The Shanty Town Must Come Down.
There’s a shanty town outside my window that I love very much.
I took this photo last winter. I understand that it may seem selfish of me to love that shanty town, but I did love it. I still love it. But it’s being torn down.
Six thirty in the morning (just) one morning, they tore the roofs off the town and they haven’t been back since.
My friend and I went to visit today.
I don’t know why they tore it down. I am not sure why there were all these things left there. But some of the things were precious.
Like this wedding album from 1997.
Or a child’s sing along tapes.
Only one was rather empty, and Lacey found a rubix cube covered in the flags of English speaking countries alongside Korea’s.
This thing. I’ve never seen a spider like that and thinking of him gives me the chills. He was the size of my palm.
My apartment building is on the far left.
It was sad and dirty and wet from the rain. It was abandoned.
Maybe they were relocated easily or maybe not.
But I loved that shanty town.
And now it looks just like all the other abandoned buildings around my apartment that are full of trash and treasure.
Green Tea Fields
I signed up for a race in the Boseong tea fields that was scheduled for Saturday the 26th of April. Because of the recent tragedy, it was cancelled.
Before it was cancelled, my friends from Iksan organized for all of us to stay in a pension on Saturday night so that we could explore the fields together in the morning (THANKS AMBER!!). After splitting hangovers and incredible breakfast, we set out for our adventure.
It was spitting rain but it gave us this brooding green and grey backdrop to experience something much better than what sunshine could have offered.
We got split up into two groups…my group was exploring and going past ropes to get some solid photos.
We found ourselves engrossed in this green that we don’t get to see that often in our polluted cities and towns. The weather was moody and enchanting. Not too cold, a little wet. Only one of us with an umbrella.
Maybe it’s the winter that’s hard on me, or my new job. But I can say that I love you Korea. I love you.
And we climbed to the top, and instead of going back down we followed whatever road was odd and would take us farther away.
We came underneath tall trees with pink flowers that were falling like the rain around us.
It was all very romantic.
We talked about home and dinosaurs and how we would fare if we had to live in the wilderness alone.
Thank you Korea, for letting me call you home and for bringing such incredible people into my life.
I have a very creative coworker who was hunting for a mannequin for an upcoming art show in Seoul.
We walked downtown together which takes around 45 minutes or more.
Korea, you’re so beautiful.
I often run this path to downtown. it goes to the river and it’s incredibly green. It’s not unusual to see cranes high stepping in there, and I’m glad that I moved to Gwangju because of this bit of wildlife.
Along the river there’s a particular set of artists who make the walk even better.
We came off the river and up to side street that had three mannequin stores.
After scoping out the first two, we went to the third where there was a woman named So Hee who helped us. She didn’t speak English but with the help of my translator and my piss poor Korean, she started showing us different mannequins. I told her one was too expensive, and she brought us out of the store, around the corner, and down into a basement.
This was certainly the creepiest one in there, but she pulled out a few that were more price appropriate, but none of them were going to fit the purpose.
We went back to the 2nd store and called the Ajjashi out to the front.
After enquiring about a particular model, we bought her for a reasonable price. I spent time wiping her down with cloth and a spray bottle because she was filthy.
Her leg is damaged but she’s perfect.
We popped her arms and legs off and detached her torso and put her in a bag and walked around downtown. Got lunch, bought a wallet, got in a taxi.
I’m glad I have creative friends, because without them it’s easy for me to slack on being creative myself.
I don’t have to abandon it.
I can just come back after a short lapse in writing, styling, and thrifting, can’t I?
I guess I’ve been having trouble choosing what to write about, how to catch up, how to keep my blog consistent now that I live in a different situation and a different way.
I’ll just write something about what the fuck I’ve been doing lately.
The answer is running.
I ran my first 10k race in Daegu, 51:14
My next race I want to get under fifty, maybe.
Also I got a new tattoo. From the same human who did Amos Widowmaker - the so so talented Memento.
And I’ll make another goal to do this again, sometime soon.
#tbt #throwbackthursday i never thought when i was in China i would ever have the strength to move to Asia alone. Heres to health and happiness.
Once a frozen tundra then a blossoming paradise, #iksan #Korea has become a teeming paradise of #insects
I cannot describe how much i love my life. Ive never thrived so much. I am endlessly grateful for my friends at home and abroad!
Korea, i really love you. Like really really love you.
Found my #hagwon rooftop
Not eating meat anymore.
And since i have an obvious problem with consistency… Lets see how this goes.
seafood is still a go.
What a long and exhausting weekend!
What was supposed to be a laborious trek to this epic looking island hike for camping turned into a holy shit what are we going to do for the long weekend scramble.
Camping is naturally more fun with lots of people, and my two favorite ladies went to Japan, while some of the boys had a hard time committing to the long trek.
The weekend was still amazing either way, because Will and I went camping with our friend Tae Eun and his beautiful family. It was so nice of him to invite us!
We took a train to Seocheon where Tae Eun picked us up and drove us to the beach. Armed with sunscreen and brand new “camping gear,” we were ready for some fun in the sun.
Korean camping (at least in this case) was a far cry from the camping that I’m used to in Colorado. Because of the long weekend it was very crowded, and Koreans have more awesome gear to camp with than I’ve ever seen!
There were hammocks that (I think) came with the campground, set up between trees all over. Almost all the tents were the same color - but not all the same brand. I saw Coleman tents and a lot of one particular Korean brand that I can’t seem to remember the name of.
Will and I set down our stuff, grabbed a beer, and went out to the beach.
I saw a whole lot of strange shell fish that I’d never seen before.
Wtf is that thing?
We saw quite a few people hunting for clams and snails. The beach was covered in tiny holes from teeny crabs and lots of clams. The next time I go to the beach I’m buying a spade so hunt for those critters myself.
After Will and I did a bit of exploring, we went back to the campsite for some barbecue. Tae Eun’s set up is pretty sweet, with a table that goes over an adjustable grill. We ate Mok Sal, which is the meat from the neck of a pig. Absolutely delicious. This man really knows how to cook.
His two children are adorable. His daughter was unsure of me and very shy, but his son and I played catch with pine cones for close to two hours. If I ever got distracted with talking to his parents or to Will, he would yell “Eemoh!” which means auntie in Korean. Talk about melt my heart.
Tae Eun prefers to use sticks and pine needles and pinecones for the grill rather than coals because he doesn’t want to expose his children to the chemicals found in the coals. What a great dad. I didn’t realize how long you could have a fire with pinecones. Those things burn like champions!
We set up our “tent” inside the foyer into Tae Eun’s tent. Our “tent” doesn’t have a cover. It’s just net walls except for the font entry, which is thin nylon. It might be a “hang out on the beach room” rather than a “sleep outside” kind of thing. Because Tae Eun let us set up our tent here, we didn’t have to pay the expensive 20,000 won camping fee.
Between the camping site and the beach there were lots of little restaurants and a convenient store. The convenient store ended up closing because it ran out of things to sell - and it put me off so much that I realized how dependent I have become on the convenience of this country. At any time I am usually within one block of a 24 hour establishment where I can get basic necessities and snacks. I was incredibly annoyed by that one being closed for all of twelve hours!
We woke up and ate ramen, packed up our stuff, and Tae Eun drove us to the bus station so we could head to Gunsan and eventually back to Iksan for some rest.
In Gunsan I took Will to that old railroad because it’s close to the bus station and we were pretty tired.
There were a ton of couples with massive cameras setting up little rocks on the tracks and taking pictures in front of cute doors and beautiful colors.
For Saturday night we went to Jeonju with Jakob and Wesley to check out the nightlife of our neighboring city.
It was certainly a successful weekend!
Next weekend I’ll be on the outskirts of Jeonju for this Music Festival.
Loving my life here!
Okay korea. That one was pretty good.
Love me some beach sunsets. And jumping.