Tombstone Hill

Quite tired from staying out too late again, but here is another attempt to recap some events and get this thing caught up to present time.

January 19-20

Second weekend here was pretty similar to the first- on Saturday we went out to Eva’s and then the Blue Monkey- but this time I actually knew people’s names (and some of them remembered mine) and we still stayed out until the wee hours of the morning.

For some reason, the next morning (Sunday) I felt awesome and I decided to hike up the hill that I could see from my house. I still don’t know the name of this hill- but I have unofficially titled it “Tombstone Hill” because at the bottom of it are the Yeonsanong Ancient Tombs- which I only figured out using google maps and a poorly translated sign nearby. What’s really awesome about this hill is that it’s just across the street from me and it’s a short, steep jaunt up to the 256 meter peak. The beginning starts off mellow, next to a playground, with randomly placed tombstones popping up along the path. Then it gets steep. I recently found out that there are about 5 ways to get to the top but I think the best, fastest and steepest way is by using a set of winding stairs. I took this way the first time and I could feel my late night catching up to me real quick- my legs were so tired and the air was so cold it hurt my lungs. But, I was not alone in my endeavor. Oh no. Sunday afternoon is a popular time to go for a hike and there were lots of families out- walking in a line with me up to the top.  Somehow, I kept up a fast clip and was able to break away from the people and hike alone to the peak.  Unfortunately, I chose the cloudiest day to hike so the views were nil (but I have since been back and got some good pics- check out http://www.flickr.com/photos/awkwardanne/)

Heading down, I decided to go down the other side of the hill and get myself lost a little bit so I could wind around and see more of the city. As I descended, I stumble into several little “fitness parks”- cleared out areas where there are all kinds of exercise machines including different weight lifting machines, elliptical type things, and occasionally a hula hoop and a jump rope. What’s more- there were lots of people seriously working out! I felt so awkward because I felt like I was disturbing their gym session- and yet here we all were randomly on this “mountain” together- getting our fitness on, on a Sunday afternoon! It’s sad to think that these kind of parks could never exist back in the states- they would surely get vandalized and graffitied within a week. I guess this serves as a positive example to living in a communal minded society like Korea (as opposed to America’s die hard individualism) in that- because people make decisions based on what’s good for society rather than their individual needs, they can trust each other to share things- such as public hula hoops- in a city of 4 million people.

Finally made it to the base of the hill and- after several dead ends and u-turns- made it to a busier street so I could figure out how to get back. I realized I was right next to the school where I work! Lucky me! So I knew exactly how to get home and I took my time, zigzagging through the streets and alleys and made it home in time to get another Hotteok before the sun went down.

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One thought on “Tombstone Hill

  1. Opinionated Man says:

    That was an interesting read. Thanks! I do miss my homeland now more though.

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