Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Seoul Forest, and Excellent Weekend

So on Friday (Halloween) night, my friend Jennifer took me to Kyunghee Palace, the most haunted palace in Seoul, and regaled us with ghost stories about royals accused of witchcraft, the spritual-superchargity of Shaman-Central, Inwang Mountain, and serial killer princes locked in rice chests to starve to death, which led to the old puzzle:

If Halloween is a Western holiday (and it is; it's only just now gaining speed in Korea, mostly through Hogwan halloween parties), do Korean ghosts come out, too?

I've always wondered about this; what about luck: as a westerner living in Korea, should I avoid the number 13 (western superstition) the number 4 (Korean superstition), both, or neither? Is it safe for me to open umbrellas indoors here (Koreans often do, leaving umbrellas open in building entrances or hallways outside apartments, so that the water runs off), or should I still avoid it?

Whoa. When I did a google images search for "Black Cat"
I expected this.

Not this. (Black Cat: Felicia Hardy. Thanks, Marvel)
Anyway, we didn't see any ghosts; only some ineffectual security guards. We did go to a great ghost-themed dive bar that was about as cheesy as a scene from Army of Darkness, and as awesome.

Saturday, I helped Foreign/er Joy move to a new place, and hung out with Gomushin Girl (who took some pictures I want) and Zenkimchi, and ate lamb galbi, and durn, it was good (you can read about it here and here, too), but Sunday was gorgeous: I went to Seoul Forest with Girlfriendoseyo and we saw some of the more fantastic fall colours I've seen this year. Girlfriendoseyo says the Fall Colours are not as nice this year as other years, because of the dry summer, but you won't hear me complaining. The Eulalias (the white-headed stalk-plants you'll see blowing in the wind in the video) stood out in white against the vivid fall colours, and we biked all around that area, over to the deer park, and down to the Han River Park on rented bicycles, soaking in the perfect weather and rich sunlight.

Yah, it was nice. One of the most colourful days I've ever spent outside an amusement park.
Here's the slideshow, with the song "Summer Life" by Shaky Hands to accompany.

And here are some pictures so you can feel happy too.
So anyway, if you're in Seoul, get ya butt down to Seoul Forest, THIS WEEK, before the gorgeous leaves fall off the trees.

But you'll have to find your own hottie to accompany you.  Girlfriendoseyo's taken.

P.S.: they have horses.
Below: probably my favourite picture from the day.
And the most colourful: in the Summer, the eulalias are nice, but in the autumn, against the red, orange and yellow, they're spectacular.
Off with ye: get over there.  Ttukseom Station (line 2), exit 8, there's a shuttle bus that goes right to the park entrance, and a bike rental spot right next to the entrance.  You. Have. No. Excuse. Not. To. (if you live in Seoul)


Brian said...

Though I'm petrified at the thought of ghosts, I take comfort in knowing Korean ghosts probably don't speak English and will be embarrassed to hang around white people.

Still, I've read about hauntings in dormitories---a pretty similar setting to these rows and rows and rows of apartments---and they sound pretty terrifying. I'll hve to read more about that palace . . . feel like throwing up some links?

Roboseyo said...

will work on links when I don't have time for prep class, but you inspired a mental image of a ghostly apparition giggling and saying through blush and hands-covering-a-ghostly-mouth, "Yoo-ah-hensome! How long you come to Korea?" which made me laugh out loud.

or maybe it would be a ghostly ajumma pointing at my curly hair and asking, "pama? pama? pama?"

JIW said...

I really liked the soundtrack. I would like to swap music sometimes. These days I don't know what to listen to~.

ok korea said...

thanks for the tip. i must find this forest. also, haunted things are awesome.