I am writing to you from my room on the outskirts of Seoul, Korea. I
can see the Bukhansan Mountain from my window, and the rest of the
city stretches out beneath it in a tight mess of steel, concrete, and
neon. Probably the most interesting thing in the skyline are these red
neon crosses that are spiked into various high-rises. Originally, I
thought it meant there were lots of hospitals. I was wrong though.
They are symbols for a religious organization that is popular here.
I suppose I am popular here as well. There aren't too many foreigners
in the area, so I constantly get little kids following me who ask,
"How are you?" or whatever short phrases in English they know,
including the occasional expletive, which can stop you dead in your
tracks if you're not used to it.
I don't think I'll get thrown off my game today. The sun is covering
everything in this pinkish haze, and I am positive a bit of its magic,
mixed with the overwhelming pollution, has given me just the right
amount of balance to deal with the future. All I need now is a key
phrase to keep in mind for any situation.
"Suck my kiss!" would have been good if I were in Los Angeles, and
"Green is mean!" was a solid number for Colorado, but I think "Mars or
bust!" is perfect for Korea.
I hope you're doing well where you are. I will write again soon when I
get the chance.
- - -
Pirooz M. Kalayeh is a writer and
artist from Los Angeles. Links to his novels,
comic books and music can be found under the blood red skies
(Ed.'s note: "Pops U," the single off TRANSISTOR RADIO, which is the latest release by his
band, the Slipshod Swingers, is fantastic and available @ iTunes.)
Photo detail on main page courtesy
of Florrie Bassingboum.
Read his story, "The Party."
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