Sunday, June 29, 2008

Idle Moments

I've been thinking a lot about home. I'm moving somewhere, I'm just not sure where yet. In less than a week it will be the first time in my life that I won't have an address. It's a fascinating feeling -- destabilizing and liberating at the same time. I once had this dream that I woke up and Angie asked me where I wanted to go. I told her I wanted to go to the place where desert meets beach and beach meets dream. But we realized we were already there, and then I woke up. I found this photograph of a beach in some desert in Africa taken by some Korean photographer. I put the picture above my bed. I think maybe one day I'll get to a place like this.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Jorge Ben - Forca Bruta (1970)

I really like Brazilian music from the 1970's.

Friday, June 13, 2008


Angie and I rented an orange autobike after taking the ferry to the island. We rode through the garlic fields partitioned by walls made out of long vertical stacks of lava rocks. The garlic was laid out to dry and extended all the way to the edge of where the beach began. They were garlic beaches, garlic was everywhere, and we could smell it permeating throughout the island as we rode. And there were small royal burial mounds interspersed in the garlic fields and along the side of the road.

There was a white sand beach, a black sand beach, and a beach composed entirely of coral and seashell pieces smoothed out and fused together by the work of the tides: the closer we walked to the water, the larger the pieces became. There was this woman riding a very pregnant horse by a lighthouse which was surrounded by stacks of stones.

I think driving the autobike was a life-affirming activity for me, and I'm not exaggerating. I love the feeling of riding a bicycle really fast down hills and mountains, and with an autobike you can have that feeling at any time by just accelerating whenever you want by a simple twist of the wrist. So awesome. They rented the bikes for 15,000 an hour, so we asked for an hour, and ended up going out for almost 4. When I pulled the bike back in the old man held up two fingers sternly, indicating that we were at least two hours over the time limit. I gestured that I knew and that I was willing to pay for the extra two hours. But the old man just looked at his friend, laughed and shook his head and said we only owed him 10,000. Angie tried to give him more, but he refused. I'm still confused and curious how coming back over two hours late equaled paying less than one hour was supposed to cost in the first place...

I saw an aquarium tank filled with baby octopus that were pretty freshly plucked from the ocean. They were moving so aggressively and chaotically through the tank. I had it in my mind to try live octopus on Jeju-do, but then when I imagined the restaurant owner pulling one of these animals out of the tank and chopping it up into tiny pieces that would be literally crawling out of the plate I just couldn't resolve the idea in my mind. I still want to try it though.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Marcos Valle - Provisao Do Tempo (1973)

Listening to Brazilian music from the 1970's can really make me feel like I'm on vacation everywhere I go.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


The min bak owner woke us up at a quarter to five to climb Ilchulbong at sunrise. Angie slept, I had to go. All the steps were made out of lava rock, almost everything was made out of lava rock. I hiked past a tiny old woman hunched over hobbling up to the rim of the crater with baskets and plastic bags filled with snacks. I found her later sitting at the sunrise viewing platform selling off tiny yoghurts and dixie cups of what might have been the worst freeze dried instant coffee in the world for 2,000 won each. I thought it was even still a small price to pay for her troubles, and I wondered how many mornings she spent having the dark creases of her face softly seared by the sun rising over the rim of the crater.

I found it was a moral obligation to hop the fence and just book it into the bowl, although at least half of the time I was kind of sketched about getting some fine for being the only person fighting my way, trailess, through the thorny greens and baby bamboo. It was so rad contemplating and getting caught up in everything growing into each other, vines gobbling each other up, so green with spots of red and purple and white and blue. I have to go back here so I can bear the commitment and make it to center of the bowl and see what if feels like to eat an orange out there, at the center.

On the way back to the min bak I bought what might have easily been the most incredible tasting orange I've ever eaten in my life. The necks on the Jeju oranges are impressively long, and that's supposedly how you tell if you've picked a good one or not.