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  • Writer's pictureTim and Lindsey

Live life with laughter and love (Day 224)

To Gwangju in the South, chats, calligraphy and football.

We packed our bags, said farewell to Joseph and on our way to Seoul Station to catch the train to Gwangju. We arrived at the station in plenty of time and wanted to buy a present. Oh, what to buy? We, at last, made a decision and went for a takeaway coffee and croissant. Tim placed the order but was looking rather concerned. We needed to wait for 5 minutes. Crikey, the time had run away and we only had 10 minutes to get the train…tick…tick..tick….5 minutes and no coffee. By this time I was signalling to Tim to cancel the order and made my way out of the shop with both our bags and across the concourse. Tim ran out without the coffee but at least we caught the train. Phew! “Did you get your money back for the coffee?” I asked. Tim looked at the receipt. “Yes, and they also deducted the money for our croissants!” he replied. Those croissants tasted even nicer!

The journey down south took a couple of hours. At the station, Sei-Woong was waiting for us. We had met Sei-Woong and his wife Soohyun back in early May at Uluru and within 10 minutes of meeting us, they had invited us to stay with them – we quickly accepted and here we are.

We climbed into Sei-Woong’s car and he took us for lunch at a Cha Toan vegetarian temple cafe. Tables were laden with so much choice, rice, noodles, and a wide variety of vegetables; as much as you can eat. Tim and Sei-Woong went up for seconds. I was stuffed. What a great place and so cheap!

We drove up a local mountain with bamboo and maple trees on the steep slopes. I can imagine that the area looks stunning in autumn. Near the top was the Buddhist Temple, which owns most of the land and the Cha Toan. A very serene place with stunning views. We stopped off for coffee, chatting away for ages, about the history of Korea, the feelings that South Korean people have about Japan and North Korea…and of course the subject of Education appeared – it usually does. Sei-Woong’s English is brilliant so we kept forgetting that it is his second language.

It was time to get to Sei-Woong and Soohyun’s home and what an eventful evening we have had. After a delicious meal, Sei-Woong and one of their son’s Jiyong taught Tim and me how to say the 10 vowels and 14 consonants. We had such a laugh trying to hear the difference between some of the sounds as well as trying to pronounce them! Soohyun had to pop out as she sings in her church’s choir. On her return, she asked if I would like to write some calligraphy on a handkerchief with her. What a lovely idea. I wrote, “Live life with laughter and love”. We had a bit of a practice using ink, then on the actual cloth, we used a special paint for material. It was a lot thicker so didn’t flow so easily. Soohyun wrote first in Korean and then I wrote.

The order of “Chimac” (Chicken and Beer) was made for the three males and we sat waiting expectantly. Such an exciting game with lots of Ah and ooo…and finally hurrah! Yes, we were watching the World Cup game with South Korea (57th ranking) playing Germany (1st ranking) and South Korea won 2:0. I am sure you can imagine the excitement here! A great ending to a lovely day.

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