Thursday, August 02, 2007

South Korea Catch Up--Part 1

I am now back in the States, safely home in Bloomington Indiana. In fact, I am sitting at a table in the Starbucks loated in the basement of the IU building that houses the ICR. I'm NOT drinking any coffee, though, because my hope is to be able to go home and have a nap this afternoon. Everyone told me that the jet lag was most difficult returning to the States...and they are right. I have tried to get back in the swing of the EDT-zone...but today I am even more groggy then when I first came back.

Of course, some of my fatigue may be due to the fact that I sightseed (?) my tail off while I was in Busan...and that is just now catching up to me. The hectic schedule also kept me from blogging much after the second day I know that I have a lot to catch up on. Since I just missed my bus, I figured I'd get some on it chronicled while I wait for the next one.

So, where was I?

I had mentioned that we went out to a wine bar the night after my talk. The next morning Professors Auh and Kwon met me for breakfast. When they said that we were going to have "cod soup and rice" I was not particularly looking foward to it...not my idea of breakfast fare. But, I must admit that it was delicious. Here's a picture of my two breakfast companions:

After breakfast, Professor Auh (on the left) had to catch a subway ride to the KTX train to take him back to Seoul. Professor Kwon and I met in his office at Kyungsung University to discuss ways that we could collaborate on research projects in the future. Then, I'm sure so that he could get some actual work done rather than just cart me all over the country, Kwon and I parted ways and Soyung Bae (a current masters student of mine, and former student of Professor Kwon AND Professor Auh) and her friend Shin Ju took me to Gyeongju province to do more sightseeing. This was once a major city under the Shilla kingdom---the conqourer of the other two kingdoms around 600 AD. Since Shilla officially supported Buddhism, one of the main attractions here is the Bulguksa temple. Here are some pictures from there:

Inside this main gate--off to the side (behind the orange panels in the above picture) --were huge carvings of temple gaurds
The one of the left was apparently going to anhialate all intruders with his mean mandolin.

Here are some of the inspiring and old pieces of beauty. A drum:

A pagoda
An 18.9-ton bell...And some paintings on the wood ornamenture of the ceiling.

This painting is remeniscent (to me) of the carvings/paintings of native americans I've seen in the Pacific Northwest. I didn't say anything about this at first...but then we went to the tumuli burial mounds in Hwangnam-ri

It reminded me strongly of the almost identical Native American burial ground in Moundville Alabama that my wife and I visited when we lived in Tuscaloosa.

So, now you know what I did on Day three. More later...including shots of me skiing...well, almost. Check back.


Samuel D. Bradley said...

Thanks for the update, Rob!

Anonymous said...

enjoyed all your stories!