Monday, September 06, 2010

Typhoon Kompasu

With near-perfect timing, I departed for a short vacation to Jeju Island just as Typhoon Kompasu was nearest to the island. In fact, I was one of the last flights from Gimpo to Jeju that day - my friend JI was on a later flight which was cancelled. Imagine the excitement of landing in a 100MPH crosswind. The ground track on approach was nearly 45 degrees to the runway! Fortunately, Kompasu passed quickly, and I enjoyed mostly clear skies for the rest of the trip. And I missed all the excitement such as eletricity outages, wind damage, and subway closures here in Seoul. Don't ask me if it's a typhoon or a hurricane - I'm confused about the terminology. I would call it a hurricane, but they call it a typhoon. I'm not going to buck the wind... (As I heard it, KOMPASU is the romanization of how the Japanese pronounce the English word COMPASS).

Very briefly, I really enjoyed the trip. Jeju reminds me a lot of Kauai in the Hawaiian Islands, which I have visited often over the past 10 years. It is about the same size, has very similar vistas, and I got the same lazy island feeling. Surprisingly, it seems Jeju is much more populated, 300 people per square km, versus 40 for Kauai. I wouldn't have guessed it from the deserted streets, museums and other tourist places.

Despite the cool weather in September, I could not visit Jeju without getting into the ocean, if only shin-deep.

Unlike these fools to my left, who were completely swimming in the ocean, undoubtedly covered in goose bumps (notice all the debris on the beach, washed ashore by Kompasu):

I'm too busy to post more, but I have some good food photos (what else?) for later.

[EDIT: it has been politely pointed out that I look to have gained weight in this photo, a point which I will concede. But in truth, I have not gained any weight, and have actually began to lose the pounds again. I never have liked photos of myself. I must not be photogenic, just phatogenic]


Debbie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris said...

It might be the time of year, or the just-passing hurricane, but I will admit there were more flowers and flowering trees on Kauai. For sure, the climate is more tropical in Hawaii.

Tuttle said...

Up theirs! I say you're lookin' good!

The way I remember it, a typhoon is the same thing as a hurricane, just in the Pacific Ocean.

My captcha was "fecticki". Odd.