My friend Seth (Philly) and I spent most of the day Sunday hanging out. It was a beautiful day, so we decided to spend some time outside. We had lunch in his neighborhood, called Daeshil, which is near mine. After lunch, I changed into some shorts and tennis shoes, and we decided to take an above-ground walk along the subway route toward downtown.
We only made it half way – it was WAY longer than we expected. We dipped underground and hopped on the subway for the rest of the trip. When we emerged from the subway station downtown, we found ourselves in the middle of some sort of festival. There were funny rickshaws with giant decorated shells (dragons, ladybugs, etc.), kids walking around carrying signs, and street-side booths packed into two city blocks (see slide show).
As we traversed the festival, we decided that it was some sort of Green Energy or Eco-Friendly fair. There were booths with solar-powered toys, solar-powered appliances, and the occasional sign with a few English words. In the center of the festival, there was a stage on which people took turns dancing. Some of them were pretty awesome – I was a bit embarrassed for a few. The best part of the fair was a booth where a bunch of cute Korean kids were holding “Free Hugs” signs. One had a sign that said “Free Love”, but I knew what she meant.
After the festival, Seth told me that he wanted to show me a place that he found recently in a local department store. He said it was the “coolest spot” in Daegu. I was a bit skeptical – how cool could a department store be, right? I followed him to Hyundai department store, which is among the nicest department stores that I have ever seen. It has 9 floors packed with high-end merchandise (mostly clothing).
We rode a bunch of escalators all the way to the 9th floor. I couldn’t believe my eyes when we reached the top. There was a park on top of the building. There was a huge area with (real) grass on which a bunch of kids were running around and playing games. In the corner of the park, there was a huge window looking out over the city. Because each floor had exceptionally high ceilings, I am confident that we were at least 20 stories above the ground. We could see half of the city.
As we were headed back downstairs, Seth told me to take a look at the view from the bathrooms. I didn’t understand what this meant (though it sounded a bit creepy). I walked toward the bathrooms, and instantly understood. The hallway that links the women’s and men’s bathrooms had an incredible view of the city – even better than the view from the park. The hallway was at least 50 feet long and the entire exterior wall was a huge window.
The rest of the afternoon was great. The weather held out and it was warm until the sun set. I’m going to do my best to enjoy the spring weather before summer sets in. I heard the other day that it can get as hot as 40+ degrees (C) for weeks on end here. That’s over 100 degrees, and Korean humidity is apparently awful.
Enjoy the slide show. Keep your eyes open for some more creepy mannequins and an awesome Engerish sign.
Until next time.