Saturday, November 19, 2011

Villages, Mountains and Buses

In my haste to post my last blog, I managed to forget a very important story. As we were buying our return bus tickets, I'm minding my own business paying for my ticket, when suddenly, I am being elbowed out of the way by a short elderly woman. Apparently she felt no need to follow line rules. The lady at the counter yelled at her in Korean. I do not need to understand Korean to know that she was saying "Wait your turn, crazy woman."

Just a forewarning, if this post is incomprehensible, it is due to the horrific cold I have caught from one of my students that is making me live in a fog of illness. You know what I mean. I have also discovered that I am sick in Seoul, it leads to excessive eye-watering. I have no idea what that's about. When I was sick at the end of September, it happened, too...I had a student ask me today if I was crying. And I'm sure my Korean teacher thought I was weeping in frustration on Friday when I was feeling frustrated and my eyes chose that exact moment to water excessively. How embarrassing.

Anyway, back to Andong.

We bought some waffles across the street, then took a cab to Hahoe Village. According to someone in our group, who will not be mentioned, the Hahoe Village was very close and would be a cheap cab ride. It was extremely far away and cost 30,000 won. ($30). Oops.

Here's some information about the village: It is a (very) traditional village. Apparently it dates back to the Joseon Dynasty (16th Century). According to Wikipedia, it is a "one-clan community. The village is notable because it has preserved many of its original structures, such as the village Confucian school and other buildings, and maintains folk arts such as the Hahoe Mask Dance Drama, which is a shamanist rite honoring the communal spirits of the village." (Random story: My students told me that when they visit the graves of their family members, they pray to them. They also poor Soju (a very strong Korean alcohol) onto the grave, because the dead family members like drinking Soju)

We arrived at the Hahoe Village. It is very picturesque:

We didn't find that til a bit later, though. First, we arrived here:
Me taking creepy pictures of the children as usual.

We bought our entrance tickets, then walked the wrong direction through all the fake-really cool buildings and about 2 minutes later accidentally exited the area. While looking at our map, we realized that the village was rather large and we might be in the wrong spot. So we asked for directions, then hiked our way along a beautiful path on our way to the river. Along the way we saw this interesting trash can:

Look how picturesque the path is!

Just kidding, look here:

No, really, it actually was picturesque.

After approximately a mile of me getting my shoes very dirty and tripping a lot, we arrived at the village, which was in an extremely beautiful location, so of course I took tons of pictures:

Oh, I forgot to tell you, people still live here. In droves. It would be very difficult to live in a place that people come to visit all the time, but there they were, with their shoes and belongings outside, living in houses, going about their farming and daily lives, while we looked in all their windows.

Ok, we didn't look in their windows, but practically.

We wandered about, taking pictures of all the interesting, historical buildings. We also went over to the river and took pictures again. My pictures are a little out of order, but they're still cool and you can still see all the interesting things. Here is my commentary:

Here's some rice pots. Perhaps they were actually alcohol pots. I cannot be sure.
Here's a giant swing.
A cool rock.

Me standing awkwardly at a door. And again at a staircase. With my purse.
A cool flower.
Rice-wine bottles, I believe
Even after all my pictures, I have absolutely no idea what that plant is, but I think it's rice.

We wandered until the sun was setting, then took the bus back to the bus station to head home. I planned on napping on the way home again, but was wide awake for some reason. It might have been my inability to stay awake on the way there. Oops. Oh and we got some food at the station:

Doesn't that all sound appetizing?


  1. LOVE the pictures ... so glad you could get out and explore.

  2. You are certainly exploring the area. Thanks for sharing all the photos, it really helps to see the area and how people live. You are making the world open to us here!!! Thanks.