After a blackout while we were in Japan, we are sailing to Taiwan, 2 nights and a day at sea and a welcome respite for my foot. I'm sitting in Barista, a coffee lounge outside the Grand Dining Rom and the bartender (I think he spikes the coffee with liqueurs if you want). He makes the best (only) good coffee on the ship, an Americano. I've been walking too much with and without my cane and my foot is tired and sore. But I'm okay.
Seoul was a revelation. I didn't know what to expect; it's beautiful, so new and freshly built, and we arrived on a perfect spring day. The trees were in green bud, the apricot trees ad azalea bushes were all in bloom, the air was fresh and the temperature was perfect. We went to an incredible new museum where I managed to take one picture (I'll try to send it on). I realized again why I don't take pictures. I really do love to live in the moment and to let the experience imprint itself (or not) in my memory. And really, it's a pleasure to be so old and to let the magic moments slide over me. I'm not likely to go through albums now. I've been tossing things, mementoes, files, souvenirs, tschotschkes, whatever - except books, and even some of those go to my apartment's library or to people I think will enjoy them. So it's a freeing thing not to gather moss; I'm rolling.
We were on our own for lunch, dropped near a good shopping street. (It's amazing the people who would rather shop than look in museums.) I latched on to two women, both retired librarians, and we found a charming, clean, French (!) patisserie where we ate fresh sandwiches and, for my friends only, strawberry profiteroles and an elderberry soft drink that was amazingly refreshing. A large crowd of protesters had assembled in front of the City Hall. It was the anniversary of that dreadful ferry accident a year ago when so many high school students had drowned under questionable circumstances (crossed messages, mistaken orders). We had difficulty returning to our bus, having to make our way around an impromptu (?) demonstration by white-suited men waving red streamers and beating drums, dancing around the square. Not sure if they were part of the protesting parents or some other group. The guides are sometimes hard to understand. Our Seoul guide pronounced Korean as if she sere saying - no, I heard her saying "crayon". I had a mental image of a pack of Crayola assorted colours that blended with the bright Seoul sunshine and left me with a wonderful euphoria. See? No pictures.
I walked too much, though. I find it difficult to carry a cane plus my iPad Mini, so I have to choose between them. I carried Minnie to Seoul but took only one picture. The next day was a Sea Day. I went to the spa for a sauna and was ensnared again by the darling masseuse (from Kroatia) who administered a foot and leg massage -Sole Rejuvenation, it's called. It's also very reviving for the soul. But on careful consideration and with hindsight and also with an eye on my mounting bill, I have decided to lay off the massages for a while. I don't think rubbing the bruise on my foot is making any difference. Keeping my foot elevated seems to help a lot. Of course, I can only do that on Sea Days.