Thursday, November 15, 2007

Middle-aged, Sub-urban Parkour

My commute from home in Sokcho to my university in Gangneung is fairly long and expensive. To get some more exercise and reduce the expense, I often walk from the Gangneung terminal to the university. That's good but it takes even more time. To shorten the walk, I have been trying a few different routes.

I now get off the bus and scurry across the bus parking lot, keeping my eyes open for moving buses. I then squeeze around a fence and go through the Gangneung Information Centre to City Hall Street (I think - you know how Korea is for street names). I legally cross the street and illegally walk up the Southbound lane of Highway 7. Upon reaching the bridge crossing the NamDae River, I take a little set of steps (maybe the bridge is a sort of emergency shelter).

Next, I go to the river and cross on a line of rocks that make a simple good-weather bridge. Once on the south side of the river, I stick to roads to my university.

This route takes about 30 minutes, which is a little faster than walking past the city hall and Doosan Soju, but mostly it is much more fun.

My little guy was sick at the beginning of the week and my sleep was intermittent. In taking my new under-the-bridge route, I found this guy.

This picture is from Tuesday. On Monday morning, the blankets were hanging evenly and smoothly around the styrofoam pad. He looked as if he went to sleep hours ago and hadn't moved at all in a comfortable, untroubled sleep. Tuesday, he still looked comfortable.

I know the guy must have problems aplenty to be sleeping under a bridge. And to be sleeping after 10am, he may well have been stumbling around most of the night, trying to keep warm, looking for food, whatever: still, in this snapshot of time, he looks relaxed.

I mentioned this to my wife and she let me know we had extra blankets and such if I wanted to head out. Probably, she was joking.

In unrelated news, at the Yangyang campus (now only the dormitories are used there), I found this set of pictures.

Today is frickin' miserable, but recent weather has been great but really dry. I have noticed wardens at all the San-Bul Jo-Shim (beware of fires) kiosks on the trails recently and these pictures from 2005's Naksan fire are a good way to encourage caution. Looking at these pictures, I feel most sorry for the poor cow. Normally, steak is dead before it is barbecued.

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