Posted by: rbbadger | November 16, 2008

A depressing week

Well, this past week has been pretty depressing, all things considered.  There was the Vincent Romero case which is still going on and won’t end for some time to come.  Murder cases have a tendency to bring all of the assorted skeletons in the closet out.  I’m not saying that there are such skeletons, but that if there was something potentially embarassing which made an eight year-old boy kill his father, then we will hear all about it soon. 

I was also saddened to learn of the death of Linda Burns (née Wilhelm).  She was such a good lady.  I was happy that she found happiness with a very good man in her later years.  She had to go through quite a lot in her life, what with the death of one of her children and the pain of divorce.  

Yesterday, John and I went down to Daejeon, one of Korea’s metropolitan cities.   A metropolitan city (광역시, gwangyeoksi) is a fully self-governing city.  As such, it is of equal status to the provinces.  Despite being surrounded by the provinces that they were formerly a part of, the cities are answerable to the national government alone.  It would be as if Phoenix was its own state and Arizona had its capital in Flagstaff.  Daejeon still serves as the capital city of South Chungcheong Province, though plans are afoot to eventually move the capital elsewhere in the province.  Gwangju is also has metropolitan city status.  In 2005, the provincial capital of South Jeolla Province was moved out that city of 1.4 million people and relocated to Muan, a city of about the size of Prescott.  Additionally, it is expected that Gwangju International Airport will close and all its air traffic redirected to Muan. 

The reason for going to Daejeon was to attend a special training programme for teachers put on by Little Fox Language Center, Co., Ltd., our parent company.  Because teachers are coming from all across the country, it is a nice, central location for teachers to gather.  So, we headed into Seoul at the ridiculously early hour of 8:30 to catch the bus at the Dong Seoul Terminal. 

The presentation was good and helpful, despite the fact that some of the foreign teachers were rather antagonistic to the presenter.  I am often embarassed by the behaviour of some of the foreigners here, especially those who are foreign English teachers.  Anyhow, it was a good experience.  I was glad to meet up with the presenter again, as I had met him at the last training seminar.

When it was finished, John and I decided that we’d both rather get into Seoul sooner rather than later, so we took Daejeon’s brand new and fantastic subway into Daejeon Station where we caught the KTX high-speed train for Seoul Station.  It took about two hours by bus to go to Daejeon.  Taking the train only took 55 minutes.  There was only one stop at Gwangmyeong Station.  Also, unlike the Honam line (going to Gwangju), much of the area that the KTX covers in the Seoul-Daejeon corridor is pretty flat, so speeds of 300 km/h (186 mph) are regularly and consistently achieved.

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