This late morning, I was on a comfortably-packed train, wondering if I should drop by the poke bowl shop to pick up lunch before heading for the office. I had a small craving for it, but not enough to rule out a simple sandwich, or a bowl of noodles, completely.
Lost in thought over my first-world problem, my idle fingers found the folder of film-taken pictures on my phone. I should post something on the blog, I thought above my lunch thoughts.
I flipped through pictures of my Italy holiday, my multiple Taiwan escapades, and weekend walks, pleased to see them again. Then my finger hit a folder of experimental double-exposed (and somewhat failed) photos. I had connected with a stranger on the other side of the world for this little project, and for my part, I wandered into the streets off East Coast Road to complete it.
But as I looked at these photos, it wasn’t the stranger I thought of. Or the streets I could no longer name. Or the reason why I couldn’t take a proper double-exposed photo. My thoughts strayed onto the companion who’s absent, yet undeniably present in all the photos.
Strange how life could change the course of a friendship, how archives and archives of fond memories were not enough to keep it together. Not nearly enough.
Then the overhead sound system announced my stop. I barely heard it, but my body has learnt the routine, and I stepped out to join the rest of the working crowd.
While navigating the Olle trail, we lost the markers and ended up here. This slice of nature is a wondrous and timely reminder for me, that straying off your planned route is not all that bad; sometimes it can bring you the most pleasant surprises, and even gains.
For us, there it is, our tiny surprise. A garden swing, partly overtaken by the grass growing around it. Enough to conjure a childlike excitement in us. And so we stole some time off our plans, and made our way to it through hints of an old trodden path, swinging ourselves to the tune of a peaceful mid-afternoon. And I was thinking then, what a beautiful world we live in.
We attempted the Jeju Olle Route 1. Best decision ever. Nothing very much compares to the way nature showcases its beauty in your presence.
Our journey to Jeju was slightly arduous, but it was all worth it, eventually.
Arriving in Jeju from Gwangju
From the Nongseong (농성) Bus Terminal, we walked about 15 min to the Nongseong Metro where we bought a ticket (1200 won) to the airport. The ride to the Airport Station is about 15 mins. From there, walk another 10 to 15 mins to reach Gwangju Airport.
My memory is fuzzy now, but according to my notes, the details of my journey to the Nongseong Metro are as such:
Go through exit 6 of Shinsaegae (신세계) department store, go in the direction of the e-mart at Geumho building. Cross the road at g25 convenience shop, continue straight for another 5 to 10 min before arriving at Nongseong Metro Station. Add time if lugging luggage.