Kim Wan Ju, Octopus, and sea side town

Trip Start Jan 22, 2006
Trip End May 05, 2006

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Flag of Korea Rep.  ,
Saturday, April 8, 2006

We went to a political rally for Mr. Kim Wang Ju who will be the next governor of the region and will most likely run for president of Korea in the future.

The day started out great. Met at the Rotary division office then off in the van for the rally. We sat high in the bleachers with other Wang Ju supporters and were prompted who to applaud and when to hold our enthusiasm. At some point in the rally, evidently word got out that Kim had some heavy hitting political support - directly from Idaho. Before long photographers went from taking pictures of Kim's Idaho contingence from the floor to coming up high in the stands with still and TV cameras.

We all just sat and smiled and chanted, "Kim Wang Ju, Kim Wang Ju, Kim Wang Ju." It seemed to work because by the end of the day he had won!

Then we stopped in for a pizza lunch and I (Craig) started to not feel well. I could even manage to eat a slice. We loaded into the van again and headed off to the coast to see the market. Along the way I struggled with my stomach. I kept thinking that it would pass but there were moments were my head swam and stomach turned upside down. Finally I had had enough. I had to stop.

Though I had thought that our group was a "tough one," apparently no one snapped any pictures of the moment which would undoubtedly come in handy as bargaining chips :-)

I quickly felt better but everyone know was worried about me. Even the driver seemed to take special care, asking me in Korean something kind and walking at my elbow for awhile in case I slumped to the ground.

We all walked through the market seeing all the various shellfish, octopus, and sea cucumbers. Then we all went back to the van resurrecting the stories we had heard where someone ate a live octopus and it killed him because it climbed back up his throat. Just as we got in the van, someone said, "Mr. Han, I thought you were going to eat octopus!"

Well that was all the motivation he needed. We all got out, went to the fishmonger where Mr. Han proceeded to choke down a live octopus. As it turns out the fishmonger had quite the personality too. In the course of 5 minutes, she had Mr. Han, a friend of hers and Eric all choke down live octopi. Of course they were dipped in hot sauce and chased with a swig of sojoo.

To really get the full effort you have to see this on video.

Off we went again, but this time I went in Mr. Han's Hyundai where I proceeded to sleep for the next several hours. The others went back to the political rally and they will have to fill in the details here. My time in the car was definitely not a GSE highlight.

Eventually we returned to Jeon Ju to eat. I told Mr. Han that it would be best for me to call it an evening. Eric and my host, Cha, came to get me, stopped to get some vitamin drink and some other liquid packet that was all in Korean. When I got home, I took some Pepto and went straight to bed, sleeping some 10+ hours.
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