South Korea Travel Journal

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We spent Friday wandering around another remote town - Hahoe folk village - which is one of two places Queen Elizabeth visited when she came to Korea.  The town is built in concentric circles, with crisscrossing walls separating dormitories and family rooms.  The town felt like a labyrinth - high walls and no noise - with a wishing tree at the heart of everything. 

Our guide took us to see a traditional tea ceremony, performed by two women who explained the whole process to us as we drank.  Always two hands on the cup, one in front, one below; when you’re done set the cup down without making any noise.  We had chrysanthemum tea and cookies for binding friendships.  

When we got back to Daegu, my cousin took us on a bicycle tour of the city, through the back alleyways and garden paths that tourists don’t traditionally see.  It felt like a secret art tour, because many of the walls were painted or decorated, whether the paintings were the size of handprints or doorways.  My cousin is the editor in chief of a magazine, and the bike tour is a part of his monthly routine, traveling between tiny cafes and service doors to restaurants to give his magazine to people all around the city. 

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