Kunming is actually a quite (or very) large city of 6+ million people.
*If you’re curious, click the photos individually for information about the camera and location.
Happy (Belated) Moon Festival!
It’s a holiday everyone gathers to eat mooncakes (full-moon shaped snacks) and gazes up at the moon (we’re all under the same moon). The local mooncakes from the Yunnan Province are perfectly round with buttery flaky skin!
(After a second glance, I’m giggling to myself because this photo is so obviously different from the rest in the entry. I’m still the most comfortable lugging around my DSLR.)
I toyed with the idea of trying blowfish in Busan, but chickened out. On a hungry afternoon in Seoul, we headed to a highly-recommended fugu specialty restaurant for a lunch set-meal. I didn’t get any photos of a couple dishes because I imagined a numb sensation on my mouth and impending paralysis/death. Of course, it was false alarm and the fugu was especially delicious breaded + deep-fried.
Fugu skin salad
Fugu soup with crunchy bean-sprouts
I spent a good part of my afternoon walking off the fugu meal around Insadong, drinking tea and visiting shops.
A cozy cafe on the rooftop of ssamziegil with handwritten notes left by people
Green-tea bingsoo (shaved ice with a scoop of green tea ice cream + mini rice cakes and shaved almonds)
A Korean temple restaurant where we had 20+ plates of vegetarian food
I loved the scallion and enoki mushroom salad paired with the fried veggies
Plenty of mountain vegetables!
I was a bit overwhelmed!
Fluffy tea snacks and cold cinnamon tea
Project Fukushima! is an initiative to raise awareness through a sychronized festival held in Fukushima and around the world. Yogiga Gallery in Seoul hosted the event, where Taurin was invited to perform alongside Korean and Japanese artists.
Taurin’s set involved live recordings of salt and water to create ambient noise.
Rie Tahiti flew in from Japan. P.S. You can spot me taking photos in the darkness!
And just like that, I’ve left Korea. I’m in a brand new city where I don’t know anyone, but I’ve found a perfect two-story apartment with a spiral staircase and a cozy windowseat. More about that later this weekend!
When we arrived back in Seoul, it was pouring rain but everyone was already out. With our biggest umbrellas, we ventured out to Hongdae, the arts university district where my mom also studied painting. After a strong cup of coffee, I stayed out late walking around eating snacks and snapping photos.
A sleepy ride on the KTX speed-train back to Seoul.
All I wanted for breakfast–a plain toasted bagel and cream cheese with black iced coffee.
I wasn’t too happy about the rain!
Everyone lined up to grab late night snacks.
“Hongdae children’s park”
An impromptu street jam session that turned into a b-boy battle.
Seoul is and isn’t the way I remembered it from my childhood–a haze of mountains and skyscrapers standing tall, side-by-side. And then there are these sudden moments of recollection. The details are profoundly ordinary, like the time I ordered a bowl of rice cake ramen with my friend Jiyun. We were only in third grade, and this was our first time eating out alone just outside of the school gate. We sat on stools nibbling on pickled dikon radishes when a middle-aged woman brought us the food. The noodles were perfectly al dente. I always overcook my noodles.
“But when from a long-distant past nothing subsists, after the people are dead, after the things are broken and scattered, taste and smell alone, more fragile but more enduring, more unsubstantial, more persistent, more faithful, remain poised a long time, like souls, remembering, waiting, hoping, amid the ruins of all the rest; and bear unflinchingly, in the tiny and almost impalpable drop of their essence, the vast structure of recollection.”
- A selection from “In Search of Lost Time” by Marcel Proust