Week 15: Korean class picnic

Tamyang Travel Blog

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At the beginning of the week our Sonsangnim, Park Hye Suk, informed our class that on the last day of our Korean lessons she would take us for a picnic in the mountains.  Everyone seemed pumped so she told us to pack some snacks and we'd head out immediately after class was over on Thursday.

When I woke up Thursday morning the sky was a gloomy gray and it had definitely rained quite a bit.  Nevertheless, I prepared a delicious feast of mini weanies, hardboiled eggs, carrots, apples and persimmon and headed to class in high spirits.  Towards the end of class Hye Suk asked us again who was going and everyone wussed out!  Justin and I were the only two that were still up for it so we hopped into the back of Hye Suk's car and headed towards Mudeungsan.

  I had thought that we were going to a temple maybe fifteen minutes from downtown Gwangju but after half an hour and a dozen switchbacks (which left me on the verge of getting a second glimpse of my breakfast) we found ourselves in Damyang, a neighboring city which we had visited during our first month in Korea.   The scenery was quite different from our last visit in July.  The trees had begun to change colors and the crops in the fields were vibrant shades of gold. 

We headed to Soswaewon, a beautiful garden with trickling streams, bamboo stands, maple trees and traditional korean buildings and gazebos.  The only kick in the pants was the shock of finding 20 coach buses in the parking lot that we had thought would be deserted.

  It turns out a few middle schools decided to hold their class picnics on the same day as our little excursion.  It would not have been a problem except that the several hundred students all tried to catch a glimpse of the foreigners, take pictures of us and yell, "You are beautiful!"  I wouldn't have minded except for the fact that I definitely looked like I had just rolled out of bed and I was in the middle of stuffing my face full of tiny weaners.

Despite the crowds of our adoring fans we had a very relaxing time while we snacked and breathed in the fresh mountain air. After an hour or so we headed to Sigyeongjeong where we explored the grounds of a nobleman's estate and took in the scenery of the countryside one more time before heading back to the city.  I ended up being just a teeny bit late for work but our little trip with Hye Suk was more than worth the severe beatings I got with a bamboo pole. Just kidding.  It was made of oak ;)

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photo by: highway_chile