Friday, October 25, 2019

Day 28, Leg 23: last thoughts before launch

I haven't taken any painkillers today, and thus far, simple rest has proven beneficial for my right pinky toe, which didn't scream at all when I put on my shoes to head out to lunch at the local sushiya.

My hotel room has a quirk: the power goes out occasionally, so I have to remove my key card from the anteroom power slot and reinsert it to regain power. This is very annoying, especially since the outages seem so random. Otherwise, the room is great—quite possibly one of the very best rooms I've stayed in this whole trip. Tomorrow, I'm going to shoot for the Blue Moon Motel at Gwangalli Beach, down the street from the pizza joint (see my addendum, this post) and not far from the super-expensive Homers Hotel where my boss stayed in 2017. That place is decadently luxurious, but when you're earning in three months what I earn in a year, then I guess you can afford to go easy on yourself.

Another annoyance, which has plagued me elsewhere on this trip: cleaning ajummas who barge into my hotel room by using their master keys. I was just sitting on the pot a few minutes ago when this happened. I boomed out a loud "YES?" in Korean to alert the woman to my presence; she retreated quickly. Luckily, my poop did not: it leaped out into the toilet and met its swirly fate.

The sushiya wasn't bad. Service was very friendly and efficient, but the overall quality of the sushi felt middling. I had forgotten to bring along my phone, so I have no shots of the food, alas. I'm sure you've eaten enough sushi to know what the food looks like, and would you want to look at middling sushi, anyway?

I was, of course, not filled up by the food, despite having ordered fried shrimp and sweet-squash croquettes to go along with the main course. I lumbered over to the GS25 convenience store (are they updating their logo?) next to my motel to grab some extras. I had really wanted to get some cereal and milk to add fiber to my intake (I ran out of psyllium capsules just the other day, but that's a topic for my epilogue post, when I will discuss certain health issues in great and possibly queasy detail), but this store was very limited in its selection. No cereal. And no disposable plastic bowls, either, so what would have been the point? Cereal in a tiny paper cup?

I've resolved that I'll try for the Slice of Life pizza tomorrow. That's going to mean waking up around 3:30 or 4:00 a.m. and being out the door and on the trail an hour later. If I arrive at the endpoint by 4 p.m., I can sit a few minutes, then cab over to Gwangalli Beach, get a motel, and be at the pizza place at 5 p.m. or so, before the Saturday dinner rush. One thing I haven't done this month is eat until I'm stuffed, which is something I was doing with more regularity in my once-and-future life as an office prole. I'm planning to visit my doctor on Monday morning, and I don't want to drive all my numbers up by eating unhealthily right before a doctor's visit, but because I'll be eating pizza on the same day that I'm hiking 28.6 km, I think I can get away with this. A large 'roni-and-sausage 'zza is 2500-3000 calories; a 28.6-kilometer hike will burn about 4000 calories. Add some soda to the mix, and I think this is a case of revenir à zéro. Things balance out.

There's little to do, today, aside from rest, pack up most of my gear (I can't pack it all up until right before I leave), and get psyched for tomorrow's final walk. The weather forecast for tomorrow in Busan is partly cloudy and 67 degrees Fahrenheit (19 Celsius). Sunday is looking to be sunny and beautiful: a fine day to have lunch with friends and bus back to Seoul.

Fingers and tentacles crossed. Wish me luck.

(Almost forgot: I fixed my itinerary, I think.)