I haven’t blogged for a while because I haven’t been well. The only places I have been is to see the doctor, to the drug store, and to church, but I am getting better and want to push myself out of the house again. I decided today was a good time to take a walk in the park I have heard is close to our house. Usually, I drive in our neighborhood, but I have been wanting to learn about this park because I have heard about it. Seoul may seem like concrete city quite often, but actually, the Koreans have several parks, spots where there is greenery all throughout the city with many walking trails. The people may live in apartments, and so not have yards, but they still spend time outside. Hiking is the most popular sport in Korea.
The minute I went outside, the air changed. We have a Korean style air conditioner in our living room, so our apartment never really gets too warm unless we go in a room where the air conditioner isn’t and close the door. It is the beginning of July, and the stifled, hot, wet air hit me like a ton of bricks the minute I went outside, but I decided not to give up because I really wanted a walk. Instead of going out the front door of my apartment building, I went out the back door and through the back gate. I crossed the street at the Catholic church and turned back to the right. I saw some woods, so I thought perhaps I had found the park.
As I entered the woods, I found exercise equipment which is very normal for Korean parks. I noticed that I was close to a school, and there were kids out kicking the soccer ball around. As I walked on, I came to playground equipment. I had heard there was a place with playground equipment close to our house. I guess I found it. Behind the playground equipment, there was the same thing that is on almost every corner in Korea, a church building. Well—I had heard the park was big, but this park wasn’t very big, so perhaps I hadn’t actually found the park I had heard about.
I saw some kids playing soccer in front of a school building and some playground equipment.
I went past the church building, and there were flower boxes full of flowers all the way around it. On the other side of the church building, I saw woods on the other side of the street. This was probably the park. I tried to get on the walking trail, but it was so muddy, I slipped when I stepped on it, so I decided to walk on the bike trail that ran parallel to the park. I saw up on the hill that more people were walking, but there was no way I was going to climb that hill and get to that path because there was so much mud I knew I would just slip instead of making it to the top.
As I walked along the bike path, I saw a sign that there was a park ahead. This must be the park I had heard about. I kept walking and finally found an entrance, so I went in. There seemed to be paths going this way and that. As I got on the path, I realized was woven ropes, and it made the walking really soft. It was a good idea for people who like to run because it would be really easy on their knees.
As I walked, I saw a picnic table. It was not a typical Korean picnic table. Usually, they just have one big platform like a short table, and people take their shoes off and sit there to have a picnic, but this picnic table was different. I saw signs pointing all different directions. I saw a lady walking a dog. Koreans who have dogs usually have small dogs because they live in apartments. I kept walking, and the road turned into a dirt road, and then back into a woven rope road, and then finally, the road turned to pavement. I just kept walking.
There were signs saying what the names of the paths were.
There was a lady walking a dog, and she decided to pose for me.
I realized it was just downright hot and stifling! I was sweating like a stuck pig! The sweat was coming off my forehead into my eyes. I thought it was probably time to go home, but I had wondered around through the park and wasn’t sure where I was. I had made it to one edge of the park and there was a wall with an iron fence in front of it. There were rose bushes growing through the iron fences.
There were more signs.
Finally, I came to a place where there were steps where I could go up and decided to go up. When I got to the top, I could see an exit to the park, perhaps the same entrance where I had come into the park. I walked out of the park and headed for home on the bicycle path again.
I went past the church building with all the flower boxes again, then past the wooded area I had seen before without going in. There was a sign. I realized that it was actually another park, so there is one small park and one larger park close to my house. I kept walking and crossed the street by the Catholic church building again and went in the back gate to my building and the back door.
As I got into my apartment, the air completely changed again. I had turned the air conditioner off before I left for my walk, but it was still much cooler inside than outside. My hair, my clothes, everything, was completely wet with sweat. I went to the living room and turned on the Korean air conditioner and sat in front of it in my American recliner to cool off until it was time for me to cook dinner. I had had my walk, and I found two parks close to my house.