Friday, 12 March 2021

KOREA: KIM CHI AND DINOSAUR TRACKS

Many years ago, I was touring with a Canadian/Norwegian company that sold log homes to Japanese and Korean buyers eager to have a taste of the traditional Scandinavian aesthetic mixed with West Coast style. 

The opportunity to travel throughout Asia was very compelling and I am grateful to this day for those early trips as it has changed so much over the years. At the time, I was young and willing to work for my living allowance. No actual monies came my way, but my food, travel and accommodation were all taken care of.  

I had always thought I chosen for my language skills. It was years later, upon looking at old photographs, that it dawned on me why I had been chosen. I would stand at the front of the room flipping large photographs of log homes during afternoon presentations. At the end of the presentation, I would bow and present a bottle of maple syrup to each of the honoured guests. Yup, I was a Canadian/Norwegian Vanna White doing much the same task, only in budding Japanese. Konichiwa! 

This photograph was taken on a trip to Seoul, Korea, where we were meeting up with wholesalers and business folk eager to expand their networks. I spend a lovely afternoon visiting and enjoying a sizzling hot barbeque complete with beetles — meep, yes, beetles — and ample kimchi. Some of the staff agreed to join me outside for a photograph. As we posed, I thought how sweet the girls were in their traditional garb and how little they looked, delicate and certainly much shorter than me. Upon seeing the final photographs, however, I was shocked to realize I was shorter than all but one. Apparently, I am taller in my mind's eye. 

While in Korea, I did get to see some of their impressive Cretaceous dinosaur trackways, one of which is now proposed as a World Heritage Site. South Korea also boasts impressive trackways of shorebirds and bountiful petrified wood. Sadly, I do not have any photographs of those finds to share with you. I have included coordinates for a few sites well worth a visit. 

Fossil Sites of Korea: Uhang-ri, Hwangsan-myeon, Haenam-gun, Jeollanam-do: (34°45' N, 126°25' E) Bibong-ri, Deungnyang-myeon, Boseong-gun, Jeollanam-do: (34°45' N, 127°10' E) Sado-ri, Hwajeong-myeon, City of Yeosu, Jeollanam-do: (34°34'-37' N, 127°31'-34' E) Seoyu-ri, Buk-myeon, Hwasun-gun, Jeollanam-do: (35°09'51" N, 127°36'31" E) Deongmyeong-ri, Hai-myeon, Goseong-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do: (34°54' N, 128°08' E)