Friday, August 1, 2008

The Burger Shop and the Pebble Beach

Sorry that it's been a while since I've written. Keegan has had this week mostly off from the shipyard, and we've been enjoying a relaxing week together. We have also discovered the world of MacGames, which is a dangerous place indeed. I'm sure Keegan regrets the day that he introduced me to Burger Shop, an addictive game based on serving demanding customers at a fast food restaurant. Sounds dull, but it's really well done. Somehow, I'm unable to walk away from the ice cream machine, the ketchup dispenser, and all my customers, from punks to hippies to clowns.

We have managed to get out of the house a bit, though. We've had dinner with John and Glenda and then we all got together on Wednesday night so that Matt, John, and Keegan could do a beer brewing. I know Keegan is really happy to have found people here who share his hobby - he just wishes that he had known so he could have brought more of his brewing equipment.

Today we decided to do some more exploring around the island, and we ended up driving north to check out Chilcheon Island, which we'd heard was a good place for biking and running. It's about 14km around the island, and it is a HILLY course. But there's not a lot of traffic there, and the scenery is certainly stunning - I can't wait to get out there on a bike or on foot to better appreciate everything. Of course, it will help when the weather is not quite so hot.

We had thought about doing some hiking, but we've had trouble figuring out where the trails are. I know they're all over, but they can be hard to spot. For example, when we did our first hash last Sunday, we went on a trail near our apartment, and the start of it was through a grassy field with nothing in it but a goat. I don't know how we would have known to go up it if we weren't on a group walk. Anyway, we ended up going to Nongso Pebble Beach, north of us on Geoje. It's a really pleasant beach, but it helps to have a mat or beach chairs to sit on to get up off of the hot pebbles that cover the beach instead of sand. The water was really pleasant after being in the hot sun, but it was easy to feel how cold the water is beneath the surface. Once we swam out a little way, we could extend our feet down towards the bottom and feel an icy current beneath the upper layer of warmish water. It's smart to stay horizontal in the water at Nongso!

After roasting on the beach for a while, we decided to go for another Korean lunch. We found a little restaurant with low tables where you sit on cushions instead of chairs. This time, we ordered the other kind of bim bap - they had the same kind as at the last restaurant, but we wanted something different. This time, instead of orange fishy substance in our rice and veggie bowl, we had white, not-quite-as-fishy substance. I was able to translate what we had in our last meal - sea squirt. But I haven't been able to translate what was in today's. I'll keep looking. We also had a big bowl of spicy fish soup, and the ubiquitous kim chee. This time, one of our side dishes was a really tasty dish of sweet roasted peanuts. Yum!

This evening, we decided to venture out again to see if we could locate the movie theater in Gohyeon, near the Samsung shipyard. We had some vague directions from friends, and we had a little blue cinema icon on our map, so we thought we were set. Well, we were a little bit off. Driving down the street where we thought the theater should be, Keegan saw a sign that said "cinema" in English letters. So we parked and got out to explore. Well, this didn't look like we thought a cinema should look, but everything is a surprise around here, so we kept poking around. The building that the sign was on was a motel, but it was called the "cinema motel," and we thought that maybe one floor of the tall building was the movie theater or that the theater was nearby. Through a series of misunderstandings, we ended up on an elevator that smelled really bad and had liquid sprayed on one of the walls and on the floor. We tried not to guess what it was. We got off on the 5th floor and saw an information desk and a seedy hallway with hotel rooms. Yes, we were in a motel, probably a rent-by-hour joint. We got out of there fast, even though it did require getting back on the urine-evator. We decided to call John and refresh our directions to the movie theater, and we ended up finding the right place a few blocks over. We looked around but didn't see any American movies we were interested in - we'll try to go back when Batman finally comes out here.

After dinner at Mr. Pizza, we headed back home. We're planning a trip to Pusan tomorrow on the 9:00 ferry, so I'd say we should get to bed....maybe after one more round of Burger Shop!


Kellan said...

Ellen, as someone who can't travel as much as I would like, I love reading about your adventures! Thanks so much for writing about them!

KIM! said...

igveauqI cant beleive that you ate sea squirt. Gross, but cool. Your adventures are fun to read. Keep exploring. :)