27 November 2011

and time goes on (seoul at night)

After a quite long time back to my blog. So many things happened during the last few months, I don’t even know what to start with…
Seoul at Night - Gwanghwamun gate. The newly renovated main gate of Gyeongbokgung Palace.

10:37 PM, I am in the metro, rushing through Seoul and I just realized that I already spent more than two years in S. Korea. Actually, I spent more time living here than in Cluj-Napoca, and for now I call this place my “home.”
Seoul at Night - February 2011, freezing cold at 6 AM. Seoul, the dynamic city full of life, one of the most crowded cities in the world, has its moments of silence. Although one must know were to go to find silence in this metropolis, an early walk over the bridges of the Han River provides a meditative, fresh winter morning.

The songs keep on shuffling on my player and European songs keep on alternating with Korean ones. Living and enjoying my time in Korea definitely changed my preferences, and the time I spent here so far had a benefic impact on my personality. Learning Korean language was one of the biggest challenges of my life, but it was also one of the best experiences so far. After graduating in August from Yonsei University’s Korean Language Institute I can say that for me, learning a new language also meant learning a new culture.
Seoul at Night - Myong Dong, as empty as it can get. Walking in a straight line through Myeong Dong shopping district is impossible in the afternoon and evenings, due to the hundreds of thousands of happy shoppers. However, a walk at 2 AM unveils a totally weird, empty face of the neighborhood.  

A graduation ceremony should always be followed by a new enrolment ceremony, and every end is nothing else than a new beginning. Like my grandmother always says, humans learn during their entire lifetime, but still end up dying foolish. I continue to aim higher and since last September I am pursuing a master’s degree in Korean cultural studies at Yonsei University in Seoul. So far, I have mixed impressions, but I assume that the intense program and busy schedule are good indicators showing that Yonsei deserves its reputation as one of Korea’s top universities.
Seoul at Night - Seoul North Tower (Namsan), 2009 and 2011 photos

I don’t have time to go into deep insights, because I will have to get of the metro at the next station, crushed between thousands of people. I will walk among the other passengers, a tall European wrapped up in Korean fashion items, thinking about novels, art, researches or simply just what to do next. Sometimes, totally engaged in the busy life flow of the metropolis I wonder about where I come from, and where I am heading to. During the last half a year, I didn’t really produce any piece of art, and I don’t regret it, since I am not an artwork factory that should create a certain units per month to keep up with the social tag of an “artist.” I have my excuses. I can say that I’ve been busy. But I must admit that I didn’t really feel like doing any art. Although sometimes I think about it, I am just not in the mood for it. Also, if I don’t have the possibilities to realize my projects as I desire, I will not compromise them. Sooner or later, I will start something new. It is just a question of time.
Seoul at Night - Sukdae area

I check my transportation card and I leave the metro station. Rushing up on the escalator. Outside the weather is colder than I expected. This cold reminds me of the atmosphere of the first novel I wrote, about 6 years ago. Since then so many things changed. This year I decided to commit myself more to literature, and I hope that I will have the time and mood to transform my sketches into novels. Sometimes, I feel selfish, and I don’t want to write about the world that I created inside my head, to not share it with anyone. Sometimes, I feel that my writing is too sincere, and it uncovers certain details about myself that I prefer to keep hidden. Sometimes, I am worried about the social consequences that my writings might have. However, probably soon enough I will pick up the challenge and continue writing.

I am waiting for the elevator. It came, finally. Press the button for the seventh floor. Going up.
I hope I will have more things to say soon.