Jebu Island pics link
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Last night I got a haircut and I am still trying to figure out what happened at the barbershop. I have a Korean Culture book and it mentioned a Korean barbershop and it is a unique experience. I tried it out last night, the first time I got a haircut in Korea it was more of a hairdresser then a barbershop; it was the first thing I could find. The haircutting part of this trip went as expected. ( I use trip because it was anything but normal) The barber put on these huge yellow gloves and shampoos my hair. The yellow gloves are like the industrial ones one would use to do some cleaning with. He massaged the hell out of my head, it was rather uncomfortable; this was just the beginning. Then came the clean shave part, around your neck, sideburns, and FOREHEAD, I did not know what was going on but I figured it would not kill me. Most young Koreans have really hairy foreheads, I figured he could tell my forehead does not have any hair. Some of my students literally have hair all the way down to there eyebrows; it is really weird. As they get older I guess they start shaving it. I remember when I first noticed this, it freaked the hell out of me. I told my co workers about this discovery and they were also in shock. Back to the trip, after the shave the barber put more cream or whatever in my hair and (this is when it got awkward) had these huge brushes that he held tightly to my head and he hit a button and these things started going crazy on my head. It hurt, it was uncomfortable and I could not stop laughing because of the situation I was in. (If I was in the USA I would of told the person to stop but since my culture book told me I would be in for a surprise I let it continue) I could only imagine what this guy was thinking about me. I was literally laughing out loud and my face showed many signs of pain, I almost asked him to stop again but I couldn’t, it was too funny. That ended and I was hoping I was out of the woods; I was not. I tried standing up and in English he said “sit down” I was surprised he knew those words, but it is basic for a barber to know these words. The same procedure happened again, this time it was a little more then the last, which means more faces of agony while laughing. Then it was all over; costing me 8,000 won; not bad at all. $8 to wonder what the hell just happened to me and a nice looking haircut
In class Friday one of my students forgot his book, so as I was about to leave class I told my super hyper student to draw on the board so he would not be running around when I came back. This idea went wrong when I got back. He drew a picture of me, he is a hell of a drawer. My other teacher told me he was a good drawer so I wanted to find out. He drew me as an alien because I always show him my alien registration card because he is in awe of it. The alien drawing was awesome. As I look down he decided to add a penis. It was pretty funny, actually it was really funny. I held my laughter in because I am supposed to be the teacher. They could tell I thought it was funny, and they all start laughing. I quickly erased it and on went the class.
Friday night another teacher and I was going to meet up with some Korean girls and bring them to a bar we have not been to in quite a while, the Korean girls have never gone there. We love this bar, they did not. We did not even have the time to sit down and they told us they wanted to go to a different bar. It turns out it was to traditional for them so we had to go to a more modern bar. It was pretty funny because I love that bar. I have written about this bar before, it is always empty and you can go on stage and sing with the workers, it is really a fun place; there is just no customers. We went to a different bar and none of these girls speak good English so it made for a interesting time. I went to bed early because of my trip to Jebu Island the next morning.
I Got directions to Jebu island from the internet and they instructed which buses to go on, the only hard part was after about an hour fifteen minute bus ride I needed to switch and this trip ended in a dirt parking lot. I had no clue where I was supposed to go. I walked to the nearest bus station, got some water and a powerade because I figured I would be lost for a while. Luckily I walked for about five minutes and found a little bus stop and two minutes later the bus came. As I got to Jebu Island the weather was bad but it did not put a damper on the day, this was actually my favorite day since I have been in Korea. I saw the ocean for the first time in what seems to be years. Jebu Island is on the yellow sea across from it is China (which you cannot see) There are tons of mountains around the area. The coolest part it getting out to the island. You can only go at certain times of the day depending on the tide. The paved road is covered in about five feet of water at high tide and remains high for 6 hours. It is pretty cool. I walked around the island, I was the only white person there and it had one nice beach, the rest was all mud. It had some really cool views of mountains in the oceans, cliffs, and of course the ocean. The size of the mountain is about a half square mile. As I got to one side which seemed to have all the excitement there was a row of restaurants and each restaurant had someone dressed in a cartoon costume trying to wave people into there restaurant. It was a pretty funny site. I stopped to get lunch, ( had every kind of clam you could think of, man was it good) During lunch I got invited to join two older Korean couples and I spent the rest of the day with them, they asked me to walk around with them and what not. They were about 7 bottles deep in soju, it was pretty funny because they were super drunk. Each couple left for about 30 minutes at a time, one couple told me they went to throw up, which I thought was pretty funny. It was around 2 PM. They basically rented me for the entire day, at one point another Korean couple asked to take a picture with me and I thought there was going to be a brawl. The other group seemed to get really mad. We went back to the beach and a group was playing soccer and for some reason we ended up playing with them. The one guy told me it was for exercise. Now, if I am in this guys position; after drinking, eating, and throwing up the last thing I am doing is playing soccer but he wanted to so I did it. After that we went to another restaurant where the owner invited us in, they were having a party in memory of the former South Korean President who committed suicide. I stayed there for about an hour, I wanted to stay over night but the weather was not good and it would’ve been a waste. I walked the road back to the bus and headed home. My day was complete and it was easily the best day I had in Korea so far basically because I got to see the beach. I hope to go back soon when the weather is nice and spend a night, they have ocean front hotel rooms for $70 a night, not bad. Jebu island was a cool place, there are no ATM’s on the island, I was told the population is around 1,000, and there are no stores other then restaurants.
Something funny about the culture of Korea and me; in Korea no one does anything alone, it is against every culture rule. Everything is based on doing things together. This is when I step in and break this culture rule. I always get asked why are you alone, why do you not have a girlfriend, are you married, you should be married, where are you friends, etc….I travel alone because it is easy, I can go where I want and when I want and do not have to wait for anyone, plus no one else gets up early on a Saturday morning. Korean’s still do not understand why I travel alone, but it definitely works our better traveling alone because it is just so much easier.