To all of my regular readers, all four of you, (Hi Mom!) I am not dead! Haven’t posted in awhile I suppose, but it hasn’t been for lack of exciting events. Within the last two weeks I have really grown as a person, and by that I mean I have traveled to mainland Korea and have witnessed the most extraordinary treasure that Jeju has to offer. And no, it is not Mount Halla. It’s LOVELAND.
… But not really. I’m sure Halla is going to be lovely, I am aiming to climb it pretty soon before it gets unbearably hot on the island. Jeju has many beautiful natural attractions, yet the island is also well known for having three sexually themed museums. I guess one just wasn’t enough? Loveland is by far the most famous. It’s the product of a group of art students all making a large exhibition of lewd statues and needing a place to put them. So during the previous Saturday to this one I went there with some friends, as well as Hamdeok beach for the first time. Just gorgeous, nicer than the beach in Moseulpo (but hey, there’s a beach in Moseulpo) with green, blue waters. Attempted a swim, but the water was just a little too cold for a comfortable splash.
But back to Loveland, everything was just one giant visual pun. It also puts you in a seriously Freudian mindset. Everything you look at afterwards is suddenly phallic and you can barely go a conversation without a bad “that’s what she said joke.” Anyways, if you only have a short time on Jeju, this place would be highly recommended for a good laugh. I wouldn’t take someone there as a method for sexual education though, they may get the entirely wrong impression. Also a funny feature of Loveland though is the play centre they have for children for the parents who need to dump their kids off for an hour. Well played.
Sunday was quite good as well, climbed Dansan with some snacks and wine and watched the sunset. Tripped and fell down a bit of mountain on the way down, but I remain in good condition.
Jeju has gradually become more hot and humid, with this last week basically being a big sticky mess. It had gotten to the point where I couldn’t sleep at night, so I went to buy a fan. At the store I picked up a display fan with a stand and pointed at it repeatedly, gesturing that that was the one I wanted. Of course, the lady hands me a box and when I get home it’s a wall mounted fan. My wall fan is currently lying on my floor pointed at my bed and hitting me about half the time. I didn’t want to go through the mess of returning it.
I had this last Friday off for Buddha’s birthday, so knowing this I had bought a ticket to Busan with some friends for the long weekend. Leaving Jeju during the holidays is much easier than coming to Jeju on the holidays! It was an easy, early flight over to Busan, and I finally got to see a Korean big city! It also finally sunk in to me how truly different Jeju is from the mainland. The big city on the island is so puny and laid back compared to Busan, which in turn is probably so much smaller than Seoul.
Our hostel was right near Haeundae beach, and we sort of just bee lined it to the ocean as soon as we got there. It is a bit silly, considering that Jeju has so many beautiful beaches of it own, but I guess I’ll never really get over wanting to hang out on the sand. Spent most of our weekend in a giant tourist trap, but I didn’t mind too much, we had a ton of fun. Friday we went to Yonggungsa temple for Buddha’s birthday, which is set on cliffs over the ocean. Very beautiful. And that night, for celebrations off our own we set off cheap fireworks on the beach. Hazardous, but completely awesome.
Saturday more beach lounging, and than H&M. Oh, american style, how I missed you. Put a serious dent in my bank account and also picked up some english books. I’ve just started “The Marriage Plot,” by Jeffrey Eugenides, but I’m taking my time with it and trying to savour having a new book in hand to read.
The bar we attended twice was called the Wolfhound, which is such a Waygooken bar. I thought the Factory in Jeju-si packed in a lot of foreigners, but this place was teeming with ex-pats. It’s a little weird coming from Jeju and recognizing about half the ex-pat population by sight to coming to Busan where they are incredibly common.
Anyways, was very happy to see my little Moseulpo again. Really shocking, but it really felt like coming home. Busan was great, cool city, met fun people and had a great time!
Hopefully it won’t be another two weeks to my next writing post, but next is my pictures!