Thursday, March 31, 2011

Write Your Own Lunch Pun - Day Four

Lunch is getting stranger. I'm now almost certain the lunch ladies are trying to scare or confuse me into shutting this thing down. Think I'm paranoid? Check out today's offering. . .

Okay, so my phone battery died and I had to improvise. Also, all my students now think I'm weird(er) because I sat alone writing notes and drawing in my diary during lunch. Whatever, I'm pretty sure the lunch ladies are going to kill me before the end of the week, so now's not the time to be worrying about what other people think. 

To be fair, my shitty MS Paint skills make this lunch look worse than it actually was. But only a bit worse. Let's start with the rice at the bottom right. Today's rice had some small purple grains mixed in, which dye the whole thing purple. They also give it a mushiness and a sweet, slightly fruity flavour. It's okay, for something which is pretty much an exercise in making rice worse.

Next to the rice is today's soup. Let's get a closer look:
The broth is quite good for the first few mouthfuls, but it gets old fast and turns into that same fart soup from the other day. The noodles were good, but of course they are overcooked and have taken on the fart flavour from the soup. Same goes for the veges.

Above the soup is a savory Korean pancake called pajeon. This stuff can be tasty, but it's often served cold which makes it clammy and gross. It can also be undercooked (shocking I know), and quite doughy. This one is medium-shitty, lukewarm with a weirdly sticky texture. It's still the best pancake I've had at school, but that's not saying much. Pajeon often has squid or other seafood, plus spring onion and various other veges. Today's one is a bit boring in comparison, with only spring onion and some mysterious red vege.
The most notable thing about today's lunch is the absence of cabbage kimchi. Clearly this had been done on purpose to make me look stupid for saying that we have it everyday. The sky isn't all falling though, we did have radish kimchi, to the left of the pancake. The red spray paint is the red pepper paste. I actually really like this stuff, maybe because we don't have it too often. The radish cubes are crunchy and they have a nice level of chili and vinegar. 

Today's protein is at the top right. It's tiny eggs. I don't know what birds (I hope they're birds, please, Korea, let them be birds) lay these, but they taste pretty similar to hens' eggs. They're that colour because they've been either preserved or cooked in a brown liquid, I'm really not sure which. I'm leaning towards preserved, since they have a mushy, slightly rotten tasting yolk. I have never tasted the liquid before, but I forced myself to try it for the sake of this blog. It looks a lot like coffee, a very dark brown with a pale brown cremer. It really just tastes like what it is: a very thin, very salty soy sauce with mushy egg debris in it. 

Here's today's Random Korean Insanity, a doll sitting in the window of a shop in the bus terminal that sells mobile phone cases.
Today's RKI should really be the fact that there are ALOT of shops in Korea that sell only mobile phone cases and creepy dolls.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Fed Up with Lunch - Day Three

Today I was at a middle school out in the countryside. Every second Wednesday this school serves a decidedly average bi bim bap. It's okay, but compared to a good bi bim bap it's pretty lousy. This was the off week which means things get far worse. Where other schools have varied their offerings (within a narrow range) over the time I've been here, this school serves bi bim bap one week and something they should be embarrassed to call "curry" the next. 

Here's a photo of today's lunch:

See that thing on the bottom left that looks like someone burnt a very specific part of my portion of rice? That's curry. apparently.

I can't quite bring myself to describe the "curry" yet, so let's start at the top left and work our way around. First is kimchi, back with a vengeance after yesterday's mysterious absence. The kimchi here is actually pretty good; it's only moderately spicy and somewhere between fresh and mature so it's not too overpowering. Maybe being dropped from the team gave kimchi the wake-up call it neede to sort it's life out and stop being so gross.

Next is a mixture of broccoli and a weird chewy Korean mushroom served with a vinegary red pepper sauce. As expected the broccoli is overcooked, but it's still nice to see a green vegetable that hasn't been completely mangled. The mushrooms aren't great, but I can't really blame the lunch ladies for that. They're a variety I've only seen here and they need to be cooked for a long time or they're impossibly tough. Unfortunatley once the toughness is cooked out the flavour is long gone. The whole thing is picked up by the sauce, which is spicy and tangy, and also good with squid or octopus.

Before you ask, yes the next thing is a banana. Just a regular banana. I never thought I'd be so excited about a fruit I don't even really like, but school food will do that to you I suppose. To be fair this school did once serve mandarins, so this is not entirely unprecedented. 

On the bottom right is a bowl of egg soup. This sounds - and indeed looks - revolting.

Those floating things that look like they fell off the arm of someone with some sort of horrible sin disease are actually tofu. The general murkiness is egg. The egg is swirled through the soup as it cooks. I'm not sure how else to describe that. Maybe I'm just bad at describing stuff. But my school is bad at making lunch, so I guess we're even. This abomination is boiled in seawater for several weeks and served lukewarm. It says something about the "curry" that it's worse than this "soup".

Much worse. Take a close look at this stuff.

It looks like someone drank a bunch of petrol, ate a bag of frozen mixed veges, and threw up on a bed of rice. It tastes slightly worse than this. The lumpy bits I think were once potato, but could equally be made of rice, soy beans or just about anything else. They give the dish its distinctive flavour, which is a bit like a turd rolled in dirt. The sauce has the texture of paste and absolutely no flavour to speak of. There's also a browner version of this thing, which is the same except that it looks and tastes browner.

I'm back at my main school for the next two days. I'm not sure what they'll be serving, but they'll have to try pretty hard to beat today for sheer revulsion. 

Here's today's Random Korean Insanity, two flavours of ice cream: 

Almond in Snow

Red Carpet Cheesecake
I'm allergic to snow so I couldn't try the first one, but the Red Carpet Cheesecake was surprisingly good.

Lunch: The Breakfast of Champions - Day Two

So after I bitched and moaned in Part One about how much I hate school food, my Tuesday elementary goes and pulls off the unthinkable: a tasty school lunch. Here it is:

Let's start at the top left. That's a salad. It might only have lettuce and sweet potato shoots in it, but at this point I'll take what I can get. It also has much less red pepper paste than yesterday's lettuce and cucumber thing. 


I should point out that having lettuce two days in a row has never happened before. Lettuce is like a once-a-week-and-only-if-we-behave-ourselves type deal. 

Next to this is a radish kimchi, not amazing but okay. It really just tastes like radishes with red pepper, heaps of salt and some vinegar. In another first, we didn't have cabbage kimchi today. At all. I'm beginning to suspect that someone at one of my schools is reading the blog. Or, since I didn't post about Monday's lunch until after I'd eaten this one, reading my thoughts. This is much more likely than it being a coincidence. 

Below the salad and the kimchi is the rice, once again plain with some grains in it. Nothing special but noting to complain about either. Next to the rice is a big bowl of kimchi jigae, a stew made from kimchi, bean sprouts, tofu and thinly sliced pork. Anna makes this at home (recipe here) and it's real good. It's also available at plenty of Korean restaurants and is usually pretty tasty. The school version is obviously not as good as these, but it's not bad. 

Once again it seems the lunch ladies are trying to make me look stupid by making the only edible stew served at any of my schools the day after I say that all the stews are revolting. But there's something else that makes me think they must be messing with me. Look closely at the kimchi jigae.


Did you see that? There's freaking chopped up hot dogs in there! I don't know what game the lunch ladies (they are all ladies, since you asked) are playing, but I think I'd better back off with the lunch hate. 

Luckily, I saved my favourite thing about this lunch till last. It would perhaps be too much to hope that the round potato-ey things at the top right were in fact potatoes, and not some sort of horrible rice cake coated in slime. But potatoes they are, and really delicious ones at that. They taste like they've been baked, although I don't see how that's possible since the school kitchens (and many Korean homes) don't have ovens. 


However they do it, the potatoes are soft and fluffy on the inside and slightly chewy on the outside. They have some kind of soy glaze on them which is surprisingly tasty. 

So I guess today's lunch makes yesterday's post seem stupid in all kinds of ways, but I don't really mind since I got to eat a pleasant meal at school, something which is as rare as me taking a second helping of school lunch, which I did with those potatoes.                                             

Here's today's Bonus Korean Insanity, two books from the English room at my Tuesday school.


Note the strategically placed barcode sticker.
 I haven't read Poo Cake, but I can tell you that the title Holding Poop at Night is neither a mistranslation nor a misunderstanding.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Gutsfull of Lunch - Day One

At public schools in Korea all the students and staff are provided with lunch. I think the students get it for free, but we get charged about two bucks a day, which is deducted from our paychecks each month. Unfortunately this means choosing between having school food everyday and having it never. There are days when the never option looks mighty tempting, but at the end of the day I'm just too lazy to bring lunch. This week I'm going to write about my lunch every day, so you can get an idea of what we eat. Because that might be interesting. Or something.

Lunch always includes rice and some kind of soup. The rice will sometimes have some grains mixed in, but often it's just plain white rice. It's tasty enough, but it's not exactly super-healthy to have a big plate of empty carbs in the middle of a full day of sitting around on the internet working really hard. There are a few varieties of soup, but it's usually a salty seaweedy broth, salty seafood broth, or salty chicken stock containing some mixture of seafood, tofu, and radish. There's generally some unidentified chunks in there too, which are about as delicious as they sound.

Sometimes the soup is replaced by a stew, which is always revolting. And always salty. That's not hyperbole either, it has literally never been good. It's usually meat or fish in a gross red sauce with assorted shapes of chewy rice cake. Blergh. Rounding out the meal is some kind of pickled vege, or if we are very lucky some raw cucumber in red pepper paste with sesame seeds. There's also some sort of protein, quite often fish since we live near the coast. It can be really good, but more often than not it isn't.

Last but most certainly not least is our mandatory serving of Korea's national food, kimchi. Standard kimchi is cabbage leaves preserved (read: allowed to slowly rot) in red pepper paste. It's good when it's fresh, but most Koreans prefer the aged stuff, which is what we have at school every day. We also have other kinds of kimchi (made from radish or other vegetables) as our vegetable item some days, but the cabbage one is always there. The one time we didn't have cabbage kimchi as one of the main side dishes there was a secret stash of it for anyone who needed a fix between their breakfast (yes, breakfast) and dinner servings.

As you might've guessed, I tend to avoid the soup/stew and the protein, but this week, dear readers,  I'll be eating all of it so you don't have to. Because that's how much you guys mean to me.

Here's today's menu at my main school, a middle school with about four hundred students.

Sorry about the low quality photo, I took it with my (shitty Korean) phone camera.
As you can see, today's lunch was white rice, something that looks like a salad, kimchi, blurry mystery protein, and soup with unidentified chunks. The rice had some grains mixed in - maybe barley? - I don't know my grains. It was tasty; I think the rice is better here than back home. I try to keep my portion sensible, since it's only lunch. Most of the teachers and lots of the middle school students will fill that rectangular compartment that it's in. It might be hard to get an idea of scale, but if you pile that thing up (and plenty of them do) it holds about as much rice as I would cook for dinner for my whole family.

Here's a close up of today's soup. 

If that looks to you like an unappetising broth with some mysterious chunks of something hideous in it, then congratulations. You know as much about this soup as I do, and I've eaten it on several occasions. The only thing you don't know is what it tastes like. I've struggled with how best to explain its unique flavour, and come to the conclusion that it tastes like farts. I can't really say any more, except that the things floating in it are chewy, and they also taste like farts.

On the top right is today's mystery protein. It's actually small sausages in something resembling sweet and sour sauce. It's not awful, but I won't be finishing my small portion. The tiny sausages are a recurring theme in bad Korean food; they seem fine at first, but they have a weird aftertaste that I for one can't stand.

Next we have kimchi. My school seems to have found a barrel of extra mature, extra spicy stuff that's been sitting in someone's basement for a few years. It's incredibly sour tasting, to the point that it's sometimes a bit fizzy with fermentation. This is not wonderful news since it's often the only vegetable on offer, so I feel obliged to eat decent amount. 

At the top left is a mixture of lettuce and cucumber covered in red pepper paste and sesame seeds. I think it's illegal to serve veges in Korea without cooking them to death or smothering them in way too much flavouring. This stuff is normally okay, which by Korean school food standards makes it the greatest thing ever, but today's version has some kind of strange brown jelly mixed in. It doesn't really have a taste, but the texture is not appealing.

I hope you don't get the impression reading this that I hate Korean food, I actually like most of it. But I hate school food. Maybe tomorrow will be better. Spoiler alert, since it's now Tuesday night:: it was!

Presented without comment, here's today's Bonus Korean Insanity, from a poster in one of my elementary schools:

Stay tuned for day two.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

James Spader is a Robot Paedophile

Next week my middle school students are doing a listening test. To prepare them for it my co-teacher gave them a practice test, and then I went over a key point from each question. This all sounds fine, and it was, except that the two characters doing the speaking were creepy as. The woman, in true stained white singlet wearing, Lion-Red-out-of-a-can drinking form, is named "Woman". How she managed to find time to record this in between having babies and cooking "Man" some eggs I don't know. Her character is not nearly as disturbing as Man, but she has her moments. Take this exchange:

Man: Who runs faster? 
Woman: I'm running a business.

I'm about to go and ask my co-teacher if I can have a copy of the sound file, if that doesn't work you will just have to take my word that it's the most sarcastic conversation you're ever likely to hear. [Edit: She only had a copy on cassette tape, but 1987 called and they wanted their technology back. You'll just have to read the sarcasm into my transcripts.] Not only is Woman chained to the stove barefoot and pregnant, she's also the sole breadwinner for the family while Man sits around plotting his various horrifying adventures (more on that later). On top of this he constantly taunts her with his ability to catch her should she ever try to escape. 

The man, who sounds like a robotic James Spader, has up until this point been referred to only as "Man". This changes in the next section when he calls a travel agent to change his flight to Los Angeles, presumably to visit his secret other family. It should be mentioned that the woman he speaks to at the travel agency is clearly the same Woman from before, but she still asks him his name. He tells her it's James White.

All this is really just the abusive tip of a massively awful iceberg. Remember how Man/James sounds like James Spader? I mean Boston Legal era Spader. The man is at least forty. This is why it's so disturbing when he turns up in question 6 pretending to be a high school student. 

M: Hello, everyone. My name is James. I am 16 years old, just like you. My hobbies are reading science fiction books and making plastic model spaceships. I have a lot of interest in space science, and I want to become a space scientist when I grow up. I hope to get to know you very well make a lot of friends here.

Get to know you very well and make a lot of friends here. It's like a terrifying remake of Never Been Kissed with a creepier version of Alan Shore as Drew Barrymore, Nic Cage as the high school principal, and Eddie Murphy as everyone else. I never actually saw that movie so this might not work exactly. He's also using the same pseudonym for his Never Been Kissed fantasy that he uses for his secret family in Califonia, which just seems lazy. In any case, there's is no doubt in my mind that Man/Robo-Spader's only reason for doing this was to gain the trust of children and, eventually, rape them. The faux-innocence of his interest in "space science" (whatever that is) only makes it more sickening.   

The next few questions feature the same two characters alternating between pretending to be strangers and pretending to be best friends. Shit doesn't get too real again until question 16. 

W: Mark, can you help me with this science problem?
M: Sure, is it the one where you have to calculate the speed?
W: Yes, I already know the distance and the time.
M: Now all you have to do is divide the distance by the time.
W: So all I have to do is divide metres by seconds?
M: That's right. It's not too dificult. 

Mark? Who the shit is Mark? Does Man insist on using a pseudonym when his wife needs help with science problems? I did wonder why she was working something like this out in the first place, but then I realised Man must be forcing her to do his homework for his "pretend to be a high school student and rape children" scheme.    

Next Man calls Woman, who seems to now be working as a receptionist, and asks to speak to Ms. Johns. She's not there but Man leaves her a message: 

M: Tell her that Tom called.

So whatever he was calling Ms. Johns about must have been more deserving of a fake name than that time he pretended to be a high school student, or his secret family. I hate to think what it was.

Anyway, if anyone asks me what I did today I can honestly say that I desensitised a large group of children to the very real possibility that a robotic James Spader will one day try to rape them. Not many people can say that.

The Good, The Bad, and The Invisible

When the new school year started about a month ago we all had our timetables changed around a bit. For me this meant I lost my favourite school and gained one that I'm still not really sure about. I teach at the new one on Monday afternoons, so I have to catch the bus there from my main school. This is fine except that I don't know which bus or where to get off. 

Proving that she's not completely useless, my co-teacher wrote two notes in Korean for me. She translated the first one to me as "please help this foreigner find the bus to Baeksan". Not "person", "foreigner". Korea is racist as shit sometimes, but more on that later. The other asked the bus driver to show me where to get off the bus. I've used notes like this before, and all though most Koreans seem to think that the most helpful response to a foreigner with a note written in Korean who obviously doesn't speak the language is to reel 
off as much Korean as as possible as fast as they possibly can, the notes do eventually get the job done.

I walked down to the bus stop after lunch and looked for someone to ask about the bus. I saw a middle aged woman sitting waiting for a bus who seemed as likely as anyone else to be able to help. I walked over to her, said "excuse me, can you help?" and pointed at the note. What happened next was one of the strangest things that's happened to me so far in Korea. She pretended I wasn't there. I was standing right next to her, she watched me approach her, she knew I was there and I was standing close. She just looked off into the distance like I wasn't there, like I wasn't even a person. I tried to point her to the Korean note that was written in Korean by a Korean person who speaks and writes fluent Korean, but it was no use. After about a minute of this she waved her hand dismissively at me, still without turning her head. What I said to her isn't fit for publication here, but suffice to say that if she understood it, she deserved it. 

Actually, scratch that. She deserved it anyway. She didn't have to help me, but I'm a god damn human being, at least look at me. I'd get my co-teacher to write her a note explaining my feelings if I thought she'd ever read it. 

Luckily the next person I found, an elderly woman, had not only a better attitude but also some amazing tattooed-on eyebrows. She wasn't going to Baeksan and didn't speak any English, but she went and asked a few people where the bus left from. She found a woman with one eye who was going my way and I waited with her. After about ten minutes hanging out at the bus stop with the old folks I started to get worried. I had only fifteen minutes till my next class, there was no sign of the bus and it was at least a fifteen minute ride to Baeksan. 

About this time a woman stopped her van in the middle of the street and started yelling at the old folks. Bad parking and unnecessary shouting are staples of Buan life so this didn't seem out of place. A couple of people got into the van, and then ol' one-eye motioned for me to get in too. I did, and I ended up getting a free ride all the way to my school, I think just because the woman with the van was a really nice person who saw a bunch of people waiting for the bus heading the same way she was. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I am a 12 year old boy.

As mentioned in my previous post, I am with cold and I feel pretty awful. I was a hopeless teacher today, wandering round in the zombie-like fug of someone with a sinus infection. As punishment for my crappy behaviour, my coteacher made me mark the spelling tests for the 6th graders.

Usually I don't mind doing this, as I start listening to a podcast while I mindlessly circle away (instead of ticks or check marks, correct answers are given an 'O' here). Today I was given a special gift by two members of Grade 6, class 4.

I LOVE my job.

This Post is Dedicated to Jane

I feel like the only appropriate way to follow up my dick post is with a discussion about Korea's toilets. Having visited China, the toilets here don't seem as bad as they did when I arrived but they're still pretty weird.

A good blogger writes about what they know, so here's the low-down on the toilet in our bathroom. Our bathroom is Korean-style, so the first difference is that the seat is slanted so water from the shower trickles down the drain (or to mess with us when we've been drinking). If you look closely at the left-hand side of the seat you can see the next difference.

To the right of the commode is some disgusting Korean mould.

That, dear readers, is a built in seat warmer and bidet. We keep ours off most of the time, but in the middle of winter I felt like a Queen sitting on a heated toilet seat. A Heated Toilet Seat! How luxurious. If you happen to visit, I've handily labelled the buttons for you.

Bizarrely (yes, more bizarrely) we also own what I think is a remote control for the toilet with extra buttons. I'd decode it for you but I've already spent an embarrassing amount of time on MS Paint this evening and I have a cold, damnit. 

I don't know what the 5 means.
As you may have spotted in the first picture, toilet enthusiasts, there's also a huge sticker covered in instructions inside the lid. Someday I'll put it through Google Translate but until then I won't be smoking or riding on the toilet just to be safe. I also won't be showering fully clothed. It will make the toilet sad!

I spend 40 hours a week at school, and the toilets there are a little different. At my main school there are Western-style loos with an even more dazzling array of bidet buttons (I read once that you hit the right combination and you'll go to the moon). There also appears to be a rule that only ONE toilet roll is allowed per cubicle per week, and once it's gone you are forced to spray water up your butt. In the winter time, this is a better pick me up than a strong coffee. 

Image thieved from here because I am afraid of getting caught emerging from an
elementary school bathroom with a camera.
To the right of the bowl is the main reason I don't like Korean toilets. Apparently the Korean plumbing system can't process toilet paper - leading to mass cloggings, ughhh - so Koreans put the used paper in these bins. Over winter, the smell hasn't been too bad but as everything is beginning to thaw out, the stench is returning. Say it with me: GROSS.

At my small rural schools there are only Asian squat-style toilets. They look like this:

Squat toilets apparently have many benefits - from a practical purpose they are cheaper, use less water and they are easier to clean. They can also help with cleaning the rest of the bathroom - a friend of ours was in hospital for a few days, and the cleaners used the squat loos as a bucket - dipping the mop in and swiping the floor. According to my BFF Wikipedia they have health benefits too - they're easier to use when pregnant, they help you poop faster and regular use can reduce the severity of hemorrhoids - everything I've ever wanted in a toilet!

BUT They're stinky, as there's no water in the bowl to cover the smell, and for those more used to Western toilets there's the dreaded splashback. Pooping in a squat toilet is not recommended for Westerners who don't know their bowels as well as Asian people do. It pays to wear closed-in shoes when using these bathrooms as the floors can be really unpleasant. Just yick.

Most of the public toilets in Korea have Western and Asian-style, usually there's a sign on the door to let you know which is which. Toilet paper stinginess extends outside of my schools - instead of a roll in the loo with you, there's one affixed to one of the walls in the bathroom complex. You have to tear some off in advance and carry it in, or keep a pack of tissues on your person at all times. I told my coteacher that all bathrooms in New Zealand have a dispenser in each cubicle and she had the same expression on her face as when I used a heated toilet seat for the first time. Surprise and pleasure.
Cartoon from the EXCELLENT 
Many of the bathrooms will not have hand dryers or towels, and even fewer have hot water. It grosses me out but most of the girls at my school do not wash their hands after using the facilities, and give me strange looks as I hunch over the taps. This could be why I have my seventh cold in seven months. 

Although I will do a lot for this blog, I haven't been able to photograph the Mens Room for my dear readers. That is not to say that I don't know what they look like - I am an expert! This is because a large portion of Mens Rooms are exposed to the public, there isn't a door or a bend in the hallway to hide the line of Korean men urinating. Once a week at least I catch an eyeful on the way to the ladies. Tom tells me that the lavs at one of his schools have a charming (unfrosted) view over the playground. Below is an improvised representation of a urinal Tom swears he saw at a service station just out of Buan. 

The fan is standing in for the urinal, and our kitchen is standing in for the bathroom itself. Imagine Tom is a Korean man, mid-stream. Another oddity is that many urinals here are filled with ice. I don't know why, the internet tells me it's to reduce odours but it's not working.

One last note: If you go to a Noraebang, a restaurant or even a cafe, often the bathrooms are unisex. This means that there's a urinal next to the sink and a stall in the corner, and at 3am under the influence of Korean Snakebites, you will have to push past a drunk Korean male on your way to the WC. Korean men just aren't allowed to pee in private. 

If you're interested in reading more about toileting in South Korea, check out the blog dedicated to Korean Commodes here. Jane, I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I liked writing about it. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Not Safe For Work

After getting the bus back to Samcheok from the cave, we boarded another bus to Haesindang Park. The bus terminal staff are clearly used to waygooks on the penis hunt, and they gave us a print out of the bus timetable for the park before we had a chance to ask for tickets. It's a 50 minute ride along the coast, and we were shooed off the bus at the right stop by a few locals who knew what we were up to.

The park spans a few square kilometres and aside from the most obvious attractions, it boasts a gorgeous view of Korea's rugged Eastern coastline. 

Entrance to the park is 3,000 won and you can go in through the back if you want (hyuk hyuk). We started at the top of the hill and worked our way down. Now a disclaimer: This park is full of penis statues. If you are reading this at work I advise you to check over your shoulder NOW to make sure you won't get caught, or play it safe and read this at home. I'll give you a bit more text in case you've accidentally scrolled too far, and use this opportunity to tell you why there is a park full of penises on a hillside in Korea.

Legend has it that in the local fishing village there was once a young maiden who was engaged. One day she was out collecting seaweed from the rocks when a storm rose up and dragged her out to sea. Sadly, (but really happily, as the next part of the story is AMAZING) she drowned. Shortly after her death, the fishermen's catches began to dwindle, until they weren't able to survive on the sea's meagre offerings.

A fisherman relieving himself off the rocks noticed that when he exposed his genitals to urinate, he was able to hook a few fish. Remembering the deceased maiden, he realised that her lust for penis was scaring the fish away! He got some of his fisherbuddies together, and they carved wooden dildos and threw them into the water to appease her. This did the trick, and soon the village was awash with fish! To ensure the maiden would never go unsatisfied, they set up the penis park on the shore to keep the fish around year-long. I am not making this up.

Chillin out on a marble penis.
A park full of penises is ideal for kids!

Every time I clicked 'Extra Large' on these pictures I giggled.

Statues of the 'Eureka!' moment when the fishermen solved all their problems.


This thing actually moves, but doesn't spray water from the tip. Gutted.

A shrine to the woman who started it all.

The local lighthouse.

Souvenirs at the gift shop. I got a shot glass with a penis in it, I use it to measure spices.
It was a bitch to get there, and we didn't get back until half an hour before work started on Monday, but it was a great trip overall and worth it just for the puns. Recommended.