Just before I split from bustling Haeundae Beach (barely a minute after arriving), an older guy approached, asked if I was a photographer, smiled with compassion worthy of the Buddha himself when I confessed my true calling, and proceeded to list all the other westerners he’d befriended. Then he commenced a detailed discourse on the history of Yonggung Temple.
Did you ever have one of those jobs where entering the office some mornings was like sailing a cursed clipper ship into a fog of doom? Actually, just about every job I’ve ever had has been like that.
Back to Japan this post, folks: freezing Hokkaido and the beginning of my ill-fated and immediately disastrous attempt to walk the length of Japan from top to bottom in 2008 (my friend Chris was down in the tropical south, walking north).
I wouldn’t want to be born a dog in Korea. After sixteen months in the country and with at least a thousand miles on foot behind me, I’ve seen and been yapped at by enough mutts to conclude that you can broadly segregate them into three groups.
Hey, all. Just to show that there’s more to the mean streets of Jangyu than the trash and decay I highlighted in the last post, I thought I’d balance things out today with a bit of urban beauty. This is the first of my Scenes from a Stroll to feature more than one picture, but I think this lot work together as a series. And to tell the truth, I couldn’t bear to break up the set!
Their roofs, doors, windows and other useful parts were cannibalised long ago. Only their cinder-block-and-concrete shells remain, and perhaps the faded cheer of their pastel overcoats. Spring seedlings advance to their rubble-littered edges…
A few minutes’ walk from my place, the frisky ponies frolicking down Daecheong Creek that I described in the last post are corralled in concrete, broken in and tamed into prancing show ponies. The Daecheong from that point is a sad and languid canal that slumps obediently towards the ocean near Busan, its sides and banks liberally strewn with trash, its momentum disrupted with spillovers and channels and detours through pipes. Hard to believe it’s the same waterway.