Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Plan K

In fifteen days I will be aboard a ferry bound for Korea, adventure and really wild things. Trouble is, the schedule is, as yet, a little unclear. Lets take a look:

27 Dec: Board ferry at Osaka Port, clutching two six-packs of beer.

28 Dec: Disembark ferry at Pusan, Korea, clutching head and making moaning noises that come out shaped like bubbles.


02 Jan: Board return ferry at Pusan, clutching sanity like a flimsy plank of wood in an uproarious sea.

03 Jan: Disembark ferry at Osaka, clutching any items of interest I may have managed to "liberate" from the boat during my customary drunken kleptomaniac binge.

The sharpest eyes amongst you may have noticed the gaping hole in the middle which represents the question: what am I actually going to do in Korea?

And here's the problem: I haven't a clue. To be more precise we haven't a clue; I am, after all, going as part of a non-fantastic four, in which the role of "the human torch" will be played by a man from Philadelphia.

Rather than drawing up a travel itinerary, I have thus far busied myself with memorising the Korean Hangeul script. Having been hammering Japanese into my thick skull for the last three years or so, the collection of fruity squiggles by which the Koreans communicate has not been as daunting as might have been supposed. Indeed, I can now haltingly pronounce most of the mumbo-jumbo in the back of my Lonely Planet: Seoul guidebook and, occasionally, it even matches up to one or other of the five words of Korean I actually know.

The two bonuses of learning Hangeul before going to Korea as I see it:

1. Should there be no English translation available on the menu, we may not be entirely stuck.

2. I won't get a migraine from looking at signs, buildings, etc. That used to happen a lot in my first few weeks in Japan.


The important bit (hopefully you've read this far, bless you)

This is the part where I chuck the baton over to you, the reader: if anyone has any fantastic suggestions for what we should do in Korea (test-drive the latest Hyundai, get take-out at a pet shop, etc), LET'S HEAR THEM. Even if it's just something you remember reading in the Guardian travel section in 1991.

I'm waiting...

Develop nuclear weapons?

Test them on moles?

Much Love,


I challenge you to try and pass yourself off as North Korea's Kim Il Jong. You'll need a natty tracksuit and a pair of shades.

For reference see: http://www.kenston.k12.oh.us/khs/tplookalike_new/kim%20jong%20il.jpg

I wouldn't worry to much about your hair, it always looked a bit like his anyway.
Sod THAT- I would like to come back in one piece.
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