I had one super fun afternoon. My original plan was to walk to the beach and read on my Nook for a while, but being open to my own curiosity and flexible to the world around me changed that completely (as it always seems to). Spoiler alert: no reading occurred.
I ended up starting out on a couple kilometers walk to a pair of lighthouses, one built in 1907 and the other one more recent in the 70s I believe.
On my walk I had three adults come up to me and ask to take their picture with me on their camera to which I obliged. I would be such a good celebrity, lol. Then, at the lighthouses, 2 children (brother and sister, I believe) asked me to take pictures with me on my camera, which I thought was super strange, but they were adorable and the older boy had pretty good English and was super nice so of course I had a little photo shoot with them. I talked the boy for a few minutes, found out his name was Hoon, talked to his extended family through him for a few minutes and then was on my way.
Then I went just a bit further to a big bunch of rock formations called Dae-Wang Am, meaning Rock of the Great King, named after a Korean king of the 7th c. AD. It was astoundingly beautiful, but you can see for yourself below. There was a bridge and several sets of stairs connecting several of the formations, taking you out on to the ocean quite a bit.
There were fisherman out doing their work (or play possibly, it’s the weekend so they could have been recreational fishing), and it made me think of my dad. I’m sure he would love to fish out here.
Next is one of the most exciting parts…get ready…CATS! Apparently there are a BUNCH of stray cats that live out on these rock formations. Many Koreans came prepared with food for them, which is good because they were so skinny. There were even kitties, and I just wanted to take them all home and plump them up to a comfortable size. They sure knew their way around the rock formations. They would jump from formation to formation like it was nothing. The first time I saw one of them do this, I actually yelled (whoops) because I was so surprised and scared, but that cat knew what it was doing and just trotted along. After taking an obscene amount of pictures and sticking around about ten times longer than any Korean (no shame), I headed on my way and let the kitties live their scary rock life.
Next, I went down to a little fishing market down by the rocks where ajimas (older women) were selling the fish and whatnots. I happened to run into Hoon again. He forgot my name, so I grabbed a notecard out of my bag and wrote it down for him in both English and Hanguel. Anyway, he helped me order what ended up being some pretty expensive oysters that I sat down and ate while talking to him and his family some more. They were impressed with everything I had to say, my limited Korean and the fact that I was eating the raw oysters like a champ, lol.
I headed out and the family asked for my email address and phone number. I wasn’t sure why they wanted it, but I figured there wasn’t any harm, so I wrote it on the notecard I had given to Hoon. I then made my way to my original destination, the beach. I was pretty tired by this point and was going to just walk the beach, take a rest, and head home when I came across this!
Being the music scholar that I like to consider myself, I couldn’t pass up this opportunity for participant observation. I never actually found out who this group of percussive dancing older Koreans were, but I got wrangled into dancing with them for about 15 minutes and I was a HIT with the older ladies. What can I say, I guess I’m just a playa. Specifically, this lady was my dancing partner for quite a while.
After I pulled myself out of the dancing circles, one of the men grabbed me and yelled “DRINK”, mind you this was at like 4 pm. I, of course, went with it and took a shot of soju and a had a glass of makkgoli with these red-vested old men.
After consuming some afternoon alcohol, I figured this was probably my cue to call it a day and head back home. Sorry this post was so long! I just had a super baller and unexpectedly awesome afternoon that I just had to share with you in both picture and prose form.
Miss you all!