Last Saturday, Alex and I decided to take a last minute trip to Boryeong for a much needed distraction from hagwon life. Some of you might recall how my first trip to Boryeong was not the most, uh, successful of trips… but this time around I think I nailed it. Really, all I wanted to do was read, sleep, sleep, get a sunburn, sleep, drink 4 lattés, sleep, and read. All Alex wanted to do was talk.* We managed to accomplish all of our goals for the day. And we even got to experience a goal we both never knew we had: discovering a new marine species**!
Between bouts of deep sleep and weeping***, Alex and I combed the beach for shells. What we ended up finding was a wide variety of colorful starfish:
[The picture below is of Alex holding a living, tube-feet-twitching starfish. The photo’s great in that it features Alex’s “uncomfortable face.” For those of us fortunate enough to know the lad, this face is pretty much indistinguishable from his “happy face,” his “sad face,” or his “angry face.”)]
Post-starfish, we ate lunch and I drank my third latté (yes, I might have a problem). I decided that I hadn’t slept enough for the day, and so we went back to the beach so that I could fall asleep in between crowds of Korean teenagers on scouting trips and soju-drinking, middle-aged men. When I eventually woke back up, the sun was beginning to set and I decided to get my final latté for the day…
Just as I was realizing how much I had spent on coffee during the day ((￦16,000)/(“Treat Yo Self“)), I happened to discover a new marine species***. An informal Facebook poll told me that it was either a decaying dolphin, a decaying seal, or a decaying hybrid of the two. I’m still not sold as to what it is… it was just so strange looking. After I asked a handful of Koreans what the corpse might be (to no avail) and after taking a series of pictures of the corpse, Alex and I bought ice creams and jumped on the bus bound for Daecheon’s train station.
The view of the Daecheon countryside from the train station was incredible:
We ended up spending roughly ￦14,500 each to get to and from Daecheon. It was well worth the trip and I can’t wait to check out other beaches that run along Korea’s west coast. Hopefully next time I won’t find weird decaying sea creatures… or if I do, that I am able to recognize them for their living counterparts.
* Who are we kidding… I did all of the talking.
** Definitely did not; but large, unidentifiable porpoises are always fun!
*** I had been reading “Please Look After Mother” (“엄마를 부탁해”) by Shin Kyung-Sook (신경숙) which is an incredibly heavy book about a South Korean family looking for –and remembering– their mother.
The majority of pictures I stole from Alex (thanks buddy!!)…