Geumseong-san, Geumseong-gwan, and Birthdays!

What a weekend! Yesterday, my host family and I finally made good on our intention to hike Geumseong Mountain. It was lovely, and yes, I did get somewhat hyper. 😄

The view from the top:

Naju City. My homestay is somewhere in that green patch toward the back.

 

If you look to the silvery-roofed building in the very bottom right, that is the campus where I teach over 350 awesome high schoolers.

 

And if you turn around, you will find yourself in the middle of nowhere.

 

In the afternoon, my number one student came down from Seoul to visit me. We caught up, watched a movie, and then spent today wandering Naju. My host mom recommended we visit a historical place called Geumseong-gwan, near my school and the downtown area. We had no idea what it was, but we went anyway. Turns out, it was built in the Joseon dynasty to house foreign ambassadors, and later representatives from all over Korea. I totally waxed philosophical/writerly and rambled about how great it would be if the place had soaked up the stories of all the travelers who had been there.

Me and Doe at Geumseong-gwan — which you don’t get to see. :p

 

Finally, an interesting event happened after I’d dropped Doe off at the bus terminal and returned home.

Host mom: May, we’re going out for dinner tonight.

Me: Okay.

(We get in the car and drive to Gwangju. My host dad pulls a terrifying U-turn to stop at a Paris Baguette.)

Host dad: Today is my wife’s birthday, so I’m going to get a cake.

Me: O_O  Oh… Happy birthday? You didn’t say anything…

5-year-old host sister: (babbles angrily in Korean)

Host mom: Oh yeah, it’s also Hio’s birthday! I forgot!

Me: . . . . .

Host mom: Or was that yesterday?

My host family! >^_^<

Fortunately, Hio was appeased with cake and delicious Italian food.

The end. 😄

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