Sunday, June 8, 2008


The min bak owner woke us up at a quarter to five to climb Ilchulbong at sunrise. Angie slept, I had to go. All the steps were made out of lava rock, almost everything was made out of lava rock. I hiked past a tiny old woman hunched over hobbling up to the rim of the crater with baskets and plastic bags filled with snacks. I found her later sitting at the sunrise viewing platform selling off tiny yoghurts and dixie cups of what might have been the worst freeze dried instant coffee in the world for 2,000 won each. I thought it was even still a small price to pay for her troubles, and I wondered how many mornings she spent having the dark creases of her face softly seared by the sun rising over the rim of the crater.

I found it was a moral obligation to hop the fence and just book it into the bowl, although at least half of the time I was kind of sketched about getting some fine for being the only person fighting my way, trailess, through the thorny greens and baby bamboo. It was so rad contemplating and getting caught up in everything growing into each other, vines gobbling each other up, so green with spots of red and purple and white and blue. I have to go back here so I can bear the commitment and make it to center of the bowl and see what if feels like to eat an orange out there, at the center.

On the way back to the min bak I bought what might have easily been the most incredible tasting orange I've ever eaten in my life. The necks on the Jeju oranges are impressively long, and that's supposedly how you tell if you've picked a good one or not.

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