Monday, December 21, 2015

Another Nice November

Autumn 2015 was an exceptionally nice one in Seoul, with moderate temperatures averaging in the mid 60's.  I consider that quite perfect for enjoying outdoor activities, including tennis; which season concluded the end of November.  Although we are not a strong team on the court, the group of women I associate with as "Racqueteers" are strong women, and such nice friends.  They provide a welcome diversity of conversation and culture in my life.  Here are a few photos of my tennis friends taken at an end-of-season luncheon at the home of our captain, Kristin.


The colors of fall always amaze me as they set Namsan mountain a blaze with their brilliance.  I love the view from our apartment!

We took several families from our church group in Incheon on a little tour of Seoul one Saturday.  Unfortunately, much of the area from City Hall down to the Blue House was blocked off by thousands of police barricades, while 80,000 or so Koreans gathered to protest several proposed laws.  Although it is quite common to see protesters in Seoul (they love to protest everything!), it was quite a sight and unquestionably the largest protest we have seen while here in Korea.  One of the main concerns was legislation which would require exclusive use of a standardized history book in all the schools. The police were shooting water cannons to subdue the crowds and several people actually died or were hospitalized during the rally.

On a more pleasant note, we did get to walk along Cheonggyecheon Stream where the lantern festival was being held.  Each year they seem to add a few new elements to the colorful display, and this year seemed to showcase a lot of sculptures and artwork alongside the glowing lanterns.  To get a sense of scale, consider that most of the displays and characters shown are larger than life.  It is beautiful display, although difficult to fully enjoy with crowds pressing in from every angle along the pathway.

  A few of our friends stopped to have their caricatures drawn by some talented art students.  

November is a time of thanksgiving, and our hearts grow in gratitude daily for the blessings we enjoy in Korea.  Foremost are the people in our lives.  In addition to friends at church, work and play, we are thankful for the kindness of the Korean people, who are generally anxious to help us in so many ways.  In the spirit of thanksgiving, I will highlight a few more of my Seoul blessings:

Unique architecture, such as the central post office which looks like a zipper.
The best subway system in the world!
Neon lights - because we all need a little more color in our lives.
Grocery store freebies taped to our purchases.
Guides for living ...
And daily doses of laughter!

And there are more blessings to be found in our home . . .

Love our entryway shoe closet!
Who wouldn't want these huge double-decked drawers in the kitchen? 
Individual remote-controlled ceiling air conditioning units in every room. 
Keyless entry!
Our "virtual" fireplace, which warms my soul each winter..

But my most appreciated blessings will be featured in my next post.  Come see my favorite Thanksgiving Treats!

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