Monday, January 28, 2013

Mom Green and Auntie Carmen in Korea

Dear family, 

We have had some adventures.  Auntie Carmen said the sleeping pill wouldn't start working for a long time.  Well,WRONG,  imagine what everyone thought as I stumbled out of the van.  The driver saw a sober woman in and a "drunk" on out of his van.  Great night sleep,got up and started our tour.  We saw a Buddhist temple, can't transfer photos from camera to tablet yet, colours were bright blue green red and yellow.  Green is a common colour.  Three Buddha statues, food offerings and lots of people praying, tour guide, Jason, is christian, so not much info about Buddhism   

Next to the palace, Japan occupied Korea for many years and removed many national treasures and did allot of burning with the looting.  90% of the palace was gone.  They have rebuilt some parts,but no furniture or personal item in buildings.  The walk has 3 section on side slave and common folk, other side is for high born and politicians and the center only for the king and main queen.  Lots of animal statues for protection from ghost.  They were very scared of ghost.  

Next to the folk museum where we started at the wrong exhibit, then got lost and Jason had to reprimand my evil Sister Carmen.  We had to run to the Presidential palace, but I heard the prisoners place and was wondering why all the guards were outside, not in.    Okay you can laugh now, I sure did!  

We went to the Korean Folk Village.  The war in the 50's destroyed most of the country side, leaving nothing to show how people of the past lived, so the government built the folk village, like Ukrainian Village, inviting people to open traditional shops.  There was an old blacksmith and his wife making and selling tools, knives, anything metal.  Really cool.  A wood carver  Don would have went nuts beautiful stuff.  The tea shop with healing teas and herbs, mostly to stop the aging process, didn't work on me, but Tia Carmen look 10 younger!  We saw a horse show with men jumping on and off running horses and shooting arrows from moving horses, Ailee and Aidan would have loved it . A man in traditional dress doing Gangnam style dance to the delight of all the children.  This was on Sunday and we were mostly outside, 15 below with wind, but plenty of people outside, touring the same places we were.  Some people live full time in the traditional style in the village.  Floors are higher with a stone fire pit under them for in floor heating, rooms 4 by 6 feet, not connecting like ours.

Monday in the van and off to PyeongChang,  very different landscape like small peaked mountains, small valleys,  mega apartment complexes with 15 to 20 buildings all the same facing the same way.  New construction with 4 to 9 tower cranes.  Country homes very small with many greenhouses but no farm trucks we only saw one personnel truck, the rest were big working trucks.

We arrived too early to get into our room until 3 pm.  We did our 10 day schedule, walked to conference center, Auntie Carmen danced with a bear, but the bear got fresh, well that's what she says!  We are in a suite where you have to pay for bath towels, clean it ourselves, without tea-towel sort and take out the garbage   and pay dearly for the pleasure of it.  We are finding spots of free wi-fi,as it cost plenty, to buy it.  Where we ate 500ml of whiskey $120, orange juice 4 bucks, but water is free, Tia C just shook her head as I drank it.

We haven't seen Larry yet, but hope to see him at reception,  competition isn't till Jan 31st.  will send photos of opening ceremonies tomorrow.  I am tired of writing now so hold out your arms wrap them around and hug, say mom, Auntie, Terry loves me and misses me.

Love Mom/Terry

Hi Darrell and Jen.  I haven't read what Terry wrote because our battery is dying, but she lies! We are going to try to change our trip and go back to Seoul early to see dmz to north Korea  We are great and I wish you were here Darrell but you would be so miserable in this freezing weather. love to you both

Love carmen xo

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