Monday, July 6, 2009

Yeosu, Korea - Day 3

The third day dawn hot and overcast - the perfect conditions to hike up the nearby "mountain" and enjoy the view! So with water and snacks, we started trudging up and up and up... The hike itself was nothing exciting, but the view was rather spectacular, even if somewhat hazy.

Grace had brought up kimbap: rice and strips of vegetables and meat rolled up in sheets of seaweed and then sliced into disks. We sat in a rather modern looking picnic shelter at the top and looked out over the ocean and back into the foothills. We could have spent much longer up there,
but the plan for the afternoon was to head to the beach.

So, we trudged back down to Grace's apartment to change and reload.
Then Grace ferried us one by one over to the open air market near Jack's apartment to buy some of the famous local kimchee for our Busan couchsurfing host and a watermelon for eating on the beach.

A fairly long taxi ride got us out to a very empty but beautiful beach. It is another one of Grace's favorite places where she hangs out most of the summer. We had a grand time swimming in the cold water; I always forget how salty the sea is! Joan wandered up and down the tide line, collecting shells and sea glass. Jack finished up his afternoon classes and
joined us later in the day.

After awhile, Joan and I decided to hike over to the sea wall across the and around a peninsula. There is only so much sitting on the beach a man can do... Part of the sea wall was made of a jumbled mass of giant concrete "jacks." Watching them put them in place would have been interesting to see. We wandered the tide pools, chasing crabs and poking random sea life.

Finally, as the sun was going down, we headed back to town for showers and beers before going out for more food - what a surprise! Grace and Jack wanted to take us to one of their favorite
places which they called "Bamboo" - the walls were all made of it. We had "pajeon," a type of savoury pancake/omelet with the usual cast of side dishes.

We also had a traditional Korean drink called "makegeolli," a chunky, fermented rice wine that is served very cold, almost frozen. It was...interesting. Let's just leave it at that, shall we?

So, after that filling meal, what was next on the agenda? You guessed it - more eating! Another Korean event is going to a 'sojhu tent,' usually set up on a
empty patch of ground. Inside, they serve all types of grilled "drinking" food and lots and lots of soju (famous Korean liquor), as well as anything else you might want.

We pushed through the flaps into the tent, startling the proprietors and one table of customers, but they quickly welcomed us. We sat in the white plastic patio chairs that are every all over the world now. The table was a round piece of wood bolted to a 55 gallon drum. Grilled pork was ordered, and it came with the biggest blob of kimchee we have ever seen.
We had a grand time interacting with the other people in the tent, not speaking each others' languages but having no problems communicating. Things got more interesting when they ordered the octopus fresh out of the tank. It wriggled vigorously throughout the whole process, even when chopped and served on a plate.

They offered me to join them for a sample, and since I was possessed by the extreme optimism that often comes with drinking too much, I eagerly said yes. I should have said no. It was still wiggling. And it tasted nasty. It tasted very nasty. The shot of luke warm soju did not help. I don't know if you can see it during the video that Grace took and posted, but I had a hard time keeping it down. It was a great way to end the night; although, I was a hurting unit the next

1 comment:

Jimbob said...

I saw the octopus video, and there is no chance you'll be catching me doing that in september! I can only imagine how disgusting that was.That said if your up for that what are your views on Fugu?