The Haenyeo Diaries: Day 18

With the warmer weather, there has been a big increase in tourists around our parts and they were on full display today. Many of them were foraging for shellfish and little crabs while the more adventurous ones were picking fresh miyuk (seaweed) that were presenting themselves with the tide out. I can’t imagine how busy the summer season will be with tourists.

When the Haenyeo made their way to shore, it was another spectacle of tourists/onlookers trying get their moment with the Haenyeo by taking pictures and asking the usual same set of questions: What did you catch? Do you sell them? How much do they cost? Aren’t you tired? For all purposes of making myself useful — and knowing the Haenyeo are too exhausted (and annoyed) to answer these same questions all the time — I answer most of the basic questions but usually with a momentary stare down from those who want to talk the Haenyeo directly. Who knew that this scruffy and neanderthal-look that I have going on right now is helping to stave off unruly Haenyeo stalkers. Nevertheless, today was your usual routine except with a larger audience in attendance. Most importantly, they sold their entire catch to nearby restaurants and local neighbors who eagerly waited for their fresh supply seafood.

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