Gangneung Bus Station


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What this place is is a blur. A moment of passing. Transit. From there to here or from somewhere else to another place. All that is left is the grey area, a space with less colour than grey, as distinct as the indviduality in a large packet of A4 paper. Where is there when the moments worth remembering are elsewhere? But I am here and there is this other place which I should be in and it may be where I am going – perhaps with the sun shining and flowers and colours and other weather and familiar faces and absolutely no apprehension – there is no longer part of me until the next time I see it.

Take this bus station. A point of arrival and departure that never moves but just sits here swallowing up and spitting out people moving between to positions. It’s only function is to sit in the town at a crossroads. People sitting around, waiting with boxes and bags and nervous looks on their faces. Huddled in front of heaters with collars pulled high against their chins, waiting in silence for their bus too be called. Everyone is looking at everyone, and not at their shoes like they usually do. Nervous and out of place, no one belongs in a bus station. Everything that is here is designed to convenience transit away from and to this place; restaurants, shops, cafes, seats, clocks, doors, steps, lights, everything. You could say that nothing belongs here, but I do, at this moment moving from there to here or wherever in my journey I am, looking at my feet hoping nobody sees me too clearly.

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o be in this place is to be dislocted. To be abandoned to a schedule. To be out of place. To be a number in a queue, waiting as the seconds tick away. And then you’re gone and any memory you have of the place is a mystery why it’s a memory.

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Words and images © Conor O’Reilly 2013

Coming Home to Snow – December 28, 2010


All over the past week we sat around watching the weather say there would be snow the next day, and of course snow never came. Even Christmas day wasn’t snowed out, as I had half hoped; it would have given me a good excuse to do nothing but sit at home in my pyjammas drinking wine, but no such luck.

We drove out to Gangneung where herself hails from, which is my favourite place in Korea. All the way through the mountains it was noticably snowless. When we got to Jumunjin, despite the wind, it was clear skies and comparably to a summer’s day. If it wasn’t for my big coat and hat, you wouldn’t have known better.

Yeongjin in Jumunjin, Gangwon-do - Dec 26, 2010

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