Mar 292024

I only post when we’re on the train I guess, so here I am with another quick check-in on the KTX from Gyeongju back to Seoul. We did an overnight trip here and it was…chaotic and full of dramatic arguing as is our brand but also really fun and beautiful too. Gyeongju is famous for having Silla Dynasty burial mounds and they were breathtaking in person, I was actually in awe.

I have to talk about The Tree though as the main topic of this post. When we arrived yesterday, it was downpouring. Like, 100% rain all day. Long story short, we ended up switching plans around and instead of Gyeongju World, we headed back to this trendy little tourist area around the burial mounds called Hwangnam Dong. On our walk into it, there was this lone magnolia tree in front of some of the mounds and some people were getting their pictures taken there. I wanted one too so Chooch took one of me and Henry but I didn’t like it so I wanted a do-over but by then, there were more people waiting and I panicked so we left.

Henry and I woke up around 6am this morning because I wanted to go back out and see everything in the not-rain before going to Gyeongju World, and to also have him take my picture by the tree again but it was still just as frustrating!! Some guy came over and started taking pictures at the same time so I felt self-conscious and stepped away from the tree but then a couple with freaking paparazzi lenses showed up and did a full-blown fashion shoot and then another couple came and they started talking pictures FOR each other and I was like FUCK IT!!! so we left.

The terrible picture Henry took of me squinting into the sun.

Anyway, after walking around for a bit, we came back to the tree because we had to pass it to go back to our guest house anyway, and I was like “ok there is only one couple there, let’s wait.”

Yo. They were absolutely fucking ridiculous about this tree. The amount of pictures the boyfriend took of the girlfriend was absurd. With her jacket on. With it off. With it over her shoulder. With her back to the camera. With her side to the camera. Facing the camera. All the while, some man was flying a drone RIGHT OVER THE TREE.

Then the girl swapped places and started taking pictures or the boyfriend!!! THEN THEY STOOD TOGETHER UNDER THE TREE WHILE LOOKING THRU THE PICTURES.


THEN ANOTHER COUPLE APPROACHED and I said WE HAVE MAGNOLIA TREES IN AMERICA WHO THE FUCK CARES and stormed off. And that is the end of my story about The Tree.

However, we had time to kill before catching our train so Chooch and I went back and walked around the main burial mound area where we stumbled across an even more popular tree.

I mean, this really is beautiful though. But not standing-in-a-line levels of beauty. Also I would die of anxiety having my picture taken in front of a literal queue.

Also? Those aren’t hills. They’re actual burial mounds for the royal family from the Silla Dynasty.

It gave me chills, for real. But also, when the first mound was created 100s of years ago, I wonder if those people ever would have predicted that it would turn into a historical/tourist destination with a street lined with self-operated photo rooms, cafes, and pancakes in the shape of giant Korean coins and stuffed with melted cheese.

Say it don't spray it.

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