Blogger Widgets

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A bridge and a poem

안녕하세요!   Hello again from Korea!

Here I am near the rainbow bridge between Jeongha-dong and downtown Andong!

I took a walk down by the river today. The light was gold in the late afternoon and it was a little warmer today than it has been :-)

Here are a few interesting things you might not know about Korea:
  • The competitive playing of some video games is televised. The most popular game played as an "E-Sport" in Korea is Starcraft. There is an entire channel devoted to E-sports.
  • Holiday gifts are usually simple and practical things like food, drinks and health products, especially ginseng.
  • Young couples in Korea sometimes purchase and sport complete matching outfits, called "couple wear."
  • While Taekwondo is Korea's official national sport and is widely practiced, Soccer, baseball and basketball are the most popular televised sports. Korea has 8 professional baseball teams.
  • You should never pour a drink for yourself in Korea, especially soju! If someone older than you fills your cup, it is polite to hold the cup with two hands as they pour.
  • Personal image is very important in Korea and people generally spend time dressing up before going out. Business suits, dresses and skirts are common.
  • It is good luck to visit at least three different temples on Buddha's birthday (in Early May.) Many temples provide visitors with a free meal of Bibimbap (riced mixed with egg and vegetables) on that day.
  • At restaurants in Korea, servers generally do not check up on their tables as they might in many Western countries, it is expected that customers will summon them by shouting "Yeo-gi-o!" or by pressing an electronic call button on the table when they need service.
  • Use of the Koreanized form of the word "service"("suh-bees-uh") in a restaurant means that something is "on the house."
  • The rainbow bridge in Andong is populated by thousands of web-building spiders during the summer time and makes sounds like grunting animals at night when its lights are turned on. :-)

The rainbow bridge

Under the bridge

The area around the river is being landscaped and developed.

And here is a poem by one of Korea's most famous poets, Yun Dong-Ju (윤동주)

Let me have no shame
Under heaven
Until I die
Even wind among the leaves
Pains my heart.

With a heart singing stars,
I will love all dying things
And I must follow the path
That's been given to me.

Tonight also
The wind sweeps past among the stars.

Yours truly,
Michael TheMonkey


  1. What a beautiful poem!!!

  2. We had poem day last week! And today the children of G.'s group at school made poems called "Elfjes" translated that would be "elevens" but the dutch word Elf means the number eleven but also fairy. You start with one word, then you write two words on the next line, then three, then four and you end with one again )= eleven words! And you have a poem!

    nice monkey
    travels a lot
    sees many different countries

    See, I made you an "elfje/eleven"
    Little gift for you, hope you like it :-)


  3. Hi Hammie and Raquel, I'm so glad you like the poem! It is one of the most well-known and popular poems in Korea! Thanks so much for yours Hammie :-) I like it very much! What kind of school does G teach at? One of my human friends is also a teacher. :-)

  4. G. teaches at a primary school. In the Netherlands you start primary school when you are 4. Before that you can go to pre school for a year. She has group 4 that means children that are aged 6 or 7 and turn 7 or 8 during the school year. They do maths sums till 100 and learn to write the big characters we use for names and beginnings of sentences. They already know how to read, they learn that in group 3. The first two groups are like kindergarten. She loves this age group. They are big enough to talk about real things like plants and trees and other things but when she starts to read stories from an exciting book they are little again and put their thumb in their mouth to listen filled with excitement. We hope you understand what we try to explain, they are big but little too...

  5. That's great! Yes, one of my human friends teaches at a school here in Korea at an English Hagwon (private academy) for children aged 4 - 16. Yes, the kids around that age are wonderful, they make my friend laugh all the time, and amaze him, too.