Trip Start Aug 27, 2011
99Trip End Jun 01, 2012
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My couchsurfer Suze met me at the station, she is from Hayling Island in the South of England and is 26 years old. Within minutes we are rabbiting away! We chat at her place for a while before making it out to a Nepalese curry house for some delicious food! Suze is great, well travelled, has been teaching English in Korea for almost a year and has some options to chose for the coming year, either more travel or stay in Korea. It is great to meet a fellow Brit that you feel you have lots in common with. She also has the personality of someone that will challenge you, but always in a positive way, I like this, reminds me of my university days.
Daegu is a compact city and a busy city. It recently held the World Athletics Championships and Suze was lucky enough to have seen the big man Usain Bolt in an early round of the 100 meters.
My only full day in Daegu started with poached eggs on toast, homemade by Suze! Very very tasty. I am always so grateful when anyone cooks for me, funny thing is, she only has one set of cutlery, so we take turns eating.
Today, I will travel to Gyeongju, an historical town with tombs and other beautiful attractions. Firstly, Suze walks us to her school where she teaches and gets permission from the headmaster for me to meet the children. What an experience. Such well behaved, cute and friendly little 6 and 7 year olds. People in Korea are referred to by title, so they call Suze `TEACHER`, maybe I would be called `GINGER`! They all say hello and ask me questions such as my name, how old I am, where am I from. All the children have chosen an English name to make teaching for the English speaking people easier. Apparenly, a little one called Alvin later on in th afternoon asked for TEACHER TONY! So sweet. I said goodbye to Suze for the day and commented, I dont know how she can work all day with a beaming smile, I mean, the kids just make you enjoy life and smile at everything they do, after a while, your facial cheeks will hurt.
A bus from Daegu station takes an hour to reach Gyeongju. Gyeongju is east of Daegu and Suze recommended it as a cool little day out, rather than walking around Daegu for a day. I start by visiting the town monument, situated in a park. Its a fairly long walk as the city is deceptively large, I could have hired a bike but pennies are tight at the moment!!
After seeing the statue, I went to grab a quick and cheap chicken lunch before moving onto the efficient running of a South Korean post office to send my grandad a postcard, You take a number and take a seat.
The afternoon, I enjoyed the fantastic sight of Anapji pond and walked past a group of young Korean children who all wanted to say `hello`. I must have said hello 50 times, so funny, but they are not cheeky or aggressive, just well behaved and sweet.
I spent the last part of my day in Gyeongju at the Tombs of Cheonmachong. There were many small hills doted around the city, and only from visiting these tombs did I realise that under the mounds of earth were tombs of distant generations. Of particular importance was the Tomb of the Heavenly Horse. You can enter that Tomb and see some artifacts from the past.
I went back into the town to visit the market and picked up a couple of local cakes for Suze, seeing as she was such a good chef. Instead of catching a bus from to Suze apartment, I decided it would be easier to walk, luckily, 45 minutes later, I was walking in the right direction and Suze was pretty surprised when I found my way back. So was I a little, but I saved a taxi ride!!
In the evening, Suze, myself, and two of her friends went to a Makgeoli place for dinner. It is fermented rice wine served in a tea pot with honey and then between the four of you, you share some savoury pancakes and other little side treats that is provided. The only problem I encounter, is sitting on my butt in a restaurant. I just cant get comfortable, my big old legs and fat arse are unable to sit cross legged. But, we sat there for hours, enjoying an interesting debate about various topics to the point where Suze would tell me to `hush` while she was explaining something wrong. Next day she apologised but she had no need to, it was fun and good banter and nothing at all taken to heart, plus we had drunk a few tea pots of Makgeoli by then. The pancakes were called Geon.
When Suze arrived in Daegu, she soon inherited a fluffy bunny rabbit. The little fella has a very hairy face and is the first rabbit that has ever licked me like a cat would. It was very cute and would walk around me while I was laying on my make shift bed on Suzes floor, well, not while I was sleeping, but while we were chatting over tea.
i chilled on my last day as it rained pretty badly. We shared lunch at a local place to her apartment. We had, Dweng Jan Stew, Heokpohkir and Kimbop, match the words to the picture! Sadly, it was time to leave.
I said a fluffy goodbye to the bunny and to Suze. She went to the Isle of Wight festival recently with her dad, so i said, next time she goes, let me know and I know a little hotel called Chez Mum and Andy, haha.
A great host and great company.
I found my way to the local subway, and got to my train to Busan with ten minutes to spare. In Busan, I am meeting an old university friend for the first time in 4 years. We last met up in NYC.
So, next stop, Busan.