vol. 2019.1.3 목 10:22 updated
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      트위터 페이스북 미투데이 네이버 구글 msn  
Spending Spring Time
2015년 03월 05일 (목) 13:10:22 GLOBE globe@jbnu.ac.kr

   
A certain well known coffee shop chain is now offering discount to customers who are polite to their staff. On the first Wednesday of every month, if you call the customer by their name and order by saying “a delicious Americano please”, you can receive a discount of up to 50%. People can sit inside, escape the cold weather and heat themselves up by drinking a hot, black cup of coffee. Their cold hands wrapped around the warm mug until it’s warmth slowly restores sensation to the fingers allowing them to turn the pages of books, write down study notes or swipe Smartphone screens.
Cafés around Chonbukdae always seem to be busy, offering a haven for people who want to be anywhere but their home, their classes, the library or outside in the biting winter cold. However the day I have started writing this article is 입춘, the day which signals the end of winter and coming of spring. The weather is gradually becoming noticeably milder and the promise of the welcoming spring Korean climate gives me cheer as I look forward to the change of the seasons and the possibilities this opens up. I have a simple question, one which those reading this may wish to ask themselves too: how might I spend my free time?
One thing which we might do is take off to the mountains. I’m not sure whether people living in Korea realize how lucky we are to live within a close distance of many and various beautiful trails. While the lack of factories and heavy industry in and around Jeonju means Jeollabukdo has the cleanest air in Korea. Going a nice hike or leisurely walk is a great way to take advantage of that. One route that I would recommend is Maisan and its beautiful ‘Horse Ear’ peaks. A short bus ride from Jeonju will take you to Jinan. From there it is only a short 3 kilometer hike southward though a lovely oak forest to Maisan. Due to the unique shape of Maisan’s peaks legend has it that two fairies used to live there: one male and one female. They were enjoying living on earth when unexpectedly they were called back home by their heavenly creator. They were also warned to let no human see their departure. They planned to leave at the next full moon, which would give them enough light to guide them. However the moon was dim and they wanted to spend one more night on earth so they delayed their departure until dawn. As they flew towards heaven however, an early rising Ajumma witnessed their flight. The fairies were transformed into stone and crashed down towards the earth, creating Maisan’s two unusual peaks. There is a good moral in this tale, especially relevant for students: don’t procrastinate.
If exploring the sites of ancient myths doesn’t appeal to you, a gentle bike ride out of the city is a great alternative. As part of the restoration of Korea’s rivers and waterways there are many cycle paths leading out of the city and into more scenic areas. As you cycle these river paths you might see some small red structures which look like old fashioned British phone booths. These are called Bo’s and each will contain its own stamp. You can buy a bike passport at any K Water Office (these show all the bike paths and their stamping stations) or you might want to create your own personalized book. Regardless, they are a terrific way to catalogue your cycling expeditions and give you a great memento as well. Along these paths you may be pleasantly surprised to find small tents serving 막걸리and 파전. These serve as welcome refreshments (and rewards) for your cycling efforts.
Closer to home, students of Chonbuk University can enjoy the views of our very own Deokjin Park with its bright red lotus flowers, quirky suspension bridge and small lake- complete with peddle sailing ducks. It’s not only the domain of romantic couples, teenagers and mix-coffee drinking senior pensioners, Deokjin Park is also a pleasant place to go for a short walk, picnic or to read your book on a bench. There is an English idiom to “stop and smell the roses”. This means taking the time out of one’s busy schedule to enjoy and appreciate the beauty of life. In this article, this is exactly what I am proposing. It may not seem so but being outdoors is really vital for human beings. By doing any of these things we can stimulate our eyes, ears and nose in ways we have forgotten about over winter. It is also a good chance to soak up some vitamin D and escape the noise and rush of everyone around us. It sure beats sitting with a bunch of strangers, drinking over priced coffee and listening to café music. So the next time you visit a coffee shop, be sure to order your coffee to go and start spending more time outside. You’ll be better for it, and you make just pick up a new hobby.

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