“The lotus is a lady”- Kim Sujang
After all the trouble Misshoggy went through to get to Buyeo, she was beginning to wonder: “Was it worth it?” But what awaits her in Buyeo, her home for the next 12 months unravels quite beautifully, like the local famous lady, the lotus. Buyeo, the former capital of the artsy Buddhist Kingdom of Baekje, may not look like much on the outside, but does have the charm to make you want to find out more about her inner beauty.
Arriving here in Buyeo amidst the monsoon rain, in the muggiest weather she’s ever experienced her whole entire life, was not a good start for our dear friend. The town was unassumingly small, with nothing striking to hold her interest longer than a minute, much like a modest lady. With Koreans deathly afraid of the English language, and no connection to the Big Boss, the Internet, she’s to try her hardest to get her bearing soon with her very basic Korean, before she is fated to live her life alone in her apartment, forever (Okay, that was an exaggeration. Miss Hoggy was just grumpy). Well, that was just her initial impression of the town of Buyeo, mixed in with possibly a little homesickness.
But all changed really quickly with a little friendly guide around town. Knowing where to feed yourself is probably a good start to cure any grumpiness. But knowing where to get hooked up online is probably the best start to cure any grumpiness. Nothing feels as good as knowing that you’re not isolated in a foreign country, with now everyone knows that you’re breathing and ALIVE (Yeah, let’s just blame it on social media addiction). And Buyeo didn’t look as bad as she did before.
Buyeo then started to blossom into a beautiful and elegant lady. How? When lotus is your local speciality, it changes one’s perspective on one’s beauty. Buyeo is famous for her annual lotus festival, where people around the country come here specifically to appreciate this flower, immortalised in the Buddhist culture as the symbol of enlightenment. Thrived in murky waters, and yet produced such prisine flowers, yeah, it’s no wonder it’s achieved such fame.
And all the happier she was that she could be here for the festival. Here’s a little tour of the festival, in Gungnamji, Buyeo.
Buyeo is quite a character, isn’t she? She was just a plain lady, transformed into an elegant lady. And I’m glad that this is my home for the next 12 months.
Next week, a little insight to English teaching in South Korea. My first day was a disaster.
Facts:Buyeo is two-hour express bus ride from Seoul. It will cost you 11,700 Won one way. Buyeo Seodong Lotus Festival is held annually in July. Free entry.