I realized I forgot to talk about Chuseok! So what happened the week of September 19-25?
I’m so glad we left the wind and rain of Incheon behind for a lovely three days at the beach on the east coast of South Korea. It poured buckets the days before we left, and apparently kept raining until Friday or so. But the weather in the East was perfectly partly-sunny, with a little breeze. Couldn’t have ordered better!
Six of us headed over to Lewis’s place in Samcheok–the kid has an extra bedroom, a living room with a couch, a kitchen/eating area, AND a covered balcony. Posh living around these parts.
|View from Lewis’s balcony|
Anyways, it was a while back…um…I feel like I did something the weekend before? Oh right, that was the Friday of the school festival! Then Karl was around Incheon for the weekend, OH YEAH. OK, got it, I remember.
I went into Seoul with Ryan and his co-teacher, along with her co-teacher-friend and another teacher, Miriam. It was pretty grand. I think I mentioned this already, so I’ll just throw in a picture–now that I have internet at my place and can do that! Although my camera battery died, so there’s only one. I’ll have to get more from Ryan at some point.
|Cheonggyecheon, Seoul. A 6km (or 8km?) below-street-level river. It’s lined with trees and various plants, and has a few waterfalls, so it’s quite the escape. You can barely hear city noise down here!|
It rained. Flooded more like it. I think we just bummed around, caught up on sleep, janks like that.
Up bright and early to catch the 4ish hour bus ride to Samcheok by way of Gangneung (you can also go through Taebaek, if you’re in Incheon and wondering how to get to Samcheok! There’s no direct bus line).
Lewis apparently likes to cook, which worked out wonderfully for the rest of us. After stuffing ourselves at lunch at his place, we ate dinner at a samgyeopsal (Korean barbecue) joint, so MORE food. Pretty grand.
|Korean barbecue, a.k.a. samgyeopsal, a.k.a. DECLICIOUS|
Then apparently the shortcut to get downtown is slightly treacherous. We all survived though!
|Shortcut to downtown–Samcheok only has 60,000 people, so it’s got some space in it!|
|From Around South Korea|
The next day, we searched for the beach. Again, we wanted to walk. So we walked. And walked. And walked some more. Up and down some back-country roads, hit a dead end, turned around, tried again, and eventually found our way to the ocean. Success!
|Looking for the beach|
|Farm in the countryside of Korea|
|Make a wish and all your dreams come true|
|From Around South Korea|
|Catching dinner to cook up for the people waiting inside. One fish tried to escape by flopping under the tanks–sneaky little devil.|
Karl and Lewis bought a couple fishing rods and headed out on a pier while the rest of us swam–it was just not-freezing-enough for us to get in the water! Then we joined the other guys, and Becca accidentally hooked Coleman’s swimming shorts as bait, and then I lost the handle to Lewis’s rod. Oops. Sorry guys.
|Matching couples. Quite the deal in South Korea.|
|Yes. She hooked his swimsuit and is about to use it as bait. Oops.|
|Sunset on the pier.|
Getting cabs back was also fun–Ryan called the cab company and had a conversation that consisted of, “Waygook (foreigner). Samcheok beach-y (in Korean, words always end with some sort of vowel, so, similar to how we speak Spanglish by adding “-o” on the end of everything, they add “-ee”). Waygook. Taxi. Samcheok beach-y.” That, combined with a pleasant Korean family who understood we needed cabs and called the company again for us, gave us cabs for the ride home. Thankfully.
|From Around South Korea|
That night, we bummed around the city, and tried unsuccessfully to play virtual golf. But we did find this park with a crazy fountain setup!
|Park in Samcheok, with a silver-covered tree and fountain-light shows to classical music|
Rinse and repeat. Well, the beach part. But we wised up and called a couple cabs to get there, so it was a bit easier! We picked up a sweet picnic lunch on the way, so we had bread & cheese & dried fruit & olives, and Becca even got a little ham or something for her crackers. It was grand.
And of course we went swimming again. SO FUN. I learned a new trick: as the wave is coming towards you, turn your back to it, then right before it-or-the-surf hits you, you jump backwards. If you hit it right, it acts like a slide of sorts and you go airborne! Made my life a little bit!
|“Rachel, wanna play beach jumpers?”
“A game I just made up.”
|Military cruiser coming into port|
I also collected a few seashells. Of course.
We packed up, and I bought a bunch of song pyun, which I proceeded to eat for breakfast and lunch. (Side note: apparently women love to sell this stuff in the subway stations on weekends. Or at least last weekend anyways. So happy. It’s definitely my favorite part of Chuseok!)
We never did make it to the-reason-Samcheok-is-famous-in-these-parts. You can Google that if you’re curious!
Honestly, I was ready to go home. The beach was wonderful, and obviously having so many of us together in one place again was great, but I was ready for A) sleep, and B) just to be back home.
|View from my second story penthouse (<–that’s a joke)|