log: wander

wormdate: L1: 1-463: 114 – 26,385

Finished and submitted my 한국어 oral midterm yesterday. I think it went pretty well. We had to memorize and perform 3 dialogues with a partner. My partner was great and we worked pretty well together. School, the real midterm is the friends we make along the way.

I also finished my math chapter yesterday — a little ahead of schedule. So, I’m going to take the weekend off from math. I don’t usually do that, liking to work ahead, but right now I would prefer a bit of a break to a bit of breathing room. 숙제이지만, 개가 먹있어요.

I also had some fun last week.

One of my favorite things to do in any city is just try to find shortcuts and the like. I’ve been doing it for years. The whole practice has, of course, in our era of overthinking and overbranding, been described as, er, flaneur, was that it? Flaneuring. The drift? Drifting. Depends what Frenchman you’re reading, I suppose. And I’m sure Americans have some military or fitness based version of these terms. Like EXTREME URBAN EXPLORATION or URBAN ULTRA WALK and matching kevlar outfits. But whatever you call wandering around, there’s a whole bunch of thinking about this stuff and I don’t recommend reading any of it. Like, jesus, does every part of life need to be named, analyzed, and intellectually colonized? Can’t a motherfucker just wander around?

The long and the short of it is, I get curious about back alleys and the like. I see some weird little thing and I want to walk up it. Drives my wife crazy. She sees me pause and look and I feel that tug on my arm. I can’t blame her. I like to get lost. Not everyone enjoys that. Many people even like knowing where they are. But, for me, I can walk six kilometers out of my way and just be happy with what I saw when I did. As long as I can find my way back, I’m fine. And I never really worry about finding my way back.

Drinking has left me with a remarkable confidence regarding my homing instinct. I don’t know how many blackouts I’ve emerged from at home. (Not all of them.) But if I can find my way home while drunk and not knowing where I have been most of the time, I feel reasonably sure that I can find my way home sober pretty much all the time. Sober, I can even manage to get home with money still in my pocket, without getting covered in bodily fluids, with my clothes intact. So far, at least. Who knows what the future will bring?

I just really like to know how to cut through, take the alleys, and all that sort of thing. Aside from never really knowing when you’re going to need to lose a tail, I never really feel like I know anything about a place from its main drags. And I sort of judge a city by how much of this shit I can do. It’s related to how much I like a city — how lost can I get and how quickly?

Toronto has its moments and the whole strange and alienating, never spoken about but always just there, fact of The Path. LA was kind of shit for wandering pedestrians. But it’s unfair to think of LA as a city. It’s not really a city. More of an unfolding apocalypse. LA is just different. And Sacramento? Sac is horrorcore. A nightmare. Every hood basically spits you back out where you came in. They’re not even connected. You will also see some shit. Might be garbage bags full of dead animals. (I found ducks.) Might be a sewer cat. (It found me.) Sac is horrorcore. Like, get ready for some surreal and traumatic shit is my advice.

And I wouldn’t really recommend walking, let along wandering, in California. Americans are both obsessed with trespassing and well-armed. There’s a lot of sweaty men peeking through curtains and just waiting to be heroes. A lot of interested cops. The place stinks of them. That’s a bad situation to, you know, just wander around in. Americans do like road-trips though. I’m pretty sure you can wander the country in your car, or drive to a place then wander, then get back in your car, but it’s not really a walking-wander way of life there.

부산 is pretty damn good to wander in. You never know what you’re going to bump into. But it’s probably going to be pretty fucking awesome.

So, my walk from the other day. Not one of my more EXTREME ULTRA DRIFTS, more just trying to find another way to 시장. I was alone so I was pretty willing to have it all go terribly wrong. Sadly, it didn’t. I just found another route. Less efficient, more scenic.

It’s bit longer than my usual route and, somehow, both ways are uphill. It’s interesting though. Basically what happens is you end up weaving through a bunch of side-streets, then you come to a dead-end. But that dead end has a little alley. You go up that alley.

And then you’re in a big network of community gardens.

You weave through those paths and you’re in the woods. And the woods takes you down to the main drag. You may meet a cat.

The cat may ask you a riddle. Don’t bother answering. That cat talks a lot of shit.

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