The last closing month of getting a proposal out is always 24/7 – so only had 4 days off in August and finished up with some all nighters. All good, 3 days with Annelise on her move in and swinging back through DC to see Sharon and a day trip in Korea to Nami Island. But our negotiations were only the second most important in South Korea during this period (to me anyway), a big issue (to outsiders anyway) was the flare up with North Korea. The South Koreans generally don’t know or care. A couple of examples:
• All males must serve in the military – you are given an M-16 when you leave to store at a police station or reserve station to go get if North Korea invades. No one was remotely considing mobilizing. Many had no idea if their gun was even operable as it had been a while since they had gone in for shooting practice.
• I get text alerts for hot weather, air quality, and national emergency drills – but nothing on this.
• Most Korean TV had no change, but one station was constant panic with a picture of Kim Jong Un in front of a mushroom cloud.
• On Sunday, traffic going back into Seoul was a bad as ever from people taking day trips to beach, lakes, and mountains.
So as we were working on the Saturday evening of the invasion deadline, one of the guys said “It is almost 5pm, we should order pizza now”. I paraphrased for dramatic effect in the title. What was a little concerning was that we were told that we were ground zero for an attack – not a government facility but Samsung HQ. People are not worried because this is an annual event and the people see as blackmail – most were very happy that the “deal” was not the South giving them something but just stopping the propaganda blasted on loud speakers.
Joseon Dynasty Royal Tombs
The one day off I had a trip to Joseon Dynasty Royal Tombs and Nami Island (in a lake, not the ocean). I was deemed “King” at the Royal Tombs to demonstrate the bowing process. I had assumed my subjects would be bowing to me – but I had to go through a 6 or 7 stage process to bow to my “royal ancestors” instead. Interesting life of a King – only three wives, not more than one at a time, and no divorce. That leaves one option for a transition plan. Limited to 8 concubines as well.
I think I got a compliment – at the end of the day the tour guide had everyone guess one persons age – the lady selected to guess my age said that at the first of the day she would have guessed 50, but after the day watching me ride a bike on some trails and steep sections on the island she said “mid-30’s with sun damage”. I will take it.
Some Other Highlights
From Weeks 83-85 – Invasion is in 30 minutes– we should order pizza in. Posted by JC Travels on 8/30/2015 (12 items)