Buddhist Mornings, Mountain Discoveries in Gimhae
I noticed a trend this week.
On Tuesday and Thursday, I was in fantastic moods. The kids at school, even the annoying ones, didn’t annoy me so much. I enjoyed work, I enjoyed food, air, sun and exercise.
On Wednesday, I felt like a bear getting punched in his testicles.
So, what brought me out of my not at all sexy funk? I “discovered” a new mountain near my apartment.
I quote discovered because I obviously am not the first person to climb it, if the middle-aged Koreans in requisite hiking garb during my pair of jaunts (thus far) are any indication. That, and this really sweet workout station a little ways up.
For anyone not aware, workout stations are everywhere in Korea. They’re on mountains, they’re in neighborhoods. Old folks love them. I love them. These go a bit beyond those FitTrail things we have in the U.S. (or, at least in New Jersey). Those are pretty barebones: you have a trail to follow and at each stop, a different exercise can be performed. But, everything is everything is nailed to the ground. Can you imagine free weights and dumb bells out in the open in a park back home? No, you can’t, because they would have been stolen by the time you got there.
Following some free working out (I like free), I climbed to the top and took in the farmland side of Gimhae.
I like some of what they have done to this little city west of Busan. They have added a lightrail to connect it to the bigger city. They are adding other amenities like a modern bus terminal and some bigger shops. But, I do hope they also keep all the farmland that remains.
Eventually, during my Thursday hike, I stumbled upon a Buddhist temple I have seen from the road on occasion. It was certainly a pleasant surprise, and a place I will soon return to.
They were conducting late morning chants when I arrived. I did not participate, opting instead to take them in from the speakers sprinkled throughout the property. And now I will share them with you. Enjoy, and think about going on a hike should you have the time. It did wonders for my sour shitty moods!
JPDdoesROK is a former news editor/writer in New Jersey, USA, who served a one-year tour of duty in Dadaepo/Jangnim, Saha-gu, Busan from February 2013 to February 2014. He is now a teacher in Gimhae.