Seoul search

img_0107.jpgTook the public bus non-stop, all in a day. It was so addictive that I just couldn’t stop. Been wanting to do this for a long time and even when I wasn’t alone, there was simply no chance too since the subway is so efficient and convenient. Yet I never actually like traveling in the subway. Call me a dinosaur, would always prefer taking the bus or the train for that matter, things that are too easy to come by will get by with or without too easily, that is exactly what I dislike about it. Found yet another fun activity and that would certainly be the playing “getting-lost in the big city”, something like hide and seek only that one is playing only by oneself. kind of like it, the many facets of life when you allow yourself to be lost. you will be found in a very different manner and that is what life is all about, I think, finding oneself. Well, this certainly sounds like an answer to the question I’ve posed just a day ago. Perhaps the chapter on Plato and Aristotle did get into my dumb head. Was wondering how on earth can one come out with such a brilliant idea of The World of ideas like Plato did, and Aristotle can actually reject it!  Will get to this in the future posts if I can actually consolidate my own train of thoughts.

Saw something quite disturbing today. The many vagrants at the subway station, lying their boxes acted as their bed or house or something. So many of them and nobody except myself seems to care much about it. In this freezing cold night when the temperature can easily dip to a mere below 6 degrees celsius, I just can’t bear the thought of how they can survive with those paper boxes. But they will survive I am sure, or at least I have seen some packing up and go in the day at the Seoul Station. They just bring along their blanket, if they have it in the first place and then they move from one place to another. Sometimes, they may be lucky to get a bottle of soju from begging along the streets and then it’s getting warm and drunk. I don’t like the drunkards and they come in all sizes and shapes, regardless of age and certainly, usually of the same gender–male. It could be a scary encounter when you are dragged along by any of these like a lady I saw at the Yeongdeungpo station. It is one of those bus or train terminals where you travel to and fro Seoul and some parts of the country and again, you get to see a lot of reality in this big city. The irony is that so many of these happened right before your eyes and no one actually bothers to care or most did not, saw some kind souls volunteering their time and effort and maybe even money to distribute free hot beverage to the homeless outside the Cityhall station. I really think that the government should do something about the gap between the rich and the poor and this comes in aptly and timely since it’s the election period. Apparently, it will be the presidential election day on 18 December or around that period of time. 

The cityhall and alongside the Cheonggyecheon have Chirstmas trees and the decor all nicely out up to welcome the festive season. The departmental stores playing merry-making songs non-stop and just looking at the prices of their so-called discounted wares and you will understand why Seoul is the most expensive city in Asia, it sure is. I mean I love Seoul, will always be missing Seoul when I am away, the vivacious spirit of her optimistic people and the festive mood all year round. Yet, I think more of her people will need to pause and reflect upon themselves, what really matter in their lives and in life itself. Am reminded of the full-length mirrors erected in almost or all subway stations and I think to myself, why care about the reflection in the mirror instead of reflecting within one’s self? I have no answer to this as I too am always lost in the chasing after the clouds and the wind. It’s like the debate of the philosophers and their philosophies, whether to be more Hellenistic or to be more Socratic/Platonic. We are but each a dweller in Plato’s allegory of the cave, each seeing the shadow and imagining that we have perhaps caught a glimpse of the image of the shadows.

The night gets even colder, my hands are numbed till they hurt and the head gets numbed too, bet the brain cells are too. One thing for sure, people will always flock to the more delightful to the senses, this therefore explains why Dongdaemun is bubbling with life 24/7  while the self-professed never to sleep Namdaemun is merely breathing its last at half past eight in the evening. And as for Incheon Chinatown, well, you will only get an eyeful of older folks in the train line 1 and buses loaded with easily excitable tourists. This writer is only interested in its Jajangmyeon served in the seafood flavour.

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