For the past three days I've been in Daejeon, which is the fifth largest city in South Korea and the largest city that I'll be writing about. Unfortunately, it doesn't have much by way of real sightseeing, so the most interesting time I've had is checking out the nightlife. It's been nice to sit in a bar and loiter over drinks again, and at Lucky Strike last night I had a very nice mojito --- made with love, truly, by the dedicated Korean bartender.
Friends at home have been asking me how things are here, with the former president's suicide and the North setting off missile tests willy-nilly. Truth be told, because I don't speak Korean, it's not like I can get under the skin of any of these issues. All I know is that with the former president's funeral being held today, there were plenty of emotional scenes playing on the news. Yesterday afternoon I stopped at a memorial for him outside Daejeon's City Hall to leave a flower, because a Korean friend in Singapore had asked me to. At night there were many more people lining up to pay their respects.
As for the North Korea missile tests, a friend in Seoul told me that as the USO and tour companies are still running their DMZ tours, things are status quo. So ... we'll see. One of my goals for the trip is to see all three places where one can visit or see something of the DMZ. I was at Goseong Unification Observatory three weeks ago along the eastern coast; there's still Panmunjom and Cheorwon to go.
The other thing worth reporting is that I am officially tired of having to handwash my underwear and socks, and re-pack my backpack every couple of days when I move on to a new town. Still lovin' the travelling --- I just wish that clean clothes could magically be awaiting me at each new stop.
So Daejeon's been fun, but I'm ready to get back to small-town Korea, with its helpful bus drivers and less hectic traffic.