What a difference the weather can make! I woke up this morning with a song in my head, (Scorpions-Where the River Flows), WELL rested, full of energy and not cranky. I went for my usual Flandersish 6 Km. night walk last night, (by the river), and came back sweaty, not half melted. It was gorgeous! I was the only one wearing just shorts and t-shirt. I actually saw my breath, (and some steam coming off my head when I took off my hat), a couple times. I also saw something that blew me away: a river otter!
If you don't know how cute these little critters are check out this website. They're smart too! I saw a few of them during my trip to Thailand. There was a guy in the water with them feeding them fish and they did tricks for the fish. I read that in Malaysia they are trained to fish. I went to Undersea World in Pattaya and saw the river otters there. When I left I said to myself that I wanted a few of my own. They are just that cute. Kinda like Thai girls. Heh heh.
So I'm just about finished my walk. I get to about the 5 K point when the trail gets a bit darker and less used and I see something that looks like a cat on the trail way ahead of me. It sees me coming but keeps walking along the trail away from me crossing occasionally. I get closer and closer and see that it's not a cat at all. I've seen a couple cats on the trail before and they're much more skittish than this guy was. You have no idea how rare actual wildlife is in Korea until you come here. I've been hiking all over this country and seen snakes and rodents. That's it. So the little otter stops on the side of the trail and just stays there. I moved over to the other side as I walked by so as not to scare it away but no chance of that. I think it was just as curious about me as I was about him. Maybe, like all the people I passed on the trail, it was thinking, "Look, there's a foreigner! And he's only wearing shorts and a t-shirt."
As I got a little past it I stopped. Then it went a little way into the bushes beside the trail. But it was still watching me. Then I made the noise I make to call any animal. The kissing noise. Like every animal speaks two languages: its own and this kissing noise. I saw the foliage move a little deeper in. I didn't see it again.
I remember one other time seeing a rodent on the trail at about the 2 K point. It was bigger though. More like a prairie dog. And it didn't run away until after I had past it either. I sure hope these animals mate. Well, not with each other. Although that would be okay. Plenty of foreigners mate with Koreans. I've never been one to object to that. Anyway, it would be so cool to see wildlife on my walks once in a while! I'm gonna bring my camera next time. And I might buy a little bag of fish. That's not gonna make my walk any easier but if I can get some pics of this little guy I might be one of the first wildlife photographers in Korea! Besides, I don't imagine there are enough fish in this river to keep the otters fat. I've seen one fish in the river once and it was floating moreso than swimming. Maybe this'll encourage me to walk more too.
This is just making my favourite time of year even better. It's settled: my favourite time of year is the fall. For so many reasons. NHL and NFL are starting. (NHL today!). MLB playoffs. Chuseok holidays. Halloween, Thanksgiving. Lots of family birthdays. New TV seasons and shows. How bout that first episode of the new Office season? And Survivor is going fine. They got rid of the one I wanted this week. Even though I loved it when she said to Dave, "I don't need your life lessons, just tell me what to do," Ashley just had to go. But the best episode of anything I've seen for a while was the most recent Family Guy. I had a sore stomach after that one. Even though fall IS back to work season, I like it best while over here in Korea. Maybe when I get back to Canada where the winters are a bit harsher and summers not so unbearable, I might change. But we'll blow up that bridge when we get to it.
Hmmmm. Bridges, walks by the river, water rodents, perspiration, "Where the River Flows", there seems to be a theme in this entry here. Water water everywhere.