I went to see the Korean play 'Miso' today at the Chongdong Theater with Kate. It's a Romeo and Juliet type play, but they don't die at the end. It was really cool to watch and listen to traditional music and dance. I'm a big fan of the drums... (Erik if you read this... you know what I'm talking about... "Drumline ya dig?")
It was almost entirely free of speech... The musical was full of choreographed dances and rhythmic beats.
We thought it was gonna be a perfect day to watch go to the matinee, since the weather report was all rain all day... But when we got out of the theater the sun was poking out a bit. It was a bit muggy but once the sun went down it began to cool off a bit. It was a good Saturday all around.
Now I'm relaxing to some Otis Redding... good Saturday all around indeed.
Saturday, July 2, 2011
America is a Salad Korea is a Soup
By, Josh Niehues
My title may not make since in the way it initially reads. You may think, “Oh, this post is going to have something to do with the cultural differences between the U.S. and Korea.
That’s not what this post is really about. It’s about smell. Now before you start thinking about all of your favorite soups, Creamy Potato, Tomato with Ricotta cheese, and Chicken Noodle, let me define what I mean when I say, “America is a Salad” and then describe this soup that is Korea.
America is a salad. America has a smell to it. Not all its smells are lilacs and lavender. There are areas for sure, that produce pungent odors, back alleys, dingy night clubs and gas station toilets to name a few. Then there are the areas that are fresh like a salad. There are the expansive fields of fresh cut alfalfa, the crisp ocean breeze of the Pacific North Coast and the fragrances of fall in the Mid-West. These smells are the better side of America.
Korea is a soup. Korea has a smell to it. Some of the smells are comparable to those of America. The coast has a sweet smell when the wind rushes across the ocean. In fall, the fallen leaves give off an aromatic scent. It also has its unpleasant smells as well and in these days of summer an undesirable smell beings to emanate from every building, street and crammed subway entrance. The summer air becomes stagnate. The humidity seems to trap in every smell and coat you in it; similar to dumping soup on your head.
Garbage is picked up on a regular basis, but there are no trash cans only pink and yellow plastic bags. The pastel colored waste piles up next to the buildings. Yesterday’s dinner becomes a furry creature’s treat that is scattered into the streets. There are no street sweepers in Korea. The garbage that is not collected is washed into shallow gutters.
The summer rains are hot and sticky. It liquefies the contents of the soup. Red peeper paste, kimchee, spicy noodle soup and a marred of other condiments and edibles mix into an odor frenzy crescendo. Sprinkle in the occasional dash of urine and you have the pungent aromas of my part of Korea.