Day 209

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Day 209… OK… a new day… a new tour. Today its the DMZ tour. We go and check out Injingak Park and after getting passports checked at the border, head over Freedom Bridge to the 3rd Infiltration tunnel. Here I also get to stand next to… and I mean u derived 30cm… away from a live mine field, since our guide is drinking buddies with the commander here… we get let in c.oser than normal. It’s been a little touristed up, but there is still a strong military presence here obviously because paranoia aside… the South Koreans still have to contend with a crazed North Korea aggressively trying to invade… indeed the most recent incident (ignoring these tunnels -the latest found in 2002, digging 49km underground AND painting the walls of solid bedrock black to pretend its a coal mine if found) was mere months ago while i was in Europe and North Korea announced it was at “near war status”. After that its off to the exhibition museum and observatory hill where you can see the 3rd tallest flag pole on the north side and also see the fake villages the north has to try and “show the south how amazing we are”. Hey here’s an idea… just ACTUALLY be that amazing and we can all get some sleep. Anyway… then we go to Dorsan Train Station which was supposed to span the north and allow the south better travel options as well as trade, but sadly the previous presidents of both countries both died before completion and so did the dream. Now it just runs a 1 trip a day from Seoul. Finally we get a chance to see the village by the DMZ, Unification Village which has full bomb shelters and zero crime living this close to the DMZ. When done its jump a train for the 2nd half of today which as I discover the trains here are as amazing and easy to use as japan (ie… very), I go back to Jogyesa Temple for a papercraft i wanted to get and spend the next few hours with a Buddhist nun making paper lotus flowers, korean art coasters and giving them a drawing of my old CHOOK cartoon at thier request. After i showed off my tattoo during a chat about my teaching and art, they wanted one for the kids they teach to see. Nice.. odd… but nice. At this point i also desperately need a haircut, and manage to stumble on a good cheap one! Then i went and found a place that had the most awesome meal I’ve had in a while, then i return and in the hotel at night = BTTF 1,2,3 marathon!

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