Road to Yulpo

4 08 2010

I left Cherry Love Motel around 11 – my lodging for the night after the long bus ride from Seoul where I got a glimpse of what it must feel like to have a career as a high class escort in Korea.  These ‘Love Motels’ are everywhere; you can rent by the hour or pay for a full night and it is completely anonymous – they take no names or personal information at the counter.  Cases of infidelity aside, the story is that since Koreans live at home with the family until marriage there is no place for such unmentionable activity that was implied by the “gift bag” I received at this particular motel, so they have to take it elsewhere.  Love Motels are a great place to crash for the night while traveling as they are relatively cheap and it’s like that box of chocolates: you never know what you are gonna get!

Arrived at Gwangju Bus Terminal by noon and hopped the next bus to Boseong for my next few days at the tea fields and Yulpo Beach nearby.  This is my first time traveling alone and I am very excited to test the waters for my future travels.  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect as “downtown Boseong” didn’t return any Google search results, and the reason soon became apparent.  The Boseong Bus Terminal consists of a dirt lot enclosed by cornfields and tractors, leading into a shabby main room with a ticket counter displaying scotch-taped paper schedules on the window.  This place was in major contrast with the huge, beautiful, air conditioned terminals bustling with people in trendy clothes and high heels as in Seoul and Gwangju.

After a bit of exploring the ‘town’, or 2 roads littered with carts selling fruit, vegetables, and random toys and tupperware, I was chased onto the next bus to Yulpo by a group of ravaging missionaries from Seoul.  Or at least I think I’m on a bus to Yulpo…  I paid the ₩1,400 fare and wandered out back to the loading area.  This being such a small town and me being the only foreigner in it, there was no English anywhere, no gate numbers, just a curb alongside the lot in front of endless cornfields.  I decided my best bet at this point was to go wait near the group of younger Koreans with straw hats – they must be going to a beach..

I am now on a bus to somewhere..

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Aftermath

23 05 2010

The simple pleasures make life worth living.  Like killing hours in the grass outside E Mart by way of idiosyncrasy-induced drinking games.  Like gaining perspective from locals on the roof of a coffee shop.  Like tacos and tequila.  The Makali Man.  CCR and Jason Mraz covers songs.  Like way too many people in a love motel.  Long bus rides through the countryside with views so stunning, how the hell can you be staring down at a book or iPhone?  Like the echo of “June-bi!  Ha-na, Dool, Ha-na, Dool..” off the rock walls lining the river.  Like savory Korean BBQ in the rain at a pension with friends over beer, soju, and Presidents and Assholes.  Like the Myeongdong city guide granting salvation to our grumbling stomachs with a map to the nearest Indian food joint.  Like girl talk, guy talk, and small talk.  Life is great, and so is Seoul; excited to go back again soon.





Road trip!

14 05 2010

So I have been itching to do something a little different this weekend.  I am once again in a new place where I have not yet exhausted all the potential destinations for mini weekend road trips – my favorite thing!  I figured I better get on it quick, since summer runs out in the blink of an eye and I know I will lack the will and motivation to do it during the awful, bloodsucking winter.  I did some research and decided to head to Suncheon-si; a little town about 3 hours away by bus.  What drew me to Suncheon was initially Seonam-sa Temple, which is apparently one of the most famous and beautiful Buddhist Temples in South Korea.  The internet tells me it is nestled back into the mountains and surrounded by hiking trails and rivers; sounds like the perfect place for a little soul-searching.  I also came across a place called Naganeupseong Folk Village.  This old village apparently has a castle of some sort, which is surrounded by indigenous dwellings complete with thatched roofs where people still currently reside.  I am very excited to see this place… promise to take lots of pictures!

I was planning to head out alone tomorrow morning for a relaxing weekend to myself, but after a chat with a friend I was persuaded to invite him along.  Overall I am pleased with my decision since he has a motorbike that we can ride through the countryside to get to Suncheon.  Sounds like a winner to me!