Friday, June 22, 2007

weekends in seoul

fake river!

Cheonggyecheon, called "the fake river" by me and Margaret (even though it's a stream that doesn't even try to pretend to be a river), is a man-made body of water that runs through the center of Seoul. I recently spent two weekends in a row in Seoul...a large part of each of which was spent at the fake river.

The first weekend, I was in Seoul to help proctor the Certified Financial Analyst exam, administered by Fulbright (I had to make the announcements, somewhat stressful). Rohit and I spent most of the day/evening before the exam at the fake river. Near the beginning of the fake river (it starts with a fountain and a big fake waterfall), a group of young people was handing out plants and telling people to go plant them. I planted mine outside the CFA test site the next morning.

We also participated in a community graffiti project--making our own graffiti (Rohit wrote his name in Korean in red, I wrote mine in Chinese in yellow) and watching artists create a graffiti mural. Farther down the river (you can see in the pics, the fake river progresses from orderly and clean paved lines in the first picture, more "natural" and "wild," like on the right), we got to have a mini bongo drum lesson with a huge circle of people, led by a very fat Korean man with dreadlocks.

The next weekend, I was back in Seoul to meet Katie's friend from college (visiting Korea on her way home from 3 weeks in Japan). After soundly defeating Katie and Mary in the "get interviewed/photographed/videotaped by Korean middle-and-high-schoolers for English class homework" competition, shopping a lot, feeding Mary our favorite Korean foods, watching traditional drumming, and journeying to the top of Seoul Tower on Saturday, we spent Sunday at the fake river, playing on the stepping stones and in the water with the (stocked) fishies.

the fake river and her parasol make Katie so happy

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