We probably looked determined to complete our Collect-the-Visitation-Stamps quest. Though I guess we had looked more lost than determined.
“YOU, COME HERE.” Poised on a stool on the opposite street, the old man gestured for us to go to him.
With a disapproving look, he told us that we had missed the first stamp station.
“Little Museum. GO back, and left.”. Right. We understood his instructions.
With gusto and confidence, he flipped open our gigantic colourful map.
“Next, you go here (taps on the map with his pen) Opposite me. You know? Go staircase. Go Photo Gallery stamp. Up there also Dark House. Constellation stamp (tap tap tap) Continue up. Is photo zone (tap tap) Also is Haneul maru stamp (tap tap tap) You take free postcard from them here. House of Light close now. You also take House of Light stamp here.
Next, you walk down alley (draws on the pristine map with his pen) Go Art Shop behind me. Follow fish mouths (he gestures with his hands, imitating a fish mouth) Book Cafe here (tap tap tap) Follow fish mouths, you know? (draws more arrows on the map) Then here you walk here. Community Centre stamp. Take free postcard (tap tap) How you go back? Bus? Taxi? Bus? OK. You go here (draws) Here you take Bus 1-1 or 1-2 or 1. Bus 1-1 better. Ok. You go. Fish mouths neh? (fish mouth gestures)“
Naayyy (네, yes), we nodded, and proceeded to the Art Shop behind him.
“NO! Go back! There first! (points) Little Museum! Then go up! (points) Then here! Then fish mouths!”
nayy … we sheepishly walked away from the Art Shop. It seemed like we had better follow his directions word for word, station by station, than risk having him rant at us disapprovingly again.
Thank you very much, 할아버지 (hal-a-boh-jee, grandfather) for showing us this colourful and charming village!