Day 7: A little hokey
We started off the day sampling the fancy breakfast at our fancy (almost completely empty) hotel. Since it was their first time in a week that they'd had access to so many western breakfast items, HT and CR indulged and ate their body weights in toast and yogurt.
While they were eating, JR was continuing to make friends. All of us are pretty popular here as something completely out of the ordinary, but JR definitely garners the lion's share of attention. Here he is hanging out with the breakfast service staff while we were eating–they were kind enough to hold him for the whole meal (and show him off to their friends at the front desk.)
After that, we decided to head for the “Korean Folk Village” that we'd read about. This kind of thing has a pretty high likelihood of being kind of touristy and hokey, but it was nearby, so we figured we'd give it a shot. Short answer: cheesy and hokey, but also kind of interesting.
What sums it up pretty well is the sign we saw when we pulled up billing the place as an amusement park and cultural learning center. Those are really just too different to pull off both well. Unless you're Disney, I guess. We skipped the few rides and started off at the “World Cultures Expo”, where they'd picked 2-3 countries randomly per continent. After seeing some stuff from Turkey, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, and then getting some _exposure_ to a mannequin from New Guinea with a penis sheath (which the boys were still talking about in the car the next day), we wandered into the American exhibit to learn more about what Korean children are learning about our native land. This is summed up pretty well by this picture:
In addition to the tepees (although if you look hard, you can see the picture of cowboys running cattle in the corner), we also got to learn about the native foods. The turkey looks familiar, but I was a little surprised to learn about the salad with Asian pear, arugula, mint, and orange vinegrate. Not exactly a staple at the Niksch home growing up…
The rest of the place was better, with a bunch of mock buildings showing how the people of Korea have traditionally lived. We saw demonstrations of pottery, coppersmithing, blacksmithing, and basket weaving. On top of that a number of recreated historic homes, and homes of farmers from different parts of the country. The boys even got the chance to make flutes:
Also, probably not traditional, but HT likes grasshoppers, so we took this picture there too.
We ended the day with a fairly long and frustrating 4 hour drive to Daegu, which is a larger city and university town. (Frustrating because the GPS still stinks.) We're just using it as a base to see some local sites, but it does have a monorail, so that's nice.