Wednesday, October 24, 2007


I was going to blog about something profound like usual..... but since all around me my fellow staff are talking of nothing but Halloween costumes that's really all that is in my brain. We are looking at ordering costumes on school account for our school costume party. The issue is this; do I go as Spiderman with tights that only go to my knees. (korean catalogue doesn't have my size) or... why drag the joke on; the basic issue is, all orderable costumes become humorous rather than scary because of my huge size. That just is not very cool. I think I will end up as Dr. Frankenferter. that'll be the end of my job, I guess.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Adjashi Afternoon

Adjashi; meaning man, but generally seeming to refer to older men. I spent Saturday afternoon wandering Seoul and found myself in a park in North Central Seoul which I have been to before where the Adjashis gather to play board games. Two games in Particular. One a form of Chinese Checkers and the other somewhere between chess and Mahjong. The place has the worlds highest concentration of old men. I can't prove that except by photo, so here it is. In contrast the man above is sitting in the Palace grounds watching the ducks, far enough away from the maddness that is the Soju'd scene below to be contemplative. The contrast was sublime.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Jeju -do Tropical currents

Jeju is an island of the southern coast of South Korea. Because of its position in the yellow sea it picks up warm currents from south east Asia. This makes for an island filled with tropical crushed coral and white sand beaches, palm trees and mandarin orange groves,. The island was formed 450,000 years ago, or so, by massive volcanic eruptions. In fact the whole Island is made up of Lava rock covered in sediment.
This is a small farming and fishing village on the Island of Udo off the east coast of Jeju. We rented scooters and drove around the island; about a one hour trip.
In this photo you can see about six of the many craters that grew out of the ocean when this place erupted . I hiked three hours up to the top of Hallasan volcano, and four down. The trip brought me above the clouds as you can see. I had an image of the crater This is another sub -crater of the this geologic wonder. I hiked to the top of this crater at night under a full moon with a blanket and hiked through bamboo and brambles to the far side of the crater and slept in on a green shelf ledge with the sea smashing into the crater wall about 150' below me. I didn't bring my camera and so cann't share the beautiful sight that greeted me in the morning. Here are some basalt columns similar to the ones in Scotland. Formed from molten Basalt lava pouring into the ocean and cooling fast enough to shock it into a this form . The rock cracks and pulls away from itself in a hexagonal pattern. Here is a Palm shrub bloom . How cool is that.Bodhisattva won't you take me by the hand... Funny story . The ship you can see down in the Harbor is actually on land and is a remake of a dutch sailing ship captained by a guy named Hamel. He shipwrecked on this island in 1468 or 1648 . He and his crew survived and befriended the locals . But the governor of the island decided that they were in violation of the immigration laws, and threw them in jail for 13 years. The memorials that are around this place only mention that Captain Hamel and his crew "stayed" in Korea for 13 years. Nothing changes. Yummy mackerel steaks in hot sauce over an ocean front view. Back in Seoul .....................a wellOne last thing . I took this photo of bottled ginseng yesterday I thought it quite beautiful.