Belated break on island of mackerel and horsesAt last, it’s time for my belated summer holiday.
It seems like I've spent my entire summer this year coming up with holiday plans then changing them the next day.
It's a nasty habit I've had for the past five years, ever since I started work at a newspaper. I hadn't been so capricious before.
For an odd, personal reason, I had originally planned to go to Hiroshima this summer from August 6.
To be frank, it was more of a traveler's whim.
A month before I made the decision, I woke up one day with a clear vision of a clip from "A Letter from Hiroshima," a documentary fused with fiction by Suwa Nobuhiro telling the story of a Korean actress on a sentimental journey to the Japanese city where she wanders around its historic sites.
In the movie, she was invited to star in Nobuhiro's documentary on Hiroshima, but the director wouldn't show up for several days.
I wanted to see how coincidences work in life. If some dramatic incidents occured during my trip, I thought it would be romantic to tell people that my journey was prompted by a single image out of a movie.
I took down all the tourist information from the Internet, dying for the first week of August to arrive. To tell you how serious I was about my plan, I had even thought of buying a new pair of running shoes to take part in the Peace Marathon held in Hiroshima every year.
It was a tacky idea, but I decided to allow myself that luxury this time.
Then on the first week of July, I suddenly changed my plans. This time, I decided to go to Ho Chi Minh City. It seemed to make perfect sense to visit as I have a distant cousin who runs a printing company in the Vietnamese capital. I even found a beautiful hotel downtown, close to the river.
That decision didn't last long, though, when my travel agent offered a thrifty three night package to Singapore, where world gourmet festivals take place year round. The idea of hopping on the city trolleys that take you to several different restaurants in one night sampling world delicacies was enough to tempt me.
Then I figured that idea was a little too decadent at my age.
So I decided to go to Jeju Island, a place for mackerel, horses and strong women.
My real excuse for changing plans is because of my hectic life. Ever since the advent of tight deadlines and fixed schedules, I like to be able to change things as much as I can within the areas I have the full power to change.
Besides, I took keen pleasure in coming up with new places to travel. Whenever I was under stress, the thought of wandering around cities of the world I didn’t know gave me momentary relief.
So to those friends who asked me about my vacation plan, I am finally leaving for Jeju Island!
How to Cook
Ingredients: 300g of mackerel, 1/2 cup of water,
1 onion, 1 red chilli pepper, 1/3 green onion
1. Cut mackerels into two, three chunks.
2. Cut the onions into bite size pieces.
3. In a pot, mix the soybean paste, crushed garlic, ginger, cooking wine and pepper. Over low heat, stir them gently. Add the fish and water when the sauce comes to a boil.
4. Add onions. Simmer for 20 minutes.
5. Serve sprinkled with sesame seeds.
by Park Soo-mee