From Whence We Came!


If you’ve been following our blog, you’ll know that we lost our camera with all our holiday snaps and then amazingly had our camera returned to us by a fellow expat.  Long story short.  Anyway, our 600 odd holiday snaps arrived back in our hot little hands yesterday…This is the first in a series about our adventure exploring a large chunk of Korea.  We’ll try and go heavy on photos and light on repeating ourselves! Day one saw us up bright and early, heading for the 7.16am train from Namchang. We said a quick goodbye to our neighbour, Casserole the dog, then off to beat the crowds to the beach. As planned, we arrived at Songjeong early enough to beat the crowds.  The parasol vendors were just setting up for the day and we scored ourselves a primo front-row seat with, for now, no neighbours. Alternating between swims and lying on the beach reading (yeah our life is really hard!), the place started filling up around us. The posers started coming out too.  Seriously, these guys did NOT swim, did NOT use their parasol (which they would have had to pay for), did NOT lie on the beach at all…they greased themselves up from time to time and stood around striking innumerable poses, occasionally looking around to make sure people were looking at them. And all the while the water got busier too.  A striking feature of the ocean in Korea is the amount of yellow floaty things filling it up on hot summer days.  It turns out that no one in Korea can really swim.  Which is really, REALLY annoying because it means two things; (1) that there is a line of buoys past which you are not allowed to swim.  The beach police (!) go nuts and blow their whistles at you if you get too far past your shoulder height (in good weather; in bad weather its past the knees!). (2) That if you go near or, shock horror, past the buoys, beach police on jet skis ride past and tell you off from that side too.  Neat. Oh, and then there’s the fashion at the beach.  Business shirts, hoodies, large hats, jackets, even gloves!  Anything goes in the water in Korea. Back on shore, the parasols were definitely a lot busier!Did we mention you can get fried chicken delivered DIRECT to your umbrella??!! Our morning of lying around, swimming and giggling at peoples’ beach attire went by quickly.  Conscious that it was probably time to start heading off to the train station, we stopped for a quick beer in the sun to celebrate a successful start to the holiday week. A delicious pottle of chicken on the road to the station…Then onto the train bound for Daegu!  Dan was starting to fade a little at this stage from having had a bit too much sun. But we quickly settled down and watched the gorgeous Korean countryside roll on by.Arriving some hours later in Daegu, we checked into hotel, intent on throwing down our packs and heading out to check what was going on in the city.  First order of business was to get changed…and it was at this moment the strange attire of our fellow beach goers started to look like a somewhat sensible idea… Stay tuned for the bit where we recover and leave in search of a great Kiwi tradition…

Categories: Korea, Photos, TravelTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

18 comments

  1. You’ve set a precedent now: all future posts must come in pairs—one hand-illustrated and one photographic.

  2. 1) I laughed sooo hard at those posers. 2) I’m kinda shocked that my people can’t swim! Learning how to swim should be a mandatory life skill. 3) That chicken looks amazing. Nom nom nom. 4) Ouch, sunburn! 😦 5) your hand-illustrated yellow floating things look like giant doughnuts and it makes we want to float in the ocean on a giant doughnut 6) looking forward to more posts!

    • It surprised us that so few Koreans know how to swim too…we just take it for granted being NZers that all coastal folk love the water and are in it as much as possible!

      The chicken was amazing, and cheap too – $3 for a pottle as opposed to the $15 odd you’d pay for delivery from one of the chains. Street food rules!

      Its funny you say that about the yellow floaties – some of the kids actually have ones that are giant doughnuts, the plastic printed with pink icing and sprinkles etc. Maybe I was hungry when I drew that particular picture….

  3. Those posers would go down a treat on oriental, love it!! Or maybe the rain jackets would be more likely…
    Dan you need to slip slop slap!

  4. Waterproofs to go into the sea! Love the photo, guys, that’s excellent…

  5. Haha those posers are hilarious! Nice shot of the Asian superman lol. All he needed was a cape. Surprisingly no one chose that attire for the beach, something for Dan to consider next time, perhaps?

  6. HOLY MACKREL that’s a lot of people at the beach! Business shirts in the ocean? Oh so wacky, those Koreans! That’s funny – they have the swimming buoys all over Japan too! It’s super annoying that you’re not allowed to swim past them! I HATE them! But hey, fried chicken at the beach?! I’M IN!!!!!!!

    • We hate the buoys too – Dan gets particularly fired up about having the whistle blown at his reckless, past-the-knees swimming activity. We played a fun game the other day though – swim just past the buoys and wait for the jet ski police to turn around and head toward you, then swim away fast back toward the shore before they reach you. Wait until they leave again. Repeat endlessly. Fun for all ages.

  7. Haha, that’s so funny they were so strict about where to swim! I have heard a LOT of Korean people say they don’t know how to swim. I find it amusing, because I don’t think I know anyone over the age of 5 back in the States that can’t swim!

    • I know, same in New Zealand! It seems weird that there’s so much responsibility on the police and lifeguards to not let people drown too…where is the personal responsibility in all of this?! If your kid (or adult!) can’t swim, don’t go out in the water. Simple. Maybe they should make people pass a test and get a beach-going license, hehe. Then the rest of us could perhaps get out past our knees!

  8. your beach photos are hilarious. I had no idea Korean beaches were like that… and all those people with so much clothes on!

    • Its pretty insane eh?! At first glance we were like, “Eww there’s no way we’re going to the beach when its like that…” but in the end its actually a fascinating experience. Its so well organised (of course) that its easy to still have a great day.

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