2014 Our Last 10 days in Seoul, South Korea

We enjoyed the KTX train ride from Busan to Seoul. It was about 2 1/2 hours and we had first class seats. They were wide and had lots of space around them. Audre had wanted to use the wi-fi Internet and it was intermittent and annoying. The ride was smooth with no rocking. That was good. Getting off the train with our luggage was not a problem. We found the taxi stand and had uneventful taxi ride back to the M Chereville in Seocho-gu. We were given an apartment on the 17th floor--1701--so it was the same layout as our first apartment and we liked it very much. Click here to read about it.

The trees were changing color in Seoul and it was pretty. We visited museums and saw changing of palace guards. Dimitri was having sciatic pain so we didn't hike or do much walking, for that matter. He went to see an Oriental Medicine practitioner who he was referred to by his practitioner in Busan. Basically, Dimitri was told that his leg cramps might be helped if Dimitri pursued acupuncture for at least 10 sessions. Less than that would show little or no improvement. So Dimitri will consider starting up again in the Vail Valley if he can find an acupuncturist who he trusts.

We were shopping in Seoul. Being in a country of little people has its advantages. And it gets really cold here in the winter. None of this “all weather wools” and so on that we are confronted with even in Denver. They have seriously warm clothes here. Both of us bought winter hiking pants (KRW 29,000) at UniQlo and Audre found some summer hiking pants she liked (KRW 50,000). Our winter hiking pants didn’t have to be altered at all; Audre's summer ones did (KRW 14,000). We bought other clothes too and were happy with our purchases.

Very important in Audre's pants shopping is having pants that actually come to her waist. She finds it totally uncomfortable to have the waist near or somewhat under her belly button. Audre's new hiking pants fit just the way she likes them! She did have wool dress slacks made to order in Seoul in colors she wanted. The price was right and they were made to a design she specified. Click here to read about that and what else we did during our first two weeks in Seoul. Dimitri found a jacket/sweater in Seoul at UniQlo in the color he wanted that we had been searching to find for over two years. He just would not settle for a color or weight that he didn’t think would keep him warm enough. The one he found at UniQlo in Seoul was a reasonable (KRW 29,900).

One of the great revelations in South Korea has been the persimmons. We like them when they are good but too often in the USA, they are not good--mealy and chalky--with an awful aftertaste and feeling in our mouths. We ate absolutely delicious persimmons in October in Busan and in Seoul. And we when we were in a Lotte Department store grocery section, we were introduced to eating hard persimmons. Oh my goodness, they were good too. What a delightful surprise.

Here's a factoid for you: "Seoul is considered a leading and rising global city, resulting from an economic boom called the Miracle on the Han River which transformed it from the ashes of the Korean War to the world's 4th largest metropolitan economy with a GDP of US$774 billion." [From Wikipedia,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cities_by_GDP] WOW!

After drinking only bottled or filtered water for two months in South Korea, Audre thought that she might have been able to be drinking tap water all this time. The visitkorea website said in answer to her question about drinking tap water: "maybe". So she continued to drink only bottled or filtered water. No sense taking a chance.

During our stay in South Korea, Kim Jong Un went "out of sight" for 40 days. People in South Korea seemed unconcerned. Then he reappeared. Shrug....

BTW, South Korea elected a woman president in their last elections. For a country rooted in Confucianism that is impressive.