3 (Sat) July 2010
at Ong-Am Paradise
-Jangbong, Bukdo, Ongjin, Incheon, Korea-
with MtG and members of Backcountry Camping
Our original destination was Deokjeok-Do, a small island off the western coast of Incheon, selected by the group’s leader specifically because it’s famous for the large contingent of American expats who pilgrimage there around this time every year and camp out on the beach to celebrate. On this Independence Day weekend, even bigger crowds were expected. It would’ve been an opportunity for cross-cultural (camping culture) exchange, with me serving as ambassador.
Unfortunately, heavy fog that morning prevented the boat from taking off, forcing us and a lot of white people with coolers and sleeping bags to make alternative arrangements. We settled on another island Jangbong-Do, which required a shorter ferry ride unaffected by the fog. I don’t know what the white people did.
In the United States, July 4th is one of the biggest days of the year for backyard barbecue. That means steaks, chicken, ribs, burgers, hotdogs – the best that American cuisine has to offer.
Although I never felt particularly patriotic while living in the States, absence has made the heart grow fonder. Last year, on Independence Day, I was buying a beer for my college fraternity buddy TJ, an officer in the US Army who was stationed at the time in Dongducheon (동두천) near the DMZ, and went so far as to raise a ridiculously corny toast like, “Thanks for protecting Korea with your service!” This year, I commemorated the occasion by sharing a taste of Americana with some Korean friends.
I prepared chili-cheese dogs. The chili had been prepared at home and reheated on-site. The (cheddar) cheese was grated on-site. The hotdogs – Hebrew Nationals, of course -were boiled. The buns were steamed over the boiling hotdogs. I also brought 2 bottles of Sam Adams and 1 bottle of Jack Daniels. A complete success.