Afterwards we explored the underground mall. At first I was confused. I thought those stairs in the sidewalk went down to a subway. Well, it turned out to be this underground mall and arcade. It was pretty much like any mall -- lots of teeny tiny shops where you can buy clothes, shoes, cell phones, and overpriced snacks. We also ended up discovering an open-air market, where we walked for quite a while. Jenny bought some hotteok from a street vendor to share with Katie and me. This small snack is just genius. It's a little cake, and when you bite in it has a sweetness to it. It was fresh off the griddle, melt-in-your-mouth warm and chewy. Best of all, it was extremely cheap -- 5 for 1,000 won. That's less than a dollar people. We may have to go back for more of those.
Then today we had another field trip! We went to Jeonju, which is a bit more than an hour from Daejeon, to do some sightseeing. Our first stop was at a church built around the turn of the century, in 1908. It was interesting because of its shape: the church is L-shaped so that men sit in one wing, women sit in the other, and the pastor stands in the pulpit where the two wings meet. This was a concession the Christian missionaries made to Korean traditional values, where men and women are not of equal status.
Next we visited the Jesus Hospital Museum. This is a brand-new museum commemorating the hundred-year-old history of Jeonju's Jesus Hospital (which is actually the Presbyterian Medical Mission, but that's a mouthful, especially for people who don't speak English). Jesus Hospital was founded by Presbyterian missionaries, and brought a lot of important medical innovations to the region, such as setting up Korea's first center for cancer treatment and initiating a program to get rid of parasites. At the museum you can see lots of the medical equipment they had back in the day. Some things, like the stethoscope, haven't changed much -- same simple principle applies. Other things I saw made me glad that I live in 2010. (Although someday people will probably look back and think the same thing about our times!) There were also many photos of the patients and the hardships they suffered -- malnutrition, tumors, leprosy, and much more. One particularly disturbing picture had to do with the hospital's campaign to reduce parasites in the area. Apparently, the program started because one day, a young girl collapsed in front of the hospital. When the doctors took her in to be examined, they found she had over 1,000 parasites in her body! The photo was of a pile of all those parasites that the doctors took out of her. (Fortunately this was not right before eating.)
Afterwards we took a trip to the Korean cultural village, which is apparently a pretty big tourist attraction for Jeonju. We had a lunch of bibimbap, a dish the city is famous for. For those of you who don't know bibimbap, well, you can make it with lots of different things. But the basic idea is that you put vegetables and seaweed (or meat, or tofu, or whatever you prefer) on top of rice, and then a fried egg on top of that. Then you add spicy gochujang sauce (made from red peppers) and mix it all together before eating. With the bibimbap we had a delicious pancake (I forget the Korean name!) containing green onions and pieces of squid. It was soooo good, hot and flaky and savory. Then we took our time walking around the village. One of the main things to do there is to watch them make hanji, a special paper made from the bark of mulberry trees. And of course to buy hanji products. It seems that if you're sufficiently resourceful, you can make just about anything from it. There were many beautiful decorative boxes and fans made with hanji, plus much more. We even saw hanji socks! I wonder if they would fall apart if they got wet, like regular paper does? If so, they would not have been good socks for today. It was pouring more or less nonstop all day long, and our shoes got pretty soaked and muddy at times.
Thanks to everyone who commented last time! I love hearing from you, so please keep telling me what you think!