My Last Weekend In Korea For A While

Things have been busy. I’m actually going to let this entry be chopped in half because the second half is me just going on about all the various things I did this weekend. I’m not posting pictures tonight, so all there is here is text. Still, for those who find my blatherings about recent events in my personal life interesting, there’s a long description of my weekend. Which was one of the best weekends I’ve had in a while, by the way. If you’re curious, the Continue reading link is just below this line…

Friday I went to Iksan to meet up with some people, namely So Young, Kimberley, and John. Kimberley gave me a wonderful painting, and I had both lunch and dinner with John, as well as a good coffee with So Young.

On Saturday, spent most of the morning copying music to my minidiscs, and after I finished I returned to Iksan; after a coffee and visit with Young Ja, I headed over to Kimberley’s house to help her pack her car. Then we drove to Seoul… Seongnam, specifically, where she and her husband Chai will be living. (Okay, she drove and I handled her dogs in the car.) I spent the night with them, having dinner and watching a rather silly movie. My right eye got really red… I think I am allergic to dogs with really light fluffy hair, because it always happens when I am around her dogs, and I remember the same symptoms when I was around our old family dog Toto.

Then I spent a chunk of the weekend in Seoul again. Sunday morning we had breakfast: Kimberley made the best omelettes I’ve ever had, and we all got ready and then caught the subway into the city. It takes about an hour to get from their suburb to downtown Seoul, and most of the way we rode together. Then I went to Dongdaemun and, well, now I know where to get good deals on a Goretex-fabric jacket (not Goretex brand but it’s a good one, I wore it in Seoul and the breathability and lightness were such a relief, it was warm but neither oppressively so, nor tentatively so!).

When I was on the subway from Dongdaemun to Hyehwa, I had a conversation with an Uzbek man in the only language we had in common: Korean. Nothing too complicated, just where are you from, where do you live, what do you do, stuff like that. But it was pretty exciting for me, speaking the local language with another foreigner who doesn’t know English.

A little later, I met up with Sun Hwa in Hyehwa and we had coffee, dinner, and went to the best jazz club in Seoul, Chunnyun Dongando. We had the luck to see (briefly) a pair of special guests, some Spanish musicians, and then a big band (the name of the band was apparently Big Band), led by the same pianist I saw in Iksan almost 2 years ago, whose name I forget exactly though I think the family name is Shin. They were a really good big band, they played all the cheesy hits I used to have to play in big bands for years and year but it was fun. Sun Hwa asked some questions about the instruments, and after a while she really got into it, cheering and clapping for good solos. It was very cute. She even let me take a few pictures… which, she agrees, turned out well! (She looks downright beautiful in them…) But for some reason she won’t let me post them.

Booooo. Booooooooooooooooooo, I say. Don’t you agree?

But I’m not posting them, am I?

After that, it was time for her to get home and sleep, and for me to catch the bus. In what is becoming rather normal, I met another cool person, a Korean guy who just got back from England where he was studying the archeological uses of analysis of mitochondrial DNA. We had a fascinating talk about science, language, culture, and the confusion it is to love women, all the way back to Jeonju. We exchanged emails and I think I’ll actually look him up when I get back to Korea, to have a beer and talk science some more.

Then I got home and didn’t sleep as early as I should have. So I’m running behind and should get my day on. I’ll try, once I get these pictures batchprocessed and get a few photos online… tomorrow…

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