Saturday, 20 April 2013

JeJu Island, South Korea

The travel consultant said that JeJu Island is one of the new seven wonders of the world.  Wyona looked out the window this morning and said it first.  “I can’t see much of the wonder yet.”  She said the same thing again on the walk home from the market, “Are you sure this is one of the new seven wonders of the world.”

...  a woman arranging her produce in the market ...
I saw a sign board, a low one that was using the slogan again, so I went over to take a close look.

All we have to add is one word -- that this is one of new natural wonders of the world. I have seen the posters of a fantastic natural crater and the list of the other new seven wonders.

Next time we come we are taking the City Bus Tour.

We will be back for the next part of this trip is docking here.

This morning we went to the International Market – our local currency in hand, picked up at the KeJu money exchange.

Am I not getting enough food onboard?
I can't stop myself from taking pictures like this
.Everything is amazing to me.
The literature said that JeJu is known for its tangerines. I wanted to buy one, but when we were making the sale, we couldn’t tell if I was getting 1 tangerine or one kilo for the price they were asking. Fearing it was the kilo, we moved on.

Lurene asked for a pair of squeaky shoes to be brought home for Kalina.

Wyona stopped in every shoe store in Busan looking for them, and with sign language she would ask them if they have squeaky shoes. Soon her sign language got so good that they would quickly wave their hands down and to the back, explaining that they had none of those shoes anymore.

But she hit the jackpot today – tiny pairs of squeaky shoes in all colours. Though the Korean man couldn’t understand English he knew what she was talking about. I asked her how she got the idea over to him. She claims that “squeaky” is a word that is understood in every language. I guess it is, they way that she says it.

We walked through the equivalent of Fanny’s Fabrics – so many rolls of material, and so many women in small kiosks with their sewing machines, a mat for their noon hour nap laid out by time we got there; others eating their lunch with the Korean metal chopsticks – not something that has caught on in the rest of Asia, and if you try to use them you will know why.

Food slips off of metal chopsticks, except in Korea.

socks $1 a pair ... everywhere
We stopped bargaining and Wyona and I headed for home, while Greg stayed back to explore.

We had watched where the taxi drove on the way to the market and were sure we could make it back to the ship.

The difficulty was getting across 8 lanes of traffic with no traffic light to help us – just the big wide striped zebra walk, but when we would put our toe off of the curb, no one stopped.

Two Korean mechanics came to the curb, so we side-stepped over to be behind them and when they walked we walked; when they stopped, we stopped. This is the first time I have been truly committed to walking behind a man  instead of beside him.

The men stopped mid-street to let a big 18 wheeler roll on by, so we stopped.

At the other curb Wyona ran in front of one of them to say Thank You.

She could tell by the look on his face, when he understood that we had been using them for our protection.

The man laughed, said something back to us in Korean and we continued our walk back to the ship.


PS.  We went to another onboard lecture, found out what a treasure JeJu is, and that yes, it does have the on of the new 7 wonders of the natural world.  Then, to our dismay ... we didn't get to dock there the next time.  Perhaps we will return.

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