I’m not sure what we did Saturday.  Dave worked; I wrote post cards; but I don’t appear to have taken any pictures or written anything in my diary.  I suppose that a certain amount of time was spent trying to find if there was any interesting food on the ship (when was the last time you had a salad made of iceberg lettuce and chunks of hard tomato?) and being reminded by people that they had seen you in the Philippines/Zambia/Pitcairn/Xinjiang and they could remember you but you couldn’t remember them.
The whole point of these cruises is to keep you dependent by withholding information, so that you have to give them money at every turn.  For example, when we got to our first port of call on Sunday morning, nobody could tell us where the boat was docked, on a map.
There probably wasn’t time to walk to town and take buses to see the sights, and I was not interested in taking a $100 per person bus tour.  Cheju is a big tourist spot for South Koreans and also cruise ships, and has the usual quotient of folkloric museums and natural wonders and scenery.  The attraction on which UNESCO has placed its imprimatur is the World’s Longest Lava Tube, which really sounds like the sort of thing you would find in a Missouri town that has the Largest Ball of String and Dinosaur fossils, and why aren’t balls of string UNESCO sites?  They represent human endeavor, and they are more permanent than rubber band balls, which if you don’t keep adding rubber bands to them, eventually oxidize and fall apart.
We ditched all the activities and got in one of a large number of taxis that were parked outside the ship terminal in Cheju for a private 80,000 won tour of the highlights.  It was much more efficient than anything that happened in Tanggu under the rigorous control of the Costa group.  Maybe the Cloud is more intelligent.  We were off the boat and through customs relatively quickly.  The cruise line keeps your passport, which is creepy, and gives you a little piece of paper that is a pass to the port that you are in.  If you look up the origin of the institution of passports, you will see that this is a return to roots, in the same way that the Internet is a return to the roots of the postal system, packets being handed off from sea captain to sea captain in the expectation that eventually they will find their way to the right place.
After that, a young English speaking guy asks if you’d like to have a taxi to tour the island and you say yes and then he hands you to someone who doesn’t speak English but does drive a cab.  See above.
Paying extra money enables you to do less.  Rather than go to five places for 45 minutes we went to two places (the cave, the crater on the east coast) at a reasonable pace and then had time for a quick half hour lunch at a decidedly authentic lunch spot in downtown near the port.
The restaurant we went to was fairly Young Lonely Planet.  It’s called “Taphyang Samgyetang” and if you want to find it, it’s at 33.51651 N 126.53110 E.  It hasn’t got any chairs.  You sit on the floor and the people bring small dishes and eventually a big bowl of chicken ginseng soup.
The side dishes included pickled daikon, chives, some green weed, and raw onion which you dipped in miso, and some spiced salt, probably MSG-based, for dipping the chicken bits in.  It was SO NICE after a day of portion controlled iceberg lettuce clusters and limp fishcuits.  Leaving the restaurant was the first time I didn’t notice how much our taxi driver smelled like garlic.  When in Jeju, do as the Jejune do.
The driver was expecting 80 dollars US and was mad, but his handler had made it quite clear to us that 80,000 won was the price. The exchange rate has gone from about 900 to about 1300 since we were here last year.  The ship was offering Won at .0007 yesterday and .0008 today.  It may be there are other digits not posted.  Dave was spending his 900 per dollar won from last year anyway, unloading a bad investment.  He’s about out of them now.