Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Bonguensa Temple

Pagoda and lanterns at Bongeunsa temple

On Saturday I took my broken iPod to the COEX Apple store where after short inspection, the technician on duty proceeded to suck in air through his teeth and shake his head slowly back and forth. Not a good sign. It would be 200,000 Won ($200) to fix it if it's even possible. Admittedly, I shed a couple tears. But only a couple. Then I got over it and decided that it was a sign that I needed to lighten my load. What I won't get over quite so fast is the loss of my Pimsleur Korean lessons.

After leaving the COEX chaos behind I walked to Bonguensa Temple. Within minutes of passing through the gate two Korean men offered me coffee, rice cakes and a chat on a circle of wooden stumps. One of the men was complaining that about being thirty-seven and single. He spontaneously screamed at the top of his lungs in broken English, "ALL I WANT IS WIFE!!!" I laughed and jokingly asked him why he didn't shave his head and become a monk so he would no longer have the need to be unhappy about not finding a wife. He said he doesn't even like monks. After talking for awhile about marriage, the weather in Kansas, and Hyon Gak Sunim I went on my way to walk around the temple.

I'm not sure the story on this guy at Bongeunsa but notice the wire and lightbulb revealed underneath the thin layer of paper skin.

The cherry blossom trees in Seoul are amazing. As I was walking down from the trees behind the Buddha I stopped to admire some nearby white-blossomed trees. A silver-haired Korean woman stopped to do the same. She started telling me about the trees and how they "snow" petals down in the spring. Just as she said this a breeze came up and shook loose a showering of white petals from the sun splayed tree above us.

Buddha statue at Bongeunsa