me in the piazza

I'm a writer, publishing both as SJ Rozan and, with Carlos Dews, as Sam Cabot. (I'm Sam, he's Cabot.) Here you can find links to my almost-daily blog posts, including the Saturday haiku I've been doing for years. BUT the blog itself has moved to my website. If you go on over there you can subscribe and you'll never miss a post. (Miss a post! A scary thought!) Also, I'll be teaching a writing workshop in Italy this summer -- come join us!
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This won't be easy

Partly I mean the trip, and partly I mean talking to you guys. First chance to get online here in Ulaan Bataar (here in Ulan Bataar, wowee!) and already I can get to my blog but not my email. Oh well.

Second Seoul report: we stayed at a guesthouse in a nice and very hilly neighborhood -- my morning walks reminded me of Assisi. Breakfast was noodles, or vegetables and rice, or vegetable dumplings. No tea! In fact, Korea seems to be caffeine-challenged. Ordered tea at the Palace Museum, got a nice big pot with like 3 tea leaves. Started to carry my own teabags to supplement what came in the pot, after that.

Palace museum quiet and beautiful. Architecture very like Chinese, painted-pagoda kind of thing, but more swoopy roofs and wider color palette, including pinks and gray-greens that Chinese wouldn't use. Strolled through the gardens in the rian, went to the folklife museum on the palace grounds and saw some terrific stuff, including a music performance which involved a shamanic ritual. Very beautiful, woman shaman, charismatic as all hell, dressed in voluminous white linen, blue sash, fabulous voice (same timbre of voice as in pansori singing, for those of you who've heard that). And the thing is, I've seen her before! She came to NYC, was part of an Asian folklife series at Carnegie Hall. How weird is that?

Also saw an excellent interactive exhibit on the Korean War. 60th anniversary of start of that was just a few days ago, so it's very much on Koreans' minds. I guess it's never been off their minds, really.

Food in Seoul was great. Will report more on that, and on museum village and the Korean woman who adopted us, and on the Charley-on-the-MTA nature of the Seoul subway, next chance I get.

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