Today I embarked on my first full work week since April 18-22. No, really. First we had a field trip then a day off because the April session was longer than our allotted 20 day work month, then the week after it was Children’s Day, then the week after that it was Buddha’s birthday. Monday today felt like it came out of nowhere after a traditional 2 day weekend.
So what have I been up to? Clearly, not blogging.
Following my last real entry about the field trip to Coex Aquarium, I was supposed to spend part of my long weekend at a baseball game with my co-workers Kimmie, Jenny, Jenny’s boyfriend Tyler, and my boyfriend David but it got rained out. Luckily, there’s no shortage of fun to be found in Seoul even when it’s raining buckets.
Jenny and Tyler knew about a place where you could rent out a room equipped with a Wii and a flatscreen so we were able to spend the afternoon in a cozy little space full of pillows trying to decipher Konglish characters for Mario Kart and doubles tennis for W7000 a piece (including drinks and snacks!). That was probably the most wholesome part of the day.
After dinner and margaritas at Dos Tacos (the ingredients needed for good Korean food and good Mexican jive together surprisingly well) in Hongdae, we found ourselves crossing the street to go to one of the many establishments in the Ho Bar chain and W1900 tequila shots made me hate my life the next day.
Fast forward to the next long weekend which began with me in serious pain from an allergy-related eye infection. After a somewhat grumpy night out with David, Kimmie, and confusingly, another David we take tae kwon do with, my mood was righted just in time for World DJ Festival.
Good thing too because Koreans know how to get down! One of the things I really enjoy about the Korean dance music scene is that drugs have virtually no presence. People know how to have an awesome time completely sober. You’ve probably heard the expression “High on life” and that is exactly what the bouncing, skipping, smiling, hugging-strangers-in-the-crowd, singing, screaming, super hip Koreans are. There were some periods of rain during the first night of the festival (when I attended, though there was also a second night) which just meant dancing in multi-colored galoshes and twirling umbrellas for lots of folks.
The next morning at 5:30 am when the subways started running again was comedy gold. When you take the subway on a Saturday morning before sunrise you can be sure to encounter the following two groups of people 1) young people coming in from a night of drinking and 2) older people heading out to hike, go to market, and to judge the shit-wrecked party-goers. May 6th was no exception.
Since everyone was leaving at the same time, the subway platforms were incredibly crowded as we all craned our necks to be first to spot the train coming so we could be the first in line to hopefully nab a seat and crash out until your respective transfer point was reached. Everyone was laughing and jostling each other the second the train doors opened, jumping over seats and even though David and I weren’t lucky enough to get seats in the madness, were joining in with the general merriment. People began just sitting on the floor of the subway and after about 20 minutes I gave in and fell asleep sitting up until we connected with the orange line. When we did stop and pick up the occasional and always older passenger, they looked incredibly confused by the tangle of half awake bodies sprawled over every surface of the train and it was hilarious. Most memorable ride on the Seoul Metro System by far.
After a day of sleep, I ventured to Insa-dong for the more restful and educational aspects of my back to back long weekends: the Seoul Lotus Lantern Festival. That and my trip to the DMZ this weekend deserve their own entries, so I’ll be seeing you soon blogosphere!