Busan, South Korea!
So my visa expired in Japan so I’ve decided to take a cheap ferry ($150 round trip) from Shimonoseki, Japan to Busan, South Korea. I’m now writing you from a cute coffee shop in Busan. I was walking by it today when I saw photography on the walls, I deceded to go in even though I had no desire for coffee. The owners (2 girls, cousins) are so sweet! One of them speaks excellent English. She studied design in London and has traveled to Canada. The photography I saw was hers! So of course I gave them some of my photos and they’re on display in the Coffee shop now! Yay! My photography lives in 3 countries now! (4, counting the internet)
Ahh, Busan is really nice! I ended up staying one night here (tonight.) I arrived this morning and was supposed to leave at 6pm..
but I wasn’t ready and I met some nice people. I didn’t know where I was going to sleep (I don’t know why, but I just forgot about your friend!.. sometimes I get lazy mind and rather than planning and meeting people i just tell myself I’ll sleep in a park) So I was re-checking my big bag into the baggage storage at the ferry place and told the bag guy “I like Korea too much, I don’t want to leave!” (he speaks english) and he asked where I was staying “I have no idea, hahaha!” so he told me about a Sauna that you can stay overnight at for only 1000 won (like $9 or 900 yen.) Fucking right! And the lady that works there happens to speak Japanese! Not understanding a damn word of Korean is bothersome. I would stay longer if only i knew a bit of the language. I learned “thank you” and a few things…. but ehh. I’ll plan a trip here later and join Korea wwoof.
The Korean people are really cool. Makes me think more of China, but cleaner! The people are very lively here. In Japan the people are mostly quiet and reserved. Here there is action and excitement, hustle and bustle, on every corner. The shop owners don’t hesitate to bitch at me when I sample all their food and don’t buy anything, mwahaha. I met a really nice guy on the ferry who wanted me to come stay with him for a day while he showed me around the city and told me he would pay for me to stay in a hotel. It ended up not working out because he was with a group of people who didn’t jive with that idea, and couldn’t wait for me to change my ticket date, etc (buying round trip tickets sucks. I won’t do it again.) The coffee shop girl (Sung Hwa [successful flower]) told me Koreans have a “warm heart.” I told her “It’s the Kimchee!”… she agreed, or at least thought it was funny.
Feeling more and more grounded everyday. I bought a sweeet Korean made Harmonica today, a “Color Boy” (Like Kompeki-san, de sho?). I talked the guy down from 30000 W to 20000 W (like $18 or 1800 yen.) I haggle for
everything now. I secretly think they’re always trying to rip me off too… so I’m probably still paying too much, haha. I bought some Korean spicy pepper seeds (illegal to bring to Japan, but only if I get caught!), harmonica, some little patches of the
japanese and korean flags, and fruit & kimchee… holy habaneros Korean Kimchee is hot! I was really crying. In Shimonoseki I went to an Indian curry joint (indian beer ain’t bad!) and ordered it “Very Hot” and I bareeeeeely tasted spice. Damn Japanese and their spice tolerance. Koreans seem pretty fit and they eat this stuff with every meal. The guy I met on the ferry was 50 and didn’t look a day over 35.. he had nice calves! hahaha. No seriously, he showed them to me, haha.
I’ve been so confused in the past week about balancing my future dreams with living in the present. My wwoof hosts and other
influential figures I’ve been meeting keep telling me I should have a dream, and I should work for that dream like nothing else matters… they also say I should only be living in the present. Of course there is a paradox here that my mind is having trouble smoothing out. Sometimes i feel like my dream is always inside my heart, and I don’t need to think about or “have” it, because it’s always there. in my unconscious or subconscious mind/soul/spirit. So the only thing left to do is just to live in each moment and fallow that moment to the next one…. other times I start day dreaming about my future, and I can feel the power of that. I start to excite myself. One idea builds upon another and another untill I start to get a big fabulous picture of the (infinite) possibilities of life. I start to inspire myself “I can practice flute, practice martial arts, grow food, cook, walk in
nature.. and be energized and inspired by all these things and produce beautiful art.” I have such a weakness for art. I’ve almost bought more pottery today (tomorrow I will probably break down and buy some).. really I just enjoy looking, and feeling, and imagining how they created it. I love art I can pick up and feeeel. I always tell myself art is a good way to spend money because 1. I’m supporting an artist! and 2. The art will inspire me and enrich my life.
ehh.. see? I already know what I want to do with my life… one day.
Now I’m just talking to myself!
I will share a tidbit of my current facebook status here:
“Josh Hall found a sauna in Busan (actually, It found me!) that lets you stay the night for 1000 Won! ($9!) I get to bathe, soak up the steam, and sleep on a futon tonight! 2 nights ago (in Japan) I slept in a temple garden after hitchhiking all day. I totally gurilla-bum styled it. Just leaned against my bag against a tree that was in a closed off corner of the garden… I’ve slept better… but it’s part of my gurilla-bum-traveler training. Even though I hitchhiked and slept like a bum I treated myself to a badass indian curry the next day (indian beer ain’t bad!) I like to travel like a bum and eat like a king.”
-yes it’s true. Save money on travel and accomadation… blow it on food and art! yes please! I would stick my thumb out for art if I could (damn, that gives me some good ideas!)
Also, Korean women are beauuutiful.. just as beautiful as Japanese women (sorry americans!… j/k, you’re beautiful when you want to be)
Thank you in Korean: [Kam sa ham ni da!]
Oh yeah, I’ve been taking less pictures.. but Goddammit. I’m a photographer. My camera still lives around my shoulder…. This reminds me of my concept of buddhist monks. Ok, so buddhist monks (err ok, the really hardcore ones) give up all their worldly possessions, shave their head, only have one robe they wear, etc. They do this to throw away any attachments to vanity and materialism, etc… ok so my thinking is… yeah it’s pretty fucking easy to not have attachments when YOU DON’T OWN ANYTHING! It seems like the harder, more challenging, path is to keep all your stuff while still trying to remain unattached to it. I like technology. I like my camera, my computer, my nice backpack, my tent and sleeping bag. Would I survive without them, of course! Would I be sad if something was stolen or broken… probably a little, for a little while. but no, not too bad. My really nice (expensive) mountain bike was stolen last summer in Portland, Or. It was stolen on the day I decided to hitchhike to the Nationa; Rainbow Gathering in Wyoming (the first time I ever hitchhiked.) It’s theft cooincided so perfectly with my decision to travel without anything that I had to laugh. I mean really laugh! All day long I just told myself “well.. apparently I didn’t need it anymore!” I was sad for a moment, but I let the moment pass. Life goes on. Do i still get sad when I lose things? yes… I’m no Buddha… but it gets easier and easier to let go everyday. This is life. This is what (I think) is meant by “life is suffering.” Life is only suffering to teach us how not to suffer. Paradox? fa sho!
-Coffee shop is closing! Did I say I wasn;t going to update this for a while? Damn, I lied. Oh well, life goes on! I’ll learn better next time. Or I won’t, and I’ll just keep smiling. teehee!
-Joshua-san in J…. South Korea!
p.s. Photos later!