Honey bread

Honey_bread

I need to set the record straight having posted several times about the more challenging aspects of Korean cuisine. As well as all the options to eat anything that comes from the sea, and the kimchi that brings a tingle to the lips and the odd bead of sweat on the forehead, Jeju has an abundance of cafes that are much appreciated. They’re a recent phenomenon on Jeju, I understand, and are a real treat. There are many places in which you can look out over the sea through a picture window and enjoy a drink and a cake or a panini or a baguette.

A common option is honey bread – as in the photo above with some chocolate brownie – a thick slice of sweet bread, topped with cream or ice cream and other agreeable ingredients. Or for something savoury, how about a salad pizza from the pizza restaurant in Moseulpo?

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Fish lunch

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I’ve said it before but they do like sea food on Jeju, fresh and of all kinds. So lunch at Songaksan yesterday started with half a dozen abalone, still wriggling in their shells, together with a chilli dip. The waitress quickly understood that we weren’t going to contemplate eating them so brought them back cooked a few minutes later. That’s still a bit outside my comfort zone.

Next up was the cooked dried fish of indeterminate type. That’s more like it even if there wasn’t actually much meat to be had. And don’t think about all the flies that will have explored it while it was drying.

Fish_lunch_2Those were just the starters: the main dish was the cutlass fish, over half a metre long although the picture below doesn’t show it. Don’t eat the head the waitress said, unnecessarily. The rest of it was very tasty.

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Seotal oreum 4.3 site

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I made my first reference to the Jeju 4.3 Massacre in a post about Goneul-dong, on the north coast, earlier this month. Seotal oreum, another 4.3 site, is much closer to home, adjacent to land that used to be the Japanese airfield between Museulpo and Songaksan. There’s a memorial (photo above) which appears to record names of the murdered. Again, I can do no better than quote the English translation of the notice. You’ll have to replace the word ‘compulsively’ with ‘compulsory’:

This place used to be the largest arsenal built by compulsively mobilized people in Jeju during the Pacific War, but it was blasted by the U.S. armed forces after the liberation from Japan.

The Korean War broke out on June 25, 1950. Department of Interior Security exploited the abrogated preventive detention law that was once used by Japan to suppress our nation, and gave every police department instructions to detain and execute blacklisted people and unsavoury elements. Accordingly, Moseulpo Police station had preventively detained and closely watched 344 people until government forces stationed in Moseulpo massacred approximately 210 people (20 on July 16 and 193 on August 20 1950) without legal process and buried them in secret. Civil access to this area had been limited until exhumation was allowed in spring 1956. This is the hideous spot described above.

The two pits in the photo below are the sites of the burials.

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Jeju folk village

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I’ve published photos of dilapidated traditional Jeju houses before but they’re being preserved in the Jeju folk village. It’s well worth a visit; it’s an interesting mixture of museum and living village and it’s not always obvious which are private houses and which are open to the public. Having said that, some of the buildings have rows of benches for visitors and local products for sale, both indications that the village caters for tour buses. And although I’ve posted photos which avoid 21st century details, there are plenty of modern houses and telegraph wires, and the buses need somewhere to park, of course.

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Wando fish market

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It’s been a while since I posted any pictures of the seafood from this part of the world, so here’s a reminder – I wouldn’t like anyone to think that they no longer exist. The first four were taken within a few metres of each other in the fish market in Wando, at the southern tip of peninsular Korea and a three-hour ferry ride from Jeju. You’ll just have to imagine the smell.

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And here’s one from the drying nets, arranged along the quayside, covered with fish and squid and catching the warm October sun. Naturally, the fish attract the flies as they dry but I’m sure they’ll be OK by the time they’re cooked.

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Natural dyes

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I posted a photo of persimmon-dyed cloth drying in the grass on the route of Olle 17, and here are some examples of the final product in the Jeju 5-day market. These are clothes that are often seen on local people and the cloth can be somewhat coarse, designed to last when worn by the working man or woman. They’re not all working clothes – on some, the cloth is finer, the cut more careful and details have been added that make them really quite stylish.

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Hot cakes

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This is Jeju 5-day market earlier today, located in Jeju City and the biggest on Jeju. There are stalls selling snacks to the market customers and there’s something for all tastes – sweet or savoury, hot or cold; you can watch a pancake being prepared for you or fill a basket with different cookies to take away. We had the tempura vegetables from the stall in the photo at the bottom, but didn’t try the tempura chillies. It’s all delicious and a few thousand Korean Won will buy more than enough.

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Left behind

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It’s back to Olle 18 for this post. I took these photos last weekend and they’re reminders of how Jeju will have been just a few decades ago. These are traditional Jeju houses, stone-built, thatched, built from materials readily available. Some are still maintained and lived-in but many aren’t; the three photos here all include the blue address plaques but I don’t believe the postman calls at the top and bottom ones any more.

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Goneul-dong, deserted village

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Here’s a subject I haven’t written about before: The Jeju 4.3 Uprising or Massacre. I’ve had opportunities but didn’t know where to start; I still don’t understand it well. What is clear is that many thousands of Jeju people were killed in fighting or were summarily executed by the South Korean authorities, many dumped in unmarked graves. The reason? The real or perceived threat of communist sympathisers on Jeju in the uncertain years after the Japanese had left after the Second World War, when the division of the Korean Peninsular was becoming a long-term reality. ‘4.3’ refers to April 3rd, 1948, the nominal date of the start of the Uprising, which lasted until May 1949.

The photo above is taken on the north coast of the island, just a few kilometres east of Jeju City. The background shows a typical modern Jeju settlement; the foreground shows the remains of the site of Goneul-dong village, as does the photo below. I can do no better than quote from the notice erected to record the site:

Goneul-dong was located in the west coast of Hwabuk 1-dong, Jeju City. Before the  April Third Uprising, in ‘Inside Goneul’ at the east bottom of Byeoldo Peak, there were 22 dwellings, in ‘Middle Goneul’ located between the two branches of Hwabuk Stream, 17 dwellings,  and in ‘Outside Goneul’, 28 dwellings.

On January 4 and 5, 1949, Goneul-dong was put to the torch and has been deserted since. Around 3-4 p.m. on January 4, 1949, one platoon from the 2nd Regiment of Korean Constabulary laid siege to Goneul-dong. They rounded up all the villagers. They took approximately 10 young men to the coast and executed them. Then, they set fire to all 22 dwellings in Inside Goneul and all 17 dwellings in Middle Goneul.

On January 5, soldiers killed some villagers who were confined in nearby Hwabuk Elementary School at ‘Mosalbul’, on the east coast of Hwabuk-dong. Then, they burned all 28 dwellings in Outside Goneul. Since then, Goneul-dong has been deserted.

And according to Wikipedia, “For almost fifty years after the uprising, it was a crime punishable by beatings, torture and a lengthy prison sentence if any South Korean even mentioned the events of the Jeju uprising.”

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Jeju trail run 2014

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The first race I did on Jeju was the 2013 edition of the Jeju Trail Run, one year ago; that was one of the toughest races I’ve done for a long time. This year’s race had the same venue, the same course, set on the eastern flank of Mt Halla and over two oreums. The weather was suitably grey and stormy, giving the views over the moor-like landscape a bleakness reminiscent of  some parts of  upland UK. The swish of the blades of the wind turbines in the strong winds added to the atmosphere.

Paths through the woods with roots and rocks are a challenge and other runners seem to deal with them better than I do. The same is true of the steep climb of the oreums and the equally steep descent on the other side. It’s just as well I can recover lost ground on the relatively flat and smooth sections of the trail. Anyway, I was four minutes quicker than last year and quite happy with that.

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