Thursday, July 9, 2009

4th of July

We travelled up the coast by train to Jumunjin, and went to Namae beach on Saturday morning. The sand was very fine and it made these squeeky sounds when you stepped on it with bare feet. The beach was mostly unpopulated, which was awesome. The ocean there stays shallow for a good way out, but there was also a sand bar that went out even further, and we could walk a few hundred feet out before we had to stop walking and start swimming.

Then we discovered that the sand bar was also a fertile home for hundreds and hundreds of small clams. So we collected a few dozen of them in a bag and later cooked them over a wood charcoal fire next to a pier in a small grill I purchased.

There was only one small mart near the beach where this ancient ajuma worked. She was sleeping in her brightly colored floral patterned clothes. And when we tried to get our drinks out of the cooler she stirred loudly and started muttering incomprihensibly in a sharp high pitched tone. She made it clear that she wanted to get the drinks for us by hobbling out fully doubled over, nearly on all fours to rummage through the cooler for our drinks. It was so awkward because we could have gotten them so easily ourselves. I think she was also disappointed that we didn't purchase any of the dried fish or squid hanging on the wall that she pointed out to us. I wonder if she became that doubled over by hunting for clams in the shallow waters so many days of her life.

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