When I left Chuncheon for the second time last fall on our way to Seoraksan National Park, I did not think I would return to Chuncheon again. Alas, today I did. I visited Kangwon National University’s business school and gave a speech on the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to about 50 undergraduate business students. The speech lasted about 45 minutes with about 20 minutes for Q&A. The students were very quiet. Either my speech was so riveting and comprehensive that they were left with no questions to ask, or they were too shy or disinterested to ask me questions. I finally coaxed a few, thought-provoking questions from them. The FTA and upcoming negotiations beginning June 2006 are a hot topic in Korean circles, so I was surprised by their lack of response. Most Koreans support an FTA, although some have expressed reservations that it may negatively impact Korea. Most agree that it will ultimately benefit the country.
After the speech I joined a few faculty members for dinner at Santorini, an Italian restaurant located atop a gorgeous vista overlooking Chuncheon. The view was breath-taking. I will try to post some photos tomorrow night. Saturday’s yellow sand disappated and the rains came in on Sunday, washing away the grime. Today was a beautiful day–very refreshing after the horror of what some say is the worst bout of yellow sand in Korean history. The clouds painted beautiful patterns in the sky as the sun set. It was the most beautiful sunset–and one of the few, period–I have seen since I arrived in Korea. It reminded me fondly of days when I lived in Virginia and frequently watched the sunset. I posted some photos of Virginia sunsets in one of my earlier photo albums. I was amused that the Italian restaurant took a name derived from one of Greece’s most famous Aegean islands. The food and wine were delectable, although sweet pickles and jalapeno peppers yet again made their way on to the table. What a way to spoil a perfect evening!