Saturday, June 20, 2009

Dodging missiles in South Korea

After our adventure in Mongolia, we re-entered China for another week before taking the ferry to South Korea. This was not without incident. Two days prior to departing China we were kicked out of our hotel by the police. They only allow foreigners to stay in certain hotels in certain cities. These hotels have to report their foreign guests each night to the police. This is how they keep track of where you are at all times. Luckily, the policeman made an exception and let us stay with a local that night because it was already late but he was at our door at 7:00am making sure we left the city immediately...he wanted money and wanted us to bribe him. (Please see our egroups on China for many, many more details on Communistic beauracracy. Email us if you cannot obtain them and we will send them to you.)

On May 29th we entered South Korea only to learn about the "testing of missiles" by the North Koreans. Oooh, is this bad timing? Luckily, nothing transpired but it was unnerving.

While in South Korea we did a 6 day loop. This gave us the opportunity to experience small villages in addition to the cities. We were pleasantly surprised by the kindness of the people and by how clean the country is. While we were there we did do a trip to the DMZ between North and South Korea. It was pretty neat but very strange.

Other than the prices being quite a bit higher than what we were used to, we loved everything about this country!

Description of photos (not necessarily in this order):
- jumping rope tournament (Sunday family festivities are valued)
- manicured landscape, beautiful flowers
- DMZ, Ward and I are trying to help rejoin North and South Korea
- a typical Korean dining experience. The hot coals are in the center of the table
and the silver vent hanging from the ceiling helps to suck air and expediate the
heat and coals
- they place a high value on health. Many parks had free exercise equipment and
people were using them

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