I visited Junggon Kim at Chungnam National University (CNU) located in Daejeon Metropolitan City of South Korea. He is a PhD candidate, studying systematics of Miridae (Hemiptera). We’ve been knowing each other for about 10 years or over now. Couple of years back, he requested me to collect some nearctic Miridae samples, and I generously collected and provided him. As I’m visiting South Korea this time, I decided to take the recent collections to him personally. As the current location I was staying in is quite far from the CNU, I had to take an intercity bus (similar to Greyhound of the U.S. which drives across the cities and states), taking about 3 hours of total trip to get there. Although it is not that distanced as 3 hours in the U.S.(Since traffic in US and Korea is quite differs), it takes quite a time to get to the end from the other end in South Korea.
10,000 KRW is about 10.00 USD. It took me about one hour to reach Seongnam Intercity Bus Station (Seongnam, Gyeonggi) from my place, and from that bus station, it took another two hours to get to the Daejeon Metropolitan City.
Finally, after three hours, on 6PM, I arrived at the CNU at Daejeon Metropolitan City of South Korea. This was my first visit to Daejeon, as I’ve never been far out from Seoul, the capitol city of South Korea in my childhood. I took a wrong bus and dropped off at the main entrance of CNU, took me a long walk to get to the place we were supposed to meet. I walked about a mile, and then Junggon decided to come pick me up with his car as his lab located at far back of the campus. I realized where I was picked up is only about a half a road to the lab, inside the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
We went straight to dinner with a surprise guest, Hangyeol Ji, a MS Student studying Tingidae (Hemiptera). I’ve been knowing him from the Internet forum, 곤충사육필살기 (gon-choong-saa-yook-feel-sal-gii, meaning a super technique of insect rearing) housing over five thousand members, and he was once the head administrator.
AND two undergraduate students, Jaedong Kim (micro-Lepidoptera) and Jihoon Kim (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) joined our dinner table. Two are very knowledgeable students in their field of study, working toward getting entomology degrees. As they happened to be students of CNU, I decided to ask them to come over. Despite the great time I’m enjoying with them, I found out the very last bust departing back to Seongnam is on 9PM. So we had to hurry back to the CNU lab and take a look at the collection room.
Their collection room was quite messy as they were keep updating things. Junggon showed me around and explained that the lab is now preserving specimens in fluid, for DNA sequencing. Also the current dried collections are from old adviser/head professor, and no one has enough time to sort them up. Still, there were A LOT of dried collections.
It was interesting as there were lots of public display collections as well as bunch of mixed up butterflies, beetles, and all other things. Some are labeled properly while some aren’t. Junggon said some portion of dried collections are donations from previous students who took introductory entomology courses.
From the left to right: Jihoon Kim (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae), Jaedong Kim (micro-Lepidoptera), Junsuk Kim (author), Hangyeol Ji (Hemiptera: Tingidae), Junggon Kim (Hemiptera: Miridae).
Now, I REALLY had to hurry back, thankfully, Junggon Kim gave me a quick ride to the intercity bus station so I was able to get on bus in time. I returned to home at around 12AM. Although it was very short trip to CNU, I really enjoyed my time with good people there.