With a month and some change left in Korea, before I go home to wait with my father for the end, here are the second batch of ten images that *I* liked best from this current go ’round Korea. (I being the only person that needs to be pleased around here.) Ten because thirty to fifty are too much for one page and this ain’t BuzzFeed. There will be repeats. I’ll mention the camera for the G.A.S. types. Part One Here
Gramps Goes Where He Wants. Gunsan. Pentax K-50.
마을연인. Jeonju. Yashica Mat 124-G.
Fox. Gunsan. Pentax K-50.
L’Homme Sophistiqué. Gunsan. Pentax K-50.
Brelly. Gunsan. Pentax K-X.
+5 Charisma Mod. Gunsan. Pentax K-50.
Yashica Mat Sweaty Hat. Gunsan. Pentax K-50.
Crossing. Gunsan. Pentax K-X
Hidden Expat. Gunsan. Pentax K-50.
The Alpha. Seoul. Yashica Mat 124-G.
Oh My Fudge-eating Gawd! How’d a color photo get in there, disrupting my edgy cool photography?! For fun, try to make a story out of them.
With a month and some change left, here are the first batch of ten images that I thought worked best from this current go ’round Korea. Ten because thirty to fifty are too much for one page and this ain’t BuzzFeed. There will be repeats. I’ll mention the camera for the G.A.S. types.
You may or may not agree with my choices, but let’s be clear: None of this was ever done for you.
Gunsan Mud. Gunsan. Samsung NX 500.
Gwangalli Crooning. Busan. Pentax K-50.
Thugz 4 Lyfe. Gunsan. Samsung NX500.
Puppy Stroll. Seoul. Pentax K-50.
Sneaky Picture of Sneaky Girls Sneaking My Picture. Seoul. Pentax K-50.
Annoying A Friend. Seoul. Pentax K-50.
New Camera Test. Gunsan. Samsung NX500.
Sad Gremlin Dog. Busan. Yashica Mat 124-G.
Late Night Pals. Gunsan. Pentax K-50.
Sneaking A Smoke. Gunsan. Pentax K-50. (My wordpress layout is stretching this one for some reason.)
Most of the Pentax shots were taken with a manual lens on the digital body. It was kind of hard to work with and I can see why most photographers keep digital and manual living under apartheid. Dirty gear bigots.
In recent times I’ve been finding myself more attracted to the soft and/or badly focused, and the deeply grainy, images in my collection. Today’s image dump is all from Japan;
They remind me of memory. Maybe just my memory, which is notoriously bad. Since we tend to think that our brains are recording things like they were movies instead of a bunch of meat moving around our skulls we tend to demand our proxy memories (media) be as clear as possible. But I find these… comfortable? Familiar? As if I actually am looking at snippets of memory, trying to puzzle them out a bit. Why do I remember this thing and not the rest of that day?
Maybe it’s an aspect of growing older, but when I look back and try to remember it’s usually just vague emotional responses to something I’m trying to fix in my mind’s eye. Sometimes they’re like these photos: Indistinct bits and pieces. Lacking any clarity. Flashes. When I was young I was in love and when she dumped my scrub ass, it wounded me deeply. If I try now to recall her, I think I remember her face. Her smell. Her voice. Things we did together. Places we went. Then I’m dismayed by how little of it there really is, and worried that some of those few memories might be my mind filling in blanks.
As my father lays dying in Canada, the reason I’m going home in case I failed to be clear earlier, I’m trying to do the same with him. I mostly remember him through the lens of adulthood. There’s less and less of him in my head as I go back. I do remember falling asleep on his lap as we watched Cosmos back during it’s original PBS run. At least I think it was Cosmos. The gentle soothingness of Sagan’s voice still makes me doze off even now, decades later. Puberty hit me like a sledgehammer and I became much less affectionate towards him and more distanced. Then I made my life on the other side of the planet. So it goes.
The pictures above are much more recent in my life. It has only been three years since my time in Japan ended. I remember enough of the place to recall the context of them. In five years? Ten? Would I be putting in the effort to remember things that mean nothing to everyone except me? Those aren’t Anpanman cutouts on that wall. Those are some women trying to put a lot of sad, frightened children at their ease. Will I know that then?
These are the sort of posts you write at 4am…
Today is the last day of the Chuseok four day weekend and I’m pretty happy about that since I went out with some friends last evening and wound up drinking way too much coffee as we sat at the shop chatting and playing cards. I’m pretty sensitive to caffeine… which might explain why I’m such a filthy addict… and I try to not drink it past noon because it stays in my system for a good 12 hours at least. A vicious attack of two separate mosquitoes on my dozing figure last night at five and six in the morning respectively shattered my even-lighter-than-normal sleep and I’m operating on a few hours of snooze. I’ll probably nap again as I pee the rest of it out because that’s how it works.
FYI: If your pee ever smells like coffee it’s just that your body can’t absorb any more caffeine and it’s passing it out. If your pee smells like tea, you’re probably English. Or a Hobbit.
Today’s image dump theme is “Things I saw last night.”
It’s a pity that last one suffered from handshake in the extremely low light. It’s not often you see street gangs here.
I was awoken early this morning, much too early for someone who went to bed at 4am, by the tedious drone of a fundamentalist Christian hymn. It seems a neighbour is trying to add himself to the excessive number of Moonie-wannabes here in Gunsan. Despite my Atheism, I know there are much better Jesus songs than the joyless dirges prefered by most Christian sects. Johnny Cash sang most of them. Sing more like this, religious people. Then my toilet backed up and I had to pump poo down the drain before it went all over the floor. Have you tried removing a wet turd from anywhere? No? Obviously you’ve never changed a diaper.
How was your Sunday morning? Less shit-and-droning-filled, I assume? Since I’m awake and cranky, this seems like a good time to edit some photos and post them to my blog. A post not only on a Sunday, but during a long weekend in Korea? I must be determined to have no readers at all! Happy Chuseok!
Though let’s be honest: People only read websites that confirm what they already think. I should have done more “LOL! K-Pop! LOL! Expats not like me are the worst! Hagowns suck! LOL! Korean chicks are hawt! Heyamirite? LOL!” posts if I really wanted a bigger readership. Ah well, we’ll be coming to the end of this wee blog’s life anyway once I return home. Blogging is really a Korea thing like using Active X, Windows Vista, Internet Explorer 6, and thinking soju tastes like anything other than industrial waste.
With that in mind: Here’s another image dump that has a theme that you will need to figure out yourself because I’ve decided to subscribe to the Myth of the Bootstrap and will no longer help you. I’m sure that this philosophical stance looking like callous laziness and a complete unwillingness to accept that I share the planet with other people is just a coincidence.
Alright. I’m not a monster unlike the people who believe in the Bootstrap Myth. These are pictures I took in the months leading up to my previous exit from Korea. I’m a lot better at holding my camera the right way now.
I’m sorry, all dozen readers… and you too, all two hundred bots… I’ve been a horrible provider of free internet distractions. I got a lot on my plate right now. Getting ready to leave Korea. Ending my life here for the time being. Despite spending a heap of cash on the trip home, I’ve been saving money. Even though I want to go crazy and blow everything I’ve saved up so far because life is pretty short and at even if they can repossess the TV, they can’t take your scars. Chuseok is coming up and I didn’t bother making any plans well enough in advance to do much except maybe take a bus some afternoon to Kwangju or something. Never been there. Might be worth it. Might not be. That’s the risk you take when you can’t decide to be fiscally responsible or not.
In the spirit of both risk and missing each other, here are some shots that didn’t work out like I was hoping when I took them. I’ll leave it up to you to debate if I’m right in feeling, “Meh” about them.
Miyakonojo. Gunsan. Seoul. Ketch Harbour? (Not too sure on that one)
These are pictures that I took just to take a picture. No real plan. No real focus. Just pointing my camera in order to capture light. Things that have no particular personal meaning, nor strong memory associated with them… Outside of their location anyway. Nothing about their specific location or essence of what the subjects are that makes them personal in that way. They are just representative of a whole.
I can close my eyes and imagine Miyakonojo and I see empty buildings as the businesses that use to occupy them abandoned them for the giant malls or simply died out, and the farms that ring the city. Slipping into a quiet decline. Not unpleasant. Gunsan is just the Susong-Dong area which is centered on the LotteMart. Seeing the same people every night along that one street with the bars and the restaurants. Gunsan too is representative of the small but growing city in Korea. A lot of sameness in both services being offered, and in the faces that you see. Making do with what you have. The whole Gangbuk-Gu area of Seoul, despite it only being two years of my life here in Asia, has strong associations if only due to the intensity of the negative emotions I was feeling at the time. Nova Scotia is always cold, grey, rocky, and foggy. Like a slow dying memory of an event that shaped you but in retrospect you’d be just as happy if it hadn’t since you don’t learn much useful from the experience.