Monday, November 25, 2013

겨울 열차

After a day of snowing, I got on a train. Destination was not important, the journey was. Outside the train window, mile after mile of snow scenery brought me calm and peace. It seems like snow has the magical power of purifying and rejuvenating an otherwise dusty and worn-out land.

Snow-covered mountain and field

Rejuvenated farmland

A scenery of calm and peace

Snow valley

Frozen north Hangang

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

몽환적인 만남

A man and woman arranged to meet each other on top of 63 Building. The meeting time was set an hour before sunset. It was their first meeting. In this connected world, physical meeting is not a prerequisite to befriend someone.

The woman was half hour late for the appointment. She swept her eyes across the hall, hoping for an eye contact which intuitively say, "It's him!" There was no one within her sight who was looking her way. She decided to take a seat and wait till sunset. Soon, a man walked towards her.   

"Are you waiting for someone?"


"I think he is not coming."

"How do you know?"

"If he would come, he would have come."

"Who are you?"

"I am just a passerby who is curious why a lady is sitting here alone."

"I think he is a little bit late."

"You trust him?"


"How much you know about him to hold such trust?"

"Not much, but I just feel he is a trustworthy person."

"In case he is not coming, are you interested in knowing me?"

"Well, not really."


"Because you are not the person I am waiting for."

"How unfortunate. Anyway, have a good day. Even if your friend does not turn up, it is still worth staying for the night scenery. Personally, I think it is much better than Seoul Tower.

"You are not staying."

"No, I have seen it too many times."

"You are leaving now?"

"Yes, I have done what I am here for."

"What is it?"

"I have just finished meeting a friend, bye."

By sunset, the man whom the woman was waiting for did not show up. Night fell quietly on Seoul and the city lights on both banks of Hangang lit up brilliantly. "That stranger was right, the night scenery is really worth the wait. I am glad I made the trip here.", the woman thought.

There is dream encounter and there is just dream. Either way, they are beautiful.

"That stranger was right, the night scenery is really worth the wait..."

Thursday, November 07, 2013


When a Chinese says "再會" (literal meaning: meet again), he means "goodbye". When a Korean says "재회" (再會), he means reunion. The two meanings of "再會" are nothing but two sides of the same coin. Without the sadness of separation, how would we ever know the joy of reunion. With each goodbye, the question that always lingers in my mind is, will we meet again?

Four years after I left Seoul, I met my friend again in Hoegi-dong for Samgyeopsal dinner. We attended two terms (one term is equivalent to 10 weeks) of Korean language class together. On completion of course, I left for home while she pursued her master in journalism and mass communication at Hanyang University. She was the "모범생" (模范生, model student) in our cohort, highly gifted in Korean language. While I struggled to compose a sentence in Korean, she wrote essay like a native Korean.

Four years is a long time but thankfully, none of us has changed. It felt like we have just met last week. Our conversation was like a continuation of where we left off last time than it was a start. Our day ended with coffee at Cafe Bene. When it was time to bid farewell again, we parted like we were going to meet again next week. Bye, 再见,또 만나, 또 연락해줘.

Will we ever meet again? Maybe.

Samgyeopsal sizzling on the grill plate. 오랫만입니다.

도네누 향기로운 볏짚 삼겹살, 맛있더라