Missing photos


Inexplicably, some of my photos from previous posts have gone missing or were deleted. Seeing as I’m the only one in control of this blog (that I know of) this should not be happening. I did purge some unused photos recently, so I suppose I might have accidentally included some I wanted to keep.

I’m in the process of restoring these images (and then some) as well as revising some of my older posts that looked a little lonely or could use an extra photo.

Please let me know if you come across any errors, be they factual, grammatical, or just missing an image where there was one. Revising takes a lot of time and energy though, so this may end up being a long process.

This weekend and next week in particular will be rather busy, what with moving to the apartment down the hall (it gets sun) and settling in for the real start of year 2.

The Blue Wall comes down


IMG_8494 (2)IMG_8491 (2)The blue wall encircling the construction of the Cultural Complex has been coming down piece by piece as the construction workers focus their efforts on the sidewalk surrounding the area. Pedestrians can now see the walls of buildings and into the courtyards and plazas that will soon be available to the public. I’m not sure when this year it will be complete but now my work days are highlighted by each new development I spot on the way. Today, for example, I spotted a small army of ajummas (older women) crouched on the sloped lawn, weeding it by hand.

IMG_8481 (2)Where before, the construction was largely a mystery happening behind a colorfully decorated wall, now the project is visible for all to see. Normal people can feel a part of the process now. Even the workers are more visible than before: heading to restaurants downtown in groups, to eat, wearing their dusty work pants and scarves around their necks.

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I’m a little excited to see what it will be like once completed, though, the buildings themselves don’t interest me much: culture museum here, art exhibition halls and a music hall. But there will be trees and a small park and lights; that interests me.  The buildings only interest me for the reflections they produce.

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Still, I’m a little sad to see the wall go down. It was the first subject of my photos in Korea, when I went out with the intention to take pictures. The art-work and graffiti on it were constantly evolving so there was always something new to see. I wonder what’s become of the panels. Were they just sent to the junk heap? I kind of hope that some of it was preserved in one of those shiny buildings: a memory of the building process.

Goodbye wall!IMG_0537 IMG_0539 IMG_3080

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Hiking to Seoseokdae


“Do you want to go hiking with me on Saturday?” asks my friend Natalie.

After a little thought – and the added incentive of eating at a great vegetarian restaurant after hiking – I agree. “Where?”

“Mudeungsan,” she replies. While my one and only hike up Mudeung mountain had an uneven ratio of effort to payoff, I’m willing to give it another try. It has many trails and there’s no reason we’d have to hike the same trail that left me cherry-red and breathless all for a smoggy view of some hills.

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I could probably find my house if it weren’t for the pollution screen. On the upside, I can barely see the city which means I can almost fantasize that I’m in the middle of nowhere. Umm…yay?

Not including eating dinner together, this will be our first activity together that doesn’t involve a Pedro trip.

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WinK island getaway


I glance at my watch as I race out the door. 8:40 pm. I hope no one minds that I left 20 minutes earlier than usual. No eyebrows raise and no one seems to notice or care.

My backpack feels light  but I have to continuously readjust the tent and tripod bags on my shoulder. They keep slipping. Coming to work while burdened down with these as well as a sleeping bag and a shoulder bag, made me rather self-conscious. But, like my departure, my arrival went largely unnoticed.

Now in a taxi, I race to the bus terminal and manage to get a bus to Ansan leaving in ten minutes. Enough time to buy more water: something I neglected to pack earlier.

I text Skofe to let him know I’ll be arriving in about 4 hours; much earlier than my generous prediction when I’d waffled about whether to come or not. Continue reading