The 38th Parallel
We are off to South Korea today! Direct flight from Zhengzhou to Incheon – the town outside Seoul, SK where the airport is located. Great flight – the food was Korean noodles with spicy bbq sauce. We had our hotel driver pick us up – going in the middle of the afternoon was great – no traffic!
Flying in to South Korea, you arrive from the West over the ocean. Lots of small islands dot the scenery; some look like they have a small pier or dock for smaller boats. Would be fun to spend the day lazing about on one of the tree covered islands!
We are met by University of Akron colleagues John LaGuardia and Scott Taylor. They have organized some alumni events and business tours with alumni from the UA College of Polymer Sciences (CPS). The CPS program is ranked #1 or #2 in the world and is widely known and extolled outside the US. There are over 100 graduates from this college alone in South Korea!
Our first visit late that afternoon is at the Samsung headquarters. We toured a museum showing the history of the company and some of the products – amazing what they make! My favorite part of our time there was in the Color Center. This secure work area is where employees can go to generate new colors. They have a double door ‘closet’, that once opened has 8×10 foot panels on the left and right. When you roll a panel into the center for viewing, there are tiles arranged on it in ALL shades of a color: red or blue or orange. The plastic tiles are the size of a 4×6 picture and are arranged in a cascade of light to dark. There were at least 10 panels on each side. Who knew the range of colors was so extensive! Then they showed us their color globe on the computer. It looks like the plans for the Death Star in Star Wars! An image in globe format that shows colors from light to dark, top to bottom, all hues imaginable! I wanted to take pictures – but that’s a huge no-no! The center also had examples of applications for color use – they have great cell phone housings there!
We left there to meet a group of UA alumni for dinner! We met at a great looking place where they had reserved a few tables for us. Kimchi is a stable in the Korean diet – they eat it at every meal. Kimchi is made mainly with vegetables and spices and is fermented! Apparently the longer the kimchi marinates, the better it gets. Another staple is souju – a rice drink distilled in Korea that is consumed in shot glasses! It’s very popular and our UA friends were happy to teach us all about it. Meals in Korea is also consumed with chopsticks, but not served on a lazy-susan. Again, amazing food including Korean bbq. It was a fun evening!