Trek to the North

At least once, sometimes, twice a year we are required (okay, kinda forced) to take business trips for work. This pretty much involves us going to different language institutes in Korea to see how they operate. On the way we stop at various sights, temples and such, and eat different kinds of Korean food.

I’m not really a fan of trips where every stop and every day is scheduled fully, but not a lot you can do when your supervisors are in charge. Still, I have to say that the trip we’re currently on has been pretty decent.

I mean look at the scenery I woke up to this morning.

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Nice,huh? We stayed overnight in Goseong which is pretty close to the DMZ. It’s something like 5-10 km away. On our way here we also made a stop at 2 houses of some rather famous men: Rhee Syng-man and Kim Il Sung (as in Kim Jong Il’s dad… *that* guy).

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This home was originally built by a German architect for missionaries, but Kim Il Sung decided he liked it, so he took it. It became his summer home. There’s even a picture of little Kim Jung Il sitting on the steps outside. There isn’t much inside. It pretty much contains information and the area and the Korean War. This house is small, but it has a nice view.

Next we hit up the 1st president’s house. Also a summer house, it only has 3 rooms: a bedroom, office, and family room.

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The former president’s office.

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Figures of the president and his wife (who was Austrian, I might add).

Now, I realize these weren’t exactly great men. One was a dictator, the other an authoritarian who ended up in exile. But history can be fascinating and it’s interesting to see how these people lived.

As for other parts of this trip, I’ve been fairly pleased. Sometimes, for me, Korean food can be hit-and-miss. I’ve been satisfied this trip though (Sorry I am lacking photos for all the food). Thus far we’ve had tofu, cold buckwheat noodles, sashimi, and spicy soup. One of my supervisors was also kind enough to buy us chicken on occasion as well.

The language institutes we visited were interesting in their own ways. They’re a completely different set-up compared to our work, which makes me question the point of these trips, but whatever. It is nice to get out of the office once in awhile. We have 4 camps in a row coming up, so we’re going to be quite busy.

I’ll have to remember these cool ocean breezes for upcoming humidity and monsoon season that is supposed to be coming. Oh boy!

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