south central

Went down to Chonju for a day or two and visited Candles. Her apt is better than mine – got air con and thick noise-blocking windows, plus its bigger.
But her work situation sucks. It’s the hagwon nightmare we’ve all heard of but not neccesarily first-hand. Non-existant medical scheme, bills not being paid (so her gas, electix would get shut off) dodgey lookin phone-bills and out-and-out not being paid for worked hours.
In fact Candles is going back to Canada and not coming back. So that’s why I went to visit – go hang out while I could. Chonju has a pop. of about 800 000. I went walking for a while yesterday morning in the infernal weather. I was looking for some early 1900s catholic church but couldn’t find it, and was damned if I was going to do anything like ask someone. No sir. Then the sandals started to give me blisters — sandals are all well and fine for jesus because he could just use his magic to make the blisters go away.

I sat down for a while in a joint and ate the tuna kimbop. I got picked up by a couple of 1st year uni students. They just wanted to talk n’ junk which was fine with me.

Chonju seriously lacks footpaths and is known as where bipimbop was invented. Yes, I did try the local speciality — pretty much as soon as I got into town. The woman brings it over to me then at length explains that the bowl is hot, so don’t touch! Then she takes another look at me and decides that she can’t trust me not to touch it, so I sit there f0r the next minute and a half while she bips my bop. How humiliating.
Compared to here at the eee-tchon, Chonju is much bigger, but also a lot further from seoul so foreigners are still very much the martians there.

I took the KTX-uh train back. It was pretty neat though could use more legroom. I saw a guy snoring like it was the end of the world. There was 16 or 17 carriages on the thing.