What a glorious day for a kite. Or erotic photos. One of those two.
We had finally broken out Felonius, the kite. This sprawling phoenix burst into the calm, azure Phuket skies as we started off our first days on the beach. We were looking for respite and believed we had definitely found it, as the water stretched out before us in sparkling crystal waves and the sand stayed clear, as though thorough and expedient staff were combing it every ten to fifteen minutes while everyone took a smoothie break. It was a beautiful day, we had already slathered ourselves in SPF 1000, and middle-aged ladies in windbreakers jogged up to offer us fresh fruit.
In time, though, we noticed a strange facet about the makeup of Karon beach. It was packed full of white people, which was of course common in tourist-friendly Thailand. But they were all the same kind of white people: statuesque, blonde, tall in some alien way. They spoke perfect English, but would occasionally ask us native speakers for tips or specific words. They were teutonic and bronzed and all went to the gym every single day. We came to realize that we were on the Germans’ beach.
Our boat was just slightly less seaworthy.
When we wake to leave Ubud, Tony does not feel well: he has an encroaching fever which, in the middle of the jungle in south Asia, is certainly worrisome. It could be anything: the food or the mosquitoes or the temperature. Perhaps the angered spirit of the departed King decided to start doling out Balinese curses willy nilly. But, he maintains, we should just brave on. Some time on the tiny, isolated Gili Meno would uplift his spirits!
The route, we thought, would be a pleasant boatride to the Gili islands, off the coast of Bali. Each of us pictured a gentle ferry: an enormous, weighty monstrosity, practically a small island, that would barely sway as it was rocked by the ocean. Boats so big the ocean was rocked by them.
This was not the kind of boat we got on.
With Busan so recently behind me, I had no concept of how to prepare for another long weekend, and thus a holiday snuck up on me. I had no plans, and no real energy to push myself into generating some, and so I faced the idea of being the only lamo hanging around Incheon all by myself. Visions of other Inchers flocking to the various coasts cluttered my head: they were basking in the sun, suckling at the juice of succulent summer fruits right off the vine, drinking luscious, mysterious liquors from unknown provinces, and laughing at me all the while. When would stupid Michael get his shit together? Luckily, my friend Tony, who is only staying for a year and thus wants to squeeze all the life juice he can from Korea, asked me on the Friday if I wanted to hop a bus and go across the country right after school. I did want to, and so off I went.
So this last weekend was a long one in Korea: Children’s day fell on the Thursday, and Buddha’s Birthday fell on the Tuesday. Most schools threw everyone a bone and gave off one of the sandwich days (really nice schools gave both and bestowed a six day weekend), and thus I saw a stretch of vacation time and effed off to the opposing coast of Korea, to glorious Busan. Busan, land of actual beaches, and wildlife and stuff. Land of fog. Land of sewer-gas. The eagle-eyed amongst you may recognize a nautical theme amongst these photos: as a major port town and possessor of the enormous Jagalchi fish market, water-related photography opportunities were thick on the ground. Behold.