Monday, July 17, 2006

a clean Namsan is a happy Namsan

The near-constant rain we've had over the past day has done wonders for Namsan's image. Fallen leaves and sticks have been washed aside, and the earthworms, those cursèd spies, are unable to find purchase on the steps of the Koreanische Philosophenweg, which was more sluice than stairway this evening.

I started my walk later than usual-- a bit after midnight-- but was glad of the lateness and the rain: it was, relatively speaking, cool this evening. I sweated like a champ, but the sweat mingled nicely with the rain. All was well. The ascent up the three staircases was less painful than in recent days; humidity was barely an issue.

I talk to myself on these walks. I sound like a crazy fool, I know, but this is one of the few times I can be out in public and talk to myself with little chance of being overheard by a passerby. Unfortunately, people do hear me-- I happen upon them too late and never manage shut myself up in time. These are the people who must think the huge, lumbering foreigner is some crazy axe murderer in their midst: the Chopper of Ch'eongp'a-dong.

One unfortunate consequence of these walks is that my studio apartment is starting to smell like a freakin' locker room. I can't bring myself to hang my sweat-drenched clothes out to dry in the hallway-- not for fear that they'll be stolen, but because my sense of compassion prevents me from inflicting my singular fetor on the masses (for more on fetor, check out GMJ's excellent post on farts and how to get rid of their odor in cars).

As always, I finished my hike in disbelief that I once again made it up all those damn steps. I suppose that, after I lose some weight, that attitude will change, but for the moment it seems like a string of minor miracles.


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