More Tong Yeong

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Tue 15 Apr 2014 12:29

Alongside Tong Yeong
Wind: North east F3 gentle breeze
Weather: sunny, mild

There has not been much of interest to report over the last couple of days, which in many respects is a good thing.

Yesterday I caught a bus to the centre of town to find a global bank where I could get some cash, and also to fax my pre-arrival form through to the Japanese authorities. I certainly do not want to upset anyone else who has the power to ruin my day. Once these important tasks were completed, and now that I had a map with which to navigate by, I walked most way back to the boat, exploring the city and its nooks and crannies.

Today's primary mission was to find a supermarket and buy some fresh supplies. Once again I walked most of the way, exploring side streets and looking out for interesting sights. Tong Yeong's main activity seems to be ship building and repair work, with large cranes and other heavy machinery occupying a section of the waterfront. But what caught my attention for the day was something on a much smaller scale, and something a lot less technological, namely women scratching through the mud flat digging for cockles. It looked such excruciating work, and so primitive, that I stood and watched for quite some time. They were standing on a mud flat that extended some ways out into the bay, maybe a dozen women, and one man, bent over at right angles with small trowels turning over the mud and picking out the small cockles that they managed to unearth. Further out into the bay one woman stood on a small bank which would no doubt have been covered over at high tide. I presume a shallow submerged spit led out to it, for she had no boat to hand. She looked like she was harvesting sea weed rather then cockles. I could not help but wonder how the economics of this activity worked in the modern world, for in my wanderings it certainly seemed that most of the city was modern, with most of the children bearing smart phones and paying little attention to what was going on beyond their small pixelated screens.

Anyway, enough of my meandering thoughts on Tong Yeong for now. Now that I have managed to get into South Korea without ending up in jail, I find that I have a permit for ninety days, so I am tempted to remain for a while and explore its islands further. Then again, I like the sound of returning to Japan, finding somewhere cheap to tie up, and staying put for while, maybe getting a better feel for a community of people, rather than all this wandering around.

I will make up my mind tomorrow.

All is well.