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Spring is Springing

Ever Evolving Primate: Travel, photography, food, cooking, and just about anything else.: Spring is Springing

Friday, April 13, 2012

Spring is Springing

Spring in Korea is a huge blast of color on a fairly bleak and desolate canvas. It really blew up over the past couple of weeks. We saw our first cherry blossoms of 2012 about 2 weeks ago on a dog walk for the animal shelter, and on Wednesday we went to Gyeongju to see an easy to get to set of destination-worthy cherry blossoms. The weather wasn't perfect, but it was really nice.

Let me tell you a little bit more about Wednesday. It was election day in Korea, so all of us public school teachers had a day off. A few of us met bright and early at DongDaegu station and took the first train over to Gyeongju. At a speed of 275km/h it only takes about 20 minutes to get to Gyeongju. We met another friend who lives in Busan at the downtown train station and wouldn't you know it, the sky opened up and it started raining. We needed somewhere indoors-ish to go, so we made election day erection day and headed to a famous Gyeongju site, the Gyeongju Love Castle.

How do I describe this in a tasteful manner? Hmm. If Gyeongju Love Castle needs to be described in a tasteful way I guess I can't really describe it. Here's a comparison: Did you by any chance see that Portlandia sketch where they "put a bird on it?" If not you can watch it right here:

Now imagine some things for me here before I move on. You need to imagine a turtle, a frog, a battleship, samurai sword, and a bunch of door handles. Now, instead of putting a bird on it, put a weiner on it. No, not the kind of weiner you put on a bun with chili and cheese. It was quite a display. In the first building there were all sorts of sexually explicit paintings, then the path led you through a penis statue garden, into a sexually explicit hardcore porn garden, right along into a smaller gallery with a hilarious set of clay statues of various scenes you might imagine from say, American Pie movies (a flasher, boys dry humping each other whilst getting humped by dogs, boys frantically trying to turn off a porn movie as their mother opens the apartment door, and so on). From there you take a magical walk through a mock-up of a Japanese "accessory" shop, and a real Korean one (if you need penis shaped salt and pepper shakers I know where you can get some). Then comes one of the most disturbing things of the whole experience, a walkway through a forest where they were playing "lovemaking sounds from around the world." Apparently the world is comprised of the US, Japan, and Korea. Then a small cafe where you can watch soft-core porn and nom on a hot dog.

It was a lot of laughs. I don't know what else to say about it in a public forum. I mean, it was full of laughs from start to finish. There was nothing really too incredibly graphic I guess, because one family was there with their two small children. Okay yeah right, what the hell were they thinking? Those kids are going to be scarred for life...and what was the deal with all the references to sex with dogs? But anyway, if you're more interested in this topic I'd recommend going to Gyeongju and checking out the Love Castle.

We went back into town on the bus and popped off at a great little pond surrounded by some really dense cherry blossom action. Our friends decided that they needed to shoot engagement photos for us so we handed over our cameras and had a super silly photo shoot. If you need to see those I'd recommend heading over to my flickr page. Here's the spot we spent a bit of time before grabbing lunch.

As you can tell, it was quite pretty. We had a quick lunch (I had a donkatsu, haven't had one of those in a while, and it was delicious) before walking along the lake in Gyeongju and back to town. We caught the 5:30 train back to Daegu (this time the slow train) and got back to Daegu just in time for dinner. We were pretty tired after that, and a quick shower put me right into bed for the night. Not bad for a day off in the middle of the week.

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