Tuesday, April 19, 2011


On a whim we decided to book a flight to South Korea’s version of Hawaii, Jeju-do. It’s got pristine beaches, ancient volcanoes, knobby tangerines, and waterfalls pouring directly into the ocean: everything you need for an island vacation except little drink umbrellas. Deep down, though, we were just hoping that we’d find someplace in Korea that was actually warm— sadly, it turned out to be too cool to break out the bathers.

Our wanderings led us down a 1km-long lava tube, to the top of an extinct volcanic caldera, and along a gravity-defying road where cars seemed to drift uphill. Everywhere we went, the South Koreans seemed to be enamored with us and often had us pose in pictures, making the ubiquitous Asian V with our fingers as they shouted, Kimchi! Our bestest friend of all, though, was the lady at the bus station. When we arrived filled with the fragile hope of finding our lost camera, she smiled and understood our inept gesticulations enough to direct us to a back room where, lo and behold, some honest soul had returned it. In no other country we’ve visited could we have even dreamed of such a lucky outcome— again, it speaks to the quality of the Korean people.
The last night on the island we witnessed a street taekwondo brawl and sated our adrenaline with a ridiculously juicy, fatty, Korean-barbequed black pig. Ahh, contentment.

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