Sunday, October 31, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
And so: king makers made a mis-step//the suburbs got their wishes//a cowboy got his cap//the kids got something to complain about. The subway stalled//the councilors crawled//the gays returned to their ghetto.
Tax is down, the rent's still up//columnists are shooting in a barrel. Pull out chalk sticks and draw a line around the centre//empty day-time scrapers of paper pushers//cycle without worry.
He was hurtled out of Toronto on an aircraft//vote uncounted.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
With one finger on the guidebook map, I shrugged a signal asking how to get there. His hotel owner eyes widened in distress, pointed at his wrist, then a clock, and shouted, “Hurry!” He came out from behind his counter, motioned at the parking lot then at my open door where she was standing.
We both grabbed our bags and were ushered out and into the back seat of his car, idling. We ripped out the parking lot towards the park’s exit. He pulled up haphazardly with a screech in front the bus stop.
The hotelier spoke in Korean to the driver, we handed fare and headed on, grateful eyes thanking. On to the mountain. Over a bridge of broken boulders we sank our feet into the soil’s morning wetness. To the first hike and the first site of the day: a waterfall of autumn crispness.
Friday, October 22, 2010
As we curved around the hillside corner, we saw it. The sea broke into two curling harbours, the water splashing into large boats and buoys in the distance, and one line of rooftops under our sneakers.
The fish market. We followed the staircase down and under the tops of the open-air shacks made into make shift diners. It was supper hour in the fresh blue blackness, locals sipping soju and picking at raw fish with chopsticks.
The owners of all the shops flagged us down with their two-to-three English phrases. We settled on one stand and were ushered into a table, kicked our shoes off and sat crossed legged.
She took us to the mass of overflowing baskets and asked us to pick out the fish we wanted. We shrugged and smiled, whispered we didn’t know the difference, pointed a finger and said, “Er, that one?”
The appetizers came first, still squirming with life when we poked them. Picked up a cut tentacle of an octopus, dipped in hot sauce and dropped in. He swam around my mouth, grabbing on to my lip and holding on for life as my teeth crunched him.
The fish came next, set raw beside our hot place of spicy soup and noodles. One cup of rice and bottle of cider, we slipped all our plates in and let it boil. The broth was delicious, the fish fresh, the bill expensive.
The table beside us called a cab for two foreigners and we headed off towards the hot springs.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
The sun dried starfish stuck to the pavement. She pulled one up and ran her fingers cross the deadness, held it palm up then slipped it in her purse, smiling. The octopus eyes pointed in wayward directions, heads flopped across a rope and tentacles crawling downwards.
The seaside town had hit its slumber; tourists cleared off the beaches and empty harbourfront hotels boarding up to winter. Trash climbed up the trailers sitting on the boat strip, nets piled high, empty of the day’s catch.
Across the two-bit ferry we found a road eerily empty, walked across the bridge and dipped our fingers in the ocean. The guidebook said we could take the city bus up from the beaches.
The sign read 1.5 kilometers to destination. We walked straight past it.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
We didn’t know which way the depot was, only that we had to get there and take a transfer. Our eyes were peeled towards the store signs screaming at us in Korean, confusing our count of how far we’d gone and where we were headed.
The wheels spun past a street filled with shoes on pavement. Hit the button, she told me, so I did and we got off and walked towards the chaos. All along Rodeo Street were vendors boasting craft supplies and kids with glue and scissors.
We’d stumbled upon some sort of children’s festival, complete with costumes and a marching band, a parade to celebrate warm weather. I bought chicken for fifty cents and we walked towards the drummers. We watched them idle for a while; got bored and took off towards the other end of the fest.
The tents seemed to stretch on forever, new sketches and pamphlets and stations to fold paper into blow-up boxes undying. Finally we turned down towards the water, found a ferry and set out on our search for the fish market.
The water reflected the falling sun, so to it we said, on to the next adventure.