The summer now seems long ago but this is the perfect opportunity to bring back happy memories from my completely crazy adventure teaching South Korean students English. Being a relatively undiscovered country here are a few bizarre and beautiful parts of my trip photographed that I would like to share.
Jinju - 5 hours drive south of Seoul and far from the tourist trail this was my home for four weeks of teaching. We were told it was 'small provincial town' in reality it had 400,000 residents.
Animal shaped dumplings. A lucky dip - we were never sure what they would would contain - red bean, white bean, vegetable or meat .
The world's largest shopping centre in Busan, Korea's second largest city, featuring a spa, ice rink, golf driving range, rooftop children's play area and its own metro station besides all the thousands of items for sale on eighteen floors.
I never associated Korea with either the beach or the sea even though it is a peninsular. Tanned skin is not fashionable so expect to see Koreans fully clothed or under umbrellas. Being Europeans and topless certainly attracted some attention!!!
World's largest fish market in Busan. Much more interesting than any aquarium that I have ever been to and full of bizarre creatures from the depths of the ocean. Nearly all the fish and shellfish were still living; restaurants served meals with less than ten minutes from tank to plate.
Interesting T-shirts with rather unique (I think that is the nicest thing to say about them) phrases written in English were for sale on all the market stalls. Also fashionable were the 'couple's outfits' where boyfriends and girlfriends would where identical (and I mean identical down to the glasses, shoes and backpacks) clothes. Somehow I don't think that this will catch on in the UK anytime soon.
The border fence to the North. A stark reminder that Korea is a divided country, a pain that you can feel by talking to the Korean people. Each ribbon is a pledge for reunification. This is the first in a series of fences, control points and fortifications before reaching the DMZ (de-militarized zone) a stretch of land separating the north and south. Standing by the world's most militarized border (ironic given the name) I saw soldiers not much older than myself patrolling as part of their mandatory two years military service.
Seoul. The capital, a metropolitan area of 25 million people fills the skyline in all directions from the city's viewpoint at the N-tower.
Fancy a snack? What about a caterpillar from one of the traditional markets.
Views over the Korean countryside from a Buddhist temple.
...and without the need to include one, there must be a mention of the Korean tradition that I embraced: the selfie photograph.
The Blake Society is THE Downing College society for all arts and humanities students and anyone interested in arts-type things.