Day 386

Tuesday | March 19th, 2013

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Tuesday. Post one year living in Gyeongju. Sometime, some place so far removed from everything that things must once again start over. Gyeongju was a city without anchor, a place without reference, experience, or friend. I can’t fathom what coming here alone would have been like. It’d have been much like that first day so many years ago. Like stepping off a plane both familiar and friendly only by the 14 hours of incarceration it imposed into an abyss.

The transitions after being in Daegu where all laden with reference and experience point. I could look at places in Ch’ilgok and remember being at them in another time. On a roof with KY or chatting over a bowl of hotness and kimchi with GS. Looking out the window of a cab at a particular tree.

By the time I reached Seoul to live, friends from Daegu were already there. The haunts known. Where to get 2,000 won shots of tequila and where to sleep them off unperturbed by other drunks both stored in long-term memory cells. Parts of the megalopolis already explored, labeled, conquered, and deemed unfit for regular living. Neighborhoods nobody wanted to drink in, scratched off maps, places that took the subway or buses forever to get to, x-ed out. Gangnam died early in this process, its sterility, posh, and inflated prices forming an equationless answer: fuck no. Crossing the Han into North Seoul, where we drank, caught the trains, and drooled at university girls, I first traveled to far to Nowon. It was crossed off because it looked so much like Ch’ilgok. Why move to another city to live in the same city? Farther south, but still north of the Han, I reached the top of the stairwell of exit 1 at Hansang Station and instantly loved the place. The best thing was it had a reference point. GumiBear had once drug us all there to Hyehwa (the previous stop) in the dead of winter and all without a good coat to dance and drink at a place called the Bunker. They wouldn’t let us in. Tiny place, maybe 20 pyeong. Packed full. Apparently I was too drunk. They wouldn’t even let in the girls, AA or VI. We stood in the snow for a bit, drinking, before someone called it and the night was over.

Points, points, it’s all about points and connections. To step off, into something, something which had no points … some place which only exists in a number of failed promises from people you’ve known over the years. Failed promises to take you there because, “You have to see Gyeongju.” And then suddenly, after all that time, all those broken gestures, to be in Gyeongju. Suddenly …

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I wonder if the real reason Korean people put down their hate on China isn’t because they perceive China as less-than or dirty, but because of what China dumps on Koreans, meteorologically speaking, year after year, season after season. 황사 (Hwangsa) shrouds Korea every spring and at other times of the year. Sometimes the clouds are as they are today, thickish and mountain-in-the-distance eating (above, left and right). Other times the ppm climbs above 1,000 and once and a while over 2,000 and everyone is advised to stay indoors. I don’t feel much love for China on days like this either.

The Daily Bullet

Unaltered image here. This building is ugly and completely unphotogenic. The dust and the light gave it presence of note though.

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Daily Report

I didn’t sleep last night. I struggled to write or create a script that would grab an .mp3 from a folder, open it, insert markers in pre-determined places, split the audio file into eleven segments based on those

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Gyeongju

Out beyond the fake lake (Bomun) for Christmas Day lunch at a place called the Healing Kitchen. It’s all farms and hilltops here. And roads to more farms and hilltops. Except for the noise from the cars, I

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The Fourth Wall

I’m here and alive. Ten days behind the reality of my written life, yet here and alive. TOEIC is the predominant motif of life from the end of the semester until … today. This is the end, after

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This Old Hanok

When we had the bathroom done, we wanted to design our own window for the part of the wall which straddles the storage space along the side of the house. This way we could have clean airflow through

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