Rochelle and I took a long walk up one of the walking paths from Wasu to Gimhwa recently. Wasu has a shallow stream running alongside the town and it has walking paths on either side. The summer and its rains have suddenly become a mild fall and we've had some great sunny days here.
The towns of Wasu and Gimhwa may as well be one and the same because there's barely any separation between them. Gimhwa's actually the smaller of the two, but that happened because Wasu's population grew faster. This may explain why the schools carry the Gimhwa name instead of Wasu, despite having a location closer to Wasu than Gimhwa.
Any of you know that John Mellencamp song "Small Town"? I used to loathe that song and everything it stood for before I arrived in Korea. Who wants to live in a small town with nothing to do? To my pre-Korea mind, small town America was all about complacency, dependence on cars, lack of intrigue, and boringness. Growing up on the outskirts of Waukesha, WI fueled the resentment of small towns. Not being able to get anywhere without a car did a number on my adolescent psyche. Ages 13 to 16 felt isolating.
All that has changed upon arriving here. I couldn't get much happier living here: everything's within walking distance, the air's clean, traffic's light, and people are nice. Let me repeat that last point: the people are nice. Moreover: there's frequent bus service to Seoul, Incheon, Chuncheon, Suyu Station (northern Seoul), and a bunch of points in between those destinations. The local buses connect Wasu to Sincheorwon, Dong Song, Yukdan-ri, and a bunch of other small towns. Korea knows its public transportation. Can I say the same for the United States? No, especially in Wisconsin.
Enjoy the pictures.
Harvesting the rice
All of these pictures were taken between 10 and 25 minutes from the E-3 apartments here.