Today it was blazing hot once again, and I wanted to get to a lot of the sights in this splendidly historical city, so I did something really touristy and went on an all day bus tour. Worth it. Sayin’ it now, totally worth it. It cost probably about double what it would have cost me to do it solo, but god knows I would have gotten lost 28 times, so in the end it saved me time and frustration on a ridiculously sweltering day.
Now, the tour was totally in Korean, which was whatever because I was just going to use my guidebook and any English printed signs as my source of context; however, at our first destination of the day, the younger generation of Koreans proved themselves once again to be super baller and I met this couple in their 20s who had pretty awesome English and were really excited to have a days worth of practice. I managed to teach them words like lily pads and observatory, while they provided me with companionship as well as serving as an awesome translator for the ENTIRE 8 hour tour. Here they are: the guy’s name is Joon and the girl’s name (she was more shy and not as confident so she gave me her English name) is Julia.
The day was incredible. I saw a TON of Korean buildings, other structures, and artifacts, many of which were literally between 1,000-2,000 years old. Being able to experience that kind of history was absolutely incredible. It got me thinking about America a little bit, and got me all pissed off about imperialism (what doesn’t though) and how so much of our history pre-colonization was just shat all over and destroyed…its really sad. Anyway, I’ll get back to Korea.
I put on a bit of my ethnomusicologist hat today which got me all sorts of excited.
This is one of the ancient bells used in Korean Buddhist worship services, weighed almost 20,000 kg and resonates for over three minutes.
I also had the chance to listen to Buddhist monks chant which had me absolutely enthralled. I sat there for almost ten minutes and would have listened longer had my tour not been moving on. I was shocked and excited to hear polyphony happening as i thought these types of chants were only monophonic or heterophonic. There weren’t any pictures allowed, but I managed to get an audio recording; however, I’m not sure if that was ethical or not…I’m definitely not going to post it, and I might delete it from my own personal records out of guilt.
Lastly, here are just a few more pics from the rest of the day.
A pair of beautiful and super old pagodas.
Oldest pagoda in Korea, I believe lol.
This one is from a temple sans-monks where you were allowed to take pictures. The things hanging from the ceiling are lanterns where a person writes their dream and then prays for happiness. The things along the walls are tiny Buddhas with name cards to remember the dead.
Biggest tomb in all of Korea!
All right, well that is all for now. Good morning to America and good day to the rest of the world. It has been awesome to see my blog regularly getting readers from 4+ countries on any given day. 🙂
Miss you all!