Tag Archives: train

seoul, pizza, missiles, thai rice and breakdance

DSC_4779 we take the mugunghwa to seoul.


imagei buy 6 books at the what the book bookstore including scary stories to tell in the dark with the original stephen gammell illustration.

DSC_4788i  read outliers with some trevi pizza and wine for lunch. pepperoni. quattro formaggi. still the best pizza this or that side of the dmz.

i walk down itaewon-ro in the heart of the american military presence in korea.

DSC_4811i meet some friends on my way to the war memorial museum.



politicians can’t afford to lose face.

turns out they’re having a little protest outside the walls of the yongsan garrison.


DSC_4814  DSC_4817turns out not everybody is into gringos or thaads.


the war memorial of korea.



DSC_4917 some of the sculptures may inspire you to kick some ass.

DSC_4870missiles. lots.

DSC_4856 young children climbing heavy artillery. lots.


DSC_4886turtle ships.

DSC_4890fighting monks retaking pyongyang castle from the japanese.

sweetie, bear, IU, her boyfriend and i meet up for my thai in itaewon.DSC_4934


DSC_4936across from the restaurant somebody convinced somebody putting a kidnapper-van/bar on top of a building would be a good idea.

DSC_4939we go dancing.

DSC_4960-1the dance floor is well-stocked with koreans, nigerians, and american gis.

as the clock strikes midnight, a breakdance fight breaks out.

sunday we take the mugunghwa out of seoul. 5 hours later night falls and we’re back in busan.



1800s american presence in korea



I speak to old classmates. We talk about my upcoming bday. I show them a slideshow of photos from a long train trip.

Now we’re on a train. We pass a cemetery. I point it out.
The main gate of the cemetery sticks out from the forest like the doors to Jurassic Park.
Behind the cemetery a city of blue and dark blue skyscrapers.
I say “El Cementerio General.” Of what city? Santiago? There are houses near the entrance. The houses are walled with white adobe like a huaso pobre’s hacienda.The walls stand shoulder high. There’s a tall ancient oak tree with roots clawing the ground like a mangrove. We see four figures loitering outside the closed hacienda’s gate. They have long, thick necks and mullets. They’re anthropomorphic hyenas.

A few of us get off the train and approach the creatures for a quick picture. The place is humid like June in Ithaca. The hyenas appear to be small men dressed in costumes, walking on two legs and grumbling. They scramble away through a hole under the hacienda’s gate. Rising from behind the wall, two columns painted with red, green and yellow Buddhist motifs. The columns hold a Korean temple-style roof. The hyenas stick their head out from a gap on the wooden gate. The three or four heads seem to belong to one body like the guardian dog of Hades.

Before we can get close to the hyenas we’re intercepted by two nuns with black veils and habits. As they approach us, an arrow flies in front of the older nun. We look up and see four or five metalhead youths on the second floor of an a-frame house. Their terrace extends to the branches of the oak tree. The teens have long black hair and lounge about on sofas and bean sacks. Some sport black iron maiden tshirts and ripped jeans. The mother nuns reprimands them. She turns to us. She’s ancient, small and fierce. The nun looks at the first one of us. She says to him “Ud. es perfecto.” and touches his arm. To the next guy she says, “Ud. esta gordito. Mire, su polera le queda chica.” The guy’s belly bulges and sags over his waist como un saco de harina blanca. I’m nervous. I don’t want to be made fun of. She looks at me and says “Necesita un poco mas de trabajo”. Then moves onto the last guy. To him she says “Esta muy flaco.” I wake up.

gustave dore via wikipedia