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Showing posts from August, 2005

Nothing Much

Well, the weather has finally broken, and we are enjoying milder temperatures. The ease in heat and humidity is much welcomed, as is the clearing of the sky. All summer a haze has nestled into the nooks and crannies surrounding the city making it impossible to see the mountains. Whether a shift in winds or a Korean mystery for the ages, the haze has lifted and the sky is beautifully clear. The blue expanse dappled with clouds is set afire at dusk with amazing color, even the city's busy construction cranes and building frames look glamorous in the orange-red shock painted by our Asian sun. However, it is the later wash of greens, purples, and yellows dissolving into night that create a lasting sense of peace as a cricket-sonata accompanies the light evening breeze.

In the park, families and friends are strewn across the grounds, resting their feet on picnic blankets. Children ride bicycles, couples play badminton, and the older boys try their hand at baseball. It is a Rockw…

Wando: The Details

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Day 2: Dehydration, an Arboretum, and Projectile Vomiting

After a night with cement pillows and an unforgiving mattress, we groggily rolled into a hot, summer morning already dehydrated and sunburned. Alex was a bit worse for wear, mumbling “water . . . water . . . . .”  we looked over our maps of Wando, marking all intersections with churches, temples, strange houses, and smiling people with easy-to-read pamphlets, before wandering into the sunny, sidewalk-less street outside our hotel.

Where are we?  Where are we attempting to go?  Are you thirsty?

I am thirsty. We hobbled along in the unrelenting sun toward the corner MINI STOP for snacks and water. I cannot describe the intensity of the sun we have experienced while here. Imagine yourself at 5 o’clock in the afternoon with the sky still pushing a noontime sun onto your back. It’s so damn hot, you later check your shoulders for brands.

It was at this point that Alex began looking less than up to task for the journey. His head appeared …

Wando: The Details

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Day 1: Cultists & Pink Chicken
The particulars of our misadventure in the south sea may be in order. Alex is a bit more succinct than I, and knowing that, I don’t feel too bad embellishing on his portrait of our excursion. For starters, our friendly ambassadors to Myeongsasimni (the beach on Shinji-do) were cultists. That’s right, just your standard, run-of-the-mill followers of some bizarre “faith” revolving around theories about the earth’s axis shifting. To save you from too much detail, this cult preaches meditation and the prophecies of Nostradamus and a pseudo-scientist from Nowhere, USA. THANKFULLY, we had the pesky language barrier preventing them from sucking our brains through our nostrils in an attempt to convert us.

 Ferry from Shinjo-do to Wan-do
Myeongsasimni beach
Dalhae-do
Our companions plied us with alcohol and fish while asking us to sing meditation mantras and to peruse their written material. Like I said before, we had the “barrier” to protect us from their cons…

Wando: A Blog by Alex

How to have a stressful vacation:
1) Injuries are a must.
2) Drinking Helps
3) Sunburn
4) Uncomfortable situations
5) Massive language barriers
6) Food poisoning, maybe
7) Sunstroke, also a maybe
8) Illness

First, we went to the beach and met some Koreans there who wanted to show us how to be on the beach in Korea, which involved a lot of drinking and eating fish. On my fist venture into the ocean I was hit by a wave in a strange way and ruptured my eardrum. I knew it right away. Luckily, I had the same thing happen about five or six years ago and I knew there was nothing to do about it but keep it dry. So I wasn’t too worried. On my second time in I was attacked by a submerged tree and nearly lost my middle bits. I escaped with some nasty looking but shallow scratches on my inner thighs. I decided it was best to stay out of the water for the rest of the day. 

 We eventually extricated ourselves from the Koreans and headed home, sun burnt, bleeding (on my part), and dehydrated. We had a…

Polls Are Closed

Even with Mokpo making a late surge, Wando still held the edge and will be our vacation destination.  Three, hopefully sunny, days and two nights on the southern coast.  I will post pictures when we return, lots and lots of pictures.