This tree is a guest tree from my past. I took this picture from the window of my bus on my morning commute in Yeonggwang County, South Korea, in November, 2010. 이 사진은 2010년 11월 전라남 영광군에서 촬영했습니다.
Category: Life in Korea
Caveat: Tree #1467 “The past is a beach on a distant sea”
This tree is a guest tree from my past. It’s a tree among others on a rocky beach on 무의도 (Muui Island), which is an island off the west coast of South Korea southwest of the Incheon Airport (I believe it’s here on the map). I visited this tree in August, 2015, with my friend Peter (who subsequently has visited me here in Southeast Alaska.
I had a very unhappy day at work – one of those days when I am reminded that I never had any actual training to be a “matting and framing guy”, but rather, I’ve always been in a kind of “fake it till you make it” mode with this job. I made many mistakes, working on challenging projects. I made mistakes with cutting mat board, which I corrected but always is wasteful of mat board, I made mistakes with cutting glass, including an oversize piece that had high visibility since I needed help from my boss Chad to make it happen. I’ll have to go in tomorrow and try to cut the oversize piece again. Anyway, I felt incompetent all day. Such a salient feeling.
[daily log: walking, 5km; retailing, 8hr; breaking glass, 4pieces]
Caveat: Tree #1453 “A new spring”
This tree is a guest tree from my past. I took this picture in May, 2011, near my apartment in Ilsan (Goyang City), South Korea. I had just moved to my new neighborhood to start my new job at Karma Academy, where I stayed working for 7 years – the longest I’ve ever had one job.
Caveat: Tree #1440 “A view toward Bukhansan”
This tree is a guest from my past. It’s alongside some metro rail tracks between downtown Seoul and Ilsan, where I used to live. I took this picture in January, 2009.
The mountain in the background is the prominent Bukhansan. The large, highly-visible sign on the roof says “Dream Tree Daycare”.
Caveat: Tree: 1426 “Snowy day along Ilsan-ro”
This tree is a guest tree from my past. 10 years ago, next week, on December 28, 2012, I took this picture in my neighborhood in Goyang City, South Korea. It was snowing.
Art and I went to town today for our shopping day, and spent some time at the Veterans center, too – longer than usual. Art normally just drops in there if he chooses to go there at all (it’s open every Thursday), but today he seemed inclined to hang out for a while.
The road to town continues to be horrible. It’s like doing a bobsled course in the car, between about 6 mile and 8 mile – pure ice.
The gift store owner, Chad, is aware of my background as a former resident of Korea. He and his wife apparently have membership in some kind of international junk food subscription service. It’s kinda of eccentric and cool.
So they bring in to me, the other day, this box full of Korean junk food – the kind you’d see at any 7-11 in South Korea. There were these one snacks in that box that I remember buying quite regularly in the store in the first floor of my apartment building: 쌀떡볶이 [ssaltteokbokki]. It was quite amazing, to get a package of these in Craig, Alaska.
So I got them and ate them, and it made me nostalgic.
Chad and Kristin are very cool bosses.
Caveat: Tree #1419 “Somewhere in Glory County”
This tree is a guest tree from my past. I took this picture on December 16, 2010, when I was living down in Yeonggwang, Jeolla, South Korea. It’s in front of a building where a coworker lived – we were carpooling to work and had stopped there to pick him up.
I don’t mind driving in snow. But this ice-with-rain-on-top that we get here is terrifying. So Art and I didn’t go to town shopping today. We stayed home. We have plenty of food. It was so slippery on the road, I didn’t even walk the dog.
Caveat: Tree #1410 “The Korean redwood is an urban dweller”
This tree is a guest tree from my past. It’s in front of my place of employment in Ilsan (Goyang), Korea (marked by the long vertical orange sign with blue lettering). I took this picture in March, 2015. I believe it’s one of the dawn redwoods (metasequoia) that are so ubiquitous in newly urbanized parts of South Korea.
I went back to my job at the gift shop, today. I was deeply anxious that I’d forgotten how to do my job, given I’ve been away for a month. But it came back easily enough, as these things do. Perhaps being around Arthur all the time, I’ve developed an anxiety around my own forgetfulness, seeing more danger and decline there than is warranted.
Caveat: Tree #1382 “A tree or three, and me”
This tree is a guest tree from my past. And really it’s not so much a tree, as me – although there are undeniable trees present. Standing along pedestrian street in Ilsan, near my home, in November, 2011. My friend Peter (who’s visited me here in Alaska) took this picture.
Caveat: Tree #1369 “Sedes koreanis”
This tree is a guest tree from my past. It was a tree (among other trees) I saw in the forest on the north side Gobong mountain, in my home in Korea, in October, 2014. I saw semi-abandoned chairs there, which are ubiquitous in rural South Korea.
Caveat: Tree #1328 “서울에서”
This tree is a guest tree from my past. And it’s rather overshadowed by buildings and cars. But there is a tree, in Seoul, in 2011.
Caveat: Tree #1300
This tree is a guest tree from my past. I took this picture of a sunset looking west on Teheran-no, a major thoroughfare in the trendy Gangnam district in Seoul, in December, 2008.
Caveat: Tree #1238
This tree is a guest tree from my past. I took this picture while walking to work in April, 2017. I thought the ball looked forlorn and sad, so I took a picture – but the trees are interesting, too. I remember the exact spot where this ball was, along Juyeop plaza about half a block south of work.
Caveat: Tree #1225
This tree is a guest tree from my past. I took this picture in early June, 2015, standing in front of my place of work. I was noting the “gentrification” of my neighborhood in Ilsan, Korea, via the opening of a new Starbucks location.
[daily log: walking, 3.5km; dogwalking, 3km; c100066057084s]
Caveat: Tree #1207
This tree is a guest tree from my past. The tree is guarding an entrance to the Samgakji subway station in central Seoul – just southwest of the former Yongsan US military base. The base is “former”, now, but when I took this picture in April, 2008, it was still active. In the haze in the upper background you can see the Namsan Tower.
I went to work today – not a normal thing for a Monday, but I have a somewhat rearranged schedule this week.
Caveat: Tree #1196
This tree is a guest tree from my past. I don’t even know what year I took it – maybe 2012. But clearly it’s from the time around Buddha’s birthday holiday: the lanterns and temporary statuary in the river (which is the small book that bisects downtown Seoul, 청계천 [cheong-gye-cheon]) give it away.
This year, Buddha’s birthday will be celebrated this coming Sunday, May 8th. It moves around (like Easter), due to the Korean lunar calendar. It used to be annoying when Buddhamas fell on a Sunday, because it would mean no extra day off from work.
Caveat: I will pray for your lucky
My coworker Jan, at the gift shop, likes to order various exotic herbal medicines and supplements, often from Asia. She ordered something from Korea not that long ago – I don’t know what it was (some kind of mushroom extract?). But when she got her product delivered, it included this note from the vendor.
To Buyer, Thank you so much for your purchase!!!!! I hope you had a pleasant transaction as much as I enjoyed:-) You are such a beautiful, gorgeous, perfect, incredible, fabulous, fantastic, the one-of-a-kind, mind-boggling, and Excellent buyer!!! Even though we are oceans apart, I feel it's my honour to have a chance to get to know you through Amazon.com. That's why I love having transactions on Amazon.com I will try to meet your needs by providing better service and products. I will pray for your lucky,if you leave a good feedback on Amazon.com. I wish that you are in good health and fortune with your family. Hope to deal with you again. Thank you. Have a wonderful day!!! Have a great day!!!! Many thanks and Kind regards, Kevin Kim
This made me nostalgic for my Korean students’ inimitable English style. This could have been written by one of them, easily. So much hyperbole!!!! So many exclamation points!!!!!!!!!
Caveat: Tree #1007
This tree is one I saw in Korea – I’m really not sure where or when.
Caveat: Tree #1000
This tree is from my past. I took this picture at Jeongbalsan Park near my apartment, walking home from the cancer center, in September 2013.
Caveat: Poem #1892 “Gangnam style”
ㅁ I took the subway into Gangnam's heart and walked up Teheranno, through the crowd, immersed in human restlessness, alone - until the dream unmade itself at dawn.
– a quatrain in blank verse (iambic pentameter).
Here is a picture of the familiar streetscape in Gangnam, Seoul, a few blocks north of the main subway station. I was here every day for a few months in 2010, when I was studying Korean language full-time. So it sometimes appears in dreams.
Caveat: Tree #952
This tree is under an elevated metro station from my past. Ten years ago this month I visited the Oksu station in Seoul, and took this picture. I don’t think the tree was the focus or subject of the picture, but nevertheless, there is a tree down there.
Caveat: Tree #923
This tree is from my past. It was witness to a rather ambitious hiking excursion I took with my brother in September, 2013, in southwestern South Korea – right during the time I was undergoing my 3-times-a-week radiation therapy for my cancer. This is on the mountain just west of Hongnong, between the town and the nuclear power plant on the coast. Hongnong is where I lived in 2010-2011. I remember being utterly exhausted from this trip.
Caveat: Tree #911
This tree (from my past) is watching hot peppers dry in September, 2009. I saw it on the island named Ulleungdo off the east coast of South Korea.
Caveat: Merry Seollal
In Korea, “Chinese New Year” is not, in fact, Chinese. It’s called 설날 (Seollal), i.e. Lunar New Year. I would prefer if that’s what it were called in English – “Chinese” feels culturally narrow if not incorrect.
새해 복 많이 받으세요.
Caveat: Tree #702
This tree was outside my classroom window almost exactly 10 years ago, in December, 2010, in Hongnong Village, Yeonggwang County, Jeollanam Province, South Korea.
I made a chocolate cake, to celebrate the impending winter solstice.
[daily log: walking, 1km]