Pay no heed to rumors suggesting a connection between my arrival in South Korea and the death of Kim Jong-Il the same day. I was nowhere near the fearless leader at the time of his unexpected demise.
We’re really lucky we ended up in South Korea instead of North Korea because when I bought the tickets at the airport, I requested four tickets to Korea, and when the woman at the booth asked which Korea, I didn’t know how to answer because nobody had told me there was more than one. “Which one is warmer? Send me to that one,” I requested. The day we arrived South Korea was about -7 degrees Celsius, so if this is the warmer of the two, it really puts the North Koreans’ love of Kim Jong-Il in perspective if they’re willing to brave the cold temperatures to weep in the streets as the news is reporting.
The boys are enjoying Korea. Here’s a picture of the kids having a good time in the beautiful port city, Incheon:
Here’s another picture of them in scenic and historic Seoul:
I think the boys would have a hard time picking their favorite part of the Seoul city center:
Today I went skiing in the mountains outside Seoul. I hadn’t been skiing in almost twenty years and I had such a good time that I tried to remember why I had ever stopped. I remembered it was about the same time I stopped golfing. And then I remembered it was about the same time my parents stopped paying for things.
Parents like to say earning the money yourself makes it more meaningful when you spend it. I guess that explains why I found so much meaning in sleeping and watching TV.
If you’re only going to spend a short time in Korea, why bother with learning to read Korean characters? Maybe the only exception would be if you plan to go skiing so you could avoid sharing my experience of zipping past indecipherable signs and realizing a few seconds later that they probably read, “Caution,” “Danger,” and “Do Not Go This Direction If You Want to Live.”
The kids were pretty impressed with my skiing and when they asked how long it had been since the last time, I answered, “If I remember correctly, I haven’t been skiing since the time I skiied the K-12. On one ski!”
This sign greeted us outside the security checkpoint in the Shanghai airport:
If our satisfaction really was their unremitting pursuit, why did they get mad at us when we took a picture of this sign?
The Greatsbys will be on vacation through January 7th. During that time I will be posting on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and updating the caption contest on Sundays. After Korea we’ll head to Indonesia; if you love travel writing about exotic places but wish the insight focused more on the television programming in those locales, you’ve hit the jackpot!