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South Korean Getaway:

South Korean Getaway Anastasia C. Cruz 4/30/2014 GT Project Mrs. Linn

Trip to Seoul Starts Today:

Trip to Seoul Starts Today It is March 3rd. I’m so excited to begin my journey to explore the enchanted land of South Korea. As I board the plane, I’m anxious about the flight ahead of me. My American Airlines round trip ticket cost $1,540 US dollars. I’m going to leave McAllen International Airport at 6:20 am and arrive in Dallas at 7:55 am. From Dallas I have a straight flight to Seoul. My flight will leave at 10:55 am and arrive in Seoul Incheon International airport at 2:50 pm on March 4 th . Prior to my trip I found the website www.timeanddate.com . It has a nifty time converter. It taught me that South Korea is 14 hours ahead of McAllen, Texas.

Jet Lag Knows no Prisoners:

Jet Lag Knows no Prisoners 안녕하세요 That means hello in Korean. It is March 4 th . Ok, obviously I am on one of my wacky, crazy adventures. I have landed in Seoul, South Korea. Already I am impressed by South Korea’s scenic areas, climate, culture, and the South Koreans’ hospitality. Everyone is so helpfu l here. As I claimed my baggage, I was helped by many friendly native Korean airport workers. Today, I’m becoming familiar with my home away from home. I have checked into the Ritz-Carlton Hotel . It is a luxurious 5 star hotel. It is definitely a great place to stay even though it costs more than $300 a night.

Seoul, Capital City of South Korea:

Seoul, Capital City of South Korea While I’ve never been to Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States, I can’t believe that I’m actually in the capital city of South Korea! Today is March 7 th . Seoul is the capital and largest metropolis of South Korea. It is a megacity with a population of more than 10 million. Together with the surrounding area of Incheon and Gyeonggi province, it is the world's second largest metropolitan area with over 25.6 million people, home to over half of South Koreans along with 632,000 international residents.

Seoul Foreign School Tour:

Seoul Foreign School Tour My private tour guide will be helping me to learn a little more conversational Korean by visiting a middle school located in Seoul. The days are flying by. It is already March 8 th ; seems like I was just planning for this trip. As I enter the main building of the Seoul Foreign School, I’m greeted by the principal Lynn Gaylord. She tells me that her school is widely regarded as the leading international school in Seoul. I even get to tour the Media Commons. That is what they call the library. My mom would be so proud.

A Bite to Savor:

A Bite to Savor Today I will be looking for some traditional foods that they eat here in Seoul. The aroma is so strong I can smell it a mile away! There’s no better place to go to get a taste of real Korean life than the market. To tell you the truth trying new foods isn’t really on my bucket list ,but it’s part of the exciting experience. My first stop is the Gwangjang Market where there are a variety of delicious and strange foods. Nothing like what you would see in McAllen, Texas! Ther e’s so many people here it’s hard to see anything at all! Vendors ( middle- aged women and men) are shouting out bargains trying to create deals while little children are giggling and exploring all the booths. A trip to one of the city’s busy marketplaces is an ideal place to soak up the genuine spirit of Seoul as an industrialized country with a lot of heart. Tonight March 9 th , I will not get on the scale.

Geek and Chic:

Geek and Chic What would any trip be without some major shopping? Myeongdong is one of the most popular centers for shopping in Korea. Here there are huge brands such as H&M, Zara, Nike , UNIQLO ,and etc. There’s also the oh so famous Lotte Department store, where you can shop hands free ( buy and pick up at airport.) Shopping in Myeongdong is one of the best shopping experiences Seoul can offer. March 10 th can be consider the best day of my life!

Love and War:

Love and War Today, March 11 th , I will be visiting some of Seoul’s beautiful landmarks. One of them is the War Memorial of South Korea. It is a sweet dedicated landmark that shows the many violent conflicts the peninsula nation has had to endure throughout her turbulent history. When war seeps through the nations we lose sight of what’s important to us. The next sight is N Seoul Tower! I am going about 237 meters high to observe the most magnificent scene I may ever see in my life! This is a new experience for me because I have a fear of heights. I just need to remind myself don’t look down. Another thing that’s really cool is that on the Seoul Tower you can have a padlock that symbolizes love and you can write a note. Then you throw the key into the water to represent unbreakable love.

Feel the Music:

Feel the Music It’s March 12 th , and I am going to a studio to learn some dance moves to get into the culture. I am going to be working with the most famous group in South Korea, KPOP! The studios here are so neat , they look like they’ve been polished. When I meet the girls they speak English too and it gives me relief . Finally I don’t have to have my confused face on 24\7. T he girls are extremely sweet and give me a gift. It’s an outfit the same identical ones they are wearing. Then they say “ It’s time to get to work!” We work for about 2 hours for them to teach me some of their dance moves. I can’t wait to show my friends back in the states.

Jogyesa Temple (조계사):

Jogyesa Temple ( 조계사 ) March 13 th is when I’m going to visit the fat man; Buddha! All joking aside, the major religions in South Korea are the traditional Buddhist faith and a large Christian population. Located in Jongno-gu in the heart of Seoul, Jogyesa Temple is home to the administrative headquarters of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism. Although a large segment of the population claims to not be associated with any organized religion, most South Korean households continue to observe traditional ancestral rites and Confucian philosophies that have been integrated into Korean culture.

Sinheungsa Temple:

Sinheungsa Temple I didn’t think I would be traveling through mountains on this trip, but that is where my journey now takes me on March 14 th . Sinheungsa Temple is a landmark that you cannot miss as your travel down the slopes of Mount Sorak National Park by cable car.  The park is located near the city of Sokcho in northern South Korea. A distinctive landmark of the temple is the Buddha himself. I have been informed by my tour guide that this is the largest statue of the Buddha in the world in a sitting posture.  The Buddha statue and the temple themselves are also recognized for its historical significance.

Cheonjeyeon Falls :

Cheonjeyeon Falls It’s time to leave Seoul for a couple of days. My tour group is going on a side trip to JeJu Island. It is March 15 th today. While on the island, one of the main attractions will be Cheonjeyeon Falls, a 3-tier waterfall. Like most tourists, I will enjoy other attractions besides the falls in this area . Indeed , there are many scenic areas for photo-taking sessions, such as the Seonimgyo Bridge of the Seven Nymphs, the Pond of Five Blessings, and Cheonjeru Tower. It is said that the seven nymphs would often descend from the heavens to take a bath in this place, and this is signified and celebrated by the South Koreans during the Chilseonyeo Festival held on every even year in May.

The Olympic Games:

The Olympic Games Today is March 16 th and we are going in the past to talk about the Olympic Games. The 1988 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXIV Olympiad, were an international multi- sport event celebrated from September 17 to October 2 1988 in Seoul, South Korea. They were the second Summer Olympic Games to be held in Asia and the first since the 1964 Summer Olympics held in Tokyo, Japan. They were also the fourth Olympic Games to be held in autumn. In the Seoul Games, 159 nations were represented by a total of 8391 athletes: 6197 men and 2194 women. 263 events were held and 27,221 volunteers helped to prepare the Olympics. 11,331 members of the media broadcast the Games all over the world .

Aching Muscles:

Aching Muscles It is March 17 th and I have a feeling that I am going to use the Jacuzzi tub in my hotel room tonight. I am trying out one of the traditional sports . There are many types of sports that keep you activate and alert. Taekwondo, a popular martial art originated in Korea. Taekwondo means technique of kicking and punching , although the emphasis lies on the kicks. Even though it was practiced for centuries—its origins have been traced as far back as the 1st century BC—it only became popular after World War 2. It became standard military training in Korea, and in 1961 the rules were standardized.

South Korean Technology/Economy:

South Korean Technology/Economy It is March 18 th today. South Korea may be 14 hours ahead of McAllen, Texas but it produces plenty of the products that Americans purchase annually. Two of these products can be found at my house. My dad owns a Kia Sorrento car and I have a Samsung Galaxy S4 cell phone. LG’s motto is with LG it’s possible. That means that when you have a moment you can snap a shot and remember the memory. LG smart phones let you download apps and games in seconds, watch movies on Netflix, shoot and share HD video and browse the web.

Packing and Saying Farewell!:

Packing and Saying Farewell! Today is the last day of my South Korean getaway, March 19 th . I have had a wonderful and splendid experience trying new and certainly unique traditions. I have had a blast every day that I was here. March 12 th is my favorite part about my journey when I worked with the KPOP group. I always wanted to meet a musical pop group and dance with the girls! When I woke up this morning I looked at the clock and saw that it was already 2:45, and my flight is at 3:45. I only had 1 hour left! Luckily I had packed all my clothes and souvenirs in my suitcase the day before. My souvenirs included little Korea girl doll s and a t-shirt. Goodbye for now, until my next adventure!

Interview with Jong Hyun Lee :

Interview with Jong Hyun Lee Name Jong Hyun Lee Age 18 Gender Male What is your ethinicity ? Asian/Korean Where were you born ? Buenos Aires, Argentina Have you ever lived in South Korea ? Yes How old were you? 6 How long did you live there? 1 year Do you still have family there? yes What languages do you speak? Korean, English, and Spanish What would you want someone who has never visited South Korea to know about the country? We are very rich in culture; our food might be different but give it a chance. It might be a small peninsula, but there are a lot of people there. What are some of the best features or attributes of South Korea? The nature, everywhere you go in South Korea it is very green, and always feels fresh. What do your Korean friends have in common with your American friends? Our cultures are so different and it would all depend on how you define an “American” friend. What lessons can you share with your American friends about the importance of education? In Korea education is the key to success. You are thought that if you do not work hard in school you will not succeed. In Korea the school hours are much longer and the breaks much shorter so appreciate what you have. What advice can you give me as a student entering junior high ? Don’t procrastinate! Always work hard. Can you write a popular phrase in Korean? 어떻게 지냈어 ? Can you teach me a popular teen saying in Korean? Unfortunately I left too young to give you a popular phrase. What is your favorite Korean dish/meal? Galbi , which is the Korean BBQ. Is there anything else you think I should know about South Korea? Visit sometime! You will see a whole other world.

Poem:

Poem In the Spotlight I am catching my breath Before the lights Come up Standing Frozen to the spot What do I do next? So many eyes Waiting To see if I’ll steal The show or break it Into a thousand pieces Hoping For a once in a lifetime opportunity Cue the KPOP music Let’s get this concert Rocking!

Movie:

Movie

Works Cited:

Works Cited Britannica , Encyclopaedia . Britannica School Edition . 1 October 2013. 12 March 2014. Donovan, Sandy. Teens in South Korea . Minneapolis: Compass Point Books, 2008. Google Images . 2013. 13 March 2014. "Korea, South ." World Book Online For Kids. World Book, 2014. Web. 28 Apr. 2014. Lee, Jong Hyun. Sharyland High School student Anastasia Cruz. 4 March 2014. Rand McNally Classroom . 12 April 2013. 11 March 2014. Salter, Christopher L. South Korea . Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 2003. http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/TR/TR_EN_5_1_1.jspwebmaster@aa.com. American Airlines . 2008. 11 March 2014.

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