Compared with much of Asia, South Korea is relatively far to the north and therefore still cold at this time of year. Yet a visitor's heart is warmed when a child waves and says, "Hi, Joe."
His parents must have been in school when the US helped repel invaders from the North. The visitor takes his greeting as a thank you.
A stranger in Seoul loves to see touches of the traditional, while the natives can take pride in the modern. And both put up with the motor traffic. A hand-powered cart piled high with boxes moves slowly through the morning rush hour, but no one leans on his horn.
A toy vendor has a sleeping child snugly tucked into the folds of her heavy outer garment. Down the street a larger-than-life ancient warlord dominates from his pedestal near the US Embassy.
This is a bustling, anxious, and cautious society adjusting to the new military government of General Chun Doo Hwan.