Dated 8 May.
Family and Friends:
This one won't be so much in diary form as a lot happened but not every day.
I'll start off with the Army side of the house. As I think I stated before, the new uniforms are out for the Army. They are a sandy camouflage with Velcro to stick your rank, badges, US flag, etc. on it. The soldiers have told me that they are way easier to take care of then the "old" green "tree" cammies. No more dry cleaning and starching. Don't even have to press them. Much more comfortable to wear also. The boots don't have to be polished to a mirror shine and are tan
coloured. Over all a great improvement. I understand the Air Force will be going to this type of uniform also, but in blue camouflage. As a matter of fact - one of the pictures I took of the
Honour Guard show a blue BDU (Battle Dress Uniform). The Army still does training every Thursday morning - so everything is pretty much closed down then, unless civilians or other services are working there. The military is also allowing black backpacks to be used which is very handy here as only E-6's and above are allowed to drive - so everything is carried in these that is needed for the day. I'm not using one as my purse holds a lot and I don't have to do PT - which my hips are very thankful for. Yes, I'm feeling the pain as I'm doing a lot more walking and climbing then I'm used too. Thank God for Advil!!!!!! Most of the tours here are for 1 year (called short tours) unless you elect to bring your dependents here. Also they have an additional incentive (not sure what it is called right now) that if you elect to extend your tour for another year or two then you get an additional $300-$400 a month (tax free I think). Lots of people do this and one of the reasons if that it will keep them out of Iraq!!!!!!
One of this things that happened this week was a riot where the new post is supposed to be by Osan AFB. When you read the attached - start from the bottom and work your way up. The gist of it is (or how it was explained to me) is that the Seoul Govt decided that they wanted their land back but don't want us to leave (Hmmmmmm). So the US Govt bought land down by Osan AFB. Now after the land was bought - "squatters" moved in. There is a "small" law here that if
the rice grows to a certain size, then the land belongs to the squatters, the Korean military went in and forcibly moved the people out before the rice got to that certain size. This area is off-limits to our military and dependents. The US doesn't really want any of our faces showing up in the news because the Koreans down there are very unhappy with us - so we are letting the Korean Govt take care of it. In other words - A Big F*****ng Mess!!!!!!!!
The weather here is so Seattle!!!!!! with "yellow stuff". [Dust & pollution
from the Gobi Desert] My allergies have never been so bad. This is the forecast that came down from the military as a warning:
"Destructive Weather May 5-7 - The current weather forecast indicates an impending rainfall of over 4" within a 24-hour period, with maximum accumulations as high as 7", during the period of 5-7 May 06. Localized thunderstorms or flash flooding may occur and disrupt operations and endanger life & property."
I forgot to bring my "duck feet". I was suppose to go with my Sponsor and his Korean wife on a tour today and also to see a Korean play called "Jump", but not sure if that will happen. It is 1230 now and I still haven't heard from them, so I'll see!!!! Really is too wet to go out. Tomorrow, Sunday
7th, I'm going with Capt Rees (my Supervisor) to Osan AFB. It is quite a bit bigger then
Yongsan. I'm planning on doing all my Christmas shopping here as I want to get unique gifts and also I can mail for free to the US from here. That means that everyone will get their gifts early, but have told them to just put them away until Dec. Hope they don't forget. There is a mail service here called MP (no don't know what it stands for) but one can mail free - on a stand-by basis and it takes a little longer, but that's okay as these are Christmas gifts. :>)
Well I got a surprise this week. We have a 4-day weekend May 26-29. Rodney wasn't going to tell me, but am glad he did. He is coming on the 25th and staying till I leave on Jun 2nd. He got a really good plane rate. We will stay in the Marriott off-post (the Dragon Hill is full that weekend) till Monday and then move to the Dragon Hill for the rest of the week. The military will pay for the Thursday and Friday night, we will pay for Sat-Sun and then at the Dragon Hill, the military will pay for the rest of the week. I have arranged that we will take a
Han River Dinner Cruise on Friday night. It is supposed to be beautiful. Rodney really wanted to see the DMZ (so do I) but the only day that we (together) can go is the day we leave which worked out fine. We will catch the bus at 0730 and be back here by 1600, then catch the bus to Incheon Airport for our 2000 flight. I also have a tour (if it isn't
cancelled) next Sunday for the Korean Folk Village. Maj Horne (another co-worker) has told me that next Sat or the following week she will take me to the commissary (clear across post-would need to take a taxi) so that I can buy some goodies to ship home for myself and my American friend Anna. I will try not to go hog wild and just get little stuff, but..........
This Govt Credit Card is a pain in the ass. I haven't been paid yet, but Bank of America wants their money up front by May 16th for the first week I was here and had to stay in the Dragon Hill for 3 days plus food. The Dragon Hill is $206 a night plus took out $100 for food. I ended up going into my personal loan account at BECU and transferring money to the checking account so Rodney can pay the bill. If you are late making a payment - all "hell" breaks loose or so I'm told. Sure don't want to find out!!!! We, of course (I hope) will get all our money back, but I really feel for the individuals that don't have a money back-up. I haven't seen the plane tickets on the bill yet - thank God cuz there is no way we could pay that right now. I really liked the old way better when everything was taken care of at the end of the tour!!!! Yes more paperwork, but still.......
Not much more to say right now. Will finish this tomorrow night and will tell about the Korean play (if I go) and about Osan AFB.
It's Sunday and I had a wonderful day. Didn't go to the Korean Play as the individuals I was going with never called (said had wrong cell #) and then they showed up a 6 pm. By then I was too tired and it was too wet out. Got up early and met a friend to go to Osan AFB with. It was great and I picked up some great Christmas presents. She took me back to her apartment and the view is wonderful of the
Han River - big but very dirty!!!!!. The sun was out and it was actually warm. The pictures of buildings going up are in preparation for when the military moves in two years to Pyeongtaek. Korea wants to make Osan a mini-Seoul!!!! Well not much more to say except it was a great day and am very relaxed. Have to go and pick up my uniform now from the cleaners and get ready for work tomorrow.
Force Protection Advisory
anticipate large scale civil gatherings will occur vicinity
, Eagle and Long. Demonstrations are in protest of recent government actions to
acquire land for US forces.
conducting official business, all USFK Service Members are advised to stay away
from Camps Humphreys, Eagle and Long on 14 and 15 May 06. SOFA status
dependents, DOD civilians, and DOD-invited contractors are encouraged to abide
by warnings and off limit areas.
warnings and restrictions from Areas III and IV to include off limit areas.
Force Protection Advisory
anticipates a large scale civil gathering will occur at Gwangu Air Base, Gwangu
on 14 May from 0900 to 1500hours to express anti-US sentiments. Several groups
have attempted to link the 1980 Gwangu incident to recent actions at
. The Gwangu incident occurred in 1980 four months after a coup and elevation of
military rule. Korean citizens began protesting which turned violent resulting
in numerous protestors/demonstrators injuries ranging from a few hundred to
thousands. Conflicting signals by US officials at the time led Korean citizens
to believe the
conspired in the coup.
year, at the end of the gathering, 100 riot policemen were slightly injured by
thrown rocks; five National Police Agency (NPA) vehicles were damaged and thirty
riot police companies were deployed to
personnel are reminded to avoid all large scale civil gatherings and be vigilant
during this weekend as protests are anticipated in Gwangu at Gwangu Air Base’s
main gate. SOFA status dependents, DOD civilians, and DOD-invited contractors
are encouraged to abide by this Force Protection Advisory.
Maj Horne got a ticket for making a u-turn on a green light. You can only do that on a Red light. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm $65,000 won or about $67. Ouch!!!!!
For Mother’s Day April sent me pictures of Duncan giving me Lilacs, which are my favorite flower. That was the best present she could have given me and that she remembered the flowers.
She and Kay (Michael’s Grandma) have been teasing me about this for a couple of years now. When I moved from Arizona, my Mom gave me a small Christmas cactus. It only bloomed once in the 9 years I had it – though it did grow big. I admit that I have a brown/black thumb!!!! Anyway, when I was getting ready to move to OZ, I gave the plant to April. Within a month the stupid plant started to bloom!!!!! It loved the corner of the kitchen that they put it in. So to make a long story short – they just sent me a picture last week and the stupid thing is blooming again!!! Humpf!!!!!!
Well they certainly do things differently here. For the Memorial Day weekend, instead of having Friday-Monday off, I’ll have Saturday-Tuesday off. That works out really well for me as Rodney will be here on that Thursday night (next week – Yeah me!) and offices will be open on Friday so I can get him an ID card and some other things that he needs as my dependent. I’ve had to explain to him though, that as my dependent – he is under the same restrictions as I am, i.e., no rental car – he will have to walk everywhere, take a taxi or the subway. I haven’t tried the subway yet due to the fact that I’m directionally challenged and with my luck I’d end up in North Korea!!!! He will also have to abide by the curfew, rationing, etc. As he has never been in the military or “gone” with anyone military – this will be a new experience for him. See – I’m teaching him all sorts of things in his 50’s!!!!!! I did get permission for him to stay in the barracks with me but we have opted to stay in the JW Marriott. The military will pay for two nights and we’ll have to pay for the weekend. We move to the Dragon Hill on that Monday. It would have saved us money for him to stay with me, (and he could have woken up to the wonderful Army music of people “singing” as they did their PT run in the mornings!!!!) but in the evenings there wouldn’t have been much to do, can’t hook up computers to the internet, etc. Also I would have felt uncomfortable with him there. The room mates and I tolerate each other. I think it is because I am an older, white SrA and they are “young” things. What ever – only have to deal with them for 1-1/2 weeks. :>)
Well the wireless in my 'puter isn’t working correctly. It connects but keeps falling off which is extremely frustrating – so Rodney is checking my e-mails on the weekends and we are keeping in touch at work and on the phone. Maybe he can fix it when he arrives. We are also thinking of buying me a new one cuz the old one is 5 years old. Also there is no sales tax at the BX. I love this old one though, but there is a little part of me that wants a new one too with all the “goodies”. We’ll discuss it when he gets here.
It is raining again today. This weather is really weird. Sunny and humid one day, then rainy and humid the next. Luckily I only have to decide what to wear on the weekends. The rest of the week I look like a tree!!!!
The Chaplain came into the office today and was telling us about North Korea. His friend, who is a Dr, is allowed to go back and forth there. I don’t know if he is a civilian Dr. or a military one. Anyway – to take baths, they fill a big wooden round tub with a little cold water and then just heat one bucket full of warm water – mix together and several people use it. Something like taking baths in the “Old West” in the US. Where most people save children from starvation – they let the old people die first, and then the adults, then the kids so there are hundreds of orphans there. (The above sentence didn’t make sense to me, but I didn’t know how to explain it better. I guess what I’m saying is that kids usually are the first to go, then older people, then adults) Lots of sickness – especially TB. It is absolutely filthy and there are very few trees – they’ve all been cut down. Not much heating and electricity very poor. I don’t know if it is like this all over North Korea but in the area the Dr. goes, it is. But from what I’ve seen here in South Korea – it is healthier but the streets are filthy with trash, dirt and some things I don’t want to even think about. I was very surprised at the waste. How to put this tactfully – Like an area where you own a nice car, lots of techy stuff, but live in an icky house and dirty yard. Everything here is meshed together – worse then San Francisco’s closeness of buildings and there is a lot of expansion going on here.
We will be going to the DMZ on the day we leave. Our plane doesn’t leave until 2000 and we will return by 1600. We have decided that even if we have to pay $60 for a taxi, it will be worth it as how often do you get to see something like this? The town around the DMZ is a propaganda town – so the shots that Rodney takes, will not be the real deal.
Not much happened except working, eating and sleeping. Weather hazy and river really stinks!!!
Last Friday, May 5th was Children’s Day and today is Parent’s Day. Children’s Day is special. Actually, it’s something essential here. Fathers, and increasingly mothers, work a lot. Children spend their days at school and their afternoons and nights at learning institutes. They don’t get much sleep or play time and very little time outside. It’s kind of sad really. So last Friday was the day for kids….most families spend time outside or going somewhere the kids would liked.
Today is Parent’s Day. It’s not a national holiday where you would have the day off unless you want to take leave? It’s tradition to give red carnations. Military are encouraged to celebrate with their Korean families.
Today I went to the Chosun Gift Shop on Post to finish my Xmas shopping. The Chosun Gift Shop is the main fundraiser for AFSC. Run by volunteers, the Chosun offers a wide variety of items from throughout the Far East such as jewelry, linens, furniture, and rugs. The profits raised from the Chosun are donated to both Korean and American projects. I was able to find something for almost everyone at a very reasonable price and they are the “Real McCoy” also. Love shopping for others.
I took the USO tour today (very nice bus) to the Korean Folk Village which is about 40 k’s from here. Below will tell you a little about it . This town is a real town and the “inhabitants” really live like they did years ago. Children included. I’ve sent pictures to Rodney with explanations under them for the website. The most interesting one to me was the spinning of silk from live, then cooked silkworm cocoons. Please take a look again at our website in a few days, and then I’m sure he’ll have them up.
purpose of establishment and history
, which was opened on the 3rd October, 1974, as an open-air folk museum
and international tourist attraction for both Korean and foreign
visitors. It is the home of the true Korean heritage where many features
of the Korean culture have been collected and preserved for succeeding
generations to see and learn about.
traditional marketplace offers the exotic flavors of Korean cuisine from
various regions. Shops stock a variety of traditional handicrafts and
souvenirs. ¡°Farmers¡¯ Music and Dance¡± and ¡°Acrobatics on a
Tightrope¡± are performed in the performing arena twice a day. In
spring, autumn and on big holidays, traditional holiday customs and
ceremonies of coming-of-age, marriage, funeral and ancestor memorial are
situation and Value
in a natural environment occupying approximately 243
acres, visitors can experience the authentic
atmosphere with over 260 traditional houses
reminiscent of the late Joseon Dynasty including
various household goods from the different regions.
All these features have been relocated and restored to
provide visitors with a general view of Korean food,
clothing, and housing style of a past era.
about twenty workshops, various handicrafts such as
pottery, baskets, winnows, bamboo wares, wooden wares,
paper, brass wares, knots, fans, musical instruments,
iron wares and embroidery are practiced. In the
, where the customs and lifestyles of past generations
of Korean have been faithfully maintained without
impairment, various lifestyles prevalent during the
Joseon Dynasty can be experienced.
can visit the
and Art Museum (scheduled to open) to see and learn
about the essence of Korean culture and folk customs
which are not suitable for display and re-creating in
the open-air setting.
will be some more info that I found: We got to see an actual
Korean Wedding. We didn’t get to stay for the whole thing but
pictures are on our website. Sorry if this gets too long but there
is SO much to share with you.
For many years, human beings wear clothes for the purpose of
protection from cold weather, convenience for working and
artistic expressions of one's thought. People were using
leaves or skins of animals to cover their important parts or
show their social rank until the weaving skill was prevailed.
Korean people started to live in settlement with the
introduction of agriculture. Ka-rak-ba-quy, which was designed
to cut the thread, was excavated in one of the remains of the
Neolithic age. This is the clear evidence that Korean people
wore clothes made of hemp, cotton and woolen cloth since the
Neolithic age though they were primitive.
to the clear four seasons and temperature difference, Korean
wore warm clothes like woolen cloth and silk fabrics in the
cold winter, hemp and ramie in the hot and sultry summer.
the period of the Three States men wore pants with wide
trouser and jacket down to hip line. Women wore wide long
skirt down to ankle and jacket as well. Men in the period of
he Three states wore a plume in the head, head-cover and a
coronet. Women did their hair up in a chignon. Unmarried
singles were wearing their hair in braids. In Goryeo dynasty,
men wore hempen hood and singles were also wearing their hair
the late Goryeo dynasty, Mun Ik-jeom brought cotton bud from
. In southern part of
, cotton farming was prevailed. This mass production of cotton
brought radical change of people's costume style. They could
wear cotton padding clothes in the cold winter. In the late
Goryeo period, men were wearing 'Hek-rip' and 'Bang-gat' when
they went out. In Joseon period adult men usually tied topknot
of their hair and wore headband made of horsehair and wore the
traditional cylindrical Korean hat (Gat) on top. It was
sometime after the 19 century when Korean women did their hair
up in a chignon commonly. It seems that there had been not
much of a change on women's hair styling since Goryeo period
until the enlightenment period of late Joseon.
the commoners wore hemp and cotton in the summer, cotton in
the spring and fall, padded cotton clothes in the cold winter.
On the other hand, wealthy people could afford to wear hemp
and ramie cloth in the summer, padded silk clothes with cotton
or fur stuffed in the winter. Nobleman wore bootees even in
the summer and wore hemp-cord sandals or leather shoes.
Commoners wore straw sandals in bare feet. They covered the
top with rain-gear and wore sabots.
the late period of Joseon, men used to wear jackets and women
did wear vests when they were in their rooms. As going out,
men wore fur hood and women wore 'Jo-ba-wui'or 'A-yam'. When
noblemen went out, they accoutered with 'Do-po' and 'Hek-rip'.
Women wore 'Jang-ot' to cover their faces when they went our
and tried to avoid eye contact when they encountered men.
procedure to wear men's clothes properly is, wear pants first
and belt, then wear bootees and wrap his legs with putties.
Wear jacket, vest and outer coat over it. They wore Korean
overcoat (Duru-magi) when the went out and wore full dress
attire when they attend formal ceremonies. Usually tied
topknot of their hair and wore headband made of horsehair and
wore the traditional cylindrical Korean hat (Gat) on top.
Commoners wore straw sandals and nobleman wore leather shoes
or hemp-cord sandals.
clothing procedure is wrap their bosom with bands then wear
petticoat and underskirt on top and wear skirt with jacket.
They wore trinkets on the coat string and wore vest or coat.
When they went out, wore long hood. Commoners wore straw
sandals and noblemen wore hemp-cord sandals or leather shoes
with some ornaments.
wore an official outfit, a leather belt, Samo, leather shoes
and hop band on the wrists on the day of wedding. Bride wore
flower bootees and ornamented leather shoes and wore royal
court dress. Bride also wore all sorts of beautiful ornaments
on her hair and wore make up with red spots in the forehead
food is extremely spicy and it is not unusual to be talking to a Korean
and they smell heavily of garlic!!!! You just get used to it.
There are some evidence that people cooked their food using fire from
long time ago as far as the Paleolitic stone age and the Neolitic age.
The cauldron in the Neolitic age was made of clay which had downside
that tast and smell of clay was carried by cooked food within.
Therefore it is presumed that they didn't boiled food in that clay pot
but steamed their food with an earthenware steamer. In the prehistoric
time, seafood and meat were staples, but as agricultural life is
settled, rice and other grains supplanted meat and fish. Vegetables,
fish and meats became side dish.
cooking methods like today began from the Bronze age and an iron
cauldron was introduced in the Iron age. The slightly burned rice in
the bottom of the cauldron is called 'Noorung-ji' and boiled 'noorung-ju'
with water is 'Sung-nyung'. Korean table setting's distinctive feature
is all dishes are to be set all together at once. When they eat meal,
using spoon and chopsticks. In some special days they ate rice but
normally mixed rice with barley was common because rice was relatively
rice bowl on the left, and soup bowl on the right with side dishes in
front of them. Normally used only right hand to eat their food with
spoon and chopsticks. There is no fixed sequence of eating meal, but
in general they eat food which placed close first. One thing to
remember about table manner is pick up your spoon or chopsticks only
after elderly person start eating. Normally 'Sung-nyung' comes last at
meal. Women prepared foods in the kitchen and carried the table to the
room. This was possible because the table is just big enough to carry.
After the meal, the one who prepared the foods carried the table back
to the kitchen. After elders finished eating, juniors and women ate
with what's left over.
foods differed from season to season, the economic status and
housewife's cooking skill. Traditionally, Korean ate hot soup, pot
stew, grilled foods and Kim chi in winter. Cold soup, hard-boiled food
and lettuce wrapped rice in summer. As agricultural life began to
settling and Buddhism prevailed in the Three States period, fish and
meat consumption declined gradually, but started increased from the
late Joseon. These days, Korean usually eat soup, stew, boild dish,
grilled and fried dish of beef, pork, chicken, seafood and many kinds
of Kimchi and others.
people enjoy drinking grain wine and distilled liquor called 'So-ju'
especially in the summer. For some special occasions, 'Cheongju' was
used. Commoners usually had 'Makgeolli', which is raw rice wine.
Nobleman drank 'So-ju' and 'Yak-ju'. Traditional Korean drinks are 'Sikhye',
'Sujeonggwa' and 'Hwa-che'. Tea was enjoyed mostly by nobleman, clergy
and the royal family. Wealthy people ate snacks such as 'Gangjeong', 'Yakgwa',
'Yoo Kwa'and wheat-gluten candy etc. in winter and fruits during the
spring and fall.
people ate three meals a day with some exceptions of hard labor
workers such as farmers. Labor workers ate three regular meals and
three eating between meals. The 'Saecham' in the past were mostly
traditional foods such as 'Sikhye', 'Sujeonggwa' and 'Hwa-che',
potato, sweet potato, noodles and 'Bibim-bab', but these days, Korean
eat soft drinks, milk, bread, instant noodles and rice roll etc.
long time ago, human being lived in a shelter lie natural cave or on a
hill to protect themselves from cold weather or enemy's attack.
Primitive man lived by hunting and collecting, but since the Neolithic
age, agriculture allowed people to settle down and live in a dugout
hut. They make 'Dugout hut by digging up the ground and a live
charcoal pot was in the middle of it and finished the floor with mud.
early style of the dugout house was in depth of 2~3 feet, but from the
bronze age, the depth of the hut became shallow and Korean started
living in 'Han-ok' from the Three States period.
used 'On-dol' as a heating system to heat the floor for the cold
winter and 'wooden floor to cool off the hot and sultry summer.
Naturally, On-dol technology was well developed in the cold northern
and the wooden floor was developed in southern
. These two are the most distinguished features of 'Han-ok' The
building materials to build 'Han-ok' were easy to acquire from natural
surroundings such as wood, clay and stone etc. They used wood for the
frame and roof. They plastered wall and floor with clay and peddle
stone mixed materials and the floor was finished with clay and thick
paper on top. Most furniture was made of wood. Bedding was mattress
and quilt that could be folded.
housing site was normally chosen where hill at the back side of the
house and near water. This was to block the cold wind from the north
and easy to cultivate the lands. Korean preferred the house facing
south and placed main entrance in the east or south side of the house.
The border with neighbors were shallow walls and planted fruits trees
in and out of the house.
usually lived in the cold winter with heating through 'Agungi' and
they enjoyed the wooden floor in the hot summer.
the exception of the main gate, all doors open outwards from the
inside. The enter the room, step up the terrace stones and through the
wooden floor. Guests were normally escorted to the detached room
called 'Sarang-bang'. Host sits on 'Araetmok' and guests sits on 'Wit-mok'
in general. For Korean people lived agrarian life for long time,
wealthy farm houses have main wing, detached wing, jar stand, well,
stable, pigsty, chicken cage and kennel etc. toilet was in the remote
corner of the yard.
you walk in the house through the main gate, you can see 'main wing'
and 'detached wing' normally 'main wing' is placed higher place than
detached wing. Commoners' house normally had straw roof and there was
no separate wing for man and woman. They lived under the same roof
instead. On the contrary, wealthy people's house had tiled roof and
main wing and detached wing were separated for man and woman and they
also had a shrine.
main living room of they wealthy people's house had wardrobe, drawers
and chest of drawers. In the 'Sarang-bang', there were wardrobe,
drawers for clothes, cedar chest for valuables and drug chest. In the
'Sarang-bang' of a scholar's house had book shelves and a writing
table and in the 'Sarang-bang' of an illustrious official's house had
squared table and stationery chest. In the 'Maru' there were 'Dwiju'
and wooden box for valuables and documents. 'Dwiju' , a safe and
granary were in the store room. All kinds of cooking utensils, bowls,
pantry, water basket and firewood are in the kitchen.
Korean society has the notion that distinction between the sexes.
Because of this, when men and women encountered they tried to avoid
facing each other. In the nobleman's house, even husband and wife were
using separate room unless they were doing sexual activity for
reproduction. Traditionally, women dominated the kitchen because men
hardly cooked or washed the dishes. However, in the commoner's house,
the tradition of distinction between man and woman was not as strict
as that of noblemen's.
beginning of agriculture in Korean peninsula is from the neolethic
age. In those days, people live by the river and live their lives by
hunting and collecting. They cultivate and collect wild grains. This
was the start of the agriculture in the northern part of Korean
peninsula at the latest in 6th~7th century. In
the early stage of primitive agricultural life, they grew barnyard
millet, barley, bean and Indian millet, but in the iron age, they
started cultivate rice, millet, barnyard millet, barley and bean. The
frame of agricultural country was founded in the Three states period
and reservoir system and using cow in plowing. Korean thought that
'farming is the most fundamental thing in the world' and they lived
accordingly. This is the physiocracy principle.
irrigation system developed, rice farming became the center of the
farming instead of dry land farming. In the 15th century,
the rice planting method made it possible to do semiannual crops of
rice and barley. Established agricultural age of the moon allowed
people could cultivate their land as the change of weather and change
of solar terms. Distribution of proper breed made it possible to have
27 different rice varieties in the late 15th century. The
physiocracy principle made the science of agriculture and agriculture
technology to improve in the late Joseon dynasty.
to the Joseon's feudal system, the transmission by heredity of the
social status made the invariable social class system. The royal,
scholars, farmers, craftsman, merchants and the low-class people had
no choice but to live their inherited lives. Most commoners did
farming for their living and there were other people such as learned
bureaucrats, noblemen, scholars as high class and medicine man,
interpreter, astronomer, painter as middle class and craftsman,
merchants, butcher, clown, executioner, slaves as lower class people.
of Korean people were farmers who worked from very early in the
morning till the dusk. In the very busy farming season, farmers worked
together with the people in the same village. Rice farming was mainly
men's duty and women did most dry field farming. Little boys took care
of cattle or collected fire sticks and girls mostly helped household
and got water from a well.
did their farming as the 24 solar terms. They forecasted the rich or
poor harvest of that year and wished the abundant harvest. They plowed
the fields in early spring, sowed the seeds, weeded with weeding hoe
as grains grew, fertilized the crops with manure. They harvested the
ear of grain with a sickle when the crops were fully ripened and dried
them in the sun. They hoed up the soil for the harvest of root plants.
Harvested crops were dried on a straw mat and put grains in straw
sacks and put them in a storage.
of the wives should be submissive notion, women helped whatever the
man of the house did and always stood by their men. Household was the
main duty of housewives and other activities were men's duty. On
marriage, set up a branch family near the parents' house except the
eldest son. Married daughter was no longer considered as family
member, so it was neither acceptable nor allowed to put her nose into
the business of parent's house. This tradition brought about the
custom to bring the articles essential to a marriage ?'Hon-Su'. The
most essential thing they brought was sewing kit. This sewing kit was
sometimes enabled women to support the family.
class hierarchy of Korea
dynasty had clear social class and people lived their lives
accordingly. People of high birth worked as government officials and
farmers worked in the field, craftsmen made crafts-work, merchants did
trade and so on. The hierarchy of Korean society was as follow:
royal blood, illustrious officials, noblemen, middle class, farmers,
merchants or craftsman and low class. Medicine man, translator,
astronomer, painter were all middle class people. Butcher, clown,
executioner, slave were the low class people.
officials were the highest class out of noblemen. They were in the
high rank of bureaucrats through the government exams or families or
relatives of the royal blood. Nobleman came from a family that
produced high rank government officials. Some noblemen did framing
too. Many scholars came from nobleman class. Craftsmen class had more
than 70 different kinds such as blacksmith, shoemaker, cabinet maker,
bowl maker etc.
Getting all of that in there - now THAT was a challenge!
I forgot last week to tell you all that I was happily surprised to hear from Simon & Lisa (oldest son) and Paul & Lisa (youngest son) on Mother’s Day. It really made my heart sing – cool I must be doing something right!!!!
This week will be less of a newsletter and more of a diary due to things slowing down here. One of the things that I haven’t mentioned is the above ground sewage drain that runs right in front of where I work. It comes from Seoul and the smell is…………………Ewwwwwwwwwww!!!!!!
The below info if more of the move from here to the new Post in two years.
Action Plan for Return of Land
YONGSAN GARRISON, Seoul, Republic of Korea -- United States Forces Korea announced today an action plan for the return of facilities and areas to the Republic of Korea which have been vacated by the United States Forces in South Korea.
The announcement culminates months of intensive consultations and reflects the enduring commitment of the United States to environmental stewardship around the world.
According to General B. B. Bell, Commander of United States Forces Korea, "We have worked very hard with Korean and U.S. experts to establish an action plan that protects the environment and expeditiously returns use of this very valuable land to the Korean people. The measures we are taking as part of this plan are more extensive than USFK has taken in previous returns of facilities and areas in Korea."
The plan includes a number of measures designed to address issues identified in joint ROK-US environmental surveys. For example, the plan calls for the United States to remedy known, imminent, and substantial endangerments to human health and safety. The United States will also remove underground fuel storage tanks located in each of the camps to preclude future leaks.
In addition, the United States will initiate an advanced technology process for skimming fuel from the ground water at the few locations where this contamination was found.
In resolving this important issue, all the closed facilities and areas will be returned to the Korean government quickly, as the actions are completed, upon formal notification to the ROK government.
This new action plan will accelerate the relocation of USFK from Yongsan and other locations into two enduring hubs of installations, and reflects the strength and unity of the ROK-US alliance and the strong bond between our two nations.
Tonight was really interesting cuz when I left work at 1700 to go back to the barracks, a concert was playing, either in Itaewon or on Post somewhere. The music wasn’t too bad, just extremely loud and you could hear it everywhere.. It finally quieted down about 2200. Never did figure out where it was. By the way – I’ve remember how much I hate staying in the barracks (especially Army ones). No real privacy. My shower takes up to 5 min to get warm water!!!! Chow hall food is getting “old” too. Pretty much the same “crap” each week. Yes I know – beggars shouldn’t be choosey and it’s free!
I have signed Rodney and me up for another USO tour to go to Kangwha Island, Chundeung Temple and the Ginseng/Bamboo Market in two weeks. Their prices are so reasonable too. The bus is actually comfortable. I’m hoping the weather will be good. That will make 3 tours that we can go on while he is here. Remember I have the 27-30 May off for Memorial Day.
For the next 48 hours there is a Non-Combatant Evacuation Operation (NEO) going on. This is a test for all the civilians and their families on how to get out of here in case of war/disaster. This is strictly for non-military people, but some military have to go to the evacuation
centre if people in their families don’t speak any or good English. Try to imagine the hundreds of family members doing this. It also includes any pets you have etc. It was right down from my barracks and looked like a zoo, though Maj Scofield said it really was organized. He had to take his Korean wife. Sometimes, they actually do evacuate them to Japan (volunteers) for two days. Not this time though.
We had Commander’s Call today for the AF. This is when the Commander (two-star General) gets all his troops together in the
theatre and brings them up-to-day on happenings. I don’t ever recall the Army doing this. He also spoke about the new uniforms that will be available to buy in 2007 and will be mandatory by 2011. Below is a description. Wish they had been available sooner. I hate the “tree” uniforms. These BDU’s will be in blue, silver, etc.
colours. The Army’s are already out and are a sandy colour.
Also there is a discussion for new “Ornamental” uniforms for us. This is a uniform between Class A’s (dress) and BDU’s.
There was another concert tonight also – Music not as good. The weather here this week has been hazy, humid and warm.
Had a good day. Got up and went to the commissary and picked up a bunch of stuff to send for a “care-package”. It was fun going up each row and seeing the new stuff that is out. I didn’t dare look at the items that I couldn’t send home, i.e., cheese, bologna, etc. Maj Horne picked me up as she has a van so I could get it
to the PO. Unfortunately mailing the stuff home was more expensive then the stuff. So lesson well learned and won’t do that again. I told Rodney and was surprised he didn’t get irritated with me. But he also knows that I WON’T do it again. I then went to The Chosun Gift Shop again as I had forgotten a few Xmas presents. Damn their prices are great and the stuff is real!!!!! Plus they were having a ticket raffle and if your number was called you got an additional 10% off – Yeah me. So some of the stuff I bought was 25% off and then the additional 10%. I’m waiting till Rodney gets here next Thursday so I can show him what I found and then we’ll mail them off to the folks in the USA. Hee, hee, they can’t open them till Dec though as it is cheaper to send from the Post then from Australia. I may have to send one more box to Australia though (things for us from here) as we are only allotted
44 lbs (20 Kg) on the flight.
Didn’t do much. Worked on a computer project for SFC Harris which he will pay me for. It took all day though. Just really tired so to bed early.
Monday – today
Weather is overcast and windy. Maj Scofield says he thinks a bad storm is coming. I have the window open though as the office is stuffy. The breeze feels great.
Take care until next week which is the last one – then homeward to the land of