The day started as normal as any, waking up at 4:30a expecting a pleasant drive up the coast to Pohang, just in time to catch the morning ferry.
Didn’t exactly happen that way… The rain started about 20 minutes in and didn’t stop.
We decided to take cover in Ulsan, after nearly two hours of shivering rain. What we found was a restaurant with no food (or at least not for foreigners) and eventually a convenient store with ramen noodles, as well as many Koreans informing us of “danger” to travel in rain. We trusted our instincts… Press on… So I bought a second rain jacket. One to wear as normal, the other to wear as pants.
Finally after what would normally be just under a 2-hour drive, we passed through Gyung Ju in just over 3.5, rain behind us, heavy winds pushing alongside us, drying off our soaking jeans.
And then, reminiscent of our failed attempt at Julie’s American Idol start back in 2004 (our car broke down 22miles from the Texas border and we spent the weekend in Oklahoma), Julie’s scooter stuttered and eventually died. Close enough to a gas station, she pushed it in and we doubled the 12k back to Kyung Ju to the nearest Scoot-uh byung won (scooter hospital).
After conversations of Canon body types, borrowed lenses, lunch and the afternoon with the mechanics family and friends and W100,000 down the drain, we set off for our destination once again. Just six hours behind schedule. No big deal.
Spent the night in the jim jil bang. For those who don’t know, it’s incredible. A Korean style sauna. One can take care of all ones needs for the low price of W6000: bathe, shower, shave, scrub (by a sweaty ajuma in undies), eat, sleep etc. After a day of chaos, this is where all my wildest dreams came true.
That night at the jimjilbang, we watched the news of the rain- flooding in many parts of Korea. National news. International news. That’s what we drove through.