Wednesday, November 7, 2012

On the way to school

More on my immediate neighbourhood a bit later...

Between my home and my school lies a fast-paced 25 minute walk that I am generally happy to take each morning and afternoon - weather permitting. I'm getting nearly an hour of decent exercise each day, it helps wake me up in the am and it helps me justify being a sloth most nights when I get home in this cooler weather.

I would like to take my bike, but the roads I need to travel are too chaotic with cars and the sidewalks are too rotten with parked cars and industrial shops leaving their crap everywhere. So, walking it is.

The first section of the journey ain't half-bad - tree-lined streets above Dorim-cheon (the stream that runs by my place) and a little bit of peace and quiet - fruit stands and the odd biker. Podcasts are doable here.

But then, I walk past this blasted thing - I'm not really sure what it is, but I'm going to venture that it's some kind of vent to an underground collection of decomposing bodies, because that's about the shape of things in an olfactory sense when I'm within 10 yards of the thing. It's like a bloody open sewer.

It's fine when I walk past it in the morning - I can see it coming and prepare myself, let my breathing go shallow for a while, and get to a minimum safe distance. But, on the way home, I turn the corner and BAM - there it is! It took me a while to get used to the sudden drop in air quality. A couple of times in the first week, I rounded the bend (on the crest of a small hill) and got two air-sacs full of invisible filth. My gag-reflex actually kicked-in one day and I thought I was going to spack right there and then.

Oh, and on the way home today, I saw this curiosity - a detached wire hanging down from the middle of a power line right above the sidewalk. It seemed awkwardly tied-off, but was still somehow left dangling in the middle of an expanse between poles. I realize that most people walking there won't come that close to it - but I'm not far off, and what about cars? Or trucks? I mean, they use the sidewalk, too - and some of them are really tall.

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