Until today we were staying in Yangsan, a suburb of Busan (Pusan), with these friends of Myung’s. I know it’s all pixelated, but it came from another camera. The woman, Kwong Ja, is her friend from all the way back in elementary school. The man, Il Hwan, is that woman’s husband. We decided to stay here for a while, and today we moved to an apartment. Those friends gave us some stuff to get started with. Other than that, moving was no harder than packing our packs up and going over there. Here is Il Hwan in his studio. His work is applying images to surfaces of window curtains, tiles, or any other surface. His stuff makes one want a place where you could put it up.
In a way, Myung and I have taken a step closer together. In another way, we are taking a break from travelling. Myung is from this area and knows people. It makes sense, and I’m looking forward to hanging out with Myung and getting to know the place I’m in better than I usually do. I’m going to try to pick up some Korean and see if I can become halfway functional here. Should be interesting all the way around.
Myung’s friends are all very nice. One of them has a restaurant. Here is Myung with assorted friends.
Becoming Korean takes a little rewiring of my circuitry. For example, many people just love kareoke. Doing this requires taking a deep breath and doing as the Romans do.
There are popular songs in English too. I sang “Hotel California” by request. Everyone clapped along and played tamborines.
“On a dark desert highway/Cool wind in my hair
Warm smell of colitis/Rising up through the air…”
In another way, I’m still travelling alone.
“We haven’t had that kind of spirit here since 1969”.
The couple we were staying with, Il Hwan and Kyung Ja (Don’t ask me if I’ve transliterated that correctly) have a 14 year old son, Dong Ei. He’s the number two student at his middle school.
A few days have passed since I wrote what you’ve read so far and added the photos. Since moving to our new place, I haven’t had much access to a computer. Finally today, we went to Il Hwan’s office (the man we were staying with) and I have a little time to send something. He has to go in about a half hour, so I think I’ll make this entry shorter than I originally intended.
Our studio apartment is perfectly suitable for us, especially since we don’t have stuff to fill a big place. It has a nice view out the window. The tomb os some ancient king is out there. Ther second picture is just panning to the right.
Yangsan is situated along what you might call the Busan-Ulsan strand in southeast S. Korea. This strand goes between two low mountain ranges, if you can call 500 meter hills mountains. So, either way you go to the side is almost completely uninhabilted greenery. Some roads and paths go in there., and there are a few popular places and temples. It’s like East Bay Regional Parks behind the urban East Bay area of the San Francisco Bay Area. The main difference is that S. Korea is 70% like this, so it goes on and on. Here are some pictures of one of the ways into the hills by Yangsan and a temple there.
Il Hwan needs to go in about 10 minutes, so this is it for blogging for now. My sincere apologies to those of you who haven’t gotten responses to emails for a while. I had hoped to be able to use Myung’s notebook, but it turns out no carrier wants to ship a notebook for fear of damaging it. We tentatively plan to to pick it up and do some other things in Seoul on July 5, so we can get it then. Meanwhile, I should be able to use a computer between now and then.
So, until between now and then, be well all of you.