It has been almost a year since I have this blog, and I am realising (now, looking for tags) that it does not have a single post on South Korea. Which is surprising, really, because for 13+ years South Korea remains, together with Paris, another constant in my life, a place where I always come back to. All this time it has been a home to my parents, but it is a long story, and I should tell it in one of my Chapters. For now, I’ll just say that I am in love with this place – madly and for so many good reasons. Since more than a decade, I am witnessing its rise, its growth and, now, its glory. Sometimes I even feel myself part of Korea’s success – and I am very proud of this small country and grateful for all the moments of happiness I have shared here with my family.
For all the 13 years (and counting), I came to experience cherry blossom for the first time this April. Cherry (in Korean, 벚나무 or “kotkot”) blossom is a narrow window of opportunity that opens up once a year for a week, sometimes two. God forbids to call it sakura here: even though, I suspect, it was planted by the Japanese, any reference to that time of military occupation of Korea spurs anger even more than half a century ago. (Another enemy is China: every sand wind or storm blows from there, as do hacker credit cards attacks). Cherry blossom is a magical time in Korea: the entire country stops working and starts taking pictures. There is a train station is a small city where my parents live, which is attracting crowds these two weeks: it literally stands in cherry trees, and every time a train is passing by, flower rain starts – to the delight of the crowd and fireworks of camera flashes. This train station was closed this year – to avoid accidents with the most enthusiastic photographers, waiting for the magic at the train rails.
Every city in South Korea has a few magnet cherry places like that, and every attracts crowds. Not of Koreans only: half of South East Asia comes to marvel at “kotkot” these days (another half goes to Japan). Here are the pictures of two places like that from my summer home’s area, as I tenderly call South Korea: a creek with cherry trees on its both shores and a mountain pass, romantically called Dream Road.
Of course, cherry trees make gorgeous decorations for family photos. I could not help but take some of this boy. Koreans kids are adorable – and so are their clothing lines.
Some more close ups of the “kotkot” beauty: both pink rose and red.
…and, of course, a few of your favourite character, Mus. ❤
A rare post of mine where photos mean more than words: but you get it, right?
Can’t wait to be back next year.