Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Standing on a River

The very first thing I am going to do is get a reason, or an excuse out of the way. If you believe what I say, then to you it's a reason, if you don't it's an excuse. Either way, this is the story:

As anyone who reads this blog knows, we have been pretty good at doing updates on the blog, which given schedules and happenings is not always an easy thing to do. The last month or so has been particularly bad with regards to any news from the ROK. As Claudia mentioned in a previous post, she had to rush back to South Africa, due to medical issues in her family. Luckily though, things have taken a sharp turn for the better, and Claudia will be returning to me here in Korea in a couple of days. YAY!

So Claudia had some big issues, which is why she has been struggling to do any updates on the blog. But why have I not done anything...? Quite simple and straightforward really. About 3 days after Claudia left, I fractured two bones in my wrist while snowboarding. Joy of joys. So for the last 3 1/2 weeks I have been stuck with a massive splint on my arm, which was kindly dubbed 'the claw' by my friends. The 'Claw' made it incredibly difficult to sit at a keyboard properly, and aside from the pain, made typing anything near substantial a very difficult and tedious event. Happily for me, the Claw has been retired and will now be serving duty as...well, nothing really. My hand feels 100 times better, although not 100% yet, and I am able to type again. Another YAY!

Buy it or not, that is the reason for lack of updates from my side. So here is a new update.

About 2 weeks ago, I was invited by my co-teacher and friend Sunny to go fishing in Jinbu. Fishing is not something I'm crazy about, and in my eyes it is an activity best performed wearing no t-shirt, having a cold beer in my hand and sitting on a riverbank in the South African summer sun. This was a little different.

A view of the river

In the clothing department, I had to don more than just a pair of shorts. The extra itmes included a pair of long thermal underwear, long jeans, thick socks, a long thermal vest, a long sleeved t-shirt, a t-shirt, another t-shirt, a jersey, and a thick winter jacket. So the attire was a little different, OK.

Was I holding a cold beer in my hand? Nope, the ice cold beer was replaced with a very rapidly cooling cup of hot....oh wait, no it was hot, now it's gone cold, coffee.

Was I standing on a river bank? No. I was standing on a river, a frozen river.
So it's a little different. Was it awesome. Hell yes.

The technique involved holding a little 'fishing rod' (more of a little metal rod with some fishing line) above a pre made hole, and bobbing it up and down, in an attempt to convince the fish that the lure is indeed a living creature. Did it work? In my case, no, I obviously do not have the motion down to a T yet, but there was definitely no shortage of fish being caught all around us. Sunny and her friend Veronica didn't catch anything either, but it was all made up for by a boy from Sunny's church that was with us, who caught 4 fish! It felt like he didn't stop pulling them out.

Sunny and Veronica showing off their technique

The champion fisherman

After the fish had been caught, people had the option of simply taking them home, or going to a nearby restaurant, that sells all manner of fish related dishes, or for a very minimal fee (3000 Won or about R20) they would cut up the fish for you, so you can enjoy it raw, with some veggies on the side and some dipping sauces. Our mind was made up...the latter choice was ours, and what a good choice it was. Pieces of raw Trout dipped in a mixture of Soy Sauce and Sesame seed oil...heaven.

The raw fish...mmmmm

A spicy fish soup

Anyone coming to or living in Korea should really do this. The joy of spending a day in the cold (dressed appropriately, of course), enjoy the Korean winter sun, and tasting a fish you yourself (or a friend) caught is fantastic. Definitely worth the time and effort and a highly recommended winter activity!

Somebody's catch of the day

Veronica doing her best!

Veronica and Sunny in beautiful Jinbu


Dan said...

Hey Oli! Awesome pics, love the blog. Sounds like you had a great time fishing. Looks like fun. Damn I miss snowboarding. Sorry about the wrist dude, glad thats getting better. Good to hear Claudia's family is getting better. Again love the blog — keep it up.

All the best from SA

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