So I know a lot of you are just about as anxious for this blog entry as you are to hear Palin speak again. I do hope though that you find this as amusing, if not more amusing, than her foreign policies.
On another note, I do apologize for not keeping up with this blog as much as I should. BUT I have lots (or as much as Travellers Point would let me have) of pictures to bribe you into forgiving me. So on we go!
Recently, as in this past weekend, I got back from hiking a mountain. A group of 9 including myself, headed up North (not North Korea) for a long weekend to go trek Seoraksan. We left early Friday morning at 8:40am to ride on a bus for 7 hours to end up in Sokcho. When we got there we ended up getting a hostel, which was the first ever for me.
We then got dinner and ended the night with the conclusion that we were going to get up at 5:30 and be out the door by 6am to do an all day hike. Next morning, we're out the door by 6am and walking towards the mountain.
It was all uphill from there. When I first entered Seoraksan the immediate reaction I had was that it reminded me of an amusement park. There are tons of people, stands set up on the side selling everything you might need, and kids running around. It really was nothing like I was expecting.
And to let you know, South Korean's are huge into hiking. If you were to tell me that hiking is South Korea's favorite hobby/past time activity, I would have said that you're lying.
Once you get past the entry, you first come upon an enormous statue of Buddha which is absolutly breathtaking!
The highlight of Seoraksan in the Fall is the colors. As I was hiking up this mountain, it seemed as though I am watching the colors change right before my eyes. This place is probably one of the most beautiful places that I've ever been to.
However, as beautiful and serene as Seoraksan appears it is completely vicious.
Hiking: to walk or march a great distance, esp. through rural areas, for pleasure, exercise, military training, or the like.
Mountain Climbing: The climbing of mountains, especially the scaling of rock faces by means of special equipment and techniques.
There were points in this hike that I had to use techniques that shouldn't be used in hiking, but maybe that's my own personal opinon. Not to mention that 97% of Koreans use ski/hiking poles to hike up and down the mountain.
It was a good time though. There were a couple of times where I threw my hands up in the air and said forget it, but I pushed on. Out of 9 of us though, only 4 made it all the way to the summit. I wasn't one of the four and that's okay. I made it 3/4 of the way up which for scaling an 80 degree mountain, I figured that was pretty damn good. It was a good time with good people, but I now feel and walk like an 80 year old jewish woman. Oy vey!
Other than this past weekend, everything has been going great. I recently hit my 3 month mark and it really doesn't feel like it's been 3 months. I'm now syncing in with my enviroment and where I am. I was concerned earlier that I wouldn't get settled and actually feel apart of South Korea, but I have developed some great friends and good times. I knew it was something that I couldn't force and that I had to let it unfold at its own pace, but I'm extremely happy that it finally did. I feel like I'm at a pinnacle right now. I'm sure like any peak though, there is a fall but I think I'll be stable enough to handle it now that I have the support of friends around me.
Being here I have realized that I have taken Fall for granted and not seen the beauty in her. There are so many activies going on during Fall, so that means a lot of updates and pictures. I'll also try to not keep my lovely fans waiting a month and a half until the next entry. Until the next time, I hope that all of y'all (oh yes, I still have the y'all and use it frequently in my classroom) are doing wonderful!