It may look like it probably contains a Minotaur somewhere in the middle, but it is worthy of your love.
I once met a man on the way to Incheon International Airport. I was sitting alone with my enormous travel bag, reading, and he drifted into the seat next to me. At length, he wrote the word “wretch” on a napkin in a lovely, florid cursive style, and asked me to pronounce it. It became clear that this was simply his ice-breaker, as he informed me that, as a retiree, he had nothing to do but ride the rails all day and talk to strangers. Internally, I reacted with some degree of horror. Why would someone spend his golden years of rest experiencing something so horrible and repulsive, so dehumanizing and alienating and weird?
Not talking to strangers, mind you. Riding the subway.
Another month, another post where I stall by showing you the places I go via camera, rather than shaggy dog anecdote with occasional jokes for good measure. A few weeks back, I jetted (or generally meandered) to coastal Sokcho for hiking, ojingo sundae, and fireworks. Fun was had, mountains were hiked, photo opportunities exhausted. And, just the other day (!), I went with a dear-friend and similar camera enthusiast (hi Nancy!) to Seonyudo Park in Seoul to take pretty pictures and laze the day away in obnoxious Korean summer heat. Behold!
Chuseok, the Korean Thanksgiving, is a time when many Koreans visit family with gifts and food, and pay respects to dead ancestors. For English teachers in Korea, it means three days off in the middle of the week, and maybe a Monday or a Friday (or both, if you’re lucky). Going through the extended immigration process to declare yourself a resident alien meant I wasn’t sure of my ability to travel, and thus I was left in Incheon to figure out what I could do with a week off.