Since my body clock is still way off, I’ve been waking up around 5 in the morning. I decided the best thing I could do to pass the time was get lost exploring. Little did I know, Ansan has a wide pedestrian path lined with cherry blossom trees that stretches for over a mile from downtown to the university. The crisp winter air was perfect for strolling and I spent a few hours walking up and down the pathway. Every block or so there is a playground for the children and even workout machines free for the public to use. Maybe I won’t have to pay to join the gym after all..
At the end of the mile long stretch there is a large city park with basketball courts and other recreational facilities. By the time I reached it, it was around 7:30 and elder Koreans were happily jogging with their dogs to their side.
On my way home I stopped at the market to see what it had to offer. It’s incredible how different Western palettes are. The shelves were stocked with rice noodles, seaweed paper, various kinds of kimchi, and salt-cured seafood, their equivalent to our beef jerky. I ended up buying the squid variant and some green grapes – both were delicious and a good first meal to start the day.
The kids are all really great with seemingly limitless curiosity. They say I have a big nose and large eyes, which is their form of complimenting me since they are not used to seeing Westerners. I gave my director an authentic Dominican cigar and a copy of my band’s, J2K, album. He now calls me his “singer/songwriter star”. Tonight he is taking the ex-pats out for what he calls a “Korean BBQ and beer party”. Life is good…