For each time that I came here, I pass by a small corner that always make me stop and go, "hmmm..." but never got time to think what got my attention about this specific area. Despite being groggy, I decided to give it a go. Composing for a good frame, focusing on different subjects, one after the other, I just can't get a picture that I think would satisfy me. That is, until some people started passing by.
The ceiling, the floor, and that tattered covering. Those are what attracted me to this place. But I found out that this cyclist coming from sunshine and life, going to this cold and dead place, is what made the shot for me.
Just a couple of meters ahead was a traffic guy I liked to take pictures of. Yes, my grogginess got me to care less of what people might do to me. I just wanted to snap away, it could be my last visit here. So snap away, I did.
|Look At Me|
Although this guy was moving slow, I kept snapping whenever he moves, hoping he'd look at me or close to that. Shooting at people's backs feels a bit too sneaky for me.
I finally got him to look at me. But I realized something. He looked at me only because that dog was staring at me for a while now. Then it hit me! I'm more attracted to the dog now.
If there's anything that I wanted to relay on this blog, it's the story of this dog. The traffic guy was kind and started talking to me. Asking me if I work for a media or something. Then went on telling me about this dog. It's a scraggly dog but doesn't seem to belong to those tough street dogs. This one looked fragile. Scared but wanting.
This dog comes near a person and just stares. But was never willing to come closer to arm's reach.
The dog's story, told by the traffic guy, touched me so much that I wanted to do something. But at my current state, I don't have much. By the time I went home, I immediately wrote a blog and published it. Time frame didn't matter to me in this case. I knew only one place to ask for help.
I got lots of quick responses. But if you read the correspondence (PDF view down below) about this dog, you'll find lots of caring people here in Korea. That includes the traffic guy, who played a huge role on rescuing this dog. It's a she, and her name is Hoochoo (Korean for "black pepper"). After some days of rescue attempts and discussions, Jenny Jong-Hwa Lee finally succeeded rescuing Hoochoo (and rightfully given the name). I felt so much relief to find out she's healthy as ever, with only some dietary needs. Hoochoo is now under Jenny's care. As she gets up to tip-top shape, the next step is to find her a permanent and loving home.
Jenny has been kind enough to update us about Hoochoo on Animal Rescue Korea group page on Facebook along with pictures. Amazing changes in a matter of days. It only comes to show how much care and compassion could go a long long way.
Lots of effort has been done for Hoochoo. And I'm sure there's more she needs. It's not just about vet bills. It's not just about a roof over her head. It's more about a loving home. A family. A place where she could settle permanently. Even from the first time I saw her on the street, I can tell she is a promising companion. The way she looks at you with intent surely says she has a big heart to give. All she's asking is a chance.
And with that, I share one last link to her profile: http://www.animalrescuekorea.org/dog/1099
I'd like to sincerely thank the members of Animal Rescue Korea, along with the construction workers in Ahyeon. If it wasn't for them, Hoochoo may have gone through much more tougher times than she deserves.
And if there's anything I'd like to ask, more than view counts on my blog, it is to help this precious dog to a final home. I really hope that there's someone out there destined to have her. After all, it was never denied that a dog is a man's best friend.
I will have time to take more pictures of her someday. And before that comes, I'll make sure I'd have enough practice to justify her good looks.
=== But wait! There's more! ===
Let's go back to when I was talking to the traffic guy...
After a roller-coaster ride of emotions, I had to leave the premise. Another Korean guy was sitting in front of a Family Mart, noticed what happened and struck a small conversation with me. "If you heard the story of the dog, then listen to the story of the people here too." he said. His sentiments are valid. Most (if not all) residents here were forced to leave this place for the sake of improvement. I don't know if they're compensated or not. But if I was in their position, I'd dearly lament for my home's history. Change is inevitable. But that doesn't mean it's welcomed with open arms all the time.
The problem is, I am no media person. I do not work for any newspaper or radio, and I don't have the power and means to reach out to them. I was simply here to take pictures. The best I could do is to write this.
I had to sit down in front of Ahyeon station to think about my next step. There are some other places to go to, but I need replenishing and some rest. Besides, I was dead-set on getting a lens cap for my Samyang. But one last stop before I take the stairs down to the subway, I took one last picture of what looked like a parking space. But I could trust my brain to think. I just shoot.
|Leave Cares Behind|
Which view to choose? The busy street in front, or the chaotic job behind?
As I sleep for the rest of the day, I have to conclude this adventure too. A lot more has happened this day. But those were from another place, in a different situation. Something I think doesn't relate much to the "Abandoned" theme and deserves a separate article. So yes, I think I did it right this time. I'm happy with my pictures, and I'm glad I could finally post some of them, to show gratitude to my fellow Urbex photographers, who took me under their wing.
Thanks for reading.