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Monthly Archives: July 2009

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I woke up on Sunday morning feeling that I was wasting my youth. I decided I would go somewhere and see something that I have never seen before. I decided I would go check out the islands at Incheon.

I had the recommendation from my neighbour Doug and his girlfriend who spent the 4th of July weekend there.

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I got the subway to Dongincheon station (동인천역), which took almost 2 hours, because line 1 is so incredibly slow. When I got there, I took bus 14 to the Incheon Port Authority (or something like that) and bought my ₩21,000 ticket and left 30 minutes later. The ferry ride was about an hour, and I slept for most of it. I did get to see some beautiful islands on the way though.

Once I got there, I met an old man with a big grin who handed me his card and pretty much forced me into his van once he found out that I didn’t have a room. He brought me to his love motel, called Beach Love Motel (비치사랑). He told me ₩30,000 for a room, but his card said ₩20,000. He explained that he has a variety of rooms available. His card also said free pick-up and ride back to the pier. On the way he tried to make me pay ₩15,000 for the ride there, and another ₩15,000 for the ride back. I wasn’t having any of that, and I told him that I wouldn’t pay for it.

When we got to his place, he showed me the rooms. The ₩20,000 room was literally a 10 foot by 10 foot box with no bed. I told him I wanted something a little more swanky. The ₩30,000 room was the same box, except it had a bed. I said I would take it. He then showed me a suite with a bed, fridge, shower (!) and kitchenette for ₩90,000. I told him that since I was traveling alone, I didn’t really care what the room was like, as long as I had a bed. So we settled on the ₩30,000 room.

Then I walked to the beach. That’s when I saw this:

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My first thought was severe brain trauma with internal bleeding. But I didn’t care. I had to have it. ₩20,000 for 30 minutes. Rip off, but man was it ever worth it. That’s the most fun I’ve ever had in Korea by far, and the most fun I’ve had in years. I paid the guy an extra ₩5,000 for 10 more minutes. I loved it. I almost flipped it a couple times doing figure-eights in the sand. It was an absolute blast. I had my music playing loud in my headphones and the clean air blowing through my hair. I’m not bald.

I will post videos here once I get them uploaded to YouTube.

Anyway, when I got back to the motel, the guy gave me the ₩90,000 room but told me sternly ‘You… shut your mouth… ok? Shut your mouth!” Fair enough. I guess he didn’t want me telling the neighbouring couple about my deal. Here’s what it looked like:

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Not bad for like $35 Canadian dollars.

This is getting long, so I’ll cut it short. Basically that night I walked around for a bit and met a nice family on the beach who was really grateful that I took pictures of them and their family. I also cleaned up the beach a bit, picking up the trash. The locals couldn’t believe their eyes. Yes. A North American who cares about someone other than himself. Who would have imagined?

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Feeling a bit down last night, I decided to go to the riverside at Oksu station, as I was inspired by a video by Michael Arnold.

I raced there as quickly as possible after work, hopping on the train from Singeumho, transferring at Wangsimni, and finally arriving at Oksu.

It was really peaceful and quiet, with a lot of Koreans of all ages walking around and enjoying the night air. I walked to Hannam station, about 2km from Oksu, taking pictures along the way:

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I also made a coupe of videos:

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Today there was a highly publicized eclipse that swept across Asia. It was a unique experience for the children and myself, because this was a rare full eclipse that lasted for 6 minutes, which is the longest total eclipse of the 21st century.

The kids loved it. My boss had the incredible idea of using 35mm film as a filter to look through. It worked great, and none of the children went blind.

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It also allowed for some great photography, and I could safely look through my viewfinder with the film in front of my lens. After watching the eclipse, we played in the playground for a bit.

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It’s a good day.

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Well, not much is new these days. We’re in the middle of monsoon season, so it hits at least 30 degrees here every day. Being a Canadian, this humidity is killing me. It’s like trying to walk through a closet full of socks, from the floor to the ceiling. When it rains, it DUMPS water down hard… sometimes for minutes, sometimes for hours… and even sometimes days. I don’t mind the rain, actually I like it, but the humidity is what really gets to me. I drip sweat the moment I leave my apartment. By the time I get to school, I am pretty sweaty… and my school doesn’t really have air conditioning.

So, I missed my brother’s High School graduation, and the party, and a big yearly thing that my entire family puts on… usually about 60 people in a big park just relaxing and catching up. I really enjoyed it the last time I went… This idea of what things will be when I come back to Canada… how much will change? I’ll have been gone for about 1.7 years. Whatever has changed, I know that there will be my amazing family for me to come back to, with their arms wide open, asking me details about my experience here, which I am happy to answer. So far my experience has been somewhat reserved. I was never one to go out and party hard (except in college). I’d like to check out Hongdae this weekend if I have some time. Just have a couple drinks and see what happens. If nothing happens, well that’s cool too.

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