Friday, June 14, 2024

격세지감 (隔世之感)

My last overseas trip was four years ago to Dubai. Since then, it seems like I am living in a different world. I can no longer recall how falafel tasted like then.

If a tree falls in a forest and if no one hears it, does it makes a sound? What if one saw the tree fell and heard the sound but forgotten completely about it? It will be like I have not been through anything although the truth is I have.

Operation Falafel: mission to make street-food falafel upmarket

Falafel with lemon tahini dipping sauce

Sunday, June 02, 2024

평범의 삶

French revolution led to the abolition of feudalism. In modern parlance, it was a good riddance. No one is satisfied to live in dire poverty forever and no one can enjoy their power and wealth without limit. Extreme social divide has never ended well for the aristocrats. I think a healthy society is one that is made up mostly of middle-class. However, human greed predisposes humanity to the perpetual back and forth along the scale of social division. We are always fighting the demons we create.

I do not care how big or small my residence is. What is more important to pleb like me, I can have a good night sleep. 

Château de Chenonceau over scenic river Cher

A stately residence that is no longer out of bound to plebs 

Thursday, February 22, 2024

봄은 또 온다

I have not made peace with Lunar New Year happening in winter but the word 'spring' used everywhere almost like synonym. I should not have bother since seasons are non-existent at equator. I knew Lunar New Year falls on the first new moon after 'lichun' (Start of Spring) but many people, who celebrate it, are still wrapped in thick clothing. There isn't a soothing sense of spring warmth in the air yet. The spring in the Spring Festival is not the same as the seasonal spring we are used to. Same same but different, I can live with that under the name of tradition.

Saturday, December 30, 2023

새해 일출

For many years, I planned to wake up early to witness the first sunrise of a new year but slept through each time. I don't have a habit of making new year wishes and that may explain why I have little incentive to get out of bed early. Perhaps I will make another attempt this coming year, not to wish for a good year ahead but to say thank to myself for making it through 2023 better than expected. What I have done is more meaningful than what I can wish for. 

Sunday, November 19, 2023

갈 길이 멀다

"It's a long way to go". It was not as daunting as I thought. As long as I started walking, I realized I would eventually reach my destination. Of course, there will always be obstacles along the way to test my resolve but overcoming them were much easier than trying to meet the expectations of others or moving along with the flow without idea of where I was heading. When I look back, I am reminded of the things I did, people I met and the experiences I encountered. Distance and time are not part of the equation of fulfillment.

Beach at Imja Island, Shin-an County, South Jeolla Province. Took me three days to reach with stay over at Seoul and Gwangju. Transportation involved air, land and sea.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

강한 햇빛

The sun was blazing hot recently. The year is almost near its end, the heat was not what we expect at this time of the year. Who's afraid of heat? Like they say, if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen. We have put out many fire along the way, this heat wave pale by comparison. The high temperature doesn't bother me but I appreciate the tree shades and intermittent showers. The weather will cool down soon, I am sure. No worry, chill.

Santa Monica Beach

Sunday, September 11, 2022


I used to sit by the Han River at the end of the day, trying to subdue my fear about the uncertain future. There were many questions and no answer. The belief that answers will eventually be revealed was not at all comforting. Now that I have lived through what was my 'future' previously, my best advice to my former self: you do not need courage, you do not need to be a person of courage, all you need is to face your fear head on.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

맑은 봄날

This is the third spring after pandemic started and probably the last. Korea is going to further relax its pandemic control measures from May 1. After being away for a long time, I do not feel I am familiar with the place anymore. It would be nice to say distance breeds fondness but reality is the opposite. The further apart the less you have attachment to anything until nostalgia bites.

Changdeokgung Palace many springs ago (2015):

Sunday, April 17, 2022

문화 도시

During lockdown when almost all activities came to a stop, nature quickly reclaimed its rightful space. Grasses and weeds were allowed time to grow tall and flower. The surrounding became so much more pleasant when green patches were carpeted by full bloom inflorescences swaying in the wind. Then grass-cutting resumed and everything was efficiently trimmed down and orderliness faithfully restored. The opposite of order is not strictly chaos; it can be nature, culture or anything that blooms. Everything can flourish if allowed time and space to grow.

파리 길에서 둘러보다가 봤던 큰 벽화 하나

Sunday, December 05, 2021

계절의 움직임

There are things we do not know why we did it when we did it. Maybe we do know something but the answer may not be clear enough at that point in time to pin it down. I have taken many photos without much thought but many years later I realize I was capturing season in motion.