Sunday, August 09, 2009

They don't call it the Yellow Sea for nothing. I made it to the west side of the Korean peninsula, and I was shocked by the water, which was a little too close to water from the toilet as far as I was concerned. The water comes from China, my friends explained, and that, like most things from China, makes it very dirty. The beach was filthy anyway, resembling a chaotic refugee camp moreso than a beach. It was packed with people and their debris, accompanied by hawkers selling inner tubes, clothes, food and Lord-knows-what.

I spent the rest of my weekend in the countryside, far, far from the neon lights and highrises that make up most of this country. The house where I was staying had no bathroom sink or air conditioning (today's high was 35 degrees). The road in front of the house was about six feed wide with pepper farms on either side, and about 3-4 km from the nearest piece of modernity.

It was a strange place to spend my last day in Korea, especially given that I'll be in Shanghai by this time tomorrow, but going to the countryside was one of those things I really wanted to do in Korea, along with eating outside a convenience store, going to a wedding and eating mysterious seafood.

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