Saturday, June 10, 2006

Remembrance Day

Tuesday was a holiday so I took the chance to show Barbara around Seoul a bit. We started in Insadong by going to eat vegetarian temple food at Sanchon. Afterwards we walked to Tapgol Park and hung out with the old men in the gazebo. One man was telling us how he was born in Pyongyang and was separated from his family during the Korean war. He fought in the war and showed us a scar on his leg where he was hit with a bullet. He said he doesn't know what happened to his parents or even if they are alive still. Similar conversations happen all the time to keep me acutely aware that the war is not over.

After Tapgol Park we walked around Insadong some more, taking time to stop into the Old Teashop, where small birds fly around inside. After tea, we went to Dongnimmun station and walked up Mt. Ingwansan. We sat on a rock above Seonbawi with a view of the city below us and the sun setting behind us. We continued up further and stopped to look around and realized a shaman mourning ceremony was going on right next to us. A woman was chanting and sobbing uncontrollably as she threw the clothes of her deceased loved one into a fire.

The fortress wall and hazy view of Seoul

Sun setting behind Mt. Ingwansan