There’s an area of Seoul which has managed to retain a lot of pre-war/colonial architecture, markedly different from a lot of the cookie-cutter buildings built nowadays: high ceilings, huge, wall-length windows, etc. Because the buildings are so old, they can’t be developed, which means elevators can’t be installed. This, in turn, means that the rent stays low, and it’s becoming the perfect place for artists and designers who can’t afford to be in, say, Hongdae.

We climbed to the top of this one, right in the heart of the city, built in 1937. We drank wine from red cups and enjoyed the cool breeze, a welcome retreat from the normally humid Seoul summer.

‎"the first week of august hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. the weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, & those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of august is motionless, & hot.
—  natalie babbitt, tuck everlasting
My cousin has been having parties again!

I’ve actually been social! It’s not so bad when I go to his parties; I can actually talk to people and not be really awkward. I’m not sure why, but I feel super comfortable there. Everyone is really funny and nice. And there’s always some type of food. It’s really great. So, yeah, I had fun!

The days may not be so bright and balmy — yet the quiet and melancholy that linger around them is fraught with glory. Over everything connected with Autumn, there lingers some golden spell — some unseen influence that penetrates the soul with its mysterious power.
— Northern Advocate.

Mon 10:00 Absorbed

Confident in our movements, we advance upon each other, slow dancing amongst a sea of possibilities.  Coy as she is, she finally reveals a hint of enjoyment as a wide smiled grin reaches ear to ear.  Easily absorbed in this moment, absolutely everything other remains non-existent, for we are here only to lock eyes upon that singular other.  Warmth comes over us, from fingertip to lower lip we feel this balmy connection enigmatically pulling us closer.  Both concentrated on the direction in which we coalesce and the rhythm of a soft bass-line timed to a gentle scratch of snares met with causal patters, we drift atop an empty hardwood floor leading and following the same.    

Turning Soil

April 21st, a THURSDAY.

The rainy season is almost at an end. In the day it is balmy and sweet, and in the evening I sip at warm sweetened milk and watch the setting sun, and the lurid colors in its wake.

My parents are making a soccer field and a tennis court in our backyard. They are to serve as part of the sports venues for the school. Last week I woke up to the sound of bulldozers turning soil, and today I wore working gloves and helped plant grass. When I peer out the window there are at least half a dozen local helpers dotted across the field, bent-backed and shining with sweat.

Each morning, one of the center helpers named Eric shouts my name across the road in a bold Burundian accent. “Ha-sun!” he says with a white grin, “Good morning!” I greet him back and resume my trek across the sun-soaked grounds.

For lunch today we prepared potatoes baked in foil, a salad of sliced beets, tomatoes, avocado, and boiled egg, and a creamy spinach gravy. I have never seen such huge potatoes in my life. One is about the size of an ostrich egg, and you need both hands to carry it.