Jeju City

Jeju City Night

One of the things I appreciate about Korea is how safe the streets feel.  Even in Busan, a city of 3.5 million people, you can wander at night without feeling like every unexpected sound or figure signals danger.  The lone man lying on a bench who looks like he’s sleeping is really just…sleeping.  The young guys standing outside the open-late food stall aren’t loitering, they’re…snacking on ramyeon.  Even when no one’s in sight, the street’s silence is peaceful, a chance to hear the trees move, if there’s wind, or the whir of a floor fan as you pass a shop’s entrance, its owner napping on a mat behind the counter.

Not that I roam the streets alone very often, but, you know, if I feel like it I can.  So on my last night in Jeju City, I slowed down on the way back to the hotel, and listened.  And looked.  Peering through the lens of a camera pulls me into the present moment like nothing else.

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Time Travel on Route 97, Jeju

This isn’t the time travel part.

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Going South (and west, and north, and back)

Back home to my Busan pad after an eight-day vacay into the south of South Korea…land of islands, mountains (okay, this whole country is covered in mountains), volcanoes, trees so lush they appear to burst from the countryside, flat-stone, black-rock, and gold-sand beaches, caves and waterfalls, too much rice, and permed ajummas renting floor mats to stretch out on for the night.  


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