Caveat: Returning To Ulleungdo (In a Dream)

I suppose some people may find it peculiar or self-indulgent or egotistical that I journal my dreams on my blog. I suppose it can be those things. But I will continue to do it. Last night's dream was quite odd but very vivid and memorable. You will be able to tell what issues are front-and-center in my subconscious.

I dreamed I went to visit my father, but my father lived in Ulleungdo (an island off Korea's east coast). It was a remote house on a dirt road – more similar to my uncle's house in Alaska than anything I saw on Ulleungdo. But when I saw my father, he said, "I have something to show you." We drove into town. The dream was an odd mash-up of my childhood in my dad's Model A and a Korean road-trip. None of the Koreans seemed affected by a pair of foreigners driving a 1928 Ford Model A through their towns. We arrived in the main town of Ulleungdo (called Dodong though the dream neglected to remind me of that – I only remembered as I was typing just now), and we got out near some construction.

My father and I walked over to this odd, square, unconstructed-upon lot on a steep hillside – the lot was "levelled" – it had been dug out so that it was flat at the lower street level, with an ugly, two-storey retaining wall of dark concrete block at the back of the lot, and boughs of pine overhanging that retaining wall. In the center of the lot was a strange "house" made of cloth and cardboard and sheets of metal – something a homeless man might construct – however, it was apparent my father had been spending time here. I surmised he had been "squatting" on the property during his visits to town. I went inside, and it was actually pretty comfortable inside. There was a small, old-fashioned stove you sometimes see ajeossis using in tent-like constructions in small towns in Korea in winter, and a platform made of pallets and plywood for sleeping. I came back outside.

In the dream, I was most struck by the fact there was a stunted palm tree in the lot beside the tent-thing, along with a pitiful-looking persimmon tree, shorn of leaves but with glowing golden fruit still hanging on the raggedy branches. Both trees seemed very lonely and unhappy. I laughed at the idea of a palm tree on Ulleungdo. It reminded me of the palmtrees in Yeonggwang, that I had seen covered with snow when I lived down there.

I commented on this, and smiled at dad. "I should buy this lot. I could build a nice house here." I began to describe the kind of house I would build on this odd vacant lot on Ulleungdo. It would have two or three levels, up against the retaining wall at the back, with a front enterance at the street and lots of stairs.

My father said, "I bought it." I was very surprised. My father owned not one, but two pieces of property on Ulleungdo!

Of course, it was all a dream.

To set the scene, here are some pictures from my 2009 visit to Ulleungdo.

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This last is the picture of Dodong, seen from near the ferry terminal.

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