Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Politics off the Mountain: A Trip to Wolchulsan National Park

Imagine someone from America, Korea, Saudia Arabia, Pakistan and two from India talking politics on a  cross country bus ride in Korea. We were headed down south to walk the famous 구름다리 (Cloud Bridge) at 월출산 (Wolchulsan) in Joella Province and congregated in the back of the bus as the remaining 30 or so hikers napped. Our conversation switched between American, Korean and Middle Eastern politics with a hint of humanitarianism. When will the North Korean regime collapse? Who is fighting in Syria? Why does America feel the need to intervene in fights outside their responsibility? These are just a few of the topics that came up. 

All being said was done so with the uttermost respect for one another. We were mere individuals not representations of our countries as a whole. It almost felt as though South Korea was our safe haven for freedom of discussion- a neutral meeting ground for the six of us. With the exception of my friend native to Korea, we were removed from our home countries, perhaps providing somewhat of a freeing effect. After all, the guy from Saudia Arabia made it very clear that he would not be sharing his beliefs in such a relaxed manner had he been in his home country nor would he do it on the internet where there would be a record. 

Moments like this allow one to truly understand their fellow human beings. A humanistic view of the happenings around the world. 

When the bus arrived at our destination, we were no longer individuals from different backgrounds sharing what we feel, think, and know about the world, but fellow hikers. And although we would talk more on the mountain, it was no longer about such serious topics. That moment had passed and the mountain would now serve it's rejuvenation qualities. 

Mr. Kim, Soojin, Caleb and Christain on the Cloud Bridge

Part of the Climbing in Korea gang


Phallic Rock

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