June 20. Serendipity.

An early flight to Seoul. I am so careful not to miss it that I spend the night in the airport. Twenty box for my taxi driver it’s a long way from downtown Taipei to the international airport. I arrive there at 2am and try to lay down on the chairs (why don’t they have benches or double seats where you can fold yourself so nicely) but I stay awake. Waiting for a flight is not waiting for Godot of course, the flight will come with certainty and if not the cancellation announcement will come with even greater certainty. And if that doesn’t happen, that means there is a general system failure and waiting is useless anyway. The floor is cleaned, the sun rises, taxis arrive, passengers talking waiting in line. The check-in counter opens baggage goes through the röntgen beams we are asked to wait until our bag has come through, just in case. Is there also a coffee at the other side of the security check? Yes, of course. A very long corridor connects the terminals, it’s fun to run here. Yes, let’s run here like a child. See all the businessmen in their suits do they ever smile or go crazy? I don’t think so. Their well-fed bellies need the seriousness for their justification. It’s fun to run, run and make fun passing the business bellies. Many people have taken out their computers and put them on their laps. Their laps are kept warm by the heat of their calculators. So, I run and look at them and through the windows and at the carpet – how much work it is to vacuum here – hello! hello! There is something I want to tell you. O, is that so? Yes, and it’s, it’s… can’t you see it, it’s that thing… that… you are so bloody serious aren’t you? Your loins are warm aren’t they? You are connected, wired in an intricate lacework of connections: your well-fed belly, your wife whom you promised to take care of at the altar, your boss who has filed off the rough edges of your responsibility to the smooth object of mere accountability, your childs your boundless love to them nobody will ever question. It’s interesting to see… they are all connected… to justify perfectly, seamlessly your obscenely rich existence. What are you talking about? I am not obscenely rich. My neighbor is. No YOU are compared to the child in Afr… I have a child their, in Somalia, my wife takes care of it. They do send beautiful pictures of it. It goes to school now, and it gets medical attention. We support it through an organization. So the child-in-Africa thing is a node in your web too. What are you talking about? About how your mind works. It’s all about yourself and the justification of your material well-being. I don’t like this conversation. I do more good to the world than you. But you can never be shaken up thoroughly, you can never be, caught by surprise, your web is woven. Does it matter? Of course, it is… important… You have to be open to things beyond your web. They, deserve, it. I don’t think I really get you. Open, like ruled by all the possible tasks out there, instead of by the same web of prejudicial attitudes. Open, like… your gate? My gate? Your gate is closed. You missed your plane. Think about it. You can’t argue your way into being more suitably connected to reality.

I did not miss my plane of course, and arrived in Seoul after a safe flight. One hour time difference. A comfortable shuttlebus takes me to the city and I start recognizing buildings like the nyuk-ship-sam (63-story) building on the island Yeouido. It is raining. I walk into a shopping mall (this city boast with shopping malls and miles). Unfortunately, I miscommunicate with my couchsurfer and let her wait (sorry!) – I meet Kathryn Dresdenfae at her hostel first. Our hearts are completely filled up with this serendipity thing. She just bought her flight here because she had to temporarily get out of China due to visa issues. By total coincides she is in Seoul on the day I arrive here. And since we both keep our travelblogs, you could compare her June 20th entry, wouldn’t that be fun?! Anyway, we have a great afternoon. In the evening I meet Yeon, my couchsurfing host, at a subway station and we hop on a bus to take me to her studio on the green Namsan mountain. She is as friendly – and cute – as a person can possibly be.

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Kamiel Choi

Dutch philosopher and poet, sometimes sharing thoughts on the internet.

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