June 25. Pleasures.


Seoul is a city of pleasures. I mean, it’s a brilliantly composed ouverture to heaven with all its incredible restaurants, comfortable private cinemas (DVD-bang), relaxing saunas, karaokebars, 24-hour-nightlife, well-kept parks, shining glass facades facing every street – and quiet Buddhist temple retreats.

I start resuscitating my hibernating writer side today, so blog entries will be less about what I did, and more what I did.

I am reading Plays because my friend Jean-Marie adviced me to do so. Today I am enthousiastic about Brecht’s “The Rise and Fall of Mahagonny” which has a very acceptable English translation made in 1960 for a planned staging by W.H. Auden and Chester Kallman. Now enjoy a few quotes from that play.

You’ve learned to mix your cocktails every way
You’ve seen the moonlight shining on the wall:
The bar is shut, the bar of Mandalay:
And why does nothing make sense at all?
You tell me, please, why nothing makes sense at all.

Clap your hands when a hurricane strikes:
Who cares for being immortal?
When a man can do just what he likes
Who’s afraid of the storm at his portal?

One means to eat all you are able;
Two, to change your loves about;
Three means the ring and gaming table;
Four, to drink until you pass out.
Moreover, better get this clear
That Don’ts are not permitted here.
Morover, better get it clear
That Don’ts are not permitted here!

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