Thursday, August 17, 2006

Two Days of Nams

Well, things have gotten a little out of order since I felt I needed to write about the finger incident right away. So now we have to go back 2 days to Wednesday, the day I went to the mall with the first of the Nams in this post: the Nam sisters, Lindsey and Lindsey's sister (I would recognize her name if I heard it, but it was too difficult for me to have the ability to recall it. I'm really sorry, Lindsey's sister!).

On Wednesday, we spent most of our time eating. First "Omrice", which is omelets packed with rice...Then yoghurt...
Then we ate this. Serves 4, we only had three. Still we ate everything...
And then went and got more ice cream at the Haagen-Daz shop. In between eating we went to a bookstore where Lindsey helped me pick out a cool looking Korean textbook. Then we went to a movie by Miazaki's son (which was terrible). Basically, it was a really relaxed day that allowed us to talk and allowed my sunburns to recover. I have come to the conclusion, by the way, the the national pastime of Korea is, in fact, going out on dates. Everything is geared towards couples and you see couples everywhere. After Haagen-Daz, I went home, the finger in the fan incident took place, and I took this picture of the people at the hostel.
Thursday I was scheduled to meet Sohyun and Boeun in Chungmuro so that we could go to the Namsan Cultural Village. Dongdaemun, the really cheap place for shopping, is on the way, and since I have run out of clean clothes, I decided to stop there and get another $10 shirt. 2 shirts, 1 stainless steel watch, and five pairs of running socks later (total cost $35!) I was late. However, I arrived a good 25 minutes before Boeun, which gave Sohyun and I some time to talk about stuff. Here is the Namsan Cultural village, and the slopes of Namsan, the second Nam mentioned in the title.
Here is me playing a game that was either played by kings or kids. I forget exactly what Boeun said. Regardless, I am good at it!
Sohyun and Boeun giving it a shot...
Me, walking like a scholar.
This is when we discovered that Honolulu is one of the sister cities of Seoul.
Me, the the Namsan Tower in the distance. Later that day, Sohyun and I went to the top of that tower.
This is the place where they used to send smoke signals from on Namsan.
Seoul.
Korea is populated by thousands of identical apartments, as you can see here.
The central business district of Seoul, and the Blue House, center of government.
The urinal that I took the previous picture from. Best toilet in the world...
And a soccer ball chia pet.

Now there is one story that I really need to tell you because it made me so happy. When we were in Namsan Tower, Sohyun went over and assisted a Japanese woman who was having a problem working the binoculars. When she came back over I mentioned that what she had just done was very kind, to which she replied "When we were in America you were really nice to us and you said that in return we should try to help foreigners when we return to Korea. I think about that a lot." That made me so happy. It is my philosophy that little kind actions add up, and that being kind in a big way effects more than just the person you were kind to. Because I was kind to Sohyun, she goes out of her way to help a Japanese woman, who then has a better impression of Korea. She might go home and rave to her husband about how nice the Koreans are, and he will question his long held beliefs about Korea. It is impossible to say that any of this will happen, but when you risk very little to be kind, do you have any excuse not to try? On the other hand, some people risk a lot to be kind. One example is all of the people that have gone out of their way to help me in Korea. I want people that see a confused foreigner and try to help to feel rewarded, so every person that has randomly helped me, be it on the subway, on the train, or on the bus, I have given them some of the chocolates that I bought in Hawaii. By the way, I'm running out of chocolates.

1 comment:

Mom said...

Running out of chocolates? This could be considered a hint.
Love Mom
PS Hera is fighting me for space on this desk. Maybe she wants to say Hi.