Saturday, 24 July 2010

Snail Hunt After-Party

Jess and I had a lot plans for this weekend. We were going to go grocery shopping, relax in Pohang, watch the firework festival, go see a movie, and much more… but none of them happened.

The rainy season is really putting a damper on our travels. It can be a beautiful 40oC sunny day outside one minute, and the next minute you’re in a torrential downpour. There’s no way to predict what type of weekend you’re going to have, and the Korean Meteorological Society is far from being accurate (although they did successfully put a weather satellite into space last month… high five Korea!).

Instead of a nice trip to the beach, Jess and I spent another nice night in Andeok (close enough…right?). We watched a movie on the computer, had a superb dinner (homemade poutine!), and then took a nice midnight stroll down to the river. We set ourselves up on the small dam, and talked over the sound of the rushing water around us.

Suddenly, two SUV’s pulled up to the side of the dam, and about a dozen people jumped out. They were all in their thirties and fourties, but they sounded like a bunch of teenagers, giggling and chattering in excitement the whole way down. At the bottom, they approached the water holding spotlights, buckets, nets, and other fishing gear. They said hello to us as they walked by, but our presence didn’t deter them from the fun of their little “midnight excursion.”

They spent most of their time on the far side of the dam where the water wasn’t as deep. One or two people held the spotlights in place, while the third guy wadded through the thigh-deep water, overturning rocks and plucking things off of them. We have no idea what all the others were doing, but we could hear their faint laughter in the distance.

As we later found out, they were hunting for snails. I have seen ajummas collecting snails in the river before, but this was the first time I’ve seen a young, well-dressed group of people rush to the river in SUV’s for a little midnight snail hunt…

We’re still not quite sure why they were hunting them, or what they were planning on doing with their “catch,” but it was it was quite something to watch. If this is the new Andeok after-party scene, count me in!

- Ken

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