The next morning we pedaled up to Dunkin Donuts at Lotte Mart for their last western meal. After deciding to head to Yeosu that afternoon we rested and ate what would become Angus’ favorite meal samgyeopsal(thick strips of bacon).
From there we caught a train to Yeosu and proceeded to catch up among Hite beers and a beautiful May afternoon passing by ajumma working in rice fields, silent grave mounds carved into green hills and children in grassy fields waving at our train. It was one of my favorite moments of their week here. We spent two wonderful days in Yeosu taking in a festival honoring the Admiral Yi Sun Shin and the Buddhist temple Hyangiram. Angus and Sallie bravely tried all of the side dishes and even unknown sea life in the restaurants of Yeosu. They even passed up pastries from a local bakery to eat a Korean breakfast of soup and gimbap. After Yeosu we spent the rest of the week in Gwangju as Lindsay and I had to work. Sallie and Angus maneuvered their way around the city and even to the port town of Mokpo an hour or so south of Gwangju. The highlight of their time in Gwangju, for me, was their visit to our high fifth grade class where the two entranced our students, co-workers and vice principal for a couple of hours. They got sprayed with all the questions we have heard and a few we haven’t. Some highlights.
First question to Angus: “Why don’t you have hair?”
“Are there any gangsters in Tampa?”
To Sallie: “Do you have a secret handshake with your best friend?”
“Do you have a gun?”
“What is Tampa’s culture like?”
“How many children do you want?”
“Do you have pets?” “How many?” A collective “Wow” went up when Angus revealed they have 3 dogs and one cat.” “CHINJA!?!” (Really!?!) After a night of baseball(Tigers won 4-3!!), samgyeopsal and noraebanging we took the KTX(speed train that got up to 300km/hr) up to Seoul for the final leg.
That night, Angus strangely insisted he wanted to eat sannakji (live octopus). As it was his last night in Korea, we hoofed it over to Noryangjin Fish Market and watched Angus nervously await his last Korean meal. “I just want it to be moving,” he insisted as we tried to analyze his hand-wringing. And their they were. All of the tentacles moving violently in front of Angus, like a plate of angry worms.
They went down no problem. The only problem was trying to eat the copious amount of side dishes the waitresses continued to bring out throughout our meal. After a ritzy night in the Ritz (its much cheaper here), we toured around Seoul just before an unwelcomed good-bye.