Saturday, May 18, 2019

a trip out to Yangpyeong

As I'd threatened to do, I trained out to Yangpyeong, a town I'm growing to like a lot for its relative quiet and simplicity. I'm actually thinking of doing another 58-kilometer walk out to Yangpyeong in early June. Much of that walk will occur at night, so I'll suffer under the sun for only, oh, six or seven hours. Korean summer will be well under way in two weeks, so I'll have to wear the toshi sleevelets and my trusty hat to keep from burning myself. Unfortunately, I'll also have to carry substantially more water: with the heat comes sweat, and with sweat comes dehydration. Early June isn't full-on summer, but we're already hitting 80℉ (26.7℃) by early afternoon, which is past the optimal hiking time of year for yours truly. Hiking at night alleviates (well, eliminates) the problem for a bit less than half the total walk, but I'll still be suffering Mother Nature's wrath for more than half of the trek.

That is neither here nor there for the moment, though: let's return to our muttons, as the French say, and talk about today's trip out to Yangpyeong. As mentioned, I trained out via Seoul's Line 3 subway, transferring to the Gyeongeui Central Line, which stretches out beyond Seoul, going all the way east to Jipyeong, which sits almost exactly between the east and west coasts of South Korea. (Yangpyeong actually isn't too far away from Jipyeong.)

I went for my tangsuyuk meal first, as you'll see below. The meal was almost as crunchy as last time, but if I order this again, I'm going to ask to have the sauce put off to the side so I can experience maximum crunchiness. I then marched across town and finally—finally!—got that goddamn certification stamp, which had eluded me since 2017. That was a moment of grim victory for me. You'll see those photos below as well.

There wasn't much left to do except to hop back on the subway and head for Seoul. When I reached the Line 3 transfer point, though, I headed north to Jongno 3-ga to visit the electric/electronic market of Saeun Sangga to pick up a "down" transformer. The old guy running one of the few shops still open at 8 p.m. was happy that I could speak Korean with him; I checked to make sure the transformer had three-hole sockets before I bought it. The device set me back W18,000, which is a rise from its 2005-era price of about W15,000. Very few prices are immune to inflation, except maybe for contact lenses: I've always paid W70,000 for lenses that last a year. Strange how that works.

Anyway, enjoy the pics that follow. Sorry for the rambling.

Tangsuyuk (sweet-sour pork), with onions all plucked out:

Once more at the certification center:

The pad on which to test your stamp before you do your stamping:

The page on which I'd written "NOT FOUND!" in 2017, about to get a triumphant makeover:

FOUND! (Again, with thanks to Paul Carver.)

I also stamped a blank page in my Moleskine, just to have a clean image:

VoilĂ :



John Mac said...

A day full of successes. Congrats!

I could go for some of that Tangsuyuk, even with the onions.

John Mac said...

Are you f'n kidding me? That's exactly the same model I brought with me from Korea. Small world!