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Introduction to Colorful Daegu

Ever Evolving Primate: Travel, photography, food, cooking, and just about anything else.: Introduction to Colorful Daegu

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Introduction to Colorful Daegu

The move to Daegu went pretty well. We loaded up on a bus in Busan at about 8:30am and arrived at my middle school at around 11am. I immediately met my co-teacher, who is super nice, the principal of my school who is exactly as I imagined he might be, and the vice principal of my school who also seemed very nice. We apparently have around 1,500 students and two native English teachers. The other English teachers seem to speak on a very effective level. I'm very excited about working with the other teachers and the school itself is very beautiful. Pictures soon!

After introductions we went to a Korean/Vietnamese Fusion restaurants. I usually hate fusion, but this was different. I'm pretty sure you can fuse sam gyap sal with anything and it would be good. Koreans clearly know how to cook and eat a pig! After lunch we took a hike down to the subway station to pick up our Gyodong cards (metro cards) and then over to the EMart to pick up some essentials. After that we made it to our apartments. This is the shocking part.

I had prepared myself for a dirty, tiny, apartment next to a river of sewage. I ended up with a 600 square foot palace less than a minute walking distance from my school. Babehoney got a similar pad across the hall from mine and about a 2 minute walk from her school. How freaking lucky are we? Very lucky is the answer. We went out to eat at a Korean/Italian fusion restaurant which was pretty good, and crashed for the evening at about 10pm.

We woke up at about 8, got ready and headed into Daegu to check out our new city. It's huge. We took the subway down to downtown Daegu and walked around. We tried to find the traditional medicine market which is one of the huge tourist draws here and found it, but no one was there. We had a huge western lunch at the Outback Steakhouse of all places, a bit spendy, but boy did it hit the spot! Downtown we checked out the mega Lotte Young Plaza department store, the Seomun Market, and then headed home. The city is really beautiful and there are always mountains in the distance.

Daeguk Bil (Our apartment Building)

Street Corner near home

Daegu is surrounded by mountains

Gate to the Traditional Medicine Market

Looking hot at Jincheon Station

Now I have some more observations about this land that I'd like to point out.

  1. There is a smell in the air that I can't identify, it's familiar and sort of intoxicating, but it's not something I remember smelling before. The food at most places tastes like this smell too. Since I can't seem to identify it I'm going to just say that it smells like Korea. The food tastes like Korea. It's some base flavor that must be in the stock they use that is very distinctive but not really describable. The food at the Outback did not taste like Korea, the food at the fusion places most certainly did.
  2. Parking is difficult here, apparently. It's a big city and there's a ton of cars but few parking spaces. There are a few dial-a-space lots with a carousel where you can park your car for a fee, but it seems more common to just pull your car up onto the sidewalk and park there to run into a business if you need to. This can be a bit intimidating if you're not used to seeing moving vehicles on the sidewalk.
  3. This one is pointed out in every blog. Kids who know a few words of English like to yell "HELLO" to you on the street if you look like a westerner. Now, what I didn't read in blogs was that if you turn around and say "Hey there, how are you?" the kids go wild. I ran into some kids from Wolbae middle school which is one subway stop up from here and they were all excited when I talked to them.
  4. It's important to know a few words of Korean. We would have had zero luck finding our way back to the EMart if we didn't know how to say "where is Emart" in Korean.
So that's been our first couple of days in Daegu. It's raining today or else we'd be headed out for a bit more adventure, but we might just stay dry and take it easy. Hopefully we'll have internet access at home soon so that we can update more often, but for now we're a bit stuck.


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