Top 3 Observations – Day 12 (5/29)

1.  Koreans are fast construction workers

So many of  those who know me also know that I’ve worked for an American construction company for a couple of summers. Today, I had a first hand experience that confirms the rumors that the Koreans are very fast when it comes to constructing buildings. The buildings that were torn down last week were cleaned up and fresh cement filled the vacant space. Starting work around 6:30 or 7 AM, these workers completed the steel rebars that would make up a critical part of the foundation in 5 hours. I don’t think any American company goes that fast. (This is assuming that the workers had to bend the rebar themselves) “Taking it easy” goes out the window and “We don’t stop!” comes into place.

2. Algerian tourists are funny

I went to go see two more Korean palaces today. Famous kings such as King Sejong, the 4th king of the Josen Dynasty and the inventor of hangul (Korean writing), lived there. Grandma tells me that she will go sit at the entrance while I tour the palace. I was reading one of those maps they give out and planned to just walk the palace grounds alone until a small tour group arrived right next to me. The guide was speaking English and explaining the history behind the palace to some Algerian tourists. For some reason, I just tagged along at a distance and being all Assassin’s Creed-like until I found myself just part of the group. While the guide was explaining things, this Algerian guy would keep saying how the things he learned about the palace are going to apply to his office. He was going to have three lane paths snaking the corridors that would mark rank and status amongst the workplace, have an underground heating system (Ondol), and make concubines a new policy at the office. Lots of “Ahh you give me lots of good ideas forrr my office!” “Of course the king is busy! He has many concuBINE!” and “New policy change!” He and his friends were really funny and were nice enough to ask me to be in their photo (I guess they liked the “CCCP” t-shirt I was wearing)

3. “Mandoo and Nangmeun” is the name of the game

I realize that majority of the food I eat when I go to a restaurant with grandma and/or grandpa will be nangmeun (cold noodles) and mandoo (dumplings). So far I’ve consumed 60+ dumplings (various sizes, usually king size) and 5 bowls of nangmeun. It’s like I’m being fed for the slaughterhouse. I purposely wake up late so I don’t have to eat breakfast and eat only 2 meals a day. Am I eating well? Yes. Is it much better than the Caf or Sadler? Yes. Should I keep complaining that I get to eat good food and worry about remaining fit? No, all that would be gone by August.

Oh yea, there is also an obscene number of fried chicken and beer houses around Seoul. Practically on every corner.

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