Saturday, June 11, 2016

Violent Weather can Affect your Plans Whether you Like it or Not!

Pusan, Korea, hotel
June 1 through November 15 is not “summer” here in Florida, but “Hurricane Season,” which means we have a torrent of rain almost every afternoon and a few violent storms; some of which are hurricane proportion and some not.

When I lived in Seattle, the drizzle in winter was called “six months of wet.” The other six months were relatively mild and beautiful. The trade-off was exquisite weather half of the year. I could live with that.

When I was visiting Pusan, Korea one fall, the residents reminded us it was “Monsoon Season.” We stayed in one of the oldest hotels on the top floor. Our windows overlooked the bay and the ocean. Our only saving grace was the fact that the hotel had survived many years of violent weather and was still standing.

A monsoon did rip through one of the nights we were there. The next morning there was damage all around us, but the hotel had withstood. We went to Hunan Bay and saw destruction in many quarters and along the beach. I guess luck was with us on that trip.

 They were selling silk worm larvae (worms) that people purchased and took away in brown paper lunch bags so they could munch them on the beach. Some of the larvae was smoked, but in either case we were not buyers.

Later, we took a wild taxi ride into Seoul. Today it is a huge modern city, but outdoor markets still thrive. If you stand at one end of the city, you can see open-air stalls as far as the eye can see. 

North Korea is only a few miles across the border from Seoul. While we were there college students were rioting and demonstrating for the North. My parents were terribly worried about us; but as it turned out, we saw a crowd of no more than 50 people. The photographers had made the scene placed in newspapers around the world look like a mob of hundreds.

Since that time I’ve always been skeptical of the reports in the news. They usually hype up the violence and problems and make them look larger and worse than they actually are.

Cheju do Island
We also traveled to Cheju do Island to see some of the damage from the monsoon. Luckily most of the island at that time was farmland.

These little statues are everywhere on Cheju do. They represent good luck.

During another trip to this same Island, my son married a Korean girl whose father was a building contractor. They were wed on the island of Cheju do in a hotel her father had built. First they had a traditional marriage in her parent’s home, and then a contemporary wedding on Chejudo.

Does the weather affect the artwork in these Middle Eastern and Far Eastern countries that experience monsoons on a yearly basis? Definitely! Not only did I find many photographs, but fine art that clearly represents the turmoil and angst that accompany violent weather.