often leave their cruisers out in the open…. almost as if they want people to take pictures of them.
Just up the road from the Police Station is the Subway. As you’ll see, the subway is very clean compared to cities of similar size in the USA.
Just two stops away, we can find ourselves at the Samsung Daegu Lions Baseball Stadium, where we spent around ₩8,000 per ticket, which is around $7.15. The Lions won!
Just a couple stops down on the subway line, we end up downtown, which is only about a 25 minutes from our apartment. Before we reach the surface, there is giant underground mall to explore that lies beneath the downtown area.
We could spend all day perusing the shops as there is no shortage of cheap (straight from China) merchandise.
“THE LEGEND” is a shirt that you’ll see on a daily basis. Also, I’m going to have to go back and get this “Lacostco” shirt in the near future.
Just above the mall is an even more extensive network of shops and businesses stacked on top of each other, making it very easy to fill up a day downtown.
There is much more to uncover in the downtown area, but we can save that for another post. Last week, Luke (Caitlin’s brother) took us to the Cheongdu Wine Tunnel to escape the heat, since the tunnel is naturally temperature controlled, and it was about 95 degrees with 80% humidity.
After driving around 30 minutes through the brilliant countryside, we ended up at the wine tunnel.
Persimmons are a Cheongdo staple; you can see them advertised on the vertical banner.
There are a lot of wine bottles in here. Side note: They only disallow dogs, so bring all the cats you want.
Here’s an image of me marveling at this artist’s usage of negative space to give the illusion of a half-full glass…. or half empty… regardless of how you define it, this is a cool sculpture.
At the end of our cool walk, we discovered that tunnel-goers are encouraged to write a wish; there are thousands of them.
I’m not 100% certain if the wish “Be Happy” is positive, or a not-so-subtle cry for help… Either way, this person beat the heat.
Sneak Peak of next week’s post:
We accidentally stumbled into something I’ve only seen on the television – Conveyor belt sushi. Kappa Sushi… not this Kappa. This is hands down the best nigiri sushi I’ve ever had; their salmon nigiri is quite literally amazing, and it’s only about $1 per plate with free soda, making for a cheap meal! Stand by for a food post next week, as I’ll give you a more in-depth view of our eating experience so far in Korea.
Hopefully you come back for more!