Jeonju has an abundance of traditional architecture. One of the buildings I really like is the Jeongju Gaeksa, mostly because of the rather unusual calligraphy on the plaque. This building functioned as a royal guest house during the days of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). While some of the other buildings have since been demolished, this one is still around.
The calligraphy is done in a semi-cursive style. Most buildings in Korea bearing calligraphic plaques use more formal styles. I must say that the calligraphy is the thing which initially attracted me to this building.
This morning at Mass, I met a very nice German man. He is the general manager of the Seoul Hilton and President of the Korea Baillage of the Chaine des Rotisseurs, a French gastronomic society with origins in the old royal guilds of goose roasters. He has friends in Jeonju and lectures on tourism at the university in Jeonju every now and then. As an American, I have become somewhat accustomed to hear grousing on the part of foreigners regarding our foreign policy. From his perspective, however, he is very grateful for the Marshall Plan which enabled Germany to recover from the War and enabled him to pursue a career. I’m not terribly accustomed to receiving praise from continental Europeans over the things my country has done in the past. From recent experience, it has generally been a whole lot of grousing over the USA’s interference in the internal affairs of other countries.
I also recently made friends with an investment banker in Jeonju. He spotted me at a restaurant and saw an opportunity to practice his English. He works for Hyundai Securities. In case I decide to do some investing in Korean securities, it is nice to know someone in that field who speaks English.