At first you may not know how to place an order at a kimbap shop. Are there picture menus or menus in English? Hah! So how does one recognize a kimbap shop or order from it?
Back in Korea for the summer, I passed a neighborhood Paris Baguette and da-ding! I realized I was back just in time for patbingsu (밭빈수) season! Yowza!…
Hanok houses are absolutely sublime. It’s a shame that Koreans are replacing them with bland high-rise apartments. However, there are places where you can stroll through the walled mazes and see them well-preserved …
Musangsa Temple, Day #2, South Korea. It’s 3:10A, the wooden moktak is struck and it’s barely audible. Fortunately, someone had set their alarm. Monks must be light sleepers. We get dressed and go to the meditation room.
My eyes emerge from their crusted vision and recognize the cushion situated a few centimeters before my feet. The room is toasty and tinged with a faint incense. A two foot tall golden Buddha sitting in lotus position in the center of the room, mediates the sexes- men on one side, women on the other. The monks file in. Our teacher, the foreboding but jolly Lithuanian stood across them, keeping a guiding eye on us. The wooden moktak is struck again. Some sticks are clacked and in unison, we begin.
108 prostrations in silence.
Day #1 at Templestay, Korea. The mind must be a clean slate, an empty cup.
Blank mind, empty cup. Yes, I could feel it…the Zen was sinking into me.
Listen to the sound of your breath.
I could hear it alright- deep, tranquil, low…
Lose attachment to all sound and body.
Definitely losing it. Walls were losing focus, limbs had gone beyond numb. Outside, the birds, wind, trees, the sound of my neighbors’ fidgeting,… it all passed through my ears, falling right through me.
Some things are meant to be. Like second chances. They come around, staring you in the eye, even when you don’t know they exist.
On my last walkabout in Seoul, I found a restaurant– Petra Palace– that made falafels amongst other mediterranean dishes, but my experience was not so great. The falafels lacked character, flavor and spice. When I take a bite of a falafel, I want to inhale the Middle East!
Attention all Mac and Apple fans, you can get your Apple fix in Korea too!
When I first arrived to Korea and realized I needed a converter plug for my Apple Powerbook, I was given an apologetic look and an explanation that there weren’t many Apple stores here. I was told there was one store in Seoul called Frisbee.
there are more stores than I was led to believe… Korea has two certified Apple Reseller stores– Frisbee and a# .
For a weekend traveler living in Korea, Seoul makes my blood race. Sometimes there’s an ongoing list of things of events taking place or sometimes, I just have to create my own ways of having fun.