Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Story in Pictures

The night we arrived in Korea was appropriately dark, wet and confusing(despite the assurance of the beeping, blinking, finely detailed GPS display on the dash of our likely bullet proof limo-taxi).

The driver had never been to our city. Now, this makes sense to us. Then, it felt suspicious. He did u-turns in one-lane roads lined with construction signs that said things like 'no entry either way' and 'turn this way - no - that way - because the first way is blocked', indicated all his driving intentions by the liberal use of his horn and hazard lights. He kept a running commentary of his opinions by cursing quietly at the GSP system and snapping his xytol-laced chewing gum. He paused at the gate of our apartment complex to parley (in our early interpretation of it - insult) the "guard" on duty, and then finally called Thaddeus' co-teacher to be painstakingly directed through the labyrinth parking lot of what we now estimate to be our Neosho-sized apartment complex.

It all felt complexly strange and unadjustable. The next day, the city felt even larger as we took the "shortcut" to Thaddeus' school and saw the 'first' version of many things we've now seen in multiples of ten.

It's different now. We realized this as we leisurely took one of about fourteen ways we know to get back from Thaddeus' school last week. We know the layout of our area, we know that our "area" is not the extent of our city, we know the mountains that contain our little area, all the buses to get away, the best places for pizza and nail-enhancing mineral water...we've come to feel that we know this place, as we have never known a place before. In part because we walk it at the pace of a 17 month old toddler, and in part because we look at things with more precision, and speak of them with more generosity than we have our previous locations.

We wanted to share pictures of our evening walk and let your own perceptions fill in the story behind them. Our present perception is rather simple: this is where we live.