Ppuri Park: Making an Adventure

Sunday morning, in spite of having stayed up too late talking to people from back home on the internet the night before, I dragged my tucchus out of bed at the slightly ridiculous hour of 9:30 and went on an adventure

Four buses, one kimbap restaurant, a couple of convenience stores and a fair amount of panic later, I arrived at Ppuri Park. The wikitravel article describes is as a curious collection of modern art, and I’d be inclined to agree.

Of course, between the detour for food and my public transit mishaps (getting off the bus to transfer, then getting on the same bus route again rather than the one I was trying to transfer to doesn’t exactly figure in as one of my finer moments) it was nearly 1 pm by the time I finally got there.

The detail on some of these sculptures is incredible.

I trudged around the park for half an hour before realizing that in spite of wearing by far the fewest clothes of anyone over the age of seven (based on my observations, Koreans, particularly women, like to hike in head-to-toe tracksuits) I was the only one at all fazed by the heat. There is a very good reason for this. Everyone else over the age of seven had staked out a shady spot to sit, drink cool water, and watch the hapless tourist doing her best “mad dogs and Englishmen” impression.

Eventually I wised up and found myself a cold drink and a shady spot too. After a little while, the heat did start to subside slightly, and I could resume my explorations.

The best panoramic view of the hillside would be seen from the bridge. I say would be seen because while I was on this bridge, I was entirely too focused on freaking out to take any pictures at all. You’ll notice that the walking surface of the bridge is a little bit see-through and has great gaping holes in it. I am petrified of walking on surfaces like this, particularly when they occur over churning water.

So instead I have some pictures from perhaps less advantageous angles, but taken with the decided benefit of not drowning (not to mention that my camera would probably react worse to falling in the water than I would).

I’d had a weird couple of weeks. I had chickened out of taking public transit by myself (like the fact that I have no idea where I’m going and don’t speak the language all the signs are in has ever stopped me before). I had made so many plans with friends that I neglected my workouts, my writing, and this online course I’m supposed to be working on (to say nothing of the groceries that rotted in my fridge while I ran around like a crazy person).

This is what I meant when I said I lived here. I had stopped looking at every day, every spare moment as an adventure, as an opportunity to see or do something really cool. I had let routines—Friday bar nights, Saturday recovery from Friday bar nights, Wednesday needlecrafts (not that a stitch and bitch is anything to sneeze at)—take over and make living here seem, well, ordinary.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and a place for routine in my life, but one thing on the long, long list of things I don’t ever want to do with my life is become a slave to routine. The day I think to myself “I can’t go grocery shopping today, it’s Monday, and I always do my shopping on Tuesdays!” is going to be a very, very sad one for me. Now the trick is to keep reminding myself of it. The trick is to keep making adventures, even if I don’t find them.


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