The Great Escape

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My life is now meted out in 35-minute segments.

     Like a jealous mistress, the LSAT has begun to take up all my free time; if I’m not studying for it, I’m thinking about it, and when I’m not thinking about it…well, I’m never not thinking about it. Yesterday, however, I managed to break free from its long-armed grasp and spend a couple forgetful hours at my favorite place in Korea: the Han river (or Hangang, as the natives call it).
It’s about a two-minute ride on the subway from where I live.
A quick note about the Korean subway system: the US subways don’t even compare.  The station by my house is huge. First you go down the stairs and reach the top floor…then there are three more stories til you get to the tracks (I have pics in the gallery below).
You take the train a stop, transfer, then get out the next stop and you’re a two minute walk away from here:

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Ain’t it lovely?

Bike rentals are 3,000 won (about 3 dollars) an hour and there’s a bike path all along the riverside. It’s quite nice.  We haven’t quite hit monsoon season this year, so as yet the weather is perfect–not too humid, and cool in the evenings.  Ideal bike-riding weather.
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I tried to get more of the bike in the picture, but that didn’t work.  Here’s my face instead.

The bikes are these super-cute hipster bikes.  I was tempted to ride away on mine and let the manager keep the 9 thou I left with him as collateral.  But I didn’t.  That would be illegal, and I never break the law ever. (At least I haven’t recently. :0)

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My faithful companion…for three bucks an hour.

If home is where the heart is, my home is and always will be Korea.  It’s where I grew up, where I became a person.  I didn’t adjust well at first, but with time I managed to burrow in and make a place for myself.
But now that I’ve moved away, I’ve changed.  I used to come back expecting to find my little niche where I left it but now it’s gone, healed over.  Korea looks the same, but it’s changed as well, and I wasn’t here to keep my place in it. Now I’m just here.

Except when I’m at Hangang.  At a time where I’m grasping at any sense of familiarity, I find something like stability here at the riverside.
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Sarah + Hangang 4ver.

It’s a good place for making new memories.
If I ever want to find a place in Korea again, here is where I’ll start. It may not be the most beautiful place on earth, but it’s perfect to me.
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Meow.

~ by SARAHnghae on June 6, 2012.

One Response to “The Great Escape”

  1. Thank you for sharing your homeland and thoughts. What a nice read; I look forward to more.

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