Sunday, September 23, 2018

Incheon Walk 3, Day 2: epilogue

I didn't spend much time at the gijeom. Hungry and tired and needing to go to the bathroom, I limp-lumbered the half-kilometer over to the rest station. At first, I thought about getting a hot meal from the crowded cafeteria, but I eventually decided to hit the convenience store and get my usual junk food: cold sandwiches, juice, Coke, some M&Ms, an ice-cream bar, and a fruit cup. Hell, I had just expended over 5000 calories, according to my pedometer, so why not indulge? I ate lunch by myself on a balcony that, strangely, no one was using.

Here's the mama bear again:

And here's the front of the rest area. I don't think I've ever photographed that before.

It's been a good two days. As I think I mentioned before, I'm a bit achier than at the end of the first day, but that's only natural. No blisters yet—knock on wood—but I still have two days' walking ahead of me. The backpack is holding up fine; I suppose I need to do a comprehensive equipment review sometime soon after the walk. It's on my to-do list. I got a bit sunburned because the sun took me by surprise, appearing out of nowhere after hiding for most of the morning. I'll be sure to wear my hat along with my bandanna tomorrow. As I'd speculated earlier, I think part of the reason why I'm not achier than I am is that, except for the backpack that I'm testing, I'm traveling fairly light. The heaviest thing in the backpack is my water, and that load gets lighter as the day progresses because I'm constantly drinking out of the hydration system.

I've been sneezing a lot over the past week, since before I started this walk. At first, I thought it was a reaction to mold and other nasty pathogens being blown out of my apartment's A/C, but I've been sneezing while at work and also during this hike. Are the plants convinced it's springtime? Is there another round of pollen-release (i.e., plant sex) going on? I wonder. I have two more Claritin tablets at my place; I didn't bring any allergy meds with me, which was a stupid choice. I'm going to have to find out what's available in Korean pharmacies. I'm not hopeful, mainly because Claritin is pretty strong, and I'm brand-loyal when I like a product. Anyway, I'm blowing my nose as I type these words on the desktop computer in my current motel (Motel Techno, or Techno Motel, depending on whether you're reading the online entry for the place or the stamped bath towels... no one here cares about English; if they did, proofreaders would be gods). We'll see how things go in the morning.

A note about weather: before my trip, I checked the forecast, which said the Chuseok weekend would be sunny from Saturday through Tuesday. But on Saturday morning, I woke up to the aftermath of a decent rain, and this morning (Happy Chuseok, by the way—although it's officially Chuseok on Monday), it was lightly raining again, at least for an hour. The rain wasn't bad enough for me to wish for an umbrella or a raincoat, and the clouds kept things manageably cool for a sweaty guy like me, but it was still disappointing to get rained on at all. I wonder how things will be tomorrow morning. Predicting the weather in mountainous regions is always dicey; I know this from living in northern Virginia, with mountains just to the west of us and a sometimes temperamental coastline to the east. Switzerland, I remember, could be just as capricious, and Korea—which is over 70% mountainous—really is no different.

As I've said during previous walks, I doubt I'll be taking many photos on the way back to my place. No need to repeat or rehash. If something special catches my eye, I'll snap a shot of it, but otherwise, the walk back will be all about covering those miles as efficiently as possible. I took time to smell the roses on the way to the sea, but now we turn our back on old Poseidon and return to the realm of les dieux chthoniens.

I'm running late. All this blogging has taken me hours: photo uploads from my phone, followed by adding text to each blog post... I also had to answer an email from my French buddy Dominique, who half-jokingly asked me to help two of his kids with English when I arrive in France this coming October. He also wants me to share some Korean recipes with his family... I'll probably show him galbi, fried rice, and maybe budae-jjigae, if I can manage to find regular American hot dogs in France instead of awesome French sausages.

And now: a shower, final ablutions, and bed. Up at 5:15 a.m.


Charles said...

There is definitely something going on allergy-wise, because I have been having problems for a week or so now. I started taking cetirizine last week, forgot to keep taking it halfway through the week, and then started taking it again when the allergies returned in force. I started on cetirizine last year when I was in the States, and I've found it to be very effective, with none of the side effects of some other allergy meds I've taken. The only downside is that it takes about 24 hours to kick in. And I also sometimes forget to take it when I am feeling better, but I suppose that's more a problem with me than with the meds.

Kevin Kim said...

Is this available from a Korean pharmacy? What's it called in Korean, if so? I somehow doubt it's 세티리진.

daeguowl said...

Next time you're heading from the airport into town on the bus, take a look at the statue from behind. It kind of looks like Trump; a big lumbering lump with a hige gold quiff.

Kevin Kim said...

I can kind of see it from the front, now that you mention it.

John from Daejeon said...

In the states, you can get 1000 50mg knock-off Benedryl pills for about $20 with free shipping. They also help with getting to sleep. is really a life saver.

Kevin Kim said...


Do you think they do free shipping to Korea? No worries... I'll visit the site and find out myself.