Oops- ran out of room again!
And I have forgotten to say that last week I went to Seoul to meet up with a friend on his way back from New Zealand after a one year drinking (I mean Working) holiday. I just had the one day off work but we managed to see more than I have seen on any of my other trips to Seoul. We went to Gyeongbokgung Palace which was really pretty (and only about 700 won to get into- about 50p) and even had an air conditioned museum to hide in for a while to cool down. We stayed at the Exciting Korea hostel (www.excitingkorea.co.kr) which was near the palace and nice and clean. Usually I have been to Seoul before to drink and we have always stayed in Itaewon- the foreigners part of Seoul- so it was nice to be somewhere else. We also went up the Seoul Tower (after a seeming endless hunt for a taxi followed by a ten minute cab ride in the opposite direction- sneaking up from behind to catch the tower unaware or something like that) which was cool and you get to see a great view of Seoul from there. The tower is located on a hill and you can get a cab most of the way up or go by cable car- which we did to get back down again. We also went to a bookshop that had a large English language book collection which was great for me though I was short of cash so I just bought a Korea phrasebook (the Lonely Planet one. I had another one but it wasn't as interesting. The LP one has such useful phrases as 'Can I join in?', 'I have watched but never participated before' and 'I smoke marijuana occassionally') and an Amy Tan novel. Enough to keep me busy on the midnight bus home anyway.
And so it is now Thursday September 5th, mother arrives in around three weeks and then it is only another three months until I am free to explore new countries. Better make the most of this one first!