Anyeong Haseyo, pt. 3
Spent Monday wandering around the Gyeongbokgung palace grounds, which is much bigger than I expected. It was originally built in 1395, then burned during the Japanese invasion of 1592, rebuilt in 1592, and torn down again during Japanese occupancy in 1911. Even though this peninsula got tangled into some Cold War business and U.S. soldiers have been here ever since, the Japanese are still far less popular than Americans.
As an American, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have at least 10 children a day say “hello.” I’m told they just want to hear English spoken back to them. When you say hello back, they’ll ask whatever phrases they might know. It’s usually “how old are you?” The only Korean phrases I know are anyeong haseyo (hello) and kamsamnida (thank you). Kevin says the kids’ favorite game is rock, paper, scissors and that they will play for 30 minutes straight.
I went to Itaewon, which is the Westerners district of Seoul. Immediately after leaving the subway station, a group of people asked me to fill out a survey. It was about interracial marriage, and I gleaned that they have issues with American soldiers taking Korean wives.