Saturday, September 27, 2008

Trying to be calm while overwhelmed

So, in that spirit, I'll spare the grisly details of traveling like a maniac and being w/family 24/7 (that, by the way, is NOT over yet ... tomorrow is the day our extended family comes together for my grandfather's death rites, so it's family all the way for a while). I'll come back to the weirdness of today's "quickie" day trip to a small city 2 hours from Seoul for a hanji festival later - still processing that.

I'm pulling a Terttu, but w/not as many photos. I'm going to worry about putting everything on flickr LATER. So these are the selects, for now.

On Jeju Island, these phallic fertility gods are ALL OVER the place. No joke.

This is Dragon Head Rock, a basalt formation from a volcanic lava flow. This is the angle that avoids the hotels along the seaside.

Hiking up to a Buddhist shrine, and all over places on the island, are rocks that people place that they wish on.

You do it w/o knocking down all the ones that came before, obviously.

Drinking mountain spring water at the shrine (all ladles and cups are already there - works in a culture that's not germ-o-phobic).

I loved seeing all of these in all sorts of places. This is in a mountain grotto, surrounded by candles and incense.

These are below, closer to the bottom of the mountain.


A ginormous spider (there were tons, and their webs were a bright yellow, I think. Actually, I can't remember exactly, but they were striking) at the O'Sulloc tea museum, where we had kick-ass green tea ice cream.

FOOD. This place was the closest you'd get to organic, close to the ground eating. I think they grow all their stuff on sight - this is from the Spirited Garden, an amazing site devoted to bonsai trees, known as bunjae in Korea.

Ginseng being ... I don't even know. It was a creepy visit, part Dharma Initiative, part infomercial.

This was the closest we got to the "beach" on the island. This part of the island at this time of year is very dangerous, so we weren't able to get to sea. We skipped the "cruise" tour and instead got our feet wet. Of course, I had to go out a second time and then have waves crash all over me (no place to run: all rocks), which embarrassed my family to no end since I was in a linen dress that of course went see-through.

We watched this dude get up on that big formation and take pictures of himself.

This is at the biggest Buddhist temple in Korea.

This, too, which makes me wonder about what is in my blood. Since I do work like this all the time (the piece is LONG, vertical, and embroidered: labor labor labor labor labor).

Inside the temple.

I love this kind of repetition. Again, making me wonder about my bloodline.

Cheesy hotel pics. We stayed at a REALLY fancy hotel (part of the package), which was a lovely treat. My sis and her husband never had a honeymoon, so this was how we compensated for it.

In Busan, a port city on the southeast shore of Korea, there's a famous seafood market. It was pretty wild.

There were too many people so I could only shoot a few pics. The catch was gorgeous mostly and scary sometimes. Sad, too, like the turtles.

The portrait of the young artist (in a very badly coordinated outfit b/c it was the last day and I had run out of clothes [but thank goodness Pauly sent yoga pants as a gift w/my sister from NYC!!!]) knitting next to a 1995 piece by a famous dead Korean artist (Nam June Paik) in a hotel lobby.

The KTX (high-speed rail) train from Busan to Seoul.

Coming "home" to amazingly amazing "knife noodles" - cut noodles with dumplings in broth. The kimchee at this place was oversaturated w/garlic. I mean, outrageously so. This restaurant only serves this dish, and does it really well.

From the gate that leads into the bonsai garden. I wonder if I will ever have a productive life.


elizabeth ross said...

wooonderful images!
thank you!!!

Anonymous said...

wow this is all very interesting esp your observations about your dna. i hope you can find a way to rest sometime soon. :)

Anonymous said...

I am loving the photos, traveling along with you. Especially since I'm back here, stuck in grey concrete, traffic, or el from hell situations.