Yesterday was the last day of the Suwon festival, so Tae Hun and I went for a walk up Paldal Mountain (the West side of Hwaseong Fortress). We caught the tail end of the fireworks, pretended to ring the massive bell, pour hot water, throw stones and shoot bow and arrows to ward off the invaders. Pow pow! I felt like a kid. My cheeks were rosy from the cold.
We also had a nice talk. I said I came to Korea to experience culture other than what Mark calls, "tv culture." There is a strange dynamic in Korea because it has a long, rich history, and yet it's only starting to attract modern hobbies and culture. Koreans are influenced by tradition, yet their lives are so hectic with work that many spend off-time staring numbly into a computer, TV, or cell phone.
In a note, Tae Hun wrote, "Buddhism states when you meet once, you will meet again." He hopes to one day visit Canada, but admitted he can't imagine having the time.
When travellers leave Korea for other parts of Asia, they often say they miss the spirit of the Korean people, the unity, the warmth and generosity, the sense of safety.
Tae Hun and I discussed the land mass to population ratio in Canada/Korea, and I realized I've become acustomed to living ontop of my neighbors, being able to step out my door at 2am knowing the streets will be lit, and lively.
I had the flu (or something like it) yesterday, and our trip to Dunkin Donuts for hot chocolate over camera-talk wasn't the best idea. I felt sick again. But smiled because Tae Hun got me a present. He pulled a remote control and a tripod out of an oblong box.
He says my night photos are terrible. They are; I haven't had much practice yet. I was proud of the kit-deal I got at Yes camera shop in Namdemoon, but they didn't give me a UV filter (I bought my own), nor did they hand over a tripod, or a remote.
What a fun toy! My camera died during "instruction time," but I'm on my way to taking good night shots. Do you like taking photos at night? Do you have any advice?
PS: Cool pics of Suwon Fortress that I found on FLICKR: