Back to Korea
After a long wait I got the call to go back to Korea. Same job different month.
My little boy cried his eyes out when I left him at the airport. It broke my heart. Sometimes we have to do things for a reason. In this case I am telling myself that at least I will be able to spend all of his school holidays over Easter and take him to the UK to visit his family there. Not all dads can be with their kids all through their school holidays. I am certainly looking forward to that. I miss him though and it hurts.
Last time I missed Dani’s birthday. This time I will miss his mum’s. Timing eh?
The Long Haul…
This time my flight took me via Tokyo Narita airport. I hadn’t noticed when it was booked but I had 9 hours between flights at this airport. Too ling I thought Especially after already having spent the previous 16 hours travelling. I decided to take advantage of that long stop-over and leave the airport. Tokyo would have been too far and too big to try and see or do anything in such a short time so Narita city – only 10 minutes on the train – was the obvious choice.
As it turns out Narita has something worth seeing that be done in such a short time. There is the Naritasan temple. The official name is Naritasan Kongo-o-in Shinshuji temple and it was founded way back in the year 940 by Shingon Buddhists. Well more a precinct of temples and halls set in picturesque park area. These include a three-storied pagoda, the 58 metre high Great Pagoda of Peace and many others.
There were all sorts of spiritual rituals going on around me and I had no idea what it was all about. Everything in the reception buildings was in Japanese.
The old road that leads from the station to the temple is itself pat of the old world experience with many shops and restaurants in building that would once have been typical in all Japanese cities.
Much better than staying in an airport this was a great first experience of Japan. Although I had heard it many times I was still amazed how clean the streets are. Not one spot of litter.
Another thing I had heard, and read, was that they drive on the right side of the road. ‘Right’ as in correct. Yes; they drive on the left just as in the UK. Now I have seen it with my own eyes.
Meanwhile Back in Korea
That little Japan experience is now three days behind me and despite the jetlag and lack of sleep catching up with me I am settling back into the Korea
I had forgotten how hot & spicy the food is here. Even many of the cold dishes that could be part of a salad are red hot. After a couple of days though the body adjusts.
The weather is not hot though. Colder than the last visit. That does not stop the Koreans at the shipyard having an ice cream after dinner. The shop below the canteen does a great trade in a wide variety of frozen treats.
Maybe that has something to do with the spicy food. Maybe I should join them.
Peace and Hostilities
Meanwhile the eyes of the world will be on South Korea. The winter Olympics is due to start in a week. Not that I will see any of it as I will be working.
There appears to be a big love-in with North and South Korea fielding a joint “team”. But what after? What are the chances of hostilities resuming once the games are over? Watch this space…