The public buses run every 10-15 minutes or so, different numbers for different destinations, of course. Today we hopped on the 401, headed for a “food celebration of some kind” according to the local coffee shop owner’s estimation. Nick, a Canadian, has lived in Korea for 15 years and has had his wonderful little shop for 18 months. I had the most delectable iced cafe au lait, a significant detour from the instant coffee I’ve been enjoying (really, quite good also!)
In true ‘adventure’ fashion, we missed our stop (because no one was getting on there and we didn’t move fast enough or know how to say “stop, please!”) This ended up being awesome, because we got to walk along the riverbanks, which was gorgeous. We discovered a newly constructed walking bridge to get us to the side of the river where, in the distance, we could see 10-12 white tents and gigantic floating multi-colored balloons, clearly, the festival!
As we neared the site, it became clear that it was more like 80-100 small vendor tents, with every kind of delicious food you would want, as well as some you may not, and a huge stage with enormous speakers set up for the crowd’s enjoyment of karaoke. The reason for the festival? The celebration of Liquor. And there were numerous tents full of the stuff, for sure. But, much more interesting to us were the offerings of steamed bugs, larvae, hotdogs wrapped in waffles, corndogs with french fries fried right into the batter, two dozen types of mushrooms, dried fish rolled to look like wraps and oh, yeah, the ganja tent. Adjacent to the tent where our beloved innocent offspring sat painting masks for about a dollar each, was a tent where those with something that ailed them could go find out if marijuana might just cure it.
No, nobody smoked it. They first put a tiny ceramic suction cup on the place on their body that hurt. I saw one on a shoulder, one on a calf, one on the bottom of a foot…then, the vendor sprinkled a little of the green stuff into the cup and lit it. It was worse than any 80’s concert you might have gone to and left sick from. It got so strong I had to walk away and spend some time perusing the Prada bag knockoffs to get my head together.
To protect the identities of the folks inside, I offer you this picture. You can just barely see the drug dealer’s, I mean, vendor’s — tiny cup in his hand, preaching the wonders of the treatment. The stacks you see are all full to the brim with the tiny cups. The tent was always, always full.
To end, I’ll add a few other pics of some of the foods we tried today. But it’s worth mentioning how friendly and warm the people at the celebration were toward us. One man shook all five our our hands, and then, folding his like with a prayer, said, “don’t worry, don’t worry, all kinds.” He meant, you are welcome here.