Seoul felt like a blur. A blink-and-I-missed-it blur.
I do remember being without an umbrella during the rainiest morning; soaked head to toe, my shoes squishing with each step in ankle-deep puddles while everyone else (caught in the same discomfort) managed to remain chic and presentable. My next destination was Gangnam, across town. I squish-stepped to the subway as elderly Korean citizens watched sternly unamused as I dripped everywhere I moved.
I arrived to Gangnam as the rain lessened a little and killed some hours at an aquarium and photo exhibition nearby. Later I moved onto Bongeunsa Temple where I clocked a handful of locals and foreigners praying and making offerings. The monks were in a meditative chant in the main temple so I stood outside respectfully listening, disappearing into their ancient sutras.
I reached the central courtyard behind the main temple and observed a lone figure sitting in prayer carrying a bright pink umbrella to shield her from the rain as I listened to the sound of the gong from inside the main temple, the crow’s ominous caws, and the gentle patter of rain drops. I wanted that moment etched within me forever, even in faded vignettes, changing a little with each passing day and year.