Saturday, October 21, 2006

out in da boonies #3

More photos from last weekend's trip out to the Yeongju region! We continue with Buseok-sa (Floating Rock Temple), pass by some apples (it's harvest season), and look at a simulation of a scholarly community (seonbi-ch'on).

A note about the above pic: Sperwer wanted to know what the reflective material under the trees was for, so I asked one of the apple sellers. She said the idea was to accelerate ripening by driving the sunlight back up toward the apples. Cool.

Abandon all hope.

Sperwer and I visited a village that was meant to simulate life around the beginning of neo-Confucianism's arrival in Korea. The jangseung "totem poles" were out in force at the parking lot; you can walk by a whole row of them before you get to the ticket office. What I found strange about these guys, though, was that you usually see jangseung in pairs-- a male and a female. This group seemed to be nothing but males (I think); perhaps they were having a boys' night out. Watchin' da game. Drinkin' a Bud.

The above jangseung seemed to be the only one looking forward to an FTA with America.

Note the graffiti above. Poor woman.

I'm a big fan of Korean mung bean pancakes (bindae-ddeok) as well as flour-based pancakes (jeon). One of my favorites is haemul p'ajeon, a pancake with green onions and seafood-- usually squid and shrimp.

Sperwer, who had been to Buseok-sa before and who knew the region fairly well, introduced me to a simple delight I'd never had before: gamja-jeon, which is a potato jeon with other vegetables added in. We ate this dish, along with several others, every day of our stay. I'm going to have to try to make this at home, for it doth kick much ass.

One thing I regret not having photographed is the grapes. It's also grape harvesting season, and I had the chance to eat a free bunch of grapes after helping Sperwer negotiate the purchase of a couple boxes. Lemme tell ya', those grapes were pretty damn good.


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