Seoul felt like a blur. A blink-and-I-missed-it blur.
I do remember being caught 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 while I dripped rainwater everywhere I went.
Still raining, I arrived in Gangnam and killed some hours at an aquarium and photo exhibition. 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 as I stood outside listening, disappearing into their ancient sutras.
I reached the central courtyard behind the main temple and observed a figure carrying a bright pink umbrella while sitting in contemplation, and listened to the sound of the temple gong, the crow’s ominous caws, and the gentle patter of rain drops. I wanted that moment etched within me forever.