These photos were taken at Dongdaegu Station (East Daegu Station), the major transportation hub of the city. The first picture is from a walkway above the old rail lines. It's taken through a window, which explains the vague reflection in the top right.

The photo below was taken just outside the entrance to the subway. The pyramid is a skylight to the underground. It's also the first thing we saw when we stepped off the bus in Daegu. The bus terminal is just off to the left.


Merry Christmas

Truly He taught us to love one another
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains He shall break, for the slave is our brother;
and in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
let all within us praise His holy name
Christ is our Lord! O praise His name Forever!
His power and glory evermore proclaim!
His power and glory evermore proclaim!

- Placide Cappeau


'The most wonderful time of the year'

Saturday, on our way home from downtown, we witnessed the aftermath of a fatal crash involving a bus and a scooter.

Pulling up to the busiest intersection in Yongsandong, our taxi driver started shaking his head vigorously and 'tisk'ing. I looked ahead and saw a man lying next to a tiny scooter in the middle of the road, motionless, with a bus stopped about ten feet from him. He was flat on his back with his hands on his chest and it was clear it had just happened. Despite me telling her to do otherwise, Carmen watched as we drove past and noticed the man's helmet was under the bus. I assumed the worst, although we couldn't confirm whether the man had been killed, but passed over the scene the next day in a bus and a chalk outline confirmed what I thought.

In the 45 seconds it took our taxi to pass the scene and pull away from the intersection, no one had gone to help the man. I told my friend, Andy, about the incident. He told me another story about his friend who watched a man get thrown off his scooter by a car. Andy's friend was about 400 yards away - and he was the first person on the scene. By the time the ambulance came, he was still the only person helping the man, who had two visibly broken legs. I'll let you form your own opinion on what all this says about Korean culture. I'd tell you mine but Carmen suggested some people may find it offensive. I guess people have places to be an' all that.

Anyway, the rest of the ride home after seeing a body lying in the middle of a busy intersection was sort of eerily quiet. There's not really much to say about something like that. I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. Sure, people die in car accidents every day all over the world, but you just don't usually see it.

On a cheerier note, Homeplus is currently selling M & Ms, which means we'll have a very chocolaty Christmas. It's very hard to find any kind of Western candy, so the timing is perfect.


Yongsan on a Sunday

This is our 'hood. These photos are taken from the same spot.


Sunggok Elementary School

4:25 pm. Waiting patiently for Carmen to walk out the front doors. The tree in front tells us Fall is in its last throes. We put on our mitts and persevere. This photog could've been taken on virtually any street in Daegu. Apartments and schools: the heart of the urban jungle.

Cate and I took a trip to the zoo Wednesday morning. I noticed this tree, and its leaves, really hangin' in there through this freezing cold breeze that hasn't let up in about two weeks.



We went to Apsan, a mountain in Daegu, which has a cable car going up to the top. The view of the city was fantastic, but the smog and the fact it was a cloudy day took away from it a bit. Here's one half of the city, including our neighborhood, which is at about elevenoclock, directionally speaking, on the opposite edge of the city.
On our way down we found this little temple, where a monk and, apparently, an adjuma live. They were making kimchi outside and didn't seem to mind if we wandered around and took a few pictures, as long as it wasn't of them (I don't know this for sure, but my run-in with an adjuma while taking pictures recently resulted in me being chased down the street).

By the way, we bought a new camera. Again. This time a dSLR. A mutual Christmas gift. When I first started this blog, it was being passed around the Korean blogosphere as a photoblog. That's not what I had intended, but that may very well be the case from now on.



It's been cold here lately. Not as cold as Lethbridge, but cold enough for me to complain a bit. But that doesn't stop Cate and me from walking to Carmen's school every day to pick her up, and Cate wouldn't have it otherwise.

Yesterday, as we were walking home, we saw all the usual goings on of life in Yongsandong. Kids in Taekwondo suits, kids in school uniforms, kids buying large quantities of cheap candy, kids playing video games on the sidewalk and kids narrowly dodging high-speed traffic. 4:30 is right between the end of the elementary school day and all the evening stuff like English academies and martial arts classes, so the sidewalks are overrun with 10 year olds, and they all need a way to get where they're going so there are dozens of vans and small buses parked along the street. The drivers of these vehicles usually sit on the sidewalk and play cards or eat kimchi while they wait for their load of sugar junkies to finish whatever they're doing. They usually look quite bored and I've even seen them putting back a few beers in their spare time, before they get behind the wheel.

However, yesterday was a bit more interesting. I saw a well-dressed driver, about 50, standing with his hands in his pockets and a cigarette in his mouth. He was standing next to a tree, which was next to the road, and he leaned back and gave it a little kung fu syle kick. Nothing much and I didn't really think anything of it. Heck, I've kicked a tree out of boredom - plenty of times. As we got closer, he assumed a more fierce stance. With his hands still in his pockets and a dart still in his mouth, he spun around and gave a beautiful but deadly roundhouse, chin-high kick to the unsuspecting poplar. We were right next to him at this point and I gave him a smile and the usual half bow, thinking we both found it amusing, but he only glared in return. The funny thing is, neither Carmen or I said anything about it at first, like it wasn't out of the ordinary - and it's not. But I couldn't let it go. "So . . . that well-dressed older gentlemen just karate kicked that tree with his hands in his pockets and a smoke in his mouth on a busy sidewalk in the middle of the day, and was completely serious about it."

Other than that, life's been uneventful - but really good. Christmas is a lot more prevalent here than we thought it'd be, which is nice, even if it's mostly the consumerism part that's promoted. A few stores and restaurants are playing festive tunes and some even have decorations. Our iTunes switches between Sufjan Stevens' Songs for Christmas and Hanson's Snowed In (Questionable choice? Maybe. Guaranteed to bring Christmas cheer? Definitely). Some friends of ours gave us a little tree and some decor when they left in the summer so it won't be completely depressing to be away from home during this holiday season. It's hard to believe, though, that after Carmen's holidays at the end of this month, we've only got eight weeks left.