Monday, January 26, 2009

Cheong Gye Cheon

Today we explored the Cheong Gye Cheon stream. It dates back to the 1300's and used to be where the housewives did their laundry. In the early 1900's it became a shanty town. In an effort to improve the area in 1958 the stream was covered with concrete and in 1976 an elevated highway was built over it. In 2005 the Cheonggyecheon stream was restored to a park like setting. It is an nice area to walk through, even though it was very cold when we did.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Art Stores

I am living in the Insadong area of Seoul. This area is known for it's art and antiques! I am trying acrylics while I am waiting for all of my oil painting supplies to arrive from home. I don't have to go far to find what I need. Within 2 blocks I pass lots of little shops each selling some sort of art supplies!!! I love shopping for paint and brushes!!! Here are some pictures of just a few of the little shops.

Shopping for the acrylics is more fun than painting with them though. They are a bit frustrating, but some talented friends gave me some valuable tips for working with them. Probably the most important was to remember that they are not oils and stop trying to pretend that they are.

Jay has the next few days off for the Lunar New Year! So we will be exploring more of the city. On Tuesday, a friend from church is going to show us where there is a grocery store in our neighborhood and her favorite place to eat! That should be fun. So far the only grocery stores close by (we don't have a car) are little 7-11's or Family Marts. We were excited to see an IGA not far away but it has the same things as the 7-11. We do get to larger grocery stores, the EMart, Lotte Mart, and Costco when we need to. Our apartment building has regular bus trips for those, which has been helpful. I will have to take pictures of the grocery store next time Jay comes with me, it is a whole different experience than back home.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

It is Cold in Seoul

The girls here wear skirts and heels no matter what the weather, so I am sure that these stockings come in handy! I think I will get myself some.

It has been really cold here the past few days, so I haven't taken many pictures. This picture of the legs was taken in Insa-dong near where we live. There are hundreds of little shops all over and then there are little tents and carts on the streets selling all sorts of things. We went out to walk around yesterday but didn't last long before we came home to warm up.

Then last night, with all of our warmest winter clothes on we went to Korean class at church. We learned the Korean Alphabet (or tried to anyway) It was fun to go and meet some new people.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Going to Church

Going to Church is quite a bit different when you can't jump in the car and go. I am going to skip the whole subway experience for now. (I didn't get good pictures of it.)

We will start with the stairs this is just one set of many that we go up and down to get to the subway. There are lots of stairs involved to get to or from the subway. As Jay said, "Going to church is good for the heart and soul, ... and the legs and abs and back."

This octopus or squid tank was just in the road (no sidewalk) outside of a little restaurant.

This I think is funny. It is one of those games with the claw that you use to try to grab a prize with. In the US there are usually toys in them, but this one has vitamins and mints. At least that is what we think was in there.

Here is the road we went up. It is nice and steep and there is no sidewalk.

From the subway it is all uphill. These are not little alleys, these are the streets and there is quite a bit of traffic on them.

You should see cars pass each other on these streets! They come within inches of each other. They all drive with their side rearview mirrors folded up. I haven't seen any accidents. Yet.

The black gate is to the church property--(it is open on Sunday's--We did a practice trip on Saturday) and then we get to walk up the steepest hill of all. It is steeper than it looks in this picture. This is the driveway to the parking lot. I don't think many people drive to church because the parking lot is just a little bigger than a basketball court--In fact it is a basketball court.

Here is the church building--more stairs! That is Jay in the picture. We definitely get our exercise going to church. I am quite proud of myself, I did walk this in heels last Sunday. The heels were fine but my toes were frozen by the time we got home. Next week I am wearing my Ugg boots. If it snows or is icy we may stay home. (Ok, I might stay home, Jay is much more adventuresome than I am, and lots better at climbing hills!) The senior missionaries took a taxi last week and said that even the taxi driver didn't want to go up the driveway.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Views from My Window

I love looking out our windows--we have 2 of them. Both face the same direction which I think is south, but it feels more north to me. My sense of direction is way off.

There is so much to see out there!

This building is across the street from us and it is across (over) the street. I am not sure what they do there music or theater, I think. We walk under it to get to the subway.

The tall building on the right is called the Jongno Tower. The top is a restaurant. Wikipedia says "Jongno Tower is a 33-story office building. Its top floor is equipped with a restaurant and bar which is famous for its view of Jongno and other areas of Seoul." Jay has been there before and said the food is good.

Art and Seoul

Kinda corny but I like it. This blog will be about my adventures in Seoul, Korea. I will be here for 3 years, and while my husband is working, I will be having fun! (He will have fun too since he loves his work and will go sight seeing with me!) I also hope to do a lot exploring of the Korean arts and do a lot of my own art. We are currently living near a lot of art galleries and museums in Insadong and I love it. There is so much to see!

We arrived in Seoul on New Year's Eve. Even though we had a great flight--(we got upgraded to business class!!) we were exhausted! I totally recommend business class and Asiana airlines! The apartment we are currently in had a New Years party and we really did intend to go but I think we were asleep by eight even with our afternoon nap. So much for welcoming in 2009!