Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Cultural Exhibit Grabs Some Grub(s)
Saturday, with achy knees and blistered feet, I bought a sweet mint green bike.
Sunday, I rode 10 km south of Chungju-si to Jungangtap and the gardens at the Chungju Museum. The road featured a wide, slow river on the right and rice paddies on the left.
Just before the museum was a botanical garden where I got my first glimpse of a lotus garden. Lotus leaves are about 1.5 feet wide and stand about 6 feet tall. From the garden, I saw an old Korean man bent over the river's edge gathering some local delicacy from ankle deep mud. The garden path led me along the river to Jungangtap. Jungangtap is an ancient pagoda atop a mound. It was originally built to mark the center of the kingdom. Now, it's the center of a sculpture garden and several roofed platforms where families picnic. The museum itself had some cool pottery and a couple of old hanbok (traditional dress) but was otherwise lost on me as it was entirely in Korean.
Hungry and thirsty (it's very muggy here), I went to grab some grub. I entered a small cafe where my best attempt at placing an order was to shrug my shoulders at the waitress. She brought a fried corn pancake with veggies, kim chi, and rice wine. In the cafe, I was approached by several Koreans who wanted to take pictures with me and offer me maps of Chungju. Appartently, I was one of the exhibits because, like everywhere else I've been so far, I have been a muched-stared-at cultural oddity. Still hungry, I went to an outdoor vender that was selling skewered meat and toasted grubs. The grubs tasted like nuts. (-: