Other than Seoul, we don’t visit any super famous towns on this trip, but we do have fun. This is one of my favorite episodes. Here are some highlights, commentary, and trivia.
- This is where our conflicts with the writer start to surface. She wrote some awful stuff that we had to cope and rewrite.
- The episode starts with me “jogging” early in the morning (met the van around 4 a.m.) on the Han River in Seoul. My opening consists of me talking about how pure the water is–after we picked up the trash that was in the shot. We joked that the writer should go for a swim in the Han after writing that.
- Am I doing a good job of pretending I’m out of breath from exercising? ACTING!
- We shot the beginnings of episodes 3 and 4 simultaneously, so I still get them confused.
- This episode took the longest to complete, consisting of many day trips and weekend trips. Many of the delays for this and episode 4 were from one of the rainiest summers in modern Korean history.
- As usual, the extras in the shots are the crew.
- Singing Arirang–yeah, you’re gonna hear me sing. After my final lines in this scene, the rain came pouring in.
- The rail bikes we did on a day trip. One of our four interns, Seonghae, was my partner for this one.
- The rail bikes I’ll do again. We were at the back of the line, so the train engine that collects the bikes and returns them afterward was right on our tail. That’s why it looks like I’m yelling at her to go faster.
- The comment about holding your breath before going into the tunnel was an inside joke for my family.
- We went to Nami Island for a day trip. Famous scenes from “Winter Sonata” were filmed here, and this was a kitschy shrine to the drama. What was cool was that the island was a showcase of environmentalist utopia, with soju bottles recycled into sculptures. Too bad some of the tourists didn’t go along with the environmental spirit of the island and continues to litter on the pathways.
- Nami Island makes a good day trip for people in Seoul. It’s touristy but unique. And being in Chuncheon, there’s a lotta DalkGalbi.
- For fans of the SeoulPodcast, you’ll recognize that we go the burial grounds of our favorite king–Sejong the Great. It was one of the hottest days of the year. But since the show would air in the fall, I had to dress as if it was much cooler.
- When I’m walking through the pottery village, it’s actually drizzling a bit. Can’t tell, huh?
- We spent an afternoon filming a whole segment at this one complex of me making a bowl with a woman, and it was cut.
- The pottery master, Um Gi-hwan, was a super cool guy. We went to his place twice. The first time, he insisted we go to his pavilion in his backyard and have some fruit and makkolli–Icheon makkolli was the best out of all the trips.
- Making pottery the traditional way needs a person with a lot of stamina to turn that wheel by foot. I’m huffing, puffing, and making mistakes because I can’t feel my leg anymore.
- Through the magic of TV, it looked like we went to a kiln, fired the bowl, and looked at it afterward. In actuality, they handed me a bowl and told me to talk to him about it. We went to the kiln on another day. A rainy day. But it was some amazing samgyeopsal.
- I was truly fascinated by the works of art in Mr. Um’s place. I love Korean pottery!
- The slow food village was one of our first days of filming. It was one of many times in the scripts where I did activities designed for children. Besides the usual obnoxious nine-year-old boys yelling, “Waygukin annyeong,” the entire day, the kids were cool.
- One of the few stunt fishes makes an appearance in this show. They wanted me to “catch” a fish with my hands, so a guy came out with an ice chest and a mostly dead fish. I had to grab it, put it in the water, and flail it around as if it was alive and kicking. Not my most humane moment in TV.
- We were yelled at by a guard for filming in a neighborhood of Heyri Art Valley, but we used the footage anyway.
- I like the Freedom Bridge segment. Right after filming, we sat down to eat. They only had two restaurants at this tourist site–an overpriced Korean restaurant and a Popeye’s. So we ate at the Popeye’s while I watched live Al Jazeera coverage on my phone of the rebels taking over Tripoli.
Overall, I like this episode. Most each segment was its own day of filming, usually the van meeting me after I finished the radio show at 10 a.m. and going out to some place. I’d say the episode took a month from start to finish. We had some fun times.
Joe, you terrorized that poor fish. But better you than some over zealous ten year old. That’s what all the fish fear.
Nice one Joe!
thanks for taking us on this journey with you…enjoyed it!