Muju, South Korea. Walking through a forest with the autumn leaves in fall and life transitions into hibernation, I walk in silence with my camera. Life is tinged with a quality of abandon and everywhere I look, I am reminded how man exerts boundaries on nature.
I realize I’ve a bad habit of underestimating Daegu. These days, I’ve been discovering a small community and niche spots where I can get together with like-minded people for vegan food, art and yoga workouts.
Last night was another one of those nights of goodness at another Daegu dining spot which has me perked up to visiting more often. Nestled in one of the crazy offshoots of Daegu’s Bandwoldang dizzying maze, perched on the 4th floor of a building housing a Mr. Pizza, a restaurant (called New York) and a billiards room, sits Buy the Book Cafe.
Sometimes, finding your guru can feel like a curse. Gurus are dangerous. The inevitable is bound to happen. The moment you develop a passionate preference for something– a gym, a dance or step aerobics class, a psychologist, a personal trainer…– it becomes a “guru”, making it hard to find room in your heart to follow another… Ayurveda Yoga Camp in Muju.
Yesterday, South Korea’s Yeongpyeong Island was struck by a North Korean missile, killing 2 people and injuring 16. The hit list count was less that when North Korea sank a South Korean Naval ship this past March, resulting in 40 casualties; yet this recent news still makes South Koreans a bit nervous.
North Korea’s belligerent actions are begging attention and South Koreans aren’t certain Lee Myung Bak will know how to handle it in any way other than war.
Thanksgiving is this week!
As this is a time for sharing and being grateful for what we’ve learned from others, I thought I’d share some of what I’ve learned from my students and from being in the Korean classroom. Here’s a nicely edited list of some of my favorite My Crazy Kimchi! posts and updates thus far.
Udo Island is exactly what I thought Jeju should be– a small island swaying with a warm and tranquil vibe, the crisp mixed scent of island farming and seaweed, black rock beaches and gentle livestock grazing alongside small country roads. Best of all, it could be done solo and by scooter! But did I know this beforehand? No.
After a 3 hour bus ride, I arrived at Udo Island via ferry at around 4:10P…the last ferry leaving Udo Island was at 5:30P. Call me foolhardy but if I spend hours on a bus just to get to a location, I’ll be damned if I leave without seeing it! So there I was with a little over an hour to explore the island.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be lost in a maze? Mazes have always seemed to be the stuff of minotaur myths. They were something I’d only seen on TV in period dramas and movies like Harry Potter or The Shining. Finally, on Jeju Island, here was my chance to see one.
Sometimes, Jeju can feel a bit random with the variety of theme parks they have. What’s great about this is that the ideas are well-executed and steeped with a kind of off-the-wall self-humor.
Finding veggie foods when I’m traveling Korea is always a bit of a challenge. What are my top go-to Korean foods? It’s all gotten a bit too obvious and predictable in the way of boring. So thanks to yoga Megan, who recently enlightened me to two fresh and healthy vegetarian hiking foods that I can add to my palette!
Crunchy art. It’s the last thing I expected Daegu to produce. To me, crunchy art is very satisfying- a tasty and thought-provoking bit, that you must chew on in order to appreciate it’s flavored variety and texture. When I first heard Daegu was having a Biennale, my first impulse was to dismiss it. I’m glad I didn’t. The exhibition blew me away international works that were witty, gravity-defying, wicked, romantic and… crunchy.