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on monday, i took the luxury express bus to seoul to interview a subject for a feature i’m writing for paste. it seems like an okay city, but the cicadas are positively biblical. they’re so loud, it’s difficult to have a conversation with the person sitting beside you. i can’t imagine living there and having to hear it all the time. it makes me think all the people in seoul may be crazy in a very particular way, kind of like how the wind in volver imbues la mancha with a sort of magical realism strangeness. either that, or korea’s capital is just one plague away from the death of the firstborns.

then again, i think god has handed down to seoul its own very special way of suffering his wrath — the subway map.

somehow, i navigated this labyrinthine nightmare after missing not one but TWO buses from busan to seoul and made it to the office of my interview subject with an hour to spare. i did the interview via an interpreter, which was strange; i had an hour and a half conversation with someone to whom i never actually spoke directly.

i heard insa-dong market was a cool place to go, so i shuffled around there for a few hours. found a lame tea house and also a magical, amazing tea house to which the pictures i took do not do justice, so i’m just going to let you imagine the most charming, well-lit, well-decorated, quaint place your brain can muster and place me in it.

now i’m back in busan. i was planning to stay the night and do the couch-surfing thing, but the process of finding a translator, getting to seoul and finding a place to stay had just about used up all my mental energy, and besides, i am approaching unpleasantly broke. all i wanted to do was snuggle up in my own little house, which is exactly what i’ve been doing. more intrepid explorations are coming soon, but for now, i think i little domestication is in order. on that note, i’m off to fry some potatoes for breakfast.

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