“I should sleep a bit more, at night. I should also eat less junk food and more fruit. I shouldn’t have had so much beer yesterday, while I’m on antibiotics. It’s already not easy to live in a healthy way in a routine; on travels, it’s so much worse. There are also things that I thought were buried deeply that come out sometimes, it doesn’t help. I am in very good company, but our talks, they confront me to myself. Whatever, I don’t want to open that drawer yet. Many things, so many things are happening to me, so many adventures since I have left. I am in South Korea. My gosh, people are so nice here. I guess I am not crazy to believe that humanity can have a good nature. I even forgot my camera in the ATM of a city of 10 million inhabitants, and found it again barely one an hour after realising it, thanks to the help of police officers who mustn’t have too much word. And the smiles, and the generosity of perfect strangers… I am lucky. I must never, never forget my luck. Especially during bad times. It’s crazy, I really have no common thread in what I write, I just enjoy being able to take it all out. I would like to write something more elaborated. I always dreamed of writing a book. One day, maybe. In the meantime, this notebook will keep collecting my thoughtless words. Good night.”
We thus took a bus from Danyang to Gongju, which allowed Luke to enjoy the beautiful landscapes on the road, and me to sleep most of the way in order to catch up with sleep hours lost thinking too much.
The city stretches between two sides of a river, of which the view from the bridge is very nice.
The city hosts an old fortress. We visit it in company of a Korean woman who grew up in California and her friend, without seeing its totality because the walls around it are several kilometers long.
That day, we also discover a park that hosts several tombs. Those are found under hills such as these:
And the following day, we go to the discovery of another temple, at the foot of a small mountain that we climb in a few hours.
The view from the top is wonderful.
We have a really good time in this town. The neighbourhood where we are staying is full of sketchy karaoke bars, that look like they are a bit more than that… Curious, we decide to go check it out, to be sure. After going inside a few different places, we can only admit that they are indeed karaoke bars. We still want to sing, and in the last place where we go in, there are women in suggestive outfits; we tell ourselves that decidedly, they don’t only offer karaokes in those places. But to us, they offer nothing else, maybe because we look too innocent… 🙂 In any case, we have fun like kids singing very loudly and very out of tune for an hour.
But it is time to move on, and after a few days in this city, we take another bus, for Jeonju this time. Jeonju is a city like any other, with the exception that in its center, there is an absolutely lovely traditional village. We enjoy very much walking for hours along the crowded streets that seem to come from another time…
The locals love to pose for photos. I can’t tell you the number of ‘selfie-sticks’ that we see, everywhere, really everywhere… There is a superficial side to Koreans, especially girls: they are obssessed with their self-image. The country has one of the highest number of plastic surgeries in the world, notably the one that consists in lifting one’s eyelid in order to look more Western.
There are also many couples, dressed in assorted traditional outfits. It’s very cute.
Physically, I finally am starting to feel like myself again; mentally, it still isn’t easy, but I cannot complain. Jeonju is incredible, but what is waiting for us promises to be interesting: we have planned to spend a few days in a buddhist temple. It’s a great opportunity to put things straight in my head. I will tell you all about it soon!