our rest town on the way to the penis park was samcheok. we weren't expecting much. just a place to crash and have some food before going to the park.
samchoek turned out to be a gorgeous seaside town, currently hosting a festival.
close by was a set of caves that could be explored. apparently this building has an imax movie experience about the caves.
i was a little disappointed to find out that it wasn't a cake themed hotel. but the cave and bat references were all over town. and they were pretty great.
a really gorgeous setting. and the weather was great the whole weekend.
this is part of the walk to our residence hall. down a slope, over a river and up another slope. a little distance from the main temple and shrine area.
the whole place was nestled into mountains that resembled the lotus flower which is what gave the area such great significance.
these are the musical instruments that would call us to meditation and wake us up in the morning.
i used to sleep through the power saws, mig welding, and hammering noises of a scene shop 100 yards from my bedroom. this was a five minute walk from our residence area. . . no way it's gonna wake me at 3am.
this is called a love tree. they share a branch. because they share a branch people will pose below the tree and take pictures of themselves with it. oh, and since they share a branch if one tree gets sick the other tree will provide nutrients to keep it alive through that one branch. hence- they live together and die together.
(heh. . . see what i did there. sappy, maple syrup. mmm, i want pancakes.)
from there we walked over to insa-dong. it’s also a great place to go searching for some gifts. we were both successful in shopping for the gifts we had in mind, but we were sidetracked but something bright and colorful in an upstairs store window.
i’m paraphrasing a bit. . . but it went something like this. . .
erika- what’s that?
ryan- i’m not sure.
erika- is that a huge voltron in the window?
ryan- is it a store?
erika- i don’t know.
pause. . . . stare. . . .
erika- do you wanna?
so we walked up stairs. . . .there was a cover charge. only a dollar. so we weren’t sure if it was a museum, or a store. . . . but i took some pictures. and i was able to actually buy some stickers. perhaps the ‘black hole’ of toys. (and by black hole i don’t mean the space anomaly, but the los alamos lab reseller/ junk yard/ auction.)
ps- the store was called TOTO. so there was that too.
so. much. stuff. this place had me baffled, delighted, and a little creeped out all at once. plus that inclination i have to organize things was itching at me. . . i mean really! ET, yoda, and an assembly of voltron like figures all in the same box? who does that? unless the category is awesome and unearthly?
it has been a really delightful day. (valentines day for some- korean new years for some.)
good company- friends from work came over to hang out.
decent food- i started cooking early and just kept putting dishes and snacks out.
we sat around and watched videos. . . listened to music. . . talked. all good. . . all fun. really chill and nice.
then they left.
i sat at my computer and deliberately pulled out a blog from a rough patch of time.
why? why stir up the dust?
am i compelled to balance happiness (a nice day) with unhappiness (a painful memory)?
or am i testing my current resolve against past challenges?
why read about that tough first week after leaving new mexico for california?
why question the decision to leave new mexico?
why put such a downer to the end of a nice day?
why look back? (didn’t do orpheus any good either)
it’s natural to wonder if our decisions will lead to us in the right direction. but what happens when you don’t know where you want to be?
i never had a five year plan.
- not much for strategy. probably why i don’t like playing chess.
i have an amorphous list of things i’d like to do. . . places i’d like to go. . .
it seems that once i pick a direction my focus and tenacity kicks in- even if it’s in the wrong direction.
i know i didn’t make the best judgment calls, but i’d like to think that i made the best of my situation. (most of the time)
my friend tells me that life wouldn’t be as fun if we knew the end. like reading the last page of a book- it’s all out of context and makes the journey less interesting.
i agree. i don’t need to know the end. . . or the specifics. but it would be nice to know the genre. . . true crime? tragedy? chick lit? comedy? thriller?
(lame blog ending)
guess i’ll have to file it under ‘mystery’ for the time being.
(not so lame blog ending)
eh, no worries. happy new year.
(awesome blog ending)
screw this pensive shit. . . . i’m gonna call action chicken man for some dinner delivery!
not quite my birthday, but i got a package from mom, dad, and dan. an express box filled with trader joe peanut butter cups. . . nearly 10 pounds.
i actually said it smelled a little of peanut butter and chocolate before i opened it.
ironically i carried the package in my gym bag to my after school workout.
when action chicken mask man arrives. . . this is what he looks like on the video door bell.
this would be a legendary prank to play on someone who is unaware of the action chicken mask man.
really, what would you think if you saw this at the door. it probably isn't the mormons!
procrastination clutters my life-
for some reason i am completely unmotivated to put my washing away when it is done. dry clothes remain on the rack, clean socks and undies sit on my couch.
podcasts i’ve already heard sit in my ipod taking up space.
unused, unwatched and unread notebooks, dvds, magazines and books cover nearly every flat surface.
things i bought and received while i was home sit in luggage or boxes to be filed and used.
for a time, everything is stagnant.
then i need something.
a clean shirt- i look through my closet, nope, i left that one on the rack. crap- i cooked chicken last night and it smells like dinner. . . pick a different shirt.
that movie to bring to a friend’s- is it in the drawer where it should be? or in this exiled pile of dvds that i meant to watch soon? or did i leave it on the table from the last time i brought it over? perhaps under that stack of magazines and books that i meant to put away.
that website to order tickets- in the notebook i usually carry in my bag. . . but it was nearly out of clean sheets, so i took it out and didn’t transfer the info to a newer notebook. also under the stack of magazines? maybe just a couple of loose sheets somewhere. . . under the computer?. . . in the drawer?
place to sit- clear the couch? nah. . . just sit on the bed.
sync the ipod- no more space. . . lose an hour or two to reshuffle the podcasts i already listened to and albums i won’t listen to . .. make room for new music.
subway map- shit. . . day bag, but all that was transfered to a different bag while travelling. . . did it make it back, or still in the other bag. . . or also under that stack of magazines and books and notes to be put away?
then, i’m running late. . . i’ve torn through a third of my belongings. . . made even more of a mess, and i’m out the door because at least i’ve got that one thing that i needed right then and there.
the next thing will just have to wait for an opening in the crisis mode schedule.
did i mention i lost my best korean phrase book? it could possibly be somewhere among all my stuff. . . but i feel that it possibly slipped out of my bag (since my bag is also cluttered) and i somehow i didn’t notice for a few days.
i could be missing other things and don’t even know! how aggravating.
i don’t like it like this. . . and i know exactly how to fix it. . . i just lack initiative.
this isn’t even what i meant to blog about. i was supposed to write about my trip home . . . then maybe touch on how things have gone since i’ve been back.
there are so many details- just the first flight into the states is enough to make it’s own blog (my flight was the next international flight that landed in detroit after amsterdam’s flight with the failed bomb attempt on christmas day). . .
and yet i’m finding the task daunting. . .
and i’m worried that i’ll miss at nailing the specifics that i meant to hit.
i forget the comparisons i wanted to make. . .
the anecdotes aren’t as clear in my memory.
the blog will not meet the expectations i had. . .and so, i don’t blog. for a while.
procrastination clutters my life. . .
dulls my memory. . .
and feeds my self doubt.
time to fix it and get on track. . .
or maybe tomorrow night.