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  • From Traveling to Resting

    Posted on July 7th, 2009 Michele Sun No comments

    I was at Borders on Friday morning continuing on a James Patterson fiction that I had started at Barnes & Noble the prior weekend. The characters have travelled to Maui, Paris and Santa Barbara…etc, and I guess that had stuck in my head somehow. A thought came into my mind Read the rest of this entry »

  • A Not-So-Accidental Tourist in New York – Part III

    Posted on July 6th, 2009 Michele Sun No comments

    Continue on my trip to New York and hope memory is still fresh; time to boost my memory capacity? SSD should be lighter :-p

    So it was the 3rd day in New York City and no signs of this summer shower would come to a stop today. I did not like this cold and rainy day at all, and the original plan Read the rest of this entry »

  • A Not-So-Accidental Tourist in New York – Part II

    Posted on June 26th, 2009 Michele Sun No comments

    Day two (6/17/2009) of this New York trip and I wanted to revisit the Empire State Building since thismorning the weather seemed to be more outdoor friendly than yesterday. I had been to Read the rest of this entry »

  • A Not-So-Accidental Tourist in New York – Part I

    Posted on June 25th, 2009 Michele Sun No comments

    Last week (6/15/2009) I went to New York for a full week to be a tourist. Though I have been to the Big Apple or The City That Never Sleeps many times because of work, but never had the chance to Read the rest of this entry »

  • Emotions and dilemmas are universal – Ocean of Words

    Posted on June 4th, 2009 Michele Sun No comments

    Ocean of Words is not the first Ha Jin book that I have read, but it is the first collection of short stories from him. I like it just as much as his Waitingand War Trash, and again his works seem to have the power to weight my heart down and cloud my emotion. I have never experienced the life described in his book, but was totally taken Read the rest of this entry »

  • My Trip to the DMZ South Korea (part II)

    Posted on May 28th, 2009 Michele Sun No comments

    There were four known Infiltration Tunnels in the DMZ and not sure how many more haven’t been found yet; according to intelligence analysis it is believed that North Korea began digging the tunnels after Kim Il-sung (North Korea’s President) issued the September 25 Combat Readiness Order in 1971. In this order, he stressed the need to dig tunnels under the Read the rest of this entry »

  • My Trip to the DMZ South Korea (part I)

    Posted on May 28th, 2009 Michele Sun No comments

    Recently North Korea has threatened military actions against U.S. and South Korea, and the sights of soldiers marching in the DMZ are aired on major news channels yesterday. This brought back the memory of my trip to the DMZ South Korea couple years ago.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6N0Vrp6tM70]

    It was June, right after Computex in Taipei, Taiwan. I decided to pay Seoul a visit after seeing it so many times in Korean TV dramas. A friend of mine arranged my staying at the InterContinental in Kangnam area, and I was able to wonder around the city by the metro system efficiently, thanks to the very easy to understand metro map and color coded routes. I did not have any specific plan for that trip, except visiting the DMZ, the Korean Demilitarized Zone.

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    For the first couple days I had cruised the city and visited palace, museums, shops, night markets… on my own and love the freedom of seeing a safe and modern city at my own pace. However, I asked the concierge at hotel to  recommend an English speaking guide for me, because I wanted to learn about this DMZ. The concierge not only found me a tour guide for me, but later that day they also asked me if other tourists at the same hotel may join me and share the expenses. So I ended up having the pleasure to spend whole day with a marketing exec from AMD, an American woman with her adopted daughter who would turn 18 that summer and this mom-and-daughter duo were visiting the girl’s birth parent (Koreans), plus a pilot and co-pilot from Air France.

    DMZ is a strip of land between North and South Korea and works as a “buffer zone” between two countries. The DMZ cuts the Korean Peninsula roughly in half, crossing the 38th parallel on an angle. The 38th parallel north was the original boundary between the US-occupied and Soviet-occupied areas of Korea at the end of World War II. After my trip, I read War Trash by Ha Jin and learned that Chinese POWs (prisoner of war) from Taiwan and China were also there for many years.

    Since it’s outside of the capital Seoul we could not take metro, instead we were on a bus ride for about an hour. The ride was pleasant because I got to see the different part of Seoul other than the upscale Kangnam or the very hip Mingdong districts, and the trees lined highways were very clean and beautiful – a nice late spring day in Korea. But once we got closer to the DMZ, I found the landscape quickly changes to boring barbed wire and fences dotted with military outposts.

    DMZ is the world’s most heavily militarized area where hundreds of thousands of troops are stationed on the southern side, mostly South Koreans, but there are also some 28,000 U.S. troops supporting them. The soldiers all looked very stern and serious, even a bit hostile in their uniforms, especially the Koreans. Soon I found something very interesting and Hollywood-like though, some American soldiers were wearing sunglasses while the South Koreans not :-p

    After a brief introduction upon arriving the DMZ, we were grouped at an observation platform, a second floor balcony area, which is the nearest point to North Korea from South Korea. We were told (or instructed) absolutely no pictures taking and absolutely no gesture communication with the North – this is a military area after all. We whined and complained about the no picture taking parts and were immediately hushed to keep quiet. I was able to see the North Korea soldiers standing on the opposite through observing binoculars, and they looked just like the South Koreans (amused)!

    Part II of this post

  • Taipei on the Run

    Posted on May 12th, 2009 Michele Sun No comments

    The annual ING Bay to Breakers is coming up this weekend, and no way that I am going to miss this San Francisco signature event. To run 12K with a pack of fun participants in creative and flambount costumes, flying tortilla, and some not so beautiful nude runners, makes it one of its kind event. I actually Read the rest of this entry »

  • Ganbade! Japanese Runners in the Honolulu Marathon

    Posted on May 8th, 2009 Michele Sun No comments

    I ran the 26.2 miles Honolulu Marathon on Dec. 10, 2006, and it was such a remarkable event for me. Couple reasons contribute to that, for one, I was a Team in Training mentor for a group of very special and wonderful girls; for 20 weeks we trained to complete this marathon together, and it’s their first full marathon. I was fundraising for two events that season, the Nike Women’s Half Marathon and the Honolulu Marathon; I have exceeded the fundraising minimum for both events, thanks to all the sponsors and supporters. The course was beautiful and weather was nice, firework at 5:00am was just spectacular. The first glimpse of Hawaiian sunrise when I made it to the top of Diamond Head was also unforgettable. Read the rest of this entry »

  • Not Your Usual Running Group

    Posted on April 29th, 2009 Michele Sun 1 comment

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    The Hsinchu Hash House Harriers has just celebrated their 10 year anniversary on Sat April 25, with 105 people show up on a rainy day, and so sorry that I missed it by 5500 miles. What is or who are Hsinchu Hash House Harriers? Not too hard to tell from their tagline on their website – “Hsinchu’s kennel of the Hash House Harriers. The drinking club with a running problem.” And I can’t forget how I got involved with a drinking club that’s situated on the other side of the globe.

    Read the rest of this entry »