Sunday, October 09, 2005

I can't believe we live here

It's Sunday night, 6:45 pm and we're celebrating thanksgiving by going to TGI Fridays, since we don't have an oven, and since we live in Korea and a good turkey dinner is hard to come by. Actually, if you are willing to pay $75, you can have a turkey dinner at a ritzy hotel downtown. I wish I was with my family right now, they're all celebrating thanksgiving together in Oliver.

Oh well, we're making the most of a challenging situation. We're going to make mashed potatoes and gravy for our coworkers tommorow. I'm going to talk to my parents and sisters on Skype tonight.

There's so much I'm thankful for: my wonderful, supportive husband, great friends in Korea, beautiful palaces and gorgeous weather and most of all, God, and all the blessings he pours over us.

This is a palace in Seoul called Gyeongbokgung. The restored palace faired badly as the Japanese Empire encroached upon Korea's sovereignty. First it was the scene of the murder of Queen Min and the capture of King Gojong when Japanese soldiers in disguise ransacked the palace in 1895. After Korea's annexation by Japan in 1910 most of the restored buildings were torn down, except for a few of the larger buildings including the graceful Gyeonghoe-ru banquet hall and the Geunjeong-jeon hall of state. The remaining parts of the palace suffered further indignity when the Japanese erected the huge Capital Building in front of the palace in 1923 and moved one of the major remaining gates. The gate was restored to its original position in 1968 with a signboard written in Korean script by Park Chung-hee, President of the Republic of Korea. The Japanese Capital Building was destroyed in 1995 in fulfillment of a campaign pledge by President Kim Yon-sam. With this building out of the way, the government began to restore portions of Gyeongbok palace, rebuilding many halls, corridors, gardens, and pavilions. Construction continues even today, although the palace will never regain the grandeur it twice possessed over its 600-year life.

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