Okay, some more detail about my road trip Sunday. It was a spur of the moment plan by SY and her friends YT and HS. I will spare you the details, but it almost didn't happen because of scheduling problems. But at the last possible moment it was confirmed and off we went.
They rented a car for the outing, and YT was the assigned driver. SY kept telling me that he was the best driver. It was only after I got in the car and we were underway that I realized that I had not understood her - she had been telling me that YT was a very FAST driver! (Remember from previous post that in Korean we have that one symbol for the B, P, F and V sounds).
We first visited the town of Cheonan, and ate lunch there. I learned that there are 14 universities in Cheonan! Several months previous, I had learned that in Korea, universities are located on hilltops. I have concluded that Cheonan must be quite hilly city. Leaving Cheonan behind, I was told we were headed to the "country". After some time driving, we came to a rest stop, where YT purchased a map and studied the map quite seriously for a while. He then announced that we should not proceed to the original destination in the country, because it was too far away. Instead he changed course for the "sea", and we sped off with a new destination.
One thing nice about the trip was the air... it was a pleasure to leave behind the polluted smells of Seoul City. I was able to breathe in the fresh country odors of cattle, and of course the crisp delightful smell of the open air seafood markets by the sea. I am joking a little bit, but seriously we drove through some patches of the most foul smelling air - probably worse than anything I have smelled in Seoul! Another interesting observation was that much of the country side we drove through was very similar to what I would see driving through the country back home in Alabama (that is, until we arrived at the sea).
Our seaside visit ended with the dinner (posted previously), and we bought some "muneo" (I am not sure of the spelling). Not able to name the animal exactly, SY told me that "he is cousin to squid". Actually it was some of the best squid-like snack I have eaten in Korea. I will assume because of we were close to the sea, it was especially fresh. We drove back to Seoul, munching from our bag of "squid cousin" snacks, through some huge traffic jams, and finally arrived near 11:00pm. Surprisingly, we were all starving (I guess those shellfish don't stay with you very long). We first tried to eat some Suntubu Jigae (not quite sure of the Romanization of that dish) at a 24 hour Tofu restaurant (try finding one of those in the US). The owner told us that the jigae serving hours were over! So, we decided instead on Kamjatang, and headed to a different place. It was interesting to me that of all the eateries in Seoul, both places YT chose, with no input from me, were places I had previously eaten. Thoroughly tired and stuffed, I came home near midnight and slept soundly.
I have posted some photos below. I will add a few more photos in the days ahead. Some were taken with SY and HS cameras, and they have not sent them to me yet. I will also try to post a map showing where we went - I tried photographing my map with my digital camera, and the results were poor. The online Korean mapping website I use didn't know the city I was looking for.