26 September 2011 | Seoul, Korea
So now it's Seoul, Korea that houses my rambling self for a short time, with an 18th-floor view of the city and the river. Busy place, with repetitive high-rise housing in great clumps like concrete forests with giant numbers on the side. Communication antennas everywhere, cluttering the tops of buildings, sharing rooftops with satellite TV dishes and air conditioning units. The air is white, milky -- a filter that softens the view to a faded watercolor of cream, tan, blue and pale green.
What I've noticed more than ever since my return to civilization roughly 9 months ago when we landed in Brisbane, Australia (aside from the dizzying choice of breakfast cereals) is the abundant use of "smart" phones. People roam the streets of Brisbane, Sydney, Auckland, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seoul with their heads down, immersed in the small handheld devices that absorb almost their full attention. No strolling the avenue, head up, enjoying the smells of the budding spring or cool fall, smiling at passers-by. Nope, we're all islands, loners in the crowd, oblivious to what's around us, avoiding bumping into each other by some highly developed internal radar. I'm not really saddened by this, just sort of amazed by it. I, too fall prey to the lure of instant information, grabbing my iPhone at any given moment to find the definition of a word, confirmation on a story, details to flesh out something I'm sharing with the person next to me. So it goes.
We continue to merge back into our previous lives with our newfound perspective. Lately our focus has been on reinventing home as we know it. The painting is done, the cork floor for the kitchen is on order, and the mattress has landed in the upstairs bedroom. We've moved most of our things from storage and continue the process of pawing through the boxes and attempting to eliminate the overage. That simplicity I mentioned earlier is surprisingly complicated to achieve! We continue to collect even as we rid. Craigslist is my new best friend: I sell something and buy something else; even exchange.
The little sailboat we were expecting has made other plans, so our latest acquisition, as we downsize and upsize concurrently, is an inflatable Achilles dinghy and a Honda outboard motor, so our dock isn't completely devoid of boats, and so we can remain the salty dogs we've become, to some degree.
It's a bit anti-climatic moving back home -- in a way, it's sort of like closing the door on our adventure, so we have to remind ourselves that we really did do that, we really were gone for two years, we actually sailed across the South Pacific! It's like falling into a comfortable bed after a long day, but we don't want to fall asleep for too long, or get too comfortable. It's okay, I'll shake things up soon enough - it's in my nature. What will it be? Stand by, I'll think of something!