Saturday, January 23, 2010

Laundry and Frescoes

If you clean at a leisurely pace, does that count as relaxation?

After clocking eleven hours of sleep, I forced myself to get out of bed while it was still technically morning. Glancing around my apartment, I debated where to start cleaning -so much to be done, especially for such a small space. First I tackled a suitcase of clothes which had been in a corner of my room since my dad's visit. He'd brought several items from my wardrobe back home, and I never finished unpacking or hanging them. Nice to see some familiar friends and contemplate when it'd be warm enough to actually wear them.

Laundry, dusting, and scrubbing floors followed. The place began to brighten up and smell clean again. I then opted to turn the attention onto myself. It seemed like an appropriate time to color my hair, and afterward, I couldn't resist cutting it. So much fun. Side note:  Most of these activities were performed with Anchorman on in the background. I always find something new to laugh about when I watch it, and today I even chuckled out loud a few times.

Today's special treat was a field trip to the Seoul Arts Center. Nearly 50 reproductions of Italian frescoes were on display, and I'd been excited to see them ever since reading about the exhibit. I'm glad I went, although it definitely left me with mixed feelings. On the one hand, it was cool to see beautiful facsimiles from masters like da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael and to reflect on my splendid trip to Italy in 2007. On the other hand, there is something peculiar about observing things like frescoes out of context, especially after seeing the real versions of a few of them at the Sistine Chapel and Uffizi Gallery. I concluded that for the likely-intended audience, this was a good show -a chance to see beloved, intricate works up close, without leaving the country. For someone like me, who thinks about Italy every day, planning her return visit, it was a reminder of how much I love to travel and experience cultures firsthand. While I'm in Seoul, I will continue to focus on absorbing Korean culture. I feel like I've learned so much already, but there are several thousands of years still to catch up on.

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