November 20, 2006
by: jovial_cynic
My family and I just got back from travelling the entire length of South Korea... all of us (my mom, her boyfriend, myself, my wife, and two kids) all crammed into my mom's 1995 Chevy Cavalier - a small car. We didn't have two car seats available (and even if we did, we wouldn't have all fit into the car), so we put my younger daughter on my lap for most of the trip, strapped to me with some extra material that my mom had in her house. Probably not the safest way to go, but it worked.

Just to give an idea of our travels, here's a map and a plotted outline of our trip.

We started at the top in Seoul, and embarked on what is ordinarily just a four-hour trip. Yes - South Korea is small enough to drive the entire span of it in just four hours. However, this was the weekend that everybody drives south to the country side, so our four-hour trip actually took eight hours. Crammed into a small car. Bleah. That wasn't fun.

Our destination was the second red dot on the way -- the one at the bottom, on the left. That's where my grandmother lives, in a small town called Ha-dong. Being the country, the house was set up much like small-town houses in Korea -- no beds. My poor five-month pregnant wife had to sleep on the floor with me, which certainly didn't help ease the stiffness we all experienced from the long car ride.

The next morning, we drove to my second-oldest uncle's persimmon orchard, located near the top of a mountain. I helped pick some, even though I think persimmons are among the world's most disgusting fruits. We picked buckets and buckets of persimmons...

Here's a shot of the mountain side, overlooking other farms:

And here's a couple shots of a mountain stream that flowed right next to the orchard:

And... here's a frog my three-year old daughter found that we played with, and then tossed into the stream:

After stopping by the orchard, we drove back up to the red dot on the right to a town called Chin-Ju. That's where my mom's oldest sister lives. We stayed the night there, and while my aunt has a bed in her house, the bed wasn't nearly as comfortable as my wife would have liked. I think she woke up more sore than I was, and I slept on the floor.

Fun fact - Koreans like moth balls. In the same way Americans enjoy "lemon fresh scent," Koreans enjoy the crisp smell of moth balls. The room with the bed had many folded blankets, all of which had several moth balls between them. I hate the smell of moth balls, as it makes my nose burn and feels like it's frying my brain. I ended up sleeping with my tee-shirt wrapped around my face to keep the smell away. Bleah.

Anyhow, the next day, we drove back up to Seoul and stopped at a traditional Korean market and browsed around.

The trip home only took four hours, and being back at my mom's house in Seoul was certainly a relief. We're probably going to lay low for a while and catch up on rest, and then go out to some local markets and pick up some trinkets for some friends.
np category: personal


Luke said:
Yuk. I hate mothballs too. Interesting how culture can shape your nostrils. I wonder if lemon scent is really nasty in reality but my culture has taught me to like it...

November 20, 2006

jovial_cynic said:
That's how I understand it, anyway. I've heard people say that America's "lemon fresh" scent smells like chemicals. And since it's technically an artificial scent, I guess that makes sense...
November 20, 2006

Wheeler said:
Lemon fresh does smell like nasty chemicals. Awesome smelling fresh nasty chemicals.
November 22, 2006

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