On the Street

Dad, Meet Korea

On October 16th, around 2 am, after the last guests had left from a party Joe and I threw at my apartment called October Shindizzle, I checked my email.  Top of the inbox was a surprise message from my dad, which read:

Hi Courtney;

How are you doing?

I am thinking about coming to South Korea to visit you. It would be about a 10 day trip and I would be in Busan for 8 days and 2 days travel time.

I have looked at flights and the dates Nov. 22nd to Dec. 1st are available now and those dates work for me.

Can you let me know asap if then is a good time for you.

LOV

DAD     


Toilet Creatures

I’m not sure why the public bathroom on Somaemuldo features faceless metal creatures with fork hands guiding visitors to its entrance, but it does.  And I love them.  Korea, you continue to surprise me.

The guy on the left appears in need of the facilities himself...


Birds and Towers, Busan

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Last Sunday Joe and I took a stroll through Dongbaek Park, where pines and camellias line walkways that jut out from the edge of Haeundae Beach toward a stony, salt-air shore.  Birds gathered among the pebbles, then lifted off together, riding the cold wind past these windowed city towers.


Night Lights in Nampo

If you live in Busan, and haven’t yet strolled through Nampodong after dark this season, I suggest hopping on line 1 as soon as possible to check out Christmas–Korea style.  

You’ll spot a whole lot of the typical holiday symbols…


Bogildo Night (and a rooftop dawn)

Walking at night.  On a tiny island in Korea.

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Jeju City Night

One of the things I appreciate about Korea is how safe the streets feel.  Even in Busan, a city of 3.5 million people, you can wander at night without feeling like every unexpected sound or figure signals danger.  The lone man lying on a bench who looks like he’s sleeping is really just…sleeping.  The young guys standing outside the open-late food stall aren’t loitering, they’re…snacking on ramyeon.  Even when no one’s in sight, the street’s silence is peaceful, a chance to hear the trees move, if there’s wind, or the whir of a floor fan as you pass a shop’s entrance, its owner napping on a mat behind the counter.

Not that I roam the streets alone very often, but, you know, if I feel like it I can.  So on my last night in Jeju City, I slowed down on the way back to the hotel, and listened.  And looked.  Peering through the lens of a camera pulls me into the present moment like nothing else.

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Air Dry and Gaeli

Nobody uses dryers here.  I kind of like it that way.  

The garments hanging off the rack in my apartment don’t look nearly as vibrant as these linens–lots of greys, blues, and whites have claimed the suitcase backpack closet this year.  But summer’s here, and I’m craving colour.  Perhaps the Korean towels drying in the sun have inspired?    

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Knock Knock

I’ve always liked brick.  But sometimes you need an afternoon wander through a big-city village North of the stream to discover doors intrigue you too.  And door knockers. 

Thanks, Bukchon.  You were my favourite part of Seoul.   

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Alone in the City

Approximately 1 million people in Seoul are homeless.

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Some gather in communities of 20-30.

Some brave their days in groups of 10 or less.

Some go it alone.

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If you live in Seoul, you can help.

Learn how to volunteer with the Itaewon Global Village Center here.

And discover ”Feed Your Seoul” through PLUR here.


Seoul Blues (& Greys)

My favourite colour, in all its shades.

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