Yes, one could say that I’m now a Seoul-Mate. What a beautiful city, in spite of the 20 million folks who could potentially detract from its allure, but somehow don’t! Granted, it was only one day of visiting, and even that consisted only of a brief stroll through the small shops, booths, and kiosks hawking clothing, accessories, food, and knick-knacks for block after block, and then the ascent to the top of the Seoul Tower looming high on the highest hill, overlooking all of this metropolis as far as the eye could see.

Trees, grass, flowers everywhere, bordering and framing each structure, in every available large and small space. Brilliant and varied azaleas seem to be a favorite, lending a riot of color to every view. Looking down from the tower into the surrounding woods far below, we could see cherry trees still abloom, sprinkled here and there among the green of the forest. Walking trails through canopies of trees are everywhere; the Koreans are great walkers in nature.

Nowhere did I see squalor, such as everywhere in Cairo, and here and there in Istanbul, or jumbles of new and old structures along straight and winding, narrow streets and alleys, of Tokyo. Order, visible all the way to the horizon; modernity embracing even the oldest areas, impressive trafficways and well-marked off streets. Seoul is one of those places where one gets a sense of Excellence, permeating and providing the underlying infrastructure for a vital community.

We ran upon an area where there appeared to be thousands of cars parking along the street; they belonged to the throngs of adults and children visiting the Seoul Art Museum, which abuts an Army base inside Seoul, and slated to be moved miles to the north so that the Koreans can reclaim that area of land to use for more of their progressive developments.

As we drove across one of the many bridges over the Han River, we could see windsurfers, sailboats, and motorboats flitting about on its broad expanse. Instead of expensive apartment buildings hugging the banks on each side, we saw a succession of parks providing respite for everyone; the apartments were farther inland, some interspersed among the many skyscraper business buildings, and some on the high hills surrounding the city.

I’m sure that Seoul has its problems, but if someone were to ask me to recommend cities as a potential place to visit, I would put this one at the top of the list—-Seoul is “the way a city should be”.

Always Be Happy!                                    To Our Youth…Always!

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