Thursday, October 20, 2005

Kyungju pics: 21-30 of 37

Still at Bulguk-sa, we see Mom reloading her weapon before firing once again into the crowds:

A view of the big dharma hall. I was fascinated by the dragon (gripping a fish in its mouth) under the corner eaves:

Judging by the iconography, everything seems to be eating something at this temple. A lesson about impermanence? An artisan's subtle jab at the vegetarian ethic? Here's a mean-looking entity (I've been wondering if it's the face of a hae-t'ae) eating a door handle:

I hiked with Dad up to Seokgul-am. The bell tower is visible as you near the end of the hike, which takes you relentlessly uphill:

While visiting the Weolseong Janghangnisaji Seo O-ch'eung Seok-t'ap, which required a very short but very steep climb to reach, I saw this imagery on the pagoda's side. What I like best about it is the weird effect of the two faces rising out of the stone in the center of the image:

At the il-ju-mun of Kirim-sa, Mom prepares to cross the threshold and gain enlightenment:

First of Kirim-sa's Four Heavenly Kings (Ch'eon Wang). He appears to be about to feed his struggling pet dragon a large, uncomfortable-looking gumball:

The second king:

The third king, whose green beard reminded me of toothpaste or wasabi for some reason:

The fourth king, who knows how to get down:

Speaking of getting down, last night was something of a treat. My folks had the chance to meet and eat dinner with my buddy Jang-woong in Itaewon's Gecko's Garden, a restaurant I'll definitely be visiting again despite my general dislike of Itaewon. The restaurant's atmosphere was relaxed but animated, and the paella I ordered was plentiful and delicious. The place seems to do a fusion of Italian, Spanish, and Mexican themes: they even had a tapas-style section in their menu. Dessert was a bit small for W8500, but also tasty.

After Gecko's Garden, we visited a jazz club so Dad could have a taste of Korean jazz. Jang-woong knows his way around Itaewon far better than I do, and he took us to All That Jazz, apparently one of the oldest clubs on the strip. We got an earful from a group called Honey Circle (probably a deliberate Konglish perversion of Honeysuckle, since many Koreans pronounce "circle" and "suckle" the same way). Jang-woong, the only drinker in our group, contented himself with his liquor and beer while we teetotallers sipped our fruit juices. A good time had by all.



Anonymous said...

The second king: Is that a mop in his right hand in case the vanilla ice cream in his left hand starts to melt?

Anonymous said...

The image on the door knocker looks like a tokkaebi, but a haetae would make more sense.

Oh, and a note on the first king:

A crappy photo (this was back when I was using my crappy automatic film camera), but evidence that great minds think alike (or at least similarly).