Monday, June 27, 2011

Rainy Days and Mondays

Back from a rainy weekend with 3 good friends. As previously mentioned, the plan was to head to Sokcho, a small city on the East Coast where the rabbit and I had previously ventured back in February. Lex is here for the summer holidays and rain or shine, we needed to take advantage of a weekend where the Tedward Park and I weren't working on a Saturday.

For all that we were able to see, we may as well have stayed in Seoul. The rain and mist kept visibility to a bare minimum and unfortunately, for the mountain-seeking folk among us, there was no way that Seoraksan, Korea's most beautiful mountain, would have been at all impressive seen through the soupy fog.

It's all good though. What mattered most was the company and we took advantage of a weekend away from the big city to relax, catch-up, cook, and play games. Special thanks to Andy and Lex who did well to make our eating experiences as authentically Korean as possible. I was impressed specifically with Andy's ability to whip-up a Korean-style breakfast with one visit to the resort convenience store. Nice work, friend.

Aside from lounging, games and eating, we did make it out to our second resort's "Aquaworld" - a much smaller Waterpia-type place complete with outdoor pools, sauna's and hot-tubs with water-massage dealios - all for 11,000 won each. Not bad at all, and it was about the only thing all of us were collectively willing to do out in the rain. Sometimes, a resort is the way to go - especially as rainy season hits.

It was a good weekend, but what will be remembered most is the odd lady sitting beside us on the way there. As we got onto the bus in Seoul, Ed and I saw a strange woman sitting directly to my right across the aisle with her face buried in a newspaper - it was like a children's detective novel - the one where the newspaper is in place so that the holder can spy through a hole cut into page 1 - I almost tried to sneak a photo. Ed and I took note of this character and carried on with our journey. Even when we took a short break at a rest stop, the woman had her newspaper covering her face as she seemingly slept on her reclined seat.

When we got off the train in Sokcho, we left the bus terminal in search of a taxi to take us to the resort, and a familiar voice called out to us. The rabbit had surprised us by coming on the trip after all. She hadn't planned to because of her need to be back playing the organ in church on Sundays, but we were glad to have her change her mind to join us on Friday night and the better part of Saturday. She'd been behind the newspaper all along, and I hadn't really thought twice about it. Her only complaint - the nappeun shinmun saemsae ("bad newspaper smell").

Surprises are good, and valuable, and they keep me smiling through dreary Monday mornings of speaking tests and gloomy skies and gloomier faces. Thank you, rabbit. And thank you, dear friends.

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