My work trip to Daegu continues, and I’m gradually adjusting to the change in time zones and falling into a daily routine of sorts. I’m working an odd shift that starts in the middle of the day and goes into the evening, “as necessary.” I get up early, maybe grab coffee and a pastry at the Dunkin’ Donuts or coffee shop next door to my hotel, and spend some time talking to the Lovely Wife on Skype, which is very handy in this situation. Unlimited videophone beats anything my domestic telecommunications carrier offers for international roaming. Eight a.m. in Korea is five p.m. the previous day in Kansas (love that International Date Line), so the time difference isn’t an insurmountable problem.
Then, it’s off to work. There’s a shuttle van available, but I’ve been enjoying the walk across town, about 2 miles/45 minutes. Traffic is light, and I’ve got a pocket GPS along to help me keep directions straight. The main thoroughfare is packed with colorful storefronts stacked three or four floors above street level, so there’s always something interesting to see I haven’t noticed before. There are also street vendors here and there selling fried donuts, steamed dumplings, soup, and what Andrew Zimmern likes to call “meat on a stick.”
About halfway, a bridge crosses the Sincheon River, which roughly bisects Daegu. There’s a nice parkway bordering the river that has courts for basketball, tennis, and a Korean variant of croquet that seems popular among the older folks. They were having a tournament one morning this week, and the court was ringed with senior citizens in winter coats and baseball caps, intently watching the action.
So, even though I’m here for work, and there’s no time to do any serious touristing, I’ve been able to get more than a taxi-window tour of Daegu by leveraging my morning commute and taking advantage of public transportation to quickly move me to points of interest in the limited free time I have. It’s been fun, and I’m not done yet.