Friday, June 13, 2008


Angie and I rented an orange autobike after taking the ferry to the island. We rode through the garlic fields partitioned by walls made out of long vertical stacks of lava rocks. The garlic was laid out to dry and extended all the way to the edge of where the beach began. They were garlic beaches, garlic was everywhere, and we could smell it permeating throughout the island as we rode. And there were small royal burial mounds interspersed in the garlic fields and along the side of the road.

There was a white sand beach, a black sand beach, and a beach composed entirely of coral and seashell pieces smoothed out and fused together by the work of the tides: the closer we walked to the water, the larger the pieces became. There was this woman riding a very pregnant horse by a lighthouse which was surrounded by stacks of stones.

I think driving the autobike was a life-affirming activity for me, and I'm not exaggerating. I love the feeling of riding a bicycle really fast down hills and mountains, and with an autobike you can have that feeling at any time by just accelerating whenever you want by a simple twist of the wrist. So awesome. They rented the bikes for 15,000 an hour, so we asked for an hour, and ended up going out for almost 4. When I pulled the bike back in the old man held up two fingers sternly, indicating that we were at least two hours over the time limit. I gestured that I knew and that I was willing to pay for the extra two hours. But the old man just looked at his friend, laughed and shook his head and said we only owed him 10,000. Angie tried to give him more, but he refused. I'm still confused and curious how coming back over two hours late equaled paying less than one hour was supposed to cost in the first place...

I saw an aquarium tank filled with baby octopus that were pretty freshly plucked from the ocean. They were moving so aggressively and chaotically through the tank. I had it in my mind to try live octopus on Jeju-do, but then when I imagined the restaurant owner pulling one of these animals out of the tank and chopping it up into tiny pieces that would be literally crawling out of the plate I just couldn't resolve the idea in my mind. I still want to try it though.


sg said...

wow- i am so jealous that i am not there with you. the water, the garlic, the girl on a horse. amazing! your photographs are really beautiful.

grace said...

Omg, I didn't know So. Korea was beautiful, nice pictures.