Korean Election Day!


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The day was Wednesday, June 2,2010.  My first full week of classes & we have a holiday! Yeah!  Armed with a hand sketched map my co-worker drew for me the day before to get me to downtown Hayang, I am ready to explore.  My mission, to find the Nike outlet store & buy myself a pair of tennis shoes since I didn’t have room to pack any shoes other than the ones that I wore on my internationally traveling feet.  Two nice pairs of tennis shoes being shipped to my dad’s but not much good they will do me here.  So here I go…on a mission of shoes & exploration.

It was a beautifully sunny day this day.  My ankles still quite swollen from the flight over (or so I thought), I was hoping the nice walk would reduce some of the ankle swelling too.  My co-workers thought I was pretty brave to try to find Hayang Downtown on my own, but I reassured them I could find it.  (not admitting that I get turned around leaving my driveway in CA no less!). 🙂  I also had my phone camera in hand, knowing I didn’t have to be anywhere else this day, I could take my time & smell the roses.

I have attached my first pictures!  These are the pictures of the path I walked from my place to Hayang Downtown.

So dressed for my walk: comfy & wearing my trusty black sandals, I am off for Hayang Downtown.  I follow the map.  So far so good.  The view is beautiful.  I am surrounded by fields full of food from the earth.  Not sure what they are growing, but I take pictures of the green fields anyway, hoping to be able to identify the earthly goods someday.  The photos I take are not only to show everyone where I am living now, but they will also serve as my ‘bread crumbs‘ in case I get turned around & can’t find my way home.  This small country road that cuts through the fields of bounty serves as a short cut to downtown instead of walking the sidewalk that follows the main thoroughfare.

The path that cuts through the field of greens finally ends.  I come to the main thoroughfare that I must travel along.  What appears?  None other than a Harley Davidson bike shop!   I’m not so far from the States now am I!  The next picture is of a washing machine.  This used appliance business owner ‘displays’ his goods right outside of his storefront & right up to the sidewalk.  Hmmm..I’ll pass.  Next is another familiar biz: Hyundai!  Oh the memories of my second car.  Yes, Hyundai is a Korean brand.  And they are all over the place.  There are these little mini-flatbed utility trucks that are made by Hyundai.  And they are all over the place as well.  They are used for everything from the farm work & hauling crops to hauling the recycled trash & even to help people move out of their apartments.  Amazing!  They come in blue, white….just kidding…I am not trying to sell ya one!  The next pic is one of some of the high rise apartments that are near where I work. The next photo is one of the bridge I cross over to get to work & downtown.  It is amazing to see how this river looked in early June to how it looks now after so much rain we have had this summer.  The level is so much higher.  The pictures of the traffic is a photo of the other side of the bridge.  These views are to the left of me, whereas the river pics are on the right side of the bridge (and the side that I chose to walk on).  As my bridge walking comes to an end, I get closer & closer to downtown…I turn right at then end of the bridge heading towards my place of work.  Here it is!  A pic of the outside play equipment & several pics of the school.  The doors to the left are the Kindergarten classes & childcare, the doors to the right are the classes for age 6 & up.  And both the K & older kids have their own little, yellow mini-school busses.  OK-back on track to Hayang Downtown.  I head for the underground tunnel.  This is where I make my first directional mistake.  The next several pictures take you through a part of Hayang Downtown I have not been back to since this one day.  This is not the Hayang Downtown I visit on a fairly regular basis.  I had forgotten I had taken so many pics of this place!  I finally get moving in the right direction to Hayang Downtown and a few pics of this area are shown.  The last picture is of me, after a very long walk on a bright day full of sunshine, blue skies, perfect weather, a few purchases that include my new tennis shoes, a backpack & hangers…gotta have ’em ya know!  I was hot, my feet blistered…and tired…But what a day!  Wouldn’t have had it any other way (except for maybe Mapquest…)  No breadcrumbs needed. I found my way back home just fine.

I must say that the blister that I had on my right heel from wearing my new tennis shoes home from Hayang Downtown (without socks…I know, I know…not a wise move)…lasted for several weeks.  So did the ankle swelling.  While the blister finally healed, the ankle swelling has just in the last few weeks really begun to subside on a regular basis.  I contribute the consistent swelling to the combination of my RA, the hot, humid weather & the trial & error to getting my meds right over here in Korea.  Happy to say, now that the weather is cooling & the humidity has gone in the last week or so, my meds seem to be working, my ankles show signs of their old familiar shape.  Good thing!  I was beginning to think that I was going to have to settle for getting ‘cankles’ at 40!  NOOOOO!!!!

So there ya have it!  Finally some pictures.  Many more to come.  Now I am on a roll.  So look out…keep reading…I hope you all are enjoying my adventure…from my unique point of view…

Love to you all!!!

Chris

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