Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Day 9

I sort of floated thru today. Exhaustion is really catching up with me! It doesn't really help that it's 11:20 pm, and we're leaving for Tokyo in approximately 3 hours and ten minutes :)

We checked out of the Prince Hotel (I forgot to take pictures, s0rry!) and drove from Taejon to Pusan. We had a small symposium/forum thing with some Korean students at Silla University. We played some "American Music" for them and they asked us many questions ranging from "How many hours a day do you practice?, What kind of music do you listen to? and How much do private music lessons cost you?" to "How old are you? How many of you are married? and Do you have jobs while you're in school?" It was really neat to get to know them. AND we had some time to kill and got to play some fun games, and though it was hot - it was QUITE a relief to have a lil' fun :)

We drove to our "Youth Hostel" after that. It's actually quite nice. In fact, my room here is nicer than the one in the Prince Hotel (Which we found out is, reportedly, "a very old hotel." Yeah, it was definitely built about 20 years ago ;) ) and we were all pleasantly surprised by the quality of the hostel.

After a quick 15 minute check in, we drove to our venue - it was really quite nice. Again, i forgot to take pictures, SORRY! Keep in mind comment #1 - i floated thru today. We rehearsed with the official Busan wind ensemble something or other and played a few tunes with them. There was a guest vocalist and pianist (played Rhapsody in Blue, ooh la la!!!) and it was a really neat concert. Long - but neat. I also got to sing today! Afterwards some people were introduced to me and they said "Your voice is miracle!!" and "You have voice of angels!!" They really are so kind-hearted here.

I really am sad to be leaving Korea. It's very easy to grow an attachment to this place. It's especially easy in Pusan, where it's clean and coastal and GLORIOUS. This is by far my favorite city - it's like the San Diego of Korea! Anyway - everyone is so thoughtful and loving. I hope they are in Japan, too! From what i hear they aren't as nice, but that's only because of their seriously perfectionist work ethic and what not.

I'm so glad I've been able to spend some time here. I certainly hope I get the chance to come back!! It's been an unbelievably rewarding experience thus far (much of it is due to the fact that I just had a slice of Korean pizza - complete with shimp, corn and sweet potatoes!! ..DELISH!)

Quick sidenote - i forgot to mention a neat story about yesterday. As Rachel and I were walking around the city of Taejon, a woman pulled over her car and got out. She ran to us saying "Excuse me, excuse me!!" and proceeded with a mesh of phrases and words like "I'm sorry i don't speak English!" and a word along the lines of 'Church' - sounded like 'shursch!' and "English classes!!" She stopped another woman walking on the street who had her 20-something year old daughter with her who texted to us, in English, what the older women were saying in Korean. She texted the word "Missionary." We were like "YES! We know them!!" The woman, come to find out, had seen our Wind Symphony name tags and associated them with the LDS Missionary name tags. She was familiar enough with them to know they teach English classes and approached us to get more info. about it! SO COOL! We got the name/number of the woman from the street, and the first woman who had gotten out of her car came to our concert and met the missionaries there. Happy day!!

Also - some neat-o Korean side-notes:

Here, they don't understand the idea of competition in business. Driving down the streets, you'll see like 10 auto shops in a row or 3 wedding stores, or a handful of paper stores. Roger Brough, who spent two years here suggested to a friend that he open his flower shop in an area where there were no other flower shops - that way anyone in the area who wanted flowers could have easy access to his. He said "but there are no other flower shops there!" And Roger said "exactly." And he didn't understand it. It's a very intersting phenomenon.
Also - we learned that since people were absolutely depraved during the Korean war, people take great pride in sharing what they have with others - especially feeding other people. They want so badly to give back and to give what they've got, merely because they have something to give now. Very cool.

Another observation - everyone here is dressed well. One- they just are. No weirdo death-skull and guitar-rock-and-roll clothes that people with lots of piercings wear. It's all farily modest and REALLY cute. Two - you don't talk about what you do for a living here because that's an indicator of social status and it's rude to discuss that, most of the time, so when everyone dresses nicely, it doesn't denote any sort of social status. Cool, eh?

Also - there's a way of speaking called Konglish - Korean English. They don't understand the word "missionary" as pronounced in English. But if you say 'ME-son-ah-rie' they get it. They don't understand the english pronounciation of "Wind Symphony" either but they get it if you pronounce it "WEEND-ooh Simp-oh-NEE." It's funny. You also have to be careful, when speaking english, to limit words like "weren't, doesn't, isnt'" etc. and say "were not, does not, is not" instead, so they can understand. We've all been speaking very articulately :) I wonder if Enlgish is any more common in Japan!!
Well, tomorrow i'll be writing from Tokyo! Love you all!! See you soon!
Pictures aren't so good today, sorry!
The symposium at Silla University in Pusan.Finally a coast! The ocean air is lovely!

Who knows?
If you were to ask me whether these fish smelled a lot like sewage, i would say "No, not at all!' Also, i would be lying.

This is Busan. It's GLORIOUS!

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