D50. Oct 20. Extraordinary Paju and Heyri cities

One hour from Seoul, there is a city named Paju, where many Korean Publishing companies have settled their offices. So when going to that small town, almost a village, you find a couple of book shops and coffee shops where books have a central place. Nice. But Paju is not only about books. It is an amazing place…
Ok, books first:
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During our promenade there, we also found an amazing records shops. Two floors, 80′ LPs covering the walls, 80′ vintage items on the tables, paintings and acrylic paints everywhere, music playing, some tables to have a coffee meanwhile… Very cool.
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And then, you find out that museums about everything are everywhere. About toys, about tin boxes, about politics, about whatever. You could spend days visiting small exhibitions full of items gathered by passionate individuals along the years.
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Though, the city isn’t only paradise for musicians, readers, artists. It is also kids friendly.
They can basically play everywhere, and still, the streets remain quiet. It looks like there, they have found a way to dedicate space to everyone.
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A little boy on the playground, a little girl in the air… Even grown ups can have fun. Look at that: A woman meeting her childhood hero, a man sitting at school:
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Meanwhile, other grown ups relax. Either reading a book on a comfortable pooffe, or enjoying flower fields like if they were discovering lilies for the very first time.
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It is difficult to describe that town properly.
You could compare it to an entertainment resort, but it’s not.
You could think about a museums island, but it’s not.
The icing on the cake, for me who like contemporary architecture so much, is that streets seemed to have been drawn in random order, where houses would have grown directly from the imagination of free minds. Mainly concrete, but mixed with nature elements it seems very organic.
Here comes a long image gallery of buildings. I hope you will enjoy it.
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A dream come true !
A place where you can find adults and kids living at the same pace, either playing or contemplating, museums about improbable topics, books about everything, music of all kind, architecture, asian trees, stones, rocks, bamboos… Blue sky, migrating birds, barely cars… When do I move in ?!
Unfortunately we had to go back to Seoul.
On the way back, we were caught by another reality, reminding us than a few kilometers North, other people leave lightyears from bookshops and museums…

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I hope you have enjoyed that post and those pictures.
At that point of my trip, this is really the place, and the day, that has been the most exciting, surprising, moving.
Tonight is my last night in Korea, and I’ll miss it.

D24 – Sept 24 – La prose du transsiberien et de la petite Jehanne de France

My brother was 8 when he had to learn this poem by Blaise Cendrars. None of us could really understand the meaning of it, or even catch its rhythm, very different from what we had read that far. I was just intrigued by the length of the poem, and by that name, Jehanne, whereas, in French, we usually say Jeanne…

That was when I heard for the first time about the Trans-Siberian. Intrigued…

Later on, reading it out loud, I realized it has the same rhythm as a train, a steaming train, with those special wheels which where designing a special pattern in the air… sonia_delaunay_la_prose_du_transsiberien_et_de_la_petite_jehanne_de_france2

Here is my version of the poem, recorded during my Ulan-Ude / Vladivostok trip, including the noise of the train in the background… It is in French but can be listened has a nice ballade… It lasts 17 minutes… Close your eyes, relax, and start dreaming… the images will pop up in your eyes, believe me…