I left for Wando island on Saturday morning as a spontaneous weekend trip out of my small city and into an even smaller one. The bus rise took a grand total of 4 hours due to stops in several gu’s along the way. The ride was absolutely beautiful and allowed me to see parts of this country that I may not have seen otherwise. We drove through gangjin, the city where I previously did a temple stay. Since I have only seen the more traditional areas of gangjin, I was completely taken back by the amount of shops and modern architecture there was in the city portion. Then we passed through boseong, the land of the green tea fields, and although I didn’t get to see those, it still was a beautiful area. Then we drove through haenum, and I was so surprised at how hip and modern such a small town is. It reminded me a lot of San Francisco!
Then I watched as we drove over a bridge and into wando and my god was that a sight! The island was so much more mountainous than I could have imagined! Upon arrival, I attempted to book a bus back home for the following day, using the best of my Korean abilities, and I was told that there was no need (and there really wasn’t because I was literally the only person on the bus..). Then some guy with recording equipment came up to me and started talking to me in English and asked if I was a student. I told him I was a teacher and he was so damn surprised. I’m pretty sure he thought I was much younger than I am, even though I still am quite young.
After that little conversation, I was picked up by two of my teacher friends working and living in Wando. Our first stop was to get lunch and drinks, and I was able to impress everyone with my Korean skills (which are actually shitty). Then we went to a beach that was huuuuge and empty! We bought some soju and drank some, although I’m not a drinker so I didn’t have much! One of the people I was with brought his dog. His old ass biggest ass cute ass dog. No disappointment there!
Then we went to wando tower and hung around a beautiful rose garden and started out into a magnificent view.
Then I was able to get some 맛있어 bibimbap finally! I have been craving some real bibimbap for ages! The rest of the night was spent walking around the pier and admiring the city lights. Who knew such a small place could be so bright and alive. I was stared at so much, because wando is not used to many foreigners! In fact, one girl was staring and smiling at me for so long that I called her pretty (in korean) I about near watched her have a heart attack. She absolutely lost it and I’m pretty sure we are going to get married. Haha. Another group of girls smiled at waved at me and I blew them a kiss because I’m a creep and they squealed and swooned like it they were professional fan girls. Boy were staring at me too, not just the girls and my friend asked me if I’m used to it now, and I mean, I guess I don’t notice as much anymore. But when I do see it, for instance two nights ago I walked by a barber shop and the 3 guys inside pointed at me and started talking about me. That shit I do notice and I don’t know what to make of it, but otherwise I just hope they’re not judging me!
We got to the apartment at around midnight after walking along the beach. Then we woke up, went to a cafe where we got some amazing coffee and pet a dog who had just had puppies. Near the cafe was a stairway up the mountain,and as mountains are my calling I was immediately drawn to it. We walked up, I went almost to the top of the mountain before realizing it was just a random trail. I would have finished it (and I wanted to) but my friend is not a fellow avid hiker so alas we went back down and went shopping and walking along the same pier.
Coming back, I was the only person on the bus at first and the drive was even more brilliant as last time, due to the lack of fog. I love being able to spend my weekends in new cities that would have been unknown to me otherwise.