Sunday, June 28, 2009

korean exercise

fig.1- parallel bars in the park.
fig.2-rope climbing/pole dancing in the park.
fig.3-chest-high wheels in the park. i have not yet established what these are supposed to do.
fig.4-leg press with no resistance in the park.
fig.5- ergonomic walking machines in the park, similar to what that buff enthusiastic guy with the ponytail used to sell on television.

i've decided to chronicle the mystery that is korean public exercise machines. these machines are in every park. there is even a nearby mountain that has them at the top of the trail, just in case you wanted to work on your lats after your hike. it should be noted, if not obvious, that these machines are relatively useless in terms of providing any real benefit. there is no resistance except that of your own body. so some of these machines can be as strenuous as "standing up" or "walking normally." the only people i've seen use them are: 1)little kids for fun 2)old people and 3)young people on dates, which can be cute.

i wish i could tell you that i've seen a lot of new things or something, and i probably have, but now it's commonplace and this is just the place i live now and you don't take pictures of the place you live too much. i bought a scooter in order to move about the town a little more. it's only 50cc but it can really fly. it maxes at 40mph, but it can go a little faster than that, though even approaching 30mph makes me feel like i'm endangering my life. i've told a few people i think, but south korea has the highest auto-fatatalies per capita in the world. this is because everyone drives like the devil is chasing them. i've started noting references about "korean brakes" which is what foreigners call the horn. i've heard many a horror story about people driving scooters, since they are on the bottom of the food chain. so i bought a helmet. good for me then.

i brought a two volume edition of the brothers karamazov with me. i finished the first volume today and am about 40 pages into the second. needless to say, i didn't accomplish much other than reading today...there are some pretty profound and intense things said by father zossima in his final moments. it's a wonderful book so far, but i can never establish how i feel about the characters. one moment i love alyosha and then next i lose faith in him. i hate characters one moment and then realize that i must hate myself also. it's an exhausting book but it's very edifying as well and if i'm not a better person by the end of the book, it's my fault and not dostoevsky's.

i was going to come home for a week in august, but sadly the tickets went up by about 400$ in the past few days. so 1,500$ isn't really worth a 7 day trip to atlanta i'm afraid. i've thought of coming home christmas, but that will still be very expensive considering that i'll be home in 2 or 3 months anyway. i might just hold onto that money in order to travel for a while before coming home. i want to see thailand, japan, the philippines, and china. this vacation though i'm just going to try going to jeju island since it's relatively cheap and it also happens to look like heaven on earth. google some pictures, you'll see. ok, bed time.


  1. well, it's about time, josh.

  2. yeah those excercise machines have popped up in weird places in peachtree city now as well. there is one specific little pond that has them placed all around it and they are the most worthless things ever. by the way this is my new blog where i'm going to post my art and stuff. right now all i have on there are three of my big paintings and two small stone sculptures... keep your fingers crossed, though, because I've submitted these babied to Young Blood gallery in atlanta to hopefully get a show in 2010?!


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