Carly Bond


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Our last full day in Switzerland

We got up early and ate at a riverside café for breakfast.

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Meeting the locals!

It was a Sunday, which means that most shops and things were closed, so we decided to go hiking instead. We took a bus and went to the nearby Hollgrotten Baar (Hell’s Cave).

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culture

We saw Italy!

We took the advice of one of the girls we had met in our hostel and went to Morecote the next day. We got lost on the way while we were looking for our bus stop and ended up in a small neighborhood in Paradiso for an hour. We walked through narrow alleys between pastel colored houses. It seemed like a nice place to live.

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Modern Art is Weird. Also, Italian Food is Delicious.

We decided to take the scenic route to Lugano, the next city we were staying in. First, we took a train to Luzerne. We had an hour to kill before our boat ride across the lake, so we stopped by a modern art museum e that had some weird exhibits and some really weird exhibits. There were a few that we just thought were stupid, but a few were pretty cool. One we really liked was a room with two guys continuously painting the walls. One painting them white, the other painting them black.

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Last Day in Korea

This will be my final post, concerning our last day in Korea. Kelly and I had the same flight leaving Tuesday evening, so we planned our day carefully. Kelly needed to pick up a tea set in Insadong, so we returned there for the last time and bought our last few souvenirs. We did not want to be sweaty and disgusting for the long plane ride, so we decided to spend our afternoon inside the National Museum of Korea. However, we already felt sweaty just walking back and forth between the museum and the subway!

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Sunday in Seoul; So Much Walking! :)

After grabbing breakfast, Sylvia headed off to the airport to catch her plane while Kelly, Jaeeun, and I went to Myeongdong, another shopping district. While Insadong was more focused on street food and traditional Korean/souvenir type stuff, Myeongdong has more chain stores and focused more on clothes. While we wandered, we saw a Samsung clothing store! Kelly and I exclaimed, “Samsung has a clothing line?!” and Jaeeun replied, “Of course,” and her expression said, “Why wouldn’t they?” I asked her if there was anything Samsung didn’t do, and she couldn’t think of an answer off the top of her head!

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Exploring the Other Side of Seoul, or Walking, Walking, Walking

On Monday we rode the subway a lot. It was pretty cheap, about a dollar to go anywhere in the city. I had not used public transport very much before I came to Korea, so it was interesting to me.

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Last Week

Suddenly it was our last week at GIST and we had many invitations to many delicious meals. First the dean took all of us Caltech students out to lunch. We ate many different delicious dishes. At the end of dinner we had a very interesting porridge. Rice is traditionally cooked in big wide iron pots (from before rice cookers) but some of the rice would adhere to the sides of the pot. In order to clean the pot and to not waste rice, they would pour water into the pot and scrape off the rice to make a porridge. The rice for our meal was served out of a hot iron pot, so they made us a little porridge at the end of the meal. It didn’t have a lot of flavor, but I liked it anyway. It was nice to have something plain and simple after all that spicy food.

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Temple Stay

I noticed this post had a lot of text so I decided to add in pictures of the temple area to break up the text sometimes.

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global

2011 Gyeongju World Culture Expo

After we caught the train to Gyeongju, we took a bus to the fair ground. While we rode the bus, some Korean high school students were laughing at me being a foreigner. This is the only time I was treated less than well for being a foreigner. I think they maybe wanted to practice their English with me because when I stumbled one of them asked if I was okay, so maybe they were just excited to see a foreigner.

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Yay for International Caltech Alums!

On Sunday August 14, Kelly and I took a bus to Daegu, a city several hours east of Gwangju, to visit a Caltech alum. Kyung Ha Lee graduated just last year and taught a year-long Korean class which Kelly had taken. For a snack on our long bus ride, we bought some triangle kimbap from one of the many convenience stores in the bus station. Traditional kimbap is rolled like a sushi roll, but with spam or other cooked meat and vegetables rather than raw fish. The triangle kimbap is cheap, only 800 won (US$0.75) and is actually really tasty even though it is convenience store food. I’ll miss it when I get back to the USA.

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I ate it while it was still alive!

To continue… After lunch, Jaeeun bought some orange chocolates here that Jeju is famed for. I think they are really delicious and you can find variations sold all over the island. They also have a lot of tangerine trees here. The administrators bought some tangerines for us. They were very sweet and delicious.

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The Rest of the Trip (Part 2)

So, to continue… Even though it was very late, we went to a street famous for its many Ddeokbokki (a type of spicy rice cake dish) shops and had another meal. It was yummy, but I had to drink a lot of water because it was so spicy.

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Rural Korea, or More Strange Things That I Have Eaten

We drove down a dirt road to Wonil’s family’s house. It was way out in the countryside, and surrounded by fields of green Korean onions.

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More Interesting Food

After we finished the hike, we went to the beach for an hour. There was a typhoon on its way in, so the beach was roped off, literally. There was yellow caution tape strung along the shoreline. We stood behind the tape, but we could still get our feet wet as the bigger waves came in. One wave was much bigger than we expected, so we got splashed up to our waists!

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global

Mudungsan Mountain

Hey everyone! I’m sorry this post took so long to finish, but work really picked up this week, I began taking a beginning Korean class, and I have finally made some more Korean friends outside the office, which means I do more in the evenings than work and sit in my room. Good for me, but less good for this blog.

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Tea, Giant Bugs, and Stinky Fish

This last weekend was really cool. The dean of GIST, the GIST-Caltech coordinator here, and the president of student affairs drove us four techers and a couple of GIST undergraduates out on a trip. However, when we were first climbing into the van, we saw a gigantic centipede crawling on the ceiling. It was four inches long with a maroon body, red head, and bright orange legs. I had no idea bugs could even be that big! Once that was out of the way, we drove off to the Boseong tea farm. Boseong is a famous area for growing tea. There was a typhoon on its way in from over the sea, so it was very cloudy and rainy. The tea farms in this area cover hills with rows and rows of hedges of tea plants. We hiked up a couple of these hills, but it was so foggy we couldn’t see more than 30 feet in front of our faces. Below is a picture of what the hills look like in the sunlight, compared with the foggy views we had.

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First Impressions

Hi everyone. My name is Carly Bond, and I am a rising junior studying chemical engineering at Caltech. I have been in Gwanju, South Korea for a little over a week. My first impression was that it is very bright. I arrived in Gwanju around midnight, and as we drove to the Gwanju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), I noticed that a lot of the buildings had big neon signs in many colors.

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