I’m in Gyeongju now, at a PC room near my hotel.  I took the new high-speed train down here from Seoul, which was fast and smooth and full of people.  Actually, I didn’t take the high-speed train all the way here, as it doesn’t actually go through Gyeongju (yet), so the last hour of my journey was spent in a very old Korean train.  I saw tiny villages full of rice paddies, interspersed with hills/mountains and dirt roads.  I thought:  This is what I expected Korea to look like before I arrived.  This is what most Americans think Korea looks like.

Gyeongju, however, is not a tiny village full of rice paddies, it is a relatively large town full of people.  It’s a bit less quaint and a bit more like the Korea I know than I was expecting.  I wandered around town for about an hour tonight, I had a delicious Korean dinner, and I am now planning to return to my hotel room for some sleep.  I booked a bus tour for tomorrow, and I am hoping that seeing the "sights" of Gyeongju will change this benign first impression of it.

Sometimes I like to travel alone, but it would be nice to have a companion on this trip.  I have only seen three white people here, and I find it easier to play the part of the stupid foreigner when there’s another stupid foreigner to back me up.  Perhaps there will be some stupid foreigners on the bus tour tomorrow.

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