5/11/19- Driving and Praying

Today was a nice break from the madness and nonstop action of our first week. We woke up, packed up our belongings, boarded the bus, and wished the gorgeous city of Seoul a bittersweet goodbye. We then hopped on the bus for a 4-hour journey to the cultural town of Gyeongju. About halfway through the trip we pulled in at a bustling plaza which reminded me almost of an American outlet mall combined with a rest stop. We ordered lunch from a Korean fast food place, and after eating, got back on the bus and drove the rest of the way to Gyeongju. On arrival, I first noticed how serene the area was. Everything was very green and quiet, in sharp contrast to the congested madness of Seoul. You could even hear birds chirping and the stream water rushing nearby. After checking in, we took a walk to explore the area. We saw a nearby amusement park, many traditional restaurants, and a nice pond filled with lots of fish. I returned to my room and got a much-needed shower in the bathroom, which was very nice and like no hotel shower I’ve seen before. Instead of having a tub, it was in its own fairly large mini-room and the shower head was vertical instead of on an angle. After getting dressed, I met Dr. Yun and Dr. Clarke in the lobby, we hailed a taxi, and went downtown for Mass. Although I couldn’t understand what the priest was saying, the Mass was very beautiful, and it was cool to see the differences in culture and how they affect local customs. For example, all married women wore their veils and widows wore black veils. Afterwards, a few members of the parish excitedly talked to me in broken English and I did my best to tell them about myself (I guess they don’t have foreign visitors often). We left the Church, and Dr. Yun showed Dr. Clarke and I the downtown area, including a nicer version of Five Below called Artbox and a small local Gimbap restaurant, which is essentially the Korean version of sushi. After returning to the hotel, it was time to call it a night and get some rest for the busy day ahead.

Leave a Reply