Hi guys!

I went to Korea from 12/10/2012 to 12/12/2012 (This Monday to Wednesday). I came back safely, but I was surprised to find out when I came back that North Korea actually launched the satellite just about an hour and a half from my departure from Gimpo. They were saying North Korea will probably postpone the launch.

Korea is a very interesting place. First of all, I don’t have much knowledge of Korean language, but I could get some sounds that could be changed in my mind to Chinese characters. Korean places use Chinese characters too, and I found that interesting.

My opinion of Koreans are that they are very serious, and there were lots of military personnel in Yongsan. I saw a lot of soldiers wearing camouflage uniforms in the Yongsan station and around the Yongsan station. My interest in Korea started way back, since in my old church, there were lots of Korean university students who came to the church. I talked to many of them, and I always had the impression that they were very polite.

I also befriended a university student called Mr. Park back in 2005, and he was very studious and very smart. I went to Tokyo Motor Show with him that year. I have quite a few Korean friends from my high school years, and they are all very fun to be around.

There were almost nobody using portable gaming devices in the subway, which I found interesting, as there are many people using portable gaming devices in subway and trains in Japan. I think Koreans use the smartphones such as GALAXY series or Optimus series, but yeah. Not that I’m against gaming, but it was something I noticed.

In Myeong Dong, there were many printing stores, and three wheeled motorcycles carrying large prints on the luggage space. It felt very different from Japan, although you sometimes see scooters that are three wheeled carrying pizza or for Gusto…

Gangnam was very similar to Ginza, Tokyo, Japan but it was different too. They had a very pretty Lotteria which I enjoyed. I guess that Gangnam Style song by PSY kind of made me want to visit the district. Oh yes, I saw a big life-size (?) poster of PSY saying “something style” (I forgot what style it was, I think it was mobile phone related).

The temperature of Seoul when I arrived on the 10th was -10 degrees Celsius. It actually didn’t feel all that cold, but everywhere, there were snow on the streets and all.

What I enjoyed most in my visit in Korea, was the extensive subway network where you can travel for very low price. The maximum money I spent for traveling about 30minutes or so was 1750 KRW! Hard to believe when you’re from Japan living in a rather rural area. (For example Hiratsuka to Yokohama costs 570 JPY)

I felt I should really study hard in my math area to prepare for my future.

Until next time,

Tsubasa Kato

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