When I left Daegu nearly two years ago, I was fairly sure that I would never go back. In fact, I highly doubted that I would even return to South Korea. But never is an awfully strong term and one that is not easy to adhere to. Despite the ugly greyness of Daegu, I missed the great people I knew and for a year of my life, Daegu had been my home. It was the first place where I lived completely alone.
Eating my own words, I have now returned to both South Korea and Daegu (although I am spending my time mostly in Seogwipo on Jeju Island). The problem with Daegu for me, was how uninspiring I found it to be. I had known I was moving to a city, yet some naive part of me was expecting to live in a place like this….
This is a mountain temple, just a couple of hours outside of Daegu by bus and foot. Upon my return to the city, I came back to this place because it was always a place that I found very calming and pleasant. Daegu itself, looks a little more like this…
As a country person, this doesn’t suit me very well. However, I was very happy to be climbing my old mountain friend in search of stone buddhas. All of the following pictures are from one of my favourite mountains on the outskirts of Daegu.
When we reached the pile of rocks I remembered well, I added another stone to the collection. Doing so supposedly incites good luck. If the rocks fall, this incites bad luck. As you can see, it has grown rather high over many years.
Two years ago, I took a photo with my friend in front of a wall of many stone buddhas… two years later, I took it again. This one particular place is more symbolic of Korea to me than any other. Even now as I look at it, it represents a lot of the goodness I know in this country.
Near to the stone buddhas is a viewing platform. Every time I stand here I wish I could leap off the edge and glide down the ravine like wingsuit base jumpers do. I have never (yet) had the pleasure of this sport.
When I talked badly of Daegu before, it is because I was thinking of the bad things. There are good things too. This is what I think of when I think of some of the good about Daegu….
Most of all, my favourite part of Daegu was always the people around. Sadly many of them are gone, but there were still an awful lot of familiar faces. Hello and goodbye Daegu, it was fun to see you again.