December 25th. It is Christmas in Daegu! It also happens to fall on a Saturday so there was no makeup holiday and everything is as normal. Apparently, except the Christians who attends church, no one really celebrates Christmas here. Plus, I was told it was a day for couples (but every day is a day for couples in Korea! I feel like being single is a bad thing – “oh, how come you don’t have a boyfiend?” ).
In another note, coffee shops here are for students and people to chat, as most of them open at 10 AM unlike in Canada where it opens bright and early so people grab their morning coffee to go. Coffee is also more expensive than in Canada and I’ve been spending an average of $5 a day.
In any case, I mentioned coffee shops because that was where I spent my Christmas for the better half of the day. Most of the coffee shops here have a nice atmosphere. That is the difference between Asian Coffee shops and the ones back home .. they take more care in the decorations to make the stay comfortable. I mentioned the late start time in Korea .. they also close late, sometimes as late as 11 PM or midnight.
This was 11 000 Won, which if you converted back to Canadian dollar, is probably $13. I was the only customer for most of the day … and proceeded to sit there for 4 hours. It did feel like Christmas though – there were few cars on the street and everything felt peaceful and sound … My friends were nice enough to join me for a few hours too =) I studied but nothing was going into my head. The cafe is called Cafe Kusi and it isn’t very far from my domirory 🙂
In an attempt to make Christmas memorable, I went to Dalseong Park, where they have a zoo!! I passed by this station yesterday on my way to pick up my friend.
The park is free: and to get here, take the yellow line towards Dalseong Park and follow the signs … keep to the right.
Dalseong park was actually a fortress back during the Three Kingdoms area and it was occupied by the Dalgubeol. There is not much written about the people here aside from the fact that they lived in within these fortified walls. They were first mentioned in as early as 261 AD. Eventually, they were absorbed by the Silla, who essentially unified the three Kingdoms. It is the oldest fort in Korea.
I believe these rocks use to form part of the fortress walls because there were signs about not stepping on them.
In any case, Dalseong Park is located on top of a hill and there is a walking path that goes high up around the park and beyond.
Since I am on higher groups, it also provides a nice view of the city. While it is not the outskirt of the city, it is a bit away from downtown, so there are many low-rising apartments.
Within the park are animals! I like this one the most – the tiger. Despite the cold winter air, it continues to sit there magnificently.
There were two brown bears in the zoo … So, there are small stands located around the zoo that sells snacks like all places do but some people, rather than eating it, throws food at animals. It is such a no-no! Animals should not be eating human food because they might get used to it .. and I don’t think chips and popcorn are any good for them either. In any case, this lady was throwing food at a bear (insanity!) and the bear was catching while balancing on his hind legs (what if he falls!?)
I didn’t see a single staff member of the zoo the entire day….
The birds are not allowed to leave the green nets.
Some of the wolves and foxes have given in to their state and have curled up and sleep while others paced wildly. The porcupines appear to be ok but the raccoons (which we see all the time digging garbage in the backyard) is restless in the cage.
There are even zebras here, but they were head butting each other for a while – I wonder if they are friends …
The was also some red butt baboons! I’ve seen a lot of wild monkeys in India and Indonesia and now they are in a cage… There was also another person throwing peanuts at them …NO! >.<
The elephant doesn’t want to come out of the house.
The skinny lion is also making its way back to somewhere warmer…
There is also a Local History in Daegu. It is small but it has information about animals in the area as well as the daily lives of the locals from the time civilization began here. Unfortunately, there was very little English …
The park also has a lot of open space:
After the park, I went to visit my friend … I was 40 minutes late because I can’t read instructions apparently … In the meantime, her dog waited for us at the home all alone. I don’t think he likes me much 😥
Location of Dalseong Park