This weekend we decided to take Roo out for a hike. We haven’t been out since the fall and thought she could use an adventure. Although we walk Roo frequently I also thought it would be nice to get out of our normal paths in the neighborhood. One of our favorite hikes nearby is close to Gimpo airport and consists of a network of parks and easy trails around and up a small mountain. It’s a short 4 stops away on the train. Unfortunately when we got to the subway station we couldn’t convince Roo to get in her bag for the train ride – not surprising since we neglected to practice putting her in her bag since our last hike months ago. So with a change of plans we took a taxi to a mountain pretty close to us for a hike. The weather was surprisingly springy (what a mean trick for the end of January – we still have months) and we were happy for the respite from the cold and wind. As always, Roo and Ryan were bounding up the mountain while I slowly made my way up the steep hillside.
We played with our new GoPro (a Christmas present) and enjoyed the view at the top before heading down. Afterward we grabbed some coffee and a brownie, and it was warm enough to sit on the stairs and bask in the sunshine. We took a cab back home but the cab driver got a little lost – Cheongna is still pretty new. We had him drop us off about a 20 minute walk from our house because we were in a strange backroad in some industrial park and couldn’t make a left turn where we needed to. Pretty soon after getting out of the cab, Ryan looked at me, worried. “I don’t have the GoPro.” We backtracked and figured out pretty quickly it must be in the cab. Luckily we had called a cab to pick us up so the company would know our cab number, but our Korean skills are stalled at very sub-par, so the thought of calling the taxi company and trying to explain seemed pretty far-fetched. Still, I tried calling, lucking out that from Cannon ads in the subway I knew that camera in Korean is just “camera”. I managed to convey to the woman on the phone (who spoke the smallest bit of English) that we left the camera in the cab. She said she would call back and we waited about ten minutes, figuring nothing would come of it. But when she called back, she gave us the taxi driver’s phone number. I called the taxi driver and attempted in broken Korean to explain. This pretty much consisted of me saying “Hello. Camera?”. Yet he stared laughing and said “Camera! Camera! Small!” We tried to explain where he could drop it off but considering he got lost the first time with us in the car, the likelihood of him finding us didn’t seem to great. We hung around the train station waiting, and finally tried calling back. This time Ryan called the driver, then just randomly walked up to some Korean cab drivers hanging out at the station and handed them the phone. This surprisingly worked – the drivers at the station gave the driver with our camera better directions, and explained to us in Korean that he would be there in twenty minutes. Twenty minutes and $10 later, we had our camera back. So many times here so many people have gone out of their way to help us, even though we obviously haven’t made a tremendous effort to speak Korean. People demonstrate such patience in meeting us far from the middle when trying to communicate. Our Saturday ended less eventfully with a round of dog training for Roxie and a night out in Itaewon for some veggie burgers with friends 🙂
How to Get There
Nearest Subway: Geomam (on the AREX)
Take a Taxi to St. Mary’s International Hospital. From the emergency entrance, face the pharmacies and walk to the right where the road dead ends. Turn left and then take your first right. On the next block, turn right and follow the road to a park near the apartment complex. Walk to the right through the park and you will hit trailheads for the mountain.