Saturday, June 16, 2007

Seodaemun Prison

Today I visited Seodaemun Prison in Seoul with Kathryn, Angie, Matt and Jenn. It was definately a somber event, but very educational. Seodaemun Prison Was erected in 1908 to house those who were captured by the Japanese in their fight to free Korea from Japan's oppression. There were many tributes, exhibits and photographs dipicting not only the struggle these people were flighting for, but also the suffering and torture they experienced within the walls of Seodaemun Prison. A very moving afternoon and definately one I won't soon forget.

The map of Seodaemun Prison, Seoul

Watch tower, Seodaemun Prison
View of the prison grounds and mountain in the distance, Seodaemun Prison
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View of Seodaemun Prison

Me standing outside of the front gate of Seodaemun Prison

One of the many prison corridors at Seodaemun Prison

View just outside the Execution Hall, Seodaemun prison
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After our tour of Seodaemun prison, we headed to Insadong for a yummy Indian meal...yeah for Thalis!! Even if this one didn't cost 25 rupees was divine and worth every won)

Me grinning like a kid in a candy store...thali thali thali!!

Me, Kathryne and Angie at the Indian restaurant

Jen and Matt were happy about the food too!
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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Kids and their silly t-shirts

Just because this made me laugh so hard yesterday when I saw it....thanks to my student Ashley who was so patient (be it also confused) as I showed her and her t-shirt off to the other teachers and then proceeded to snap a few photos of her - I always love a 'pretty and easy' girl who is also a good sport.

Note: photos courtesy of Kathryn's camera phone (thanks Kat)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Chungang Park

Just a few photos I wanted to add from my Sunday at the park. The weather is hot now and my apartment has been converted into a stinky sauna laugh, but I'm not joking. The smells of burnt oil and sea creatures from the fish restaurant that opened beside my window seem to be wafting into my apartment daily. Combined that with the increasing heat and humidity and you get my smelly sauna (formally known as Colleen's place). In an attempt to get some fresh air I hopped on a bus and found myself in a beautiful little park just 20 minutes away from my home. It was perfect...sitting under some trees (doing the half sun/half shade thing), reading a great book (bought in India and left on the shelf until now), watching the ducks and fountains and taking the occasional 5 minute nap was a great way to spend my sunny Sunday afternoon. Anyways, here's some photos for you to carouse through. Enjoy

What a nice place to relax

Chungang ParkMap
Fountains galore!! This was the biggest one!

It's a white duck with an orange beak!!! Just like in the story books!
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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Artsy Saturday

I have to admit it, I have been living a stone's throw away from Seoul for a long time now (perhaps too long) and I haven't really made any effort to visit any art galleries. On Saturday morning, when my Kathryn texted me to join her and her friend Angie (giving me 20 minutes to get ready) , my first instinct was to say no and return to my blissful sleep - but then I reconsidered and I am glad I did.
We went to see the Musee d' Orsay exhibit that is showing at the Seoul National Arts Center and it was wonderful. many famous paintings from Monet to Van Gogh to Renoir and Degas were on display. It was the first time I have been to an exhibit like this and it was well worth leaving so early in the morning.
After walking around the exhibit, we took the subway near Sookmyung Woman's University and has a yummy lunch at a Japanese fusion restaurant. After lunch, Kathryn and Angie invited me to join them in their Korean class. Although I have enough basic knowledge I haven't felt the need to really study before, they loured me with the fact that the classes are free and there are no actual tests - 'just for fun' you might say. The classes are held at a community center and I can only assume receive funding for each foreigner that attends. The beginner class I joined will be great for me - since it will be a good review of the alphabet and I can improve my reading and writing skills.
So the short is... I've decided to start going every Saturday. (yep - it's about time you say? I know I know)
Me outside the Musee d'Orsay exhibit, Seoul National Arts Center

Kat and me posing (Korean style...say Kimchi!!)

Traffic outside the Seoul National Arts Center

Me eating some too-good-to-be-true Bibimpap
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Monday, June 04, 2007

Good Bye Roy

It isn't very often that I meet a student who really impresses me more with their imagination then their memorization skills, but Roy is one of a kind. He is so creative and witty. He is cool for a kid who is just over 5 years old and is one of my few students who always (and I mean always) makes an effort to speak in full sentences - even when I don't. Today his family moved into the city and it was his last day in my class...sniff sniff. We spent the day playing games, playing at the park and eating ice cream. Although I love each of my students (undeniably some more then others), Roy was a definite shoe in for favorite kid. I'm gonna miss him.

Roy looking happy as he draws his 'favorite months of the year'

Roy looking very serious with some snacks in hand

This photo was taken last month for children's day of Roy and me.
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