So in my mind, waking up "early" (9:00 a.m. when you don't have to work until 1:30... c'mon!) to go climb a mountain and use the convenient woodland gym equipment seems pretty ambitious. As it turns out, being out on the trails at 9 means the only people left around are the old folks. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, all the business types are up and at the sportsplex by 5.
Anyway, as this lazy Canadian was huffing up the mountain, I came to a realization about Korean colour. After only a few days in an urban area of Korea, you come to realize that all the cars are either white, black or silver. There is the occasional navy blue pickup truck, but that's about it for variety. Maybe a red car would betray your Communist sympathies. Anyway, any apparent repressed urge for colour is more than made up for in track suits and umbrellas. The russet tones of fallen leaves and bark are splashed with pockets of older ladies in pink, red, yellow and bright blue jumpsuits. It's as if for a few hours every day, the calm of the mountain trails looks like the aftermath of a paint-ball fight. It's hard not to notice.
Sometimes, the old men at the mountain summit will let loose a bellow, deep from the guts, out upon the morning reaches of Hasangdong. I wasn't prepared at all for this today, and thought the guy had gotten tangled in the dubious razor wire, put down on the edge of the path to "prevent" people from attempting what must be a mystifyingly provocative climb down a relatively sheer wooded cliff.
Afterwards, what better way to quench your thirst after an energizing run, than a nice cold can of "Pocari Sweat."
Your imaginations must be having a field day with that one.
Entertaining the image of a overweight Pokémonesque creature forced to dance on the spot in a large vat while its handlers whip at its legs and butt with rice flails— then the sweet nectar which spills from its pores is canned and sold to rejuvenate the masses?
Not that one?
In any case, the unappealingly named beverage is just an electrolyte replenishing drink which totes its "fine osmolality" on the can. That's a claim I'm willing to lend my 75¢ to. The taste is like orange Gatorade.
Fortified with ions, I begin my day.
A Canadian writer teaches English and finds out what it's like to be a foreigner.