Horse Racing and the Rainy season, Seoul Korea
6th June – At the races in Korea
I have not written for a few weeks, but there’s plenty to write about now. The weather for the last two months has been very good with daily sunshine and temperatures around 28 Celsius daily. Unfortunately we are inland, but there is a beach about an hour away.
The high valued Euro and the weakness of the Korean Won is cutting the value of the money I am sending home to the U.K. to pay student debts from university. It’s like getting a pay decrease.
We went to the horse racing track in Seoul this last Sunday (actually in Gyeonggi-do). There's a stigma with Koreans about gambling, because many Asians are big gamblers. The thing I find though, in most countries, is that people probably spend more on the lotto (lottery) than one would if you go to the horse track twice a year. Many students told me going to the racing is bad but when I went there, there were many families and young people also. It’s a great place for a picnic and with a lovely view of the hills. The place is very well organized with a foreigners lounge and a guide telling us in English, how to place bets. I didn’t get one winner out of 8 races.
22nd June - The rainy season is near
The rainy season isn't here yet, but it should only be a few weeks off. It's still very warm every day and very humid today. This time of year in Seoul is very pleasant, with everyone sitting outside in the restaurants and eating in the open-air. I also played football today but there are few grass pitches (except at pro stadiums). Playing on gravel is difficult as it’s slippery and I have the bloody knee to prove it.
One nightclub around the corner from us charges £5 (US$8) for Koreans but £10 (US$16) for foreigners for entrance to the club. The American Koreans from work get in for the £5, as they look Korean even though they are American and Canadian. As a foreigner I have also been charged less before, for some things. An example of this is when I visited ‘Everland Amusement Park’ in Seoul and the entrance fee for foreigners was less.