Buddhist Mornings, Mountain Discoveries in Gimhae

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I noticed a trend this week.

On Tuesday and Thursday, I was in fantastic moods. The kids at school, even the annoying ones, didn’t annoy me so much. I enjoyed work, I enjoyed food, air, sun and exercise.

Thumbs Up

On Wednesday, I felt like a bear getting punched in his testicles.


So, what brought me out of my not at all sexy funk? I “discovered” a new mountain near my apartment.

Up the big-ass hill, through the gravel parking lot, past this apart-uh, bear right...
Up the big-ass hill, through the gravel parking lot, past this apart-uh, bear right… did I just unironically say “bear”?

I quote discovered because I obviously am not the first person to climb it, if the middle-aged Koreans in requisite hiking garb during my pair of jaunts (thus far) are any indication. That, and this really sweet workout station a little ways up.

I work out!
I work out!
It may not be sparkling, but it definitely gets the job done.
It may not be sparkling, but it definitely gets the job done.

For anyone not aware, workout stations are everywhere in Korea. They’re on mountains, they’re in neighborhoods. Old folks love them. I love them. These go a bit beyond those FitTrail things we have in the U.S. (or, at least in New Jersey). Those are pretty barebones: you have a trail to follow and at each stop, a different exercise can be performed. But, everything is everything is nailed to the ground. Can you imagine free weights and dumb bells out in the open in a park back home? No, you can’t, because they would have been stolen by the time you got there.

Following some free working out (I like free), I climbed to the top and took in the farmland side of Gimhae.

Gimhae on high, high on Gimhae.
Gimhae on high, high on Gimhae.

I like some of what they have done to this little city west of Busan. They have added a lightrail to connect it to the bigger city. They are adding other amenities like a modern bus terminal and some bigger shops. But, I do hope they also keep all the farmland that remains.

The other side of the mountain.


Eventually, during my Thursday hike, I stumbled upon a Buddhist temple I have seen from the road on occasion. It was certainly a pleasant surprise, and a place I will soon return to.

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They were conducting late morning chants when I arrived. I did not participate, opting instead to take them in from the speakers sprinkled throughout the property. And now I will share them with you. Enjoy, and think about going on a hike should you have the time. It did wonders for my sour shitty moods!

JPDdoesROK is a former news editor/writer in New Jersey, USA, who served a one-year tour of duty in Dadaepo/Jangnim, Saha-gu, Busan from February 2013 to February 2014. He is now a teacher in Gimhae.


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