Monday, September 26, 2011

To Market

Can you stand some more tourist shots of Seoul?  I swear, more project pictures will come.  I will be back in Cheongju for one more round of documentation before I return to NYC.  The person who took the still photos just sent me some of his images but I haven't sorted through them yet, so perhaps tomorrow...

First - please let me assure Helen and anyone else that I also believe that sex is normal and natural and nothing to be ashamed of, even if it means I have to listen to others engaging in normal and natural exclamations in the process of participating in this un-shameful behavior at 2 am.  My "walk of shame" has more to do with the fact that the street the hotel is on looks like this:

And the fact that I already stand out like a sore thumb being rather more tall and redheaded than just about everyone else in Korea.  So, if it isn't exactly a walk of shame, then it is a walk of feeling rather uncomfortable, with the discomfort being an invention of my own mind and ego.  

Just to clarify.

Yesterday I felt that I experienced the many faces of Seoul.  After said walk of ego-driven discomfort, this is what I saw:

Not sure what you call this structure - a pavilion perhaps?  It is the gateway to a huge park that includes many of the facilities that were constructed for the 1988 Olympics.  Everything in this neighborhood is very broad and spread out and (relatively) newly constructed.

After the art fair, which was just ok (although it was fun to flash my VIP card around),  I went to the Dongdaemun Market where I had heard there were yarn and fabric stores.  I wasn't quite prepared for what I encountered, which was five floors of utter madness.  Perhaps it was because it seemed that everyone else there had a great, urgent purpose and I had none, but I felt like I was in the way no matter where I moved.  That kind of thing is very fun but also exhausting.

I did see examples of the offending yarn for sale, along with sample baby hats made with it.  

Mama, don't let your babies grow up with this yarn on their heads.  It is asking for trouble.

There were row after row of stores that looked like this, often with groups of people knitting and crocheting in them.  Yarn is sold mainly by the pack - I saw a good selection of wool along with lots of novelty yarn and crochet thread.

These are my favourite shops.  They sell bedding.  I think I love them so much because the first time I saw one, I was still very jet lagged and the temptation to just dive in and wallow in the soft, comfortable quilts was very strong.

A man carrying rolls of fabric on his back with a wooden shelf-like contraption.  Hint: do not get in his way.

Dongdaemun Market is in the older part of the city, where there are many markets everywhere.  This one was completely devoted to shoes.

After the chaos of the older city, I went back to Olympic Park and sat by the stream to watch two herons quietly fish for their dinner.  Children were playing and the sun was setting - a lovely end to a full day.

1 comment:

OfTroy said...

my 5foot 7 red headed daughter got lots of strange looks, and was constantly pointed and spoken about when she was in Japan--Red heads are uncommon enough in NY--in asia, they are a very rare breed.

(and of course i know you have matured beyond our puritanical society's strange attitude towards sex--it is just Love hotels--while rented by the hour sometimes, are nothing at all like NYC hot sheet motels! they are quite respectable... (strange perhaps, but respectable!)