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Alright, Daegu Part 2, which will actually go with my  next post about how Marty was found.

The whole reason I went to Daegu was to rescue a Welsh corgi puppy from the KAPS (Korean Animal Protection Society) shelter. I randomly found him in a video on the ARK website – he hadn’t been at the shelter long enough to have his own adoption page. When I got there, a shelter volunteer had taken him out and clipped his nails. Unfortunately, the little guy’s a barker so for the 2 or 3 weeks he had been there he hadn’t really been taken out of his cage because the volunteers thought he might be aggressive. So they couldn’t tell me too much about him.

So I took this mystery dog home with me to Marty. He was very quiet on the train ride home. At first he sat under the seat watching me but eventually he let me sit him in my lap. After a little while, I noticed he was silently crying and there were bubbles coming out of his nose, like when a little kid is crying hysterically. Poor puppy.

Well after thinking it over for a few days, I decided to call him Han Solo (since han(a) means 1 in Korean and solo is also 1). He’s in the US with me, Marty and my beagle and frankly loving having a big backyard to run around in.

I can’t say for certain what kind of background Marty or Han came from but the likely two scenarios are either they were owned by a Korean who no longer wanted them (Marty probably when he lost his eye and Han when he grew bigger and started to chew on stuff) OR, and slightly more distressing, they were owned by a foreigner who abandoned them when they went home.

Before I left, I noticed there were a lot of dogs out and about around Yeongtong. Which makes sense, since the weather was nicer so people were coming out of hibernation. But I also noticed that a lot of the dogs were owned by foreigners. I know a few of them, who have every intention of bringing their dog home with them, but I know just from looking at the ARK page there are a lot of people who still don’t bring their animals home with them. Sometimes it’s because of unforeseen problems, but it seems like a lot of times it’s because of unforeseen costs. Four of my co-workers actually got puppies from pet shops shortly before I left and I can only hope they bring their dogs home with them.

It’s a big responsibility having pets, even more so when you have to travel with them. Here’s a quick step by step for getting your pet home with you:

  1. Get a carrier for your pet that it can stand up and move around naturally in.
  2. Get your pet used to the carrier to ease it’s anxiety on travel day.
  3. Make sure your pet is vaccinated for rabies no fewer than 30 days before your flight.
  4. There are likely to be other health requirements and vaccinations depending on what country/ state you’re going to to make sure you’re aware of them (I few into Dulles, and a rabies vaccination is all Washington DC wanted).
  5. After you book your flight, reserve a spot for your pet. (Side Note: Try to make sure it’s a non-stop flight and that the airline has a separate pressurized, temperature controlled cabin for pets, if your pet is flying cargo). Generally pets lighter than 5kg, with carrier, can be carry-ons while larger pets fly as cargo. The price will vary by airline so make sure you’re aware of what they charge, and be ready to pay it when you go to the airport.
  6. Take your pet to the vet and get a certificate of vaccination and health certificate. Also, the airline might have a form that you need to fill out. Make sure those are with your at the airport when you check in.
  7. When you take your pet to the airport, make sure there is something absorbent in the carrier, like newspaper or a pee pad. Also, the carrier should have a water bottle and a flight’s worth of food attached to the door so the pet has access to it. The airline will likely give further instructions.
  8. At Incheon airport, take your pet with its forms to the customs office on the second floor. It’s in section 8, if I remember correctly. They’ll charge a small few (10,000 won for dogs and cats) and issue you another health certificate that you need when you check-in.

February 26th: The Day I was Supposed to Go to Daegu

February 27th: The Day I Went to Daegu and Returned

Why the delay? I had to work on the 26th to get ready for the new term. Why go to Daegu? I have my reasons, but that’s for My Trip to Daegu (Part 2).

But as they say, the journey is more than the destination’s weight in gold. Or something like that. Okay, so not true in this case, but I’ll get to the destination in a minute. For now: Journey.

I intended to leave for Daegu around noon-ish. Unfortunately it was pouring rain (sorry, Marty, no walks today), which delayed the buses. And delayed me in getting ready because I had to dig out my umbrella. And then the bus pulled up to the bus stop weirdly so I didn’t get on it in time before it drove away. So I didn’t get to Suwon Station until 1:00pm. And the ticket I got was for a train leaving at 1:39pm, and I would be standing for around 40 minutes.

Oh well. What could I do? I tell you what I could do! I could take that extra time, eat some Burger King, sit on the train platform in the cold and watch the trains go by and jam out to some K-Pop on my freshly charged iPod.

On the train, there were these two Korean girls who kept peaking over their seats and laughing when I smiled at them. They were pretty young, probably around 6 and 4 years old. It was a cute game but I was hoping they wouldn’t continue it when I got to sit down since I was sitting across from them (and they didn’t). But at one point I heard the older one repeat to the younger one America (미 국 mi-gook) over and over. Then the younger one tried to repeat it but what she said sounded more like mi-gaw. So I pointed my finger and laughed at her since my Korean was better than hers! Okay; no, I did not.

After a 3-ish hour train ride, I arrived in Daegu. The Gotham city of Korea (I had read that somewhere, but now can’t find the website, but Daegue supposedly has many nicknames so why not Gotham?). I did not see Batman but it was only 4:30 so I guess he wasn’t out being The Night yet. And it was still raining. While on the subway, I noticed something that normally doesn’t really catch my attention: fashion. Many people have pointed out that everyone in Seoul dresses stylishly and black shoes are far an above the norm, which makes sense because it’s the capital and there are many business people and fasionistas that live and work there. In Daegu, the dress was a lot more casual and NO ONE was wearing black shoes. Which makes NO SENSE. Black shoes are just logical. You can’t see when they’re dirty. I also noticed that the girls in Daegu are not stick thin. That’s not to say all girls in Seoul are, but I always noticed some well dress 20-30 year old who has stick-thin limbs. Did not notice that in Daegu but I wasn’t on the subway for that long.

Also, the Daegu subway. Only two lines – green and red. All the fairs (it seemed) were a flat 1,100 won. And in addition of using a card system like Seoul (and I believe Daejeon), they use a token system for single fair riders. I still do not know how I feel about this, especially because unlike the Seoul subway, the turnstil machine eats your single fair token and does not give you the option to return it for a small refund or keep it for a nifty souvenir (as I wanted to do). Also, it seemed pretty easy for the token to get lost or fall and at one point I thought it did fall out of my pocket when really it just got lodged in my wallet. I would have taken a picture of the token but I realized only once I got to Daegu that, even though I had charged my iPod battery, I did not charge my camera battery;___;…

This part of my post is for my Dad: While in Daegu, I visited one of their four HomePluses.

And coming up tomorrow: My Day Trip to Daegu (Part 2).