November 17, 2008
Many of my miscellaneous pictures from the week revolve around the season of Fall and harvest time. After a late evening at school I found myself pausing to enjoy the amazing harvest moon on my walk home. As it hung over the top of the TCIS dormitory I had to try and capture its glow with my camera. It followed me all the way home and I enjoyed its light.
Giant red, yellow and brown leaves blanket the streets, gutters and sidewalks of the city. They crunch under our feet and serve to hide the litter and grime that is so prevalent on the Korean roadways. It is very common to see elderly men and women up early, sweeping clean the area in front of their local shops and apartments. The leaves of the city are everyone's responsibility. I don't miss raking and bagging leaves in Idaho.
Throughout the city there are signs of harvest and preparation for winter. It seems like on nearly every corner one can find a truck loaded down with cabbages, beets and other produce. Every load of cabbage is destined to become pots and pots of kimchi. The beets will be pickled and transformed into various types of side dishes. The bags of dried red peppers will be ground into power and rubbed into the cabbage leaves as a part of their transformation into kimchi. The leaves of various plants will be dried and ground up and will serve as a base for various soups.
In the midst of all this--the city, the leaves, the cabbage and the red pepper--are the amazing people of South Korea--doing life. All of my observations, that are so unique to me, are the things that make up the ordinary, every day aspects of life for the Korean people. The patience and persistence of the little elderly Korean ladies (azumas) as they sit/squat for hours pruning and preparing produce for market and domestic use is nothing short of amazing--more amazing than a glowing harvest moon.
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