I’ve been here in Korea for over a month and I’m starting to understand some of the common words in Hangul. For example, when I take the train to Seoul I look for the Korean symbol for “S” on the marquee at the train station.
Camp Humphrey’s youth attended a Hanhwa Eagles game at the end of June and I overheard a word in Korean which sounded like “waor.” I cannot understand anything in Korean, which makes me feel like I’m a foreigner. I often traveled overseas with my family during childhood since my mother was a flight attendant but I did not have cochlear implants, so I obviously didn’t overhear any foreign languages.
I’m impressed with many of the Korean attractions that I’ve visited. I had the chance to go up the Jong-No tower where I found a fancy restaurant, Top Cloud, that serves great food.
I had my first Korean spa experience at Asan Spavis which was just 20 minutes away from Camp Humphreys. You can attend this spa for a relaxing afternoon. From this trip I learned that Asians use little fish to eat away dead skin cells on their feet. They say it tickles. You can come here and pay 5,000 won to have better-looking feet by visiting these gentle fish. I had fun in their wave pool and in their “lazy” river attraction. I thought it was cool that the spa had free lockers for shoes only and had other lockers for clothes. I could even put my lunch in their refrigerator, something that I often couldn’t at public attractions. You can even put your lunch in the fridge to keep the food fresh when you are hungry.
I had the opportunity to visit the Korean War Memorial which was a moving experience since I learned a lot about the Korean War as a child from a teacher who fought in it. The U.S. helped South Korea build itself as a developed nation, so this may explain why we see so many McDonalds, Starbucks, and other American brand names in South Korea.
I had a chance to visit Gwacheon National Science Museum in Seoul which showed impressive exhibits about genetics, technology and robotics. I loved watching tiny robots dancing in synchronization to music which will be something I’d remember for a long time.
The next step during my stay here is to visit the rice fields. I have never seen those in America—I lived on both the East and West Coasts. I want to learn how rice grows. I love seeing white egrets roaming around those fields. Now the rice fields are green, but soon they will turn brown and be ready for harvest in late August or September.
When I’m around Korean children and toddlers, I’m impressed that some of them bowed to me, even if they were only a year old. During the FreedomFest, I saw several couples that consisted of two races: Asian and Caucasian. I think their children are adorable since they show a combination of two races. I even had the opportunity to meet Korean children whose parents were deaf at a Korean Christian Church in Suwon. I’m impressed that those children could speak English, Korean and Korean Sign Language equally in fluency.