Colourful panoramas, bad for your health

A teacher’s outing, hiking up a mountain no less. It was a breath-taking vista for sure, and not because the sun was going down. Usually a man of smiles and understanding, the vice-principal commenting on the photo I just took; “it’s not because of the rain”. He then pointed to his face mask. Yellow dust. Initially it took me as being rather cynical and inwardly funny, but he was right. The dust, made of silicon (and other goodies such as heavy metals), when breathed into your lungs, doesn’t breakdown. This wasn’t the only immediate peril facing me that night. So-ju, seafood on many levels of cooked and uncooked. Followed by the coach ride back, the teachers decided to make use of the karaoke that came part of the bus P.A system. I sang my two songs, and then plugged my ears with tissue paper. You gotta die of something.

Took a hike, we got Gengis khan between our teeth

Ben and I went on our regular hikes around Seoul. This time, perchance it was West Incheon. WE walked a portion of the Uiejeongbu line, an estimated 15 kilometers or so (according to my fore finger and thumb and Google maps) to Bupyeong station.

The weather that day was overcast, cold and windy. According to my walking companion the ‘yellow dust’ had made it’s annual pilgramage across half the world. It was passingĀ over South Korea and we just happened to breathe in at the wrong time. Gengis Khan, who had conquered a goodly portion of Northern and Middle China, and Eurasia had been dead for 700 years, and was probably dust for a long time.

The origin of the yellow dust is from Northern China, close to the Mongolian/ China border. Sadly bits of China, the Gobi desert and no doubt the best bits of Gengis Khan were now lodged between my teeth.

More dusty tales:

Korea Times, March 21, 2010

The Earth times

About the photo; taken at about 6.10pm at Bupyeong station.

Shooting mode: Manual exposure

Shutter speed: 1/125

Aperture value: 5.6

ISO speed: 800

White balance mode: Auto