Thankfully, jet lag wasn’t a problem my first night inKorea, presumably because I had been awake since 6am the previous morning. I woke up at about6:45am (early for me but normal for most people) and lay in bed listening to the cicadas and pondering the odd bottom sheet/mat. Why would you sleep on a mat on a bed? The mattress was a bit slimy (as most mattresses are) so every time I rolled over, the mat shifted and I had to readjust. Or if I stretched, my foot would leave the cottony softness of the mat and encounter the creepy sliminess of a mattress that countless other people had slept on. Presumably also on mats that were too small for them.
My musings were suddenly interrupted by shouting from outside. I looked out to see workers from the nearby construction site standing in rows, exercising together. The main man in the front organized them all into rows and then started the music. The music sounded like a military march and was accompanied by a tinny recorded voice counting and shouting encouragement. It was amazing. Not being a morning person (which is a huge understatement), I wouldn’t last long in a job that had regulation early morning synchronized exercise; I might be forced to toss the tape recorder off the nearest cliff.
The first and second mornings, this exercise time was a source of interest and amusement. But as time went by and I became less and less jet lagged and wanted to spend more and more time on my mat, I began hoping the machine would eat the tape.
I have a video of the exercise but I can’t load it on here for some reason. I’ll put it on Facebook instead.
Our accommodations at UNIST were simple but comfortable. We were housed 4 to a 4-bedroom suite. There was a small common area and a bathroom. There were two toilet rooms (the toilets were oddly shaped with lots of buttons I did NOT want to press), two sinks in front of a long mirror and a shower room. The shower room was L-shaped and had a shower at either end of the L should you wish to shower with a friend or roommate. Needless to say, none of us grew that close during our week there.