Thursday, 15 September 2011

Chuseok Weekend, Gae-eun Park, Meetups and A Scare

Music soundtrack: EMA - Anteroom. If Elliot Smith were reincarnated as an emo girl, here's what it would sound like:  Hit play, and then start reading.


Did a few things over the weekend.

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Among them:

Ate at Table 34 in the Grand Intercontinental Hotel at Coex with wifeoseyo... and that food was obscenely good.

Met some lovely lovely people on Tuesday, and had a few drinks and a nice walk and talk, near my home. Included in that crew were some of my favorite former coworkers, a few bloggers who shall go unnamed, and one irascible scoundrel who shall not be named, but whose face shall be shown here for the internet to see his shame.

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Now that the baby's coming soon, I have a feeling a lot of my hangout events will likely be somewhere near home, like this one was. Fortunately, I live somewhere AWESOME.

Met some OTHER lovely lovely people on Sunday night and had a picnic on an overpass. And some OTHER other lovely people on Friday night.

Ever meet a person who's just a cool-person magnet? Some people, somehow, always have lots of very smart, or interesting, or funny people around them. My best friend Matt, who left Korea, was like that, too -- you could count on people recommended by him, to be worth the time to get to know them. I'm happy to say I know another person like that.

But I won't tell you who, or you'll all want to hang out with him/her too, and then s/he won't have time to hang out with ME.

Another weekend highlight, though, was visiting 개운산공원 - Gae-eun Mountain Park - on the smallish mountain behind Korea University. It's a park that's not that easy to reach, shows evidence of being fairly recently built, or at least improved, and has a lot of open spaces where you can see some great views of the city, or let your kid run, without losing sight of them.

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Spacious. Nice view. Not crowded. Noice.

Because it's not that easy to reach, it isn't crowded, either, the way Han River park, or the Cheonggyecheon always are when the weather's nice, and because there are trees on the mountainsides all around the park (as well as some trails through woods), despite being in the middle of the city, the air's fresher than you find in most places.

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There's not quite enough there for an entire date, but it'd be a decent place to take the kids, or bring your camera, or just to chill with your buds. Maybe bring some bottles of wine and get talky. It's big and sprawling enough that a decent game of capture the flag could probably be played. Or, bring picnic materials, a frisbee, a soccer ball/football and badminton rackets and a very, very nice time could be had.

By foot: Go to Korea University subway station, exit 2. Go straight until you pass the GS 칼텍스 gas station, and take your first right. Head down that road until you see a a fork in the road, with one fork going up the hill. Follow road up hill around a bunch of curves until you reach a three way intersection. Go right, and you can't miss the park area. It'll about 35-30 minutes by foot, unless you're slow.

Or (if Daum Maps isn't lying), once you pass the gas station, across the street from the corner where you should turn right, take the small green bus "성북 20" and get off at "개운중학교" stop, and backtrack a little to find the three-way intersection that leads to the park.

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The park has most of the trappings of other parks where seniors are fond of hanging out - and the demographic there definitely skewed older - so there are exercise machines (including some fairly new, and quite nice equipment in one corner - I tried it), but because it's up a hill, again, it's not as crowded with the seniors as Jongmyo Park is.

Instead, it looked like this: even on the Saturday of a Chuseok holiday.
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There was also a health center, but I didn't really explore that.

Wifeoseyo was very impressed with big rocks that had beautiful Korean poetry carved into them: they're some of her favorite poems, she says.
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One little corner of the park even had a little book booth.
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The books are multipurpose.
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Either this sign indicates there are speed bumps ahead, or there's a suntanning area nearby, too.
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This was not the view from Gaeeun Park. It's the view from Bukak Skyway's little lookout point.
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But I went there, too, and it was nice.

I also climbed a mountain with a group of people, and had a bit of a scare. I had a crappy breakfast, didn't do warmup stretches, and went too fast at the beginning, leading to a lightheaded spell the likes of which I haven't had before. The other hikers were kind enough to wait for me, and once I took it a little easier, I was OK for the rest of the hike... but that's never happened to me before, and it put a mini-scare into me. After all, when the zombies come, I want to be sure I have the endurance to protect my family, and keep going until they've all been beheaded, you know? A sharp machete is important, but so is a good cardio regimen.



As I pushed, and then passed 30 years old, I discovered that I can maintain the level of health/body type that I had in the 20s (which was pretty low-effort when I was in my 20s)... but it just takes me a little more work each year than it did the year before, and a hardcore dizzy spell on the entry slopes of Bukhan Mountain was a pretty clear sign it's time for me to put a little cardio into my regular routine. And that I'm not 22 anymore.

Dammit!

But other than that little scare, I had a great weekend. How about you?

1 comment:

ZenKimchi said...

When I was 21 I had a dizzy spell that ended up with me being woken up by paramedics in some hedges next to a bank. It was due to stress and bad diet. Just gotta keep that heart rate up.