March 27, 2007

Dear Canada

Hi everyone,

It's Sunday night, we're back at Ray & Trevor's and tired. We've had some big days, and have seen so much. Pretty steep learning curve!!! Tomorrow we do the subway by ourselves. It is an excellent and quick way to get around. We've checked out Ray's school (kindergarten kids are sooo cute), we will check out Trevor's teaching skills this week, climbed the mountain by their place with Kimchi (he loves getting out and running and stays close to us running back and forth between us - he has accepted us as family), eaten many times from the street vendors - so far this food has been very good - hotteok, delimanjoo, churros, cabbage dogs, squid jerky heated on rocks, chicken on a stick - BBQ'd, bean filled "fish cakes".

Eating out we've tried samgyeopsal (BBQ'd pork), bibimbap (mixture of rice, vegetables and meat with an egg on top), kimbap (Korean sushi of rice rolled in dried seaweed with strips of carrot, radish, egg and ham in the centre), kimchi (pickled and fermented cabbage seasoned with garlic and red chili), ramyeon (instant noodles in a hot chili soup), dakgalbi (pan fried chicken in a hot sauce with various root veggies), and many more. Very interesting and quite tasty, except I don't especially like kim (dried seaweed wrap). Tonight we had the BEST yet - Nepalise food. Yum - Becki you need to try this, soooo good. We ended the meal with Chai Tea, the best I've ever had.

We did Insadong, Namsan, Tapgol Park - saw a 10 tier marble pagoda, the remains of Wongaksa - a temple that stood there and was destroyed in 1515, (was constructed in 1471). This pagoda was adorned with Buddhist carvings. Also, Seoul Tower (like Calgary Tower and at night we could see so much of Seoul, but kinda high for me), and saw - actually we were in the middle of this - a major protest in front of the US embassy - you need to see our pics, you wouldn't believe all the riot police there (1000's - probably 10,000+ - of them, plus riot buses parked end on end blocking areas off - 100's of buses!!! kinda weird, Ray & Trevor seemed to think it was safe, but we got some funny looks - especially being it was a protest against Americans, and we look just like them - Stupid Canadians!!!!!). Sat we went to Suwon city and Hwaseong Fortress - 700 years old at least. The old Suwon city is surrounded by a 6 km wall - similar to the great wall of China. Very spectacular. Fri we hiked and saw little buddist temples/worship places here and there on the mountain, plus went to Costco (where else'!), spent some time with Rachel, watching her teach some extremely smart kindergarten kids, and came back to Ray & Trev's to make quesadillas.

I'm going backwards in my days trying to remember everything, we have done so much. Thursday we hiked - haven't even made it to the peak - you wouldn't even know you were in the city. Lots of long needled pine, and trees we've never seen, some flowering shrubs. Ended our day with dakgalbi (pan-fried chicken and quite spicy hot). Wednesday we pretty much lazed around, trying to get used to the time change, wasn't as difficult as I thought. coming home will probably be the most difficult. Anyways, that night we had samgyeosal ( BBQ'd bacon like pork done right at our table), you pick pieces off the grill and wrap them in leaves of lettuce or sesame. You have kimchi, sweet pickled radish and various other sauces to add to the meat. SPICY as all Korean food.

Anyways, hope this makes sense. It has been quite educational, exciting, and as Dad says - very exhilarating and fun. It sometimes seems as if we are just in China town (Vancouver), and then you look around and we are the ONLY white people. Odd!

I should quit for tonight and let these guys get to bed. Will talk to you again.

Cindy Andrus


Anonymous said...

Hi from New Brunswick. Enjoy our tour of korea. Hope you have a good and safe trip W&C. Talk to you soon.

joy said...

Have a good holiday, Love reading your blog.

Dave and Karalee said...

Last night I had the funniest dream, the 2 of you came home from your vacation and insisted on eating everything with chop sticks!! Looks like you are having a great adventure! We miss you. Dawson says hello!

Anonymous said...

Great tour guides Ray & Trevor, Love W&C

Anonymous said...

Hope everything is going well and you are having a great time.Just thought you should know we just had half a foot of snow,it's -12 degrees and more people have quit at E2(Joffre)A little note to cheer you up while you are away.... Ken Malterer-CNRL South recruitment center..aka Nova