Jeju, South Korea (Asia, 2015)

No fault of the generous and gentle people of the Republic of South Korea, the weather majorly sucked. I was in Jeju just a few days and almost the entire time it rained and was pretty cold, for this time of the year. This is perfect weather for my tasks here—attending an international conference—I have to spend all the time in the hotel and socialize with fellow scientists, right? Well, I got to do just that. However, I did get a good glimpse of what the place is about—fabulous natural volcanic phenomena. Lovely island and definitely worth at least a week of my time and a pair of good hiking boots, for sure.

Here’s a video of flying all over the place, trying to get to Jeju.  It’s harder than you think :-)

Holy crap!  I’m considering entering into the Rotary Philadelphia club… and here is a Rotary sign right at the airport.  I suppose we’re here as well :-)  I like how I said “we” :-).

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It’s “posted” on this statue.

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I love my cabbie’s “bike”, hanging from the cab light.  Somehow they leave the light on in the cabs here.  All the time.  Very distracting, really.

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Unfortunately, the whole time I was here it was drizzling / raining.  Here’s view from my window.  Pretty descriptive of the place.  Small island town.

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With a couple of hotels.

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And some stores or food places… They don’t really expect English-speakers here so everything is in gibberish :-)

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Smoke time!  Just a photo right outside the hotel.

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OK OK OK, so, my break from presentations somehow magically aligned with a break in the rain.  It’s still drizzling but not pouring anymore.  Let’s go for a walk, shall we?

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Hotel is right on the water.  Lovely, ain’t it?

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Very different concrete “rocks” here.  Quite something, I think.  I suppose they don’t have so much real rock… Wait, isn’t this supposed to be an island made of volcanic rock?  Hmm…

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The running trail [at least I think it’s a running trail, given the rubbery pavement] has a nice logo of the island.

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Lovely islandesque art; but the buildings show the typical wear of neglect and funding issues.

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Wetness…

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I just absolutely adore the building design here.  It’s sufficiently different from my daily grind for me to be fascinated by just about every building here.

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Oh, and especially the doors.  I think in the Korean culture they pay attention to the entrance more than to the appearance of the building itself.  That’s some serious freaking door, don’t you think?

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And a lovely side alley.  Quite clean, involving partially some volcanic rock and the ugliness once the rock ran out.

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Wiring here is absolutely fucked, as most of these places.

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Village.  Yeah, I can totally live here.

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Sigh.  Again with the concrete fake-wood-looking railing.  Either make it wood or make it metal!  Stop with this nonsense, please.

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Shit, I’ve seen this in the guide for this island.

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Not this.  This is pretty awesome.  I could totally have this place for my weekend get-away.  Just a bed and a fridge, right?  Oh, please!

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Aha!  The music is coming from that square thing on the ground…  And here I thought I was going insane.  See that think in the center?

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Oh, and the water fountain… They had warned me [substantiated?] about drinking the water here… Only bottles.  Beer, wine, whiskey, whatever, just not water from the well.  OKey dockey.

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Ah, the one bridge that’s wobblier than the girl’s butt that’s walking on it.  That’s a compliment to the bridge, mind you, not the girl.  Why is everyone into Asians, anyway?  I mean, they are cute and all but I like for a girl to have some butt, please.  OK, OK, back to the subject.  The bridge is wobbly.

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The view from the said bridge is absolutely… hmm… the same as the brochure for this place… matter of fat, you think this is a shitty out-of-focus photo?  Ha!  The official photo is way shittier.  The view, however, is pretty fucking amazing; as you awe wobbling over it.

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Same here.  Wowsers.

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And the water is pretty clean, for the ocean water.  This is nothing like back home, nearby the Atlantic City.  Nope.  No, sirrie, no.

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The restaurant on the other side is covering itself up from the rain.  I suppose these are frequent here.  More the rains, not so much the restaurants.

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The tiny streets are pretty nice, too, don’t you agree?  Clearly they have more character to them than most of American cities.

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Oh, yeah, the restaurant…  Well, here is your choice of the live lobster… sorry, live food.  You want the white stripes of the cuddly grey one?  Gonna taste yummy, I’m sure.  Too bad I’m not hungry at all.

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Welcome to LBI.  Didn’t I just fly for billion hours from thee?

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Wait, there is supposed to be a head of a dragon somewhere here… See it?  Me neither…

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I do see a fuck-ton of roaches some kinda sea roaches bugs.

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And a lovely leather sofa.  I think I would like to take it with me.  What’s the check-in policy, again?

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Lovely here, indeed.

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So, um, is this the dragon thing?

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I do like the building next to the alleged dragon head.

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I also like the resemblance.  Twins, right?

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And the volcanic rocks everywhere.  I suppose this be the signature of this place.  I like it.  Easy to remember.

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What the?!  I see a dragon!  Or do I?

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Or maybe this is it?  Well, the guide book does tell me something about a dragon head somewhere here…

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There is, clearly, an overabundance of fake wood fencing.

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And the carved volcanic rocks with the matching females.

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And the EXCLUSIONS.  I’ve been excluded.

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So I just went here.  Modern mixed with … city.

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The city that loves to grow cabbage any chance they get.

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And this here is a gorgeous example of how I would like to live my life: even surround shit with roses.  Nice!  Applauds.

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May the love be with you here on this island.

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I love the Love lock.  Lovely.

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Butt-fucking-ugly ADT signs made it here as well.  Sigh.

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And I love the culture that covers up the temporary trashiness with a towel.  Very impressive!

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So is my hotel. I think this is the marriage center for Korea.

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Covered in statues, everywhere.  Yep yep.

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And things that are planted with love.  Fucking adorable!  Just gorgeously cute, don’t you think?

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As it the 5am cab drive.

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In a KakaoTaxi :-)

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To the airport where the ashtrays are so welcoming.  This is 5-something in the morning and already the ashtray is full.

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Here we go.

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Well, I need to come back here in good weather.  Definitely.  This is, so-far, the better part of Korea, I think.  Lovely island and definitely a destination for one of my next trips.

Toodles.

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