The eastern entrance to 달성공원 Dalseong Park.
Since starting work in Korea, almost all of my hangman games have been about elephants. So it was quite nice to finally see an elephant here in 대구 Daegu!
Dalseong Park was a nice little free zoo with the typical tigers, lions, elephant, and birds. It was nice to walk down the paths as speakers played old French music. There was also a little museum about Daegu.
Getting back to Masan, though, was not as easy as I would have hoped. I took the train up so I thought it'd be nice to take a bus down to see a slightly different view of Korea. Well, there were several bus terminals near 동대구역 Dongdaegu (East Daegu) Station and I couldn't find the one with a bus to Masan. Oh well, I like trains.
Learning the Language
I have discovered the secret to learning a language: actually use the words again and again. I am happy to say that I know a few words. I have just recently finally started to say 여기 (yeogi, "yur-gee", here) when ordering food. I have also discovered that the proper way to say "excuse me" is 실롐니다 ("shee-lyem-nee-da"), quite useful when you need to get down a crowded aisle in Lotte Mart or Homeplus, or some such situation. I am quite disappointed that my "travel" books neglected these important words.
Interestingly, or so you linguists may think, 실례 (sillye, "shee-lye") means "rudeness". Hm, Google Translate claims "excuse me" should be 실례합니다 (sillye-habnida), but I guess "합" is simplified in speech to "m"...
Instead of attempting to count again and again in the Native-Korean numbers as I had with the Sino-Korean numbers, I set my phone to state the time every hour, on the hour. Well, it's a slow process and I'll only learn 1~12 and not the full 1~99, but at least I now know that 심니다 ("sheem-nee-da") is roughly "o'clock". I'm starting to recognise when it says what, but not always exactly what it has said. Anyway, 시 (si, "shee") means "hour", though it is also used for "city".
I also have learned the cardinal directions. I first learned 북 (buk) is north when I was first looking to move to 부산시 북구 (Busan, Buk-gu). And then through observing the road signs, I have learned 동, 남, 서 (dong, nam, seo) are "east", "south", and "west" respectively. (동 also means something like "neighborhood", so they seem to actually use 동아 "donga" as "east" and 동 as "eastern".) This has proved usefully when observing city maps and noticing where a neighborhood or such is in relation to the city centre.
Like a week or two ago, I finally noticed that Masan has in fact named all its roads and have signs posted at intersections (though not for every street at an intersection). This has lead to the discovery that 로 (ro) is "street" and 길 (gil) is "road", basically. Okay, so perhaps that's not too useful. The signs, though, do note which dong ("neighborhood") they are in (with a few exceptions) and sometimes the cardinal directions from the centre of the neighborhood in which they lie, useful when a bit lost.
It is worth pointing out that all the permanent street signs do have Latin transliterations just in case you've not learned your 한글 (hangeul, the Korean alphabet).