Sunday, March 16, 2008

Day Trip

This is the last weekend in Seoul before going to USA for a long business trip. I decided to take a short day trip today to the sea. When I arrived at the sightseeing place, it turns out maybe 100 or more motorcyclists were having a day trip also:

After touring around the fort and seaside awhile, I found the nearby restaurant street. This "street" was really a gravel road alongside the fishing docks, and each store's name was that of the corresponding fishing ship!

I chose one at random, and proceeded to negotiate with the store owner. You see, Koreans like to eat this fresh fish raw. While I can eat raw fish, I really wanted to have it grilled. I finally negotiated with her to grill my fish, but then I had to pick WHICH fish to grill. They were swimming around in the tanks. I chose one - I have no idea how, but later when they explained the name in Korean (숭어), I looked it up in my dictionary and found I was eating a "Gray Mullet".

Here is the guy scaling and cutting the fish for the grill:

And here is the result (I had already attacked some of the tail before I remembered to take this photo):

It really was quite good. As I hiked back to the tourist area, I kept looking for a taxi driver to take me to the bus terminal. The taxi driver assured me there would be plenty of taxis, however none were to be found after 10 or 15 minutes waiting. Finally I went to the nice man at the information booth and asked him to call a taxi for me. He proceeded to dig out bus timetables, and assured me that a bus would be along in 20 minutes. Well, after 30 minutes, I asked him to call the taxi again, but instead he called the bus driver! He assured me once more that the bus was just running a little late, and to keep waiting. After 30 more minutes of waiting, I went back and insisted that we give up on the bus and would he please call me a taxi.

At this point, there were some guests that had arrived and were meeting inside his little information booth - an elderly man and two elderly ladies. The old man asked me where I was going, and when I explained it, he told me to come inside and wait a moment, and he would take me! I sat for about 5 or 10 more minutes, wondering how I was going to politely get out of this situation. Suddenly, they finished up and took me to their car. As we drove off, I realized that two of these people were wearing some unusual clothing. It reminded me a little bit of a Hanbok (Korean traditional outfits), but very very simple. Finally, after taking in all the various decorations in their car, and listening to some of their conversation (which was quite difficult, being in Korean), I figured out these were Buddhist Priests! Here is the man driving me.

Initially they were going to drop me off at the closest subway station, but instead they took me 95% of the way to my destination. And it was way too far out of the way for them. He was just too kind.

I wrapped up the evening by meeting JI at a new Mexican restaurant where we ate some tacos and nachos for dinner.

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