Hey, it stars Police Unit 38’s Seo InGuk and Lee SunBin. Plus, there’s Oh HaeYoung Again’s crazy Noona Yeh JiWon (who’s almost just as crazy in real life). How could I ever pass this up?
Law of the Jungle Episode 229: Law of the Jungle in Mongolia Part 1
It’s the land of wind and sky. Endless plains and sand as far as the eye can see. Birthplace of the warrior and ruler who founded the largest empire in the world – Genghis Khan. The land of wilderness and freedom. Law of the Jungle’s 27th challenge is: Mongolia. (This episode is also narrated by the siblings of Akdong Musician, who had lived in Mongolia for two years.)
As is the first thing that comes to mind when Mongolia is mentioned, the theme of this trip is: Nomad, a word that describes people who live wandering around in search of grass and water for their cattle.
A brief recap of their journey over the days covers all corners of Mongolia, from the east, where Genghis Khan was born, to the west, where the Altas Mountains are forever covered in ice and where the Kazakh tribes reside. In the south, the Gobi desert tests their resilience and in the north nature at its best rules.
Coming along on this trip are the crazy three, Seo Inguk the real hunter (who flips at the sight of bugs, pffft), KangNam, who might as well be a resident of this show (he thinks so too, hee) and Yeh JiWon who introduces herself in French. ByungMan also calls her a 4-year-old wild mare, ha. Others include former-Chunderella (and former actor, now carpenter) Lee Chun Hee who hasn’t gotten any more sophisticated since his Family Outing days, haha, Eye-Ball Fairy Kim MinKyo and newbie actress Lee SunBin who’s done all sorts of part-time jobs and therefore is confident that she can do anything. The 4-year-old wild mare calls her a female warrior.
And now, Law of the Jungle in Mongolia, starts.
But first we have to pick the cast up at Korea’s Incheon airport, heh.
First to arrive is conman Seo InGuk. Pwahaha, that’s a lie, because KangNam had arrived earlier and is now sticking his camcorder in InGuk’s face, acting like a fan. One by one, the other cast members arrive and HAAA!!! KangNam has to take a moment before he realises that Kim ByungMan had long arrived and is standing just right behind him.
Chapter 1: The Swindler Gets Conned.
The tribe reaches Mongolia and waiting for them is a helicopter. Seriously? PD declares that they’ll be going to a beautiful place, lush with “fish in the flowerbeds”, “singing sand” and declared one of the 1000 places one absolutely must visit before he/she dies. They put on their earmuffs and while the newbies are excited, the more experienced members get worried. The exception is Yeh JiWon, who has been on Law of the Jungle before but still remains SUPER excited, pfft. I love her.
The nature that rolls below them pleases them, making them expect lush greenery and running rivers, basically a survivor’s paradise, where there’s lots of food. Unknown to them, the production crew is just right below on the dirt sands rushing to their next destination.
While SunBin gets cleaned up by JiWon (she drooled in her sleep), ByungMan gets more and more worried with every second, because the land below keeps getting browner. Eventually, the rest of the tribe awakes too and have their minds blown to realise that they’re getting dropped off in the middle of a desert. HAAA! ByungMan comments that not even Ali Baba would live here and smacks JiWon when she bursts into a song.
Pfft, they refuse to get off, with ByungMan calling this place dead and barren. But of course, they have to and the PD pipes up to say that he has something to say to InGuk.
“How do you like it? This is a con.”
PWAAHAHHAHAHAHAHA. InGuk doesn’t hold back and smacks the PD, whining that even though he liked the drama, he shouldn’t trick people like that, calling the situation crazy. HEEHEEHEE. Meanwhile, JiWon plays with the warm sand and gets it all over ByungMan’s face.
The Gobi Desert! This is the first survival zone they’ll have to get through. It’s cloudless and temperatures can go as high as 40 degrees Celsius to as low as minus 40 degrees Celsius. It’s dry and arid and there’s nothing other than sand for miles and miles. This place even makes ByungMan uncomfortable, since he’s never tried toughing it out in a desert like this before.
They have nothing but themselves to ensure their survival and that just makes for adorable moments between InGuk and SunBin, the former of whom even gives her his trousers to wear.
The helicopter leaves and they’re left to battle the endless sand that keeps pulling them under. They head up a sand dune to see if there’s any place liveable, only to see even more sand and hear the sand whistling as it’s blown away by the wind, as if taunting them.
They’re flabbergasted and tired and groan the whole way they travel along the ridges towards a taller dune. With the help of binoculars, ByungMan finds the end of the desert and sees greenery clinging at its edges. Time to go down! And what better way than to run all the way, riding along with the momentum.
ByungMan finds some dried poop and collects them all, since he’s learnt from watching documentaries that they’re versatile fuel, making the rest laugh at how ridiculous they suddenly have become, treating each and every piece they find like a treasure. Once they’re properly tired, they run into a couple of Bactrian camels waiting for them, courtesy of the production crew.
JiWon tries to reach out to one, and is told to be quiet and careful, so as not to scare them. Bactrian camels have long lashes and nostrils that they can control. They have humps to store water and fats in case of dire situations and the ones that our tribe has right there have two humps, meaning that they definitely do not have MERS-CoV. The resilient animal even has a legend all dedicated to them. It was said that they had run to participate in the race for the 12 zodiacs but fell out. Feeling sorry for it, the creator gave it features of all the 12 zodiacs, like mouse-like ears and pig-like tails.
Not one to give up, JiWon asks if she can touch it, only to be rebuffed. When InGuk goes to touch it, it gets so annoyed that it spits, pffft. JiWon doesn’t give up and tries again and when she tries to calm it so that she can sit on it, it spits, over and over again, it’s spit covering the rest of the guys, heh.
The two ladies get rides on the camel and SunBin’s comment is that the camel feels like a carpet.
Now with some hope in sight, they’re a lot more relaxed and happy, though the grassland still feels way too far. JiWon notes that the camel feels more comfortable to ride than a horse because of its two humps and when she asks it how old it is, Chunderella answers that he’s 38, heh.
InGuk and KangNam find an extra-long piece of dung and heh, once they’re near the grassland, KangNam reaches out to grab a piece of poop, but groans when he finds out that it’s new, hahahha. No! KangNam! Why do you clean your hands on your bag?! Clean it on the grass!
With the grass around, ByungMan is now assured that they can survive through the night. He decides to set up camp there and perks up when SunBin lets out a shout. She and InGuk had found the fossil of a frog and though it’s dead and hard, that’s good news, because it means that water must be nearby, which also means that there are more frogs (aka food) nearby.
InGuk walks further to find some rocks and in the desert, even those are gems, because they can be heated to provide warmth through the cold desert night. MinKyo finds an eagle flying in the distance and licks his lips, pfft. He really intended to strike it down for food but ByungMan discourages him, since the eagle, with it huge size and power, could inflict real harm on them.
Instead, they find some fruit, the Harmag berry, and are overjoyed to find that they’re sweet and edible. It’s only after they eat a few that JiWon asks if it’s okay to eat without washing them, going all detailed about what could have happened to them – camel spit and pee – and then decides that she shall just eat them, ha. She even eats the seeds, surprising the rest, since the seed might be poisonous. That’s nothing to JiWon and she even eats a bug.
Tribe leader ByungMan suggests that they split up in two groups to search for more potable water and berries. Ace (so the captions say) ByungMan, KangNam and ChunHee collect dried grass and find water. It’s clean and even though it bubbles up from the ground, it’s not hot. While KangNam wets his hair with it, heh, ByungMan scoops some out and his joy turns to disappointment. Turns out, the water isn’t really potable, since it smells like poop (I’m guessing that’s due to hydrogen sulphide). Their survival guide even tells them not to let it touch their faces. Ha, poor KangNam.
They follow the little stream up and find another puddle filled with wriggling insects. Disappointed with their water search, they lose focus and instead, talk about the pair of birds they see in the distance. They end up sitting down and deciding to make Harmag juice with the berries they find.
On the other hand, JiWon thoroughly enjoys frolicking in the grass. That’s until she steps into someone’s pee. Haha.
But soon, they find a rather huge stream and several frogs. InGuk goes wide eyed and starts searching the whole place for them. In a solo interview, he admits that the jungle makes his gain energy, what with the need to survive, plain and simple, with nothing to back him up. Back in the present, InGuk grabs those frogs by the dozens and request that nobody calls him the familiar but kinda kiddy-ish ‘Gguk’ like they’ve been doing anymore.
“Ok, we will do it properly for you now” go the captions. In other words, “Okay, Gguk!”
While Gguk catches those frogs, JiWon practically lights up as she imagines how to cook them.
MinKyo doesn’t have much luck searching for those frogs and in his solo interview, he tells the production that he’s wildness personified. He lives in a place where elks walk right past it in the winter, lived in the countryside in the past, does swimming, skiing, worked as a master for hapkido and even is a black belt in taekwondo. He demonstrates a kick, and then falters, haha!
Back in the desert, the Eye-Ball fairy opens his eyes real wide and manages to grab those frogs by the dozens too.
After having spent all that time on puny little frogs, the four soon decide on only getting those big ones. SunBin is good at frog hunting too and between them, their bags soon fill up with wriggling four legged amphibians. Gguk is so overjoyed at their find and he wonders just what the ace team will bring, expecting some huge prey for dinner.
Cut to them talking about all the poop they find. Heh. They finally just pick more harmag berries and pfft, they can’t even do it in peace. KangNam nags ChunHee to just pick them quickly while ChunHee is all quality over quantity.
The other group with InGuk, SunBin, MinKyo and JiWon find a fenced up area and some money in there. There’s water flowing in there and they guess that the fence is to keep the animals out and the money is some kind of prayer offering. MinKyo thinks that the money is just some show of gratitude the locals do for the water.
Their local guide confirms that they’ve found a well that they can get water from, which means that, HA, this group found both the water and food needed.
Unlike a spring, the water comes from a natural underground reservoir and as it passes through all the rocks and sand on its way to the top, it gets purified enough for human consumption. That’s why the water is cool, because it doesn’t come directly from a hot spring.
Knowing how important it is for the locals, the group carefully collects the water in a 5 litre water bottle and make sure that they don’t dirty it. The water is so cool that condensation actually forms outside the bottle.
JiWon muses that the sand dunes remind her of the Little Prince and MinKyo teases her to go find an old prince instead. *pouts* JiWon air-kicks him, ahahah.
They return back to base in utter victory while ByungMan presents them with a box of Harmag berries, the “farmers” that they are, hee. According to ByungMan’s suggestion, they set out to make their camp and while ChunHee creates a bed of flowers and grass, KangNam searches around for dried poop and grimaces when he gets a handful of relatively fresh human waste. HAHAHA.
He starts insisting that they have to change their camp location to the amusement of the other guys and then MinKyo has to inform him that he’d gotten the camp location wrong. They’re living somewhere further from the “human dung”.
“Oh we’re sleeping there? Then why did I move all the dung there?” goes KangNam. PWAHAHAHA. He cracks me up.
He continues to rant about that dung and is confident that it was made in Korea. Pfft. Okay then.
ByungMan and ChunHee start making the Harmag juice. ChunHee is amazed by the smell and it seems like he wanted to describe it… but ends up just saying that it smells nice after a very long beat. Lol. They taste it and claim that it tastes like strawberry or blackberry and ByungMan likes it so much that he squeezes his handkerchief full of Harmag berries so hard that it rips. Oops.
The other team who caught the frogs go off to trim their frogs and none of them are familiar with the process at all. InGuk hasn’t even heard of trimming frogs before but the frogs are too tiny to grill and yet they don’t have oil to fry them in, so they can only spit roast them.
They reach a small bridge near a stream and even though they were supposed to trim the frogs they’ve got, they end up catching more of those big frogs that they find there. Hee, MinKyo experiences some problems with his short arms and legs and it’s InGuk who gets them more fat frogs for dinner.
Finally, at MinKyo’s prompting, they start trimming the frogs for real, but not before releasing those they deem too small.
Haha, it seems like JiWon isn’t immune to feeling bothered about killing frogs and InGuk doesn’t do so well on that front either. Is he about to cry? Ahaha. MinKyu takes over most of the work while SunBin watches on, seemingly unperturbed.
In InGuk’s solo interview, he says that he felt really bad because the frogs were still wriggling even though they’d been cut to pieces. However, since they have no other choice in order to survive, in the present, InGuk gathers his courage (after letting out a huge sigh) and gives frog trimming a try, doing pretty well at it.
Hehe, SunBin passes gives him the wriggliest one to clean. Urgh, skinned frog doesn’t look so cute, but that’s dinner and their next to-do item is to make fire.
InGuk is responsible for lighting the dried grass and once that’s done, KangNam breaks the serious moment by innocently offering some dung for ByungMan to burn, heh. Since camel/animal dung is mostly grass and other dried vegetation, it works about as well as dried wood when it comes to burning up.
It’s not working well immediately, so ByungMan swings it around, dancing like an ahjusshi at an old person’s club. InGuk gives it a go too and the next thing they add to the smoking poop is poop powder. Pwaha.
All they have to do now is blow on the burning poop and make sure that the fire doesn’t go out. They break the poop two-ways and hee, this is such a funny sight, to see a couple of actors spending their lung power on burning poop.
Oooh! It’s InGuk and SunBin’s poop that catches fire first, followed by ByungMan’s. KangNam excitedly goes “dung-dung-dung-dung-dung” at their success and soon, they have a bonfire made of poop. Heh. That amazes KangNam.
InGuk notes that it it smells like Moxa while JiWon is of the opinion that it smells like burning grass. Ever the curious one, KangNam asks if human waste will smell like that if the person only eats grass and JiWon believes that it will.
Other than giving them fire, the smoke from the burning wood also acts as an insect repellent.
It thoroughly fascinates JIWon and in a solo interview later, she shares that Poop is the light of life to them and also the life of fire. She calls dung clean, and amazing and gives a thumbs up to heat from the fire fueled by dung. “Dung is the best!” Pfft.
InGuk shares the same sentiment and laughs that it’s a necessity in the desert.
ByungMan loves poop too.
Dung is the connector that brings people together.
(Also, next Thursday, there’s a Chuseok special of this show, featuring City Hunter’s broody daddy Kim SangJoong and Kim ByungMan. Heh.