Mountains in the Cities

Lughnasa and the Korea Moon

Saturday gratefuls: A whole Chicken and Rice for each of us. Onions. Peppers. Pickled Peppers. Kimchi. Radish in squares. Side dishes. Dates. Mushrooms. Dinner last night in downtown Songtan. Screen golf. My son’s drives. Seoah calling  herself Bunker Woman after several sand traps. Walking in the Woods on the small Mountain behind Seoah and my son’s apartment building.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: My son and Seoah’s relationship. Playful.

One brief shining: Black ceramic bowls with a whole Chicken, Rice underneath, Mushrooms and Dates in the soup, white bowls of pickled Radish, Cabbage, Peppers, Sliced Onions, and Green Peppers, cold Water in a jug, metal chopsticks and the long Korean spoon, a meal with my son and Seoah in neon intensive downtown Songtan on a Friday night.


Songtan, as most Korean cities and towns, has Mountains within its borders. Reminds me of the  Twin Cities with Lakes inside the city limits. Many not more than high Hills at this point in their geological journey, yet Forested and with changing altitudes.

Behind Posco the  Sharp’s building 111 where my son and Seoah live on the 12th floor a small Mountain rises. Walking trails covered with soft Vegetal mats, workout equipment at various sites, this Mountain goes up from building 111 and peaks, then descends to a small commercial area maybe 10 blocks away.

Murdoch goes on daily walks with his people there. Yesterday morning around 9 am the trails had many older Koreans out walking, using the workout equipment. Some swung side to side, some  hung on metal rings, others stretched their bodies while others turned a large wheel one way then the other or used a simple elliptical.

I walked for thirty minutes up one side of the Mountain down the other and back again. Worked up a sweat in the humid warming air. A prized amenity to have so close to their apartment.

Later in the day I went with my son and Seoah to screen golf. For $35 dollars they rented a room for three hours. Along the back wall was a large screen which had the ability to not only project various golf courses and their holes but to show the trajectory of a drive, the path of an iron shot, bunkers, roughs, water hazards. It could also show an instant video of your last swing, keep score, tell you the amount of backspin and side spin on your ball, where the ball struck your club face.

They played 18 holes. My son shot a 94. Seoah, who prefers outdoors golf, did less well. I had fun watching them, seeing them applaud each others good shots, help each other with kind advice, be with each other. My son chipped in on one shot and we all got up and high fived  him.

After returning to the apartment to feed and walk Murdoch, we set out again, this time on foot to downtown Songtan which is only ten minutes or so from the apartment.

Seoah had a found a place that met her two key criteria: first, clean. Second, delicious. We walked through narrow, most often sidewalkless streets, cars going around us, delivery motorcycles weaving in and out, the traditional Asian exuberance of neon signage. Past coffee shops, clothing stores, many different kinds of restaurants, a small traditional grocery where they made rice cakes, sesame cakes, and other delicacies on site. Clubs. Bars advertising soju (a Korean vodka and a favorite beverage) and beer. Fried chicken places.

Lively and interesting.