Gwangju: A green, bicycle-friendly city

Annyong my American friends!
Lindsay here, reporting again from a PC bang in our neighborhood. We are very much looking forward to getting the internet in our apartment, which should be on Monday. And usually when they say a time, they mean it. They are much more efficient than those awful Charter Communications folks in Asheville. Talk about efficient–when our washing machine was delivered, I explained to the Korean man as he unloaded the big machine that we were three flights up, pointing upward in our typical communication of charades. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
But as I turned around to hold the door for the two men, I realized that only one of them was carrying the machine, the whole machine, on his back. And without one little grunt, he made it up three flights of stairs, took off his shoes to enter our home, machine still on back, and was plugging it in before I could even look at Whit in amazement. Now THAT is service, my friends.
So hopefully the internet guys will be just as efficient, and then, we can finally start posting photos and stop catching cancer from the thick cigarette smoke in the PC bang.
Whit and I are very happy with our new home. On Saturday, we took the whole day to get acquainted with the city, walking from our apartment to downtown Gwangju, a full-day walk as we wandered in and out of stores, buying appliances and home items we needed for the year. Most things are cheaper here, but some are not. For example, there are several really cool outdoors shops in our neighborhood, boasting expensive outdoors labels and hefty prices–$300 for a down coat, $35 for a nice hat.
The walk downtown opened our eyes to a city of sidewalks, bike paths, and abundant green spaces. It’s a beautiful city in the mountains. While some may not be as high as the peaks in Western North Carolina, it does put up a great fight to be the perfect city for Whit and me.
We had originally decided we would most likely buy a scooter to get around the city, which seems to be the perfect size for jetting around on two wheels. And I love scooters. But yesterday, we realized we were in a town perfect for bicycles. It’s the perfect-size city for cycling, and you can’t beat the soft red bicycle paths on every sidewalk.
We went into a bike shop and I found the bicycle of my dreams. As many of you might know, I recently unloaded my road bike, giving up on the sport I never really loved. I never cared for riding three to six hours over mountains just to have my butt hurt for the next three days. Count me out. But what I have always enjoyed is a bicycle as transportation. I dreamed of one with a big, granny seat, a basket, wide handlebars, and a nice bell to ring here and there.
Well, yesterday, I found it. And talk about a good deal. It’s totally in our budget. Much cheaper than a scooter and looks to be much more fun. I’m thinking of buying it next weekend. The only thing to decide is what color? The pink is so cute. But so is the baby blue and lime green. Don’t worry, I’ll post photos as soon as I get it. And Whit wanted the same one. But he’s currently in search of a one that is a little more manly. A pink bike and man-pris, now that would be a combination!
Well, school starts tomorrow and Whit and I just finished an afternoon of lesson plans. We are both very excited and have all our classes planned out. I keep going between super nervous–as I remember the times I Forest-Gumped my way through teaching swim lessons to bad-behaved kids, to really excited after talking in English to a few really sweet, well-behaved kids at a local church this morning.
Wish us luck, good humor, strength, open-mindedness and a strong spirit as these first days come upon us.

7 thoughts on “Gwangju: A green, bicycle-friendly city

  1. Ritchie Miller says:

    I am NOT avidly cheating on the polls! (Although, I didn’t realize that I could clear my cache and re-vote — thanks for the idea!).The polls fairly and accurately show that I, Ritchie Miller, am Lindsay and Whit’s most devoted blog reader. You just can’t argue with the truth!


  2. Ritchie Miller says:

    Well, the results are in, and it looks like I’m Whit & Lindsay’s Most Devoted Blog Reader. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my constituents for their continued support.Would the Altizer and Nash families care to make a concession speech? 🙂


  3. deborah says:

    Ritchie ,I can assure you that you ARE NOT their most devoted reader. Terry is and I’m a close second! He even calls me at work to report the latest news on the blog while I’m trying to make 18 first graders behave!So Ritchie I agree with Jessica. You must be cheating!!!!


  4. Ritchie Miller says:

    Heh heh heh! Well, I would certainly never put myself in the same “Devoted Blog Reader” class with Terry OR you (mostly because I fear being cut off from cream cheese cupcakes), but I can attest that I did not cheat on the polls. I *might* have done a little politicking, but only because I started out with a disadvantage, given that there is only one of me and there are many members of both the Nash and Altizer families.Let’s just say that there are several of my co-workers who have now been introduced to the “Kimchi and Cornbread” blog!Love,Ritchie


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