The timing of my 2014 trip to Korea was determined by a sad event: the 49th day ceremony (effectively the funeral) of Sena Lee, daughter of the former Sancheong mayor, to whom I was first introduced when I visited Sancheong in 2010, and whom I subsequently got to know better in London where she completed her PhD in neurology.
So, no big cultural festivals this year; instead, a more personal journey. Nevertheless, the new mayor of the County signed me up as one of the officials present at the unveiling of the highest temple bell on Jirisan, which was rather a special privilege.
Here’s a summary of my ten days, with links to the individual chapters.
|5-6 June||Harassed in Haeundae
Arrival in Busan | Dinner with friends
|7 June||Orchids for the altar
A literary lunch | Travelling to Sancheong | Suseonsa
Sena’s funeral | Return to Donguibogam Village
|9 June||The reappointment
The new mayor | Rearranging the diary | Epic sashimi dinner
|10 June||타종식 — New beginnings
The hike to Beopgyesa | The ceremonial first ringing of the temple bell | Back down the mountain | Off to Seoul
|11 June||Modern design and ancient mysteries
Treasures from the Kansong Museum at Dongdaemun Design Plaza | Conversations on mountain spirits with the Goodwill Ambassador for the Baekdu-Daegan | Dinner in Suyu-dong
|12 June||The concubine, the eunuchs and the gisaeng
Another literary lunch | The tombs of the royal eunuchs | The temple donated by a courtesan | The Tie Museum
|13 June||Two museums near Yongin
Ho-am Art Museum and Hee Won Garden | Paik Nam June Art Center | Pungmul in Daehakro
|14 June||The RASKB Garden Party
A third literary lunch | The Garden Party | Sewol memorial at City Hall
|15 June||Two art museums and a reality show
Suh Do-ho and more at MMCA Seoul Branch | Malfunction Library and more at SeMA | Art Star Korea | San Chon
|16 June||Return to London
The most expensive breakfast ever | Reflections | Thank-yous