Ever since high school I’ve had an affection for turtles. So when I heard that there was a replica of a turtle ship in Yeosu, it didn’t matter that I didn’t know what a turtle ship was, I wanted to see it. What I’ve since learned is that turtle ships, also known as Geobukseon (거북선), were a large type of warship used by the Royal Korean Navy during the Joseon Dynasty from the early 15th century up until the 19th century.
Noraebang was one of those things that scared me about visiting South Korea. More so than any threats coming out of North Korea. Noraebang isn’t some adventure ride, scary looking food or any other traditional scary activity. It’s similar to karaoke boxes in Japan – you rent a private room, usually by the hour, and sing along with your friends to backing tracks. Sounds pretty tame right? For me it was intimidating because, you see, I don’t sing.
Every time I told Pierre that I wanted to visit a cat cafe when I was in South Korea he would tease me. I freely admit that I’m an unabashed cat lover. I have a big fluffy ginger cat at home that I miss every time I travel. We didn’t have much time in Seoul so it looked like I was going to miss my chance to visit a cafe again. Since Gunsan is a small city it was unlikely they’d have one. But lo and behold… what did a Google search turn up? A cat cafe just recently opened up in our fair city. There was much rejoicing.
I’ve been here in South Korea for a month now. Life is different but culture shock hasn’t been bad. It did, however, take me over a week to realize that there are no stop signs here at all. There are some other things I’ve noticed sooner, especially those that are so common you see them everywhere you go. Just like Canada has more Tim Horton’s than you can shake a stick at, South Korea has its own common sights.