18 November 2008

Travel Update

I'm in the midst of my road trip through South Korea, currently logging on from the historic capital of Gyeongju, a four-hour drive from Seoul.

When I had written my dinner scene with Sarah back in Seoul, I had picked a silver Hyundai Sonata as my rental car. Sure enough, that's what I ended up getting! I did drive the Olympic Expressway in southern Seoul, passing by Lotte World - the place where Sarah and I supposedly had dinner and did shopping - on my way out of the city.

Gyeongju is full of Buddhist relics, as it was the capital of the Silla kingdom, which had Buddhism as its state religion. I've come across more Kwan Yins than I can keep track of. I've surely seen a few very odd ones - including a topless Kwan Yin with a female hourglass figure but male breasts. And in all cases, the English caption boards continue to refer to Kwan Yin by her Sanskrit male name, Avalokitesvara.

If anyone ever did a portrait of Sarah, dressed in something feminine but topless and sporting male breasts, and captioned the portrait as Sanford, I think Sarah would really be offended.

I loved Gyeongju. I hate to leave the city and go back to Seoul, but I must in a few hours. At least I'll be able to come across a few more Kwan Yins, as I stop at three different Buddhist temples on my way back to Seoul. And once this whole deal is over and my car is returned, I'll look forward to doing even more Kwan Yin pilgrimages in Hong Kong. I am not sure if I'll ever send Sarah this way, however, as Gyeongju does not have its own airport, much less an international airport.

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