Transitions commence new adventures. Make 'em last…
Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. -Ferris Bueller
I thought of this quote the moment I left for the very last time attempting to savor the superb lingering flavor of freshly roasted coffee that my mind, and my heart, didn’t want to let dissipate. Perhaps the primary reason I thought of this random quote was that, yes, life does move pretty fast, especially in Korea, where if you don’t look around once in a while, you will indeed definitely miss it, forever.
For the majority of us, I’d say that we take comfort in the familiar – going to the same barber shop, pharmacy, hamburger joint, local cafe, etc – and basically whenever the urge arises to pleasantly fulfill a specific desire or need, there’s always those one or two specific places to go to in order to get it comfortably fulfilled. In Korea, it seems that many take comfort in change, and fondly embrace it rather than solemnly oppose it. Now, I’m not saying that I don’t embrace change, I do, but in Korea, it seems that the corner shop you thought was there yesterday is not there today and what is there now may not be there tomorrow. I understand that may be a little extreme, but this is what it essentially feels like sometimes. The cycle of change is quite rapid in Korea, virtually occurring without warning. The reason for this is a little beyond me, I mean, I do have several postulations as to why, but I think it would ultimately upset some folks if I unfavorably elaborate on Korean societal trends solely based on daily observations. Nothing totally wrong with a rapid cycle of change, just a different way of doing things I suppose.
Cafe Albero, my go-to spot just twenty minutes away in city of Ilsan where I was able to get the best cup of freshly roasted coffee I’ve ever had, has unfortunately suffered the cycle-0f-change guillotine. This unique, narrow, european-style cafe was my refuge of relaxation most Sunday afternoons when I solely needed to just sit back, sip coffee, and freely write. I wrote for hours on end in this cafe, organizing and writing the majority of my blogs, in addition to the variety of letters I have sent to friends around the world. Gosh, most of my writing from Korea had been made from this very place, a place now non-existent and only among my recent memories.
This was “my place” to write and I was honestly sadly upset when I found out about its closing, only to be soon filled in with just another cellphone shop. For those of you that have a particular “place” of your own, I’m sure you can relate. So, as I had randomly stumbled upon this cafe during my first few weeks in Korea, I hope to have the fortunate circumstance of randomly stumbling upon another just as unique with freshly roasted coffee just as ethereal with an ambiance that fosters meaningful and dynamic writing.