Well, my time in Donghae has come to a close. And while I am writing this from Bali (what seems like another planet from Korea) I thought it would be worthwhile to look back on some good things about my life in Donghae.
Coffee shops, hiking gear stores, cell phone stores, and convenience stores:
By law, there are three of each for every citizen of Donghae.
Many great afternoons and evenings were spent here watching the waves and enjoying a cup of wine… or two or three. Going to the beach was serious business as we had a list of necessary items: ipod and bluetooth speaker for tunes, dranks (obvi), snacks/food, beach blanket (actually a bed sheet), ice, and don’t forget the corkscrew! Rachel and I also had matching “beach cups.” In the summer we went to the beach at least once a week. Best part of Hanseom Beach: it was about 10 minutes from my apartment on foot. (Borat voice) Very nice!
The boat stage:
A popular meeting place in the middle of downtown Donghae. Strangely, even though all the foreigners call it the boat stage, I didn’t notice that it’s actually shaped like a boat until I’d been living in Donghae for 6 or 7 months. I thought that the roof kind of looked like a sail, but I hadn’t looked at it closely enough to recognize that it’s actually full-on meant to look like a boat.
One night, the lady who works at the street food tent near the boat stage was treated to an impromptu 3AM performance of various songs from Rocky Horror Picture Show and Cabaret. On the boat stage, of course. Singing and dancing by Rachel, Victoria and myself. Choreography by Victoria.
Also, another fun fact about the boat stage: the guy who’s on the stage in this picture is also on the stage at all times. He literally goes there everyday to stand on the stage and sing into a pen. He is a horrible singer, but you have to commend him for his dedication.
Most weeks, I was in here about 3 or 4 times. It’s the biggest grocery store in Donghae and it also has clothes, hiking gear, household items, etc. Luckily, I lived about a 15 minute walk from Emart. Some foreigners who live in other neighborhoods have to take a taxi or bus to Emart because they only have small stores with limited selections near their houses.
The Hildon Hotel:
Rachel lives really close to this place and she has never once seen a light in any of the windows in the 15 months she’s lived there. We decided to go and look inside before I left. Our expectations were pretty much met: it looked abandoned and there was a bunch of trash and furniture strewn all around. We only looked in the lobby, which for some reason was fully lit, making it even more creepy.
Other honorable mentions:
Han's Deli is a pretty good restaurant.
Chicken Ball Doria is the best dish. It's spicy rice with cheese and fried chicken!! amazing!