Chapter 2 of 19
Suncheon City, South Korea. Aerial Photograph
I went up by train as I usually do on other work. It was a foul day - in Scotland they call it dreich; to be dreich five things have to go wrong - it has to be very icy cold, it has to be ice showers with rain, overcast, dark, gloomy, depressing, high-speed wind, horizontal rain, and miserable. If it isn't all of them it isn't a dreich day. Anyway, this was the dreich day, and I was in a foul mood. And I walked down to the garden and I saw fifteen Koreans in the garden with two television crews, and this woman was the only one who spoke English. And she came up to me, and she said hello Mr. Jencks, very nice of you to welcome us in your garden, and I looked miserably angry at her. And I thought oh God, how can I get rid of these people? But they have come all the way, and I must be nice and generous, and treat them well. So I did my best to look welcoming, but I'm sure no one was convinced - I wasn't. Anyway, there was a very attractive man, forty five, an incredibly beautiful man, who was smiling at me and who is clearly the mover (except for the mayor, who was clearly in charge of all these people). A woman said do you mind if we interview you here? I said, no, no, go on, go on. And you know, the rain was pouring and the garden looked miserable. The Koreans are amazing people, they're full of chutzpah - they just go on. And so she filmed us and she asked me some rather banal questions, and I did my best to fake it for television. And at the end of the filming she said now, Mr. Jencks, we would like you to be the centre piece of our eco/geo festival. We're opening in 2013 in two years time, and we have eighty four international gardens, and it's on ecology and geology - the eco/geo festival, and it is the World Festival. We've gotten a designation from the world body of Garden Festivals which happens every three or four years like an Expo, because we are the number one ecological place in South Korea.