I'm in my dorm sitting on my bunk bed, still alone, at around 4:00 p.m. It's a crisp sunny day out there.
I'm back at the computer. I stayed here in the morning. I decided to type up my meeting notes while I had a chance and the memory of the meeting was still fresh in my mind. It was a big laborious job, but it helped me to process the discussion and decisions of the meeting, and take care of the task of reporting to my Chapter secretariat.
I went outside for awhile to have lunch then shop. Just when I thought I wouldn't find a place I liked and was about to turn around, I fell upon a great restaurant with common dishes but prepared properly in the traditional way and with fresh ingredients. I had "bibimbap" which is mixed rice and shredded vegetables and a fried egg with your choice of featured addition. I had mushrooms. It was properly served sizzling in an iron bowl. The vegetables etc. are sitting in separate piles on the rice when you get it so you need to mix it right away while it's still cooking, adding a special sauce. There was broth and salad as well as kimchi, and some warm plum juice was served later, just as is supposed to be done.
Insadong is a great place to wander around and shop. There re many galleries, pottery shops, weaving shops, and gift shops. It's one of the best places in the country to get souvenirs. With two birthdays in the family coming up in the spring, I needed to pick up something. I got some rare bonbons, a hand-made greeting card, a cowboy-type string tie with a ceramic medallion, and some green tea of the best brand in the country.
I have been thinking about getting a wall hanging for many years, so I went browsing for one today. The type of wall hanging I've wanted is a scroll with calligraphy and watercolour painting. I chose pond scene with a jumping fish. Hah! It's a fish out of water but flying! I guess that's the significance. (How apt!) The accompanying words are in Chinese script.
The candy-makers were giving demonstrations of their craft. They take some solidified honey, dip it cornstarch, then fold it eight times. It starts to form strings. They keep folding it until it is gossamer-thin. The fibers are wrapped around chopped nuts, or chocolate or dried fruit.
I also intended to pay a visit to my favourite bookstore, Bandi and Luni's Books in Jonggak Shopping Center. I looked for a smart phone case but could not find one that fits my phone, and the store attendants said that they never carry cases for a Nexus 4 model. That's the second store that's told me that. Anyway, I also wanted to get a pocket calendar/planner and a novel or two, and I achieved those purchases.
One of the books I chose is "Life is an Attitude: How to Grow Forever Better" by (Dr.) Dottie Billington. Now you might not have faith in what a dotty psychologist writes, but I thought I'd take a chance. After all, she specializes in midlife adult development and wrote this book to help people who have reached their midlife phase think positively, be happy, live richly and continue to grow as human beings. It is research for this blog. I sat in the bookstore coffee shop with a cup of English style black tea with milk to read about 30 pages of it, and I'm pleased with what I've read so far. It's a very practical book that is very coherent and well organized because each recommendation is explained briefly with simple language then spelled out as a technique for readers to try in their own life. It's thus easy to read; however, it is deep in terms of concepts and about 235 pages in length. It has deep roots in philosophy, mostly Asian with influences of Buddhism, Taoism and Hinduism, I would guess.
We'll find out if I'm right. The author has provided her postal address and email address at the back of the book with an invitation for readers to contact her. I think I'll do that and tell her about this blog.
Now for a nap and some dinner.