Thursday, August 1, 2013

Those Early Days in Korea

(first arrival in Korea on bus to Seoul)

I don't want to forget the life I had for the past five years, and I feel like if I don't some how visually see it, I will not remember. So I've decided to put together a series of photo albums to tribute my life in Korea.

To do this I need to look through all my photos. If you know me, you'll know I have a lot of photos from Korea. I couldn't help but take one right after the other. My curiosity was always on high even towards the end. So I just plowed through my "2008" file and couldn't help but feel sad, happy and fulfilled all at once. Let's take a look back at some of them...

I first stayed at a semi-love hotel place that was near a Dunkin donuts and Emart. But everything was incredibly new to me. I didn't know what to eat and at the time only had a very small mini-fridge. So above is a picture of small orange juice boxes I found along with mini hodukks to snack on. 

In my first place the previous teacher (tenant) left behind this potted plant.  It was my source of greenness in my new city of concrete and neon. I sometimes wished I had took it with me when I moved around Korea. I wonder if it still thrives by whatever teacher lives there now.

At some restaurant and I don't really know where. Distinguishing Korean-ness: pitcher of water you pour yourself and the big bag I use to carry around. 

For those living in Seoul this is a significant picture, because for one it's before they built the tunnel barriers. Remember the wind blowing? I also like the framing going on here. 

If there is one aspect of my memories from Korea that will bring tears, it's from the students I taught across my five years there. That boy in the picture holding up his hand became a good friend of mine. He had to move down south, and throughout the years I would get a text from him asking how I was and that he missed me. I wish I could go back to myself and say, "You are an inspiration Joy! Do more...more!"

The second place I lived in was in all sense of the word, horrible. But there were odd times when I would spot beauty amongst my concrete urban living. In this instance I caught snow flakes beaming through sun-rays that are peeking through two buildings. 

I don't know, but there is a lot of weight to carry in one's heart and mind knowing they have all these memories in a place far away. I know I want to create a photo album, but in some way I also want to create some artistic response to all these images. We'll see.


  1. ...sigh.
    You "used" to carry around the bag.
    Past tense....

  2. Its been so long since I've visited your blog (or any blog for that matter). Hope the new phase of life churns out amazing memories as well. I'm planning to turn a foreigner myself, and go to...USA. Of course.

    1. Oh I wish you the best of luck on your trip to America. If you are in the Seattle region, let me know!