Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ghost Month

A "danji" ("단지") is a block of estates which, for most Seoulites, usually brings to mind the image of a pack of concrete, overpopulated, high rise buildings. But here, that's just the opposite: low-rise, quiet, and green.

Yes, here too, real estate is claiming more land each time I visit, but that's life. And death.

Welcome back to the cemetery of Yongmiri*.

It's always a special moment when you pay homage to ancestors, share time, thoughts, a drink, and a bite with them. You also do a bit of gardening for them, like yesterday, between two rainy days. Of course, you can hire pros to maintain the grave site, but contributing is important, and I actually cherish these moments of earthly intimacy. If most Western tombs are made of stone, these tumuli are very much alive. And again, yesterday, the pheasants cleared their throats.

So much for the crow cliche.

Seoul Village 2012
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* see "Ray Banned". Note that: - this time, I skipped the fermented skate before coming, and opted for an excellent doeji kalbi - Yongmiri is located in Paju (Gwantan-myeon), but belongs to the city of Seoul (and full disclosure: this block 2 / "2단지" / "2 danji" is not our neighborhood)

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