With hurricane Katrina and the devastating aftermath, blogging about Korea seemed so frivolous. Since I've been in a Katrina induced haze this past week (and not being able to sleep due to thinking about those poor people and the what-if-it-had-been-me's...after all, Houston is not that far away from where it hit), I thought I'd write a quick update about Korea to cheer myself up.
It was a true blessing to be able to visit my family in Busan, South Korea! My mom's entire side of the family lives there and in Seoul. It was my mom, one of my sisters (Leah) and I. The trip started off well with an on-time departure out of Houston to Tokyo's Narita airport. While it IS a long flight (14 hours or so) it went by quickly! Well, the first class service did help-- I am so spoiled with the perks that come with being an airline employee's spouse! Shhhh....don't tell anyone. Ahem, and then we caught a connection to Busan (2 hour flight). And I must say that the Japanese people are so friendly, industrious and polite! You would not believe the difference in the quality of service you get just from ticket and gate agents over there-- definite in my book.
Korea is a beautiful country with rolling mountains and hills. I was amazed at the number of pine trees in Busan. Beautiful, elegantly crooked pine trees-- the crooked that you see in an asian painting. It amazed me because Busan is a port city and had pine trees near the beaches...we have pine trees in our yard but we've never seen them near the beach in Galveston!
We did not do any tourist-y things...spent most of our time at my uncle's house visiting with family. Well, we did go on the ferry (which was a little for me). We also visited the fish market, did a little shopping (cell phone charms were the souvenir/gifts of choice), and ate a ton of food. My uncle's wife is the BEST cook-- she makes an unbelievable crab soup and the squid was d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s!
Interestingly enough, I had not seen so many high-rise apartments in my life! I did not expect for apartment living to be desired over a house. But the apartments (or condos since you buy them--modest one being over $200K--ouch!) were newer and more modern than the small cramped houses that we saw. As far as the eye could see, condo after condo after condo. My sis said it reminded her of Brazil (she visited Rio last year). Oh and air conditioning was a rare luxury! Most places are not air conditioned over there and if they are, it is not a central a/c unit but a stand alone that you switch on when you are in the immediate vicinity. I don't know if dh could survive the lack of a/c and the hard beds and/or sleeping on the floor...he's been dying to visit but I really don't know if he could hang.
No, I do not speak korean (except for a few phrases) but, thankfully, my cousins and a dear friend did! I am ashamed and embarrassed that I don't speak the language. I wish I did. But living here in TX, I think it's much more practical to teach my kids Espanol, wouldn't you say? We also attended my uncle's church for services on Sunday. While they do things a bit differently (some good, some bad in my opinion), they can SING! Koreans have such amazing singing voices and it was really neat to hear familiar church hymns in a different language and sung with such gusto.
Anyway, that's it for now on Korea. I haven't gotten around to downloading/uploading (whichever it is) the pics from my digital camera. I'll try to post those at a later date.
On another note, I've decided to delay the start of school for another week. Just can't resist the invite to my friend's house for a cookout and swimming tomorrow. Then there are science classes on Tuesday at the museum, Masters Club starts up on Wednesday (I'm teaching the 3yo class), and my baby has some outpatient surgery on Thursday-- please keep him in your prayers! I can't believe I was even planning on starting school tomorrow! I must not have been thinking.
Well, thanks for hanging in there and reading this far!
God bless ya'll!
- Give to the Salvation Army
Thank you for leaving a comment at my blog so I could come over here to meet you and read your blog!
You are your children are so beautiful. I will pray for your littlest boy on Thursday. for sure.
Your trip to Korea sounds amazing! I would miss the air conditioning and 'creature comforts' tho.
I start school tomorrow.
11th grade and Kindergarten ;o)
I'm looking forward to the routine and seeing how everything fits together this year!
Have an enjoyable time at the picnic today!
Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement posted to my blog. And I've so enjoyed hearing about your wonderful trip to Korea, thanks! It's actually been a nice reprieve from musing over Katrina, which has gotten quite old and we're now trying to avoid over here (as much as we can anyways, even as we prepare my family to go back to Biloxi, and answer phone calls we're receiving from the MS Gulf Coast every couple of hours. My Mom, sis and I all have a nice fiction read we're working on, have watched WAY too many movies, and last night we had a fire, complete with roasting marshmallows and hot dogs. I'm certainly praying for your son, and looking forward to hearing a good report! Yeah, I'd planned on starting school last week, didn't happen here either, and looks like it won't until NEXT week!;) But truly, our children are learning every day though, right? Valuable lessons even, but oh, how those math books do nag at me! hahaha.;) I'm sure your hubby and kids are so glad to have you back home. And I look forward to hearing more from you.
blessings to you and yours, Beth
...with family! I loved reading about your trip to Korea. It sounds like a beautiful place. I would love to see the crooked pines and the high-rise condos. :) I don't blame you for putting off school a little while longer, too, as a wonderful time with friends at a cookout sounds so inviting and you have a lot going on! Praying for your little boy's surgery and recovery and for his momma's heart, too. :) Please keep us updated...so I'm guessing you aren't jumping in to train for that 5K??? :)
...for you and your boys to have went with us on our field trip! Wouldn't we have had so much fun?! Your little ones would have gotten quite a kick out of my boys trying to find that dart in the tree.
Oh, and about that 5K, you can jump in anytime. :) I know it is harder with a little one, too. It is a bit easier for me now that my youngest is almost 5....but I wish I had a little one! But, alas, I will be content with the ornery 3 I have...God love'em! Be blessed Marsha!
Beautiful scenery and beautiful people. I do have to say I found it ironic that you were green from the ferry but the squid was delicious! I think the opposite would have been true for me. LOL!
Thanks for the info on Lori's blog - amazing what she and her family are doing in spite of their own difficulties. Still praying.
P.S. What are cell phone charms?
squid? did you say squid? like ew. do NOT serve that when i come over for dinner.
heh heh heh
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