The past two weekends have been some of my best while here in Korea. The weekend before last, I had the privilege to join my fellow Hakseong teachers on an overnight trip. The Soju poppin’ started early. 45 minutes into the 3-hour bus ride the principal and vice principal slurringly called myself and Nathan to the front of the bus to join in on the festivities. Drinking with the teachers means walking a fine line between being polite in taking shots of abnormally large portions of Soju, and still keeping your sober wits about you. After reaching the hotel that night and enjoying some Sangyipsal (bbq beef) we played a little bit of THIS GAME before going to sleep. I forget the name of this game, but it’s a mixture between volleyball, tennis, and soccer. The next day we awoke to head down to the Taewha River for some rafting. I couldn’t take my camera, but the view was incredible. Two quick stories before I wrap up the rafting trip.
1) We were stuck on a huge rock during one of the white water parts of the river. Since I had lon-tatty (longest legs) on the raft, I had to stick half my body out of the raft to push us off. After wedging free from one rock we then bumped into another one as I was trying to climb back into the raft. I flew off the raft and definitely lost my sh@#. I thought I was a goner. 24 years flashing by in the blink of an eye. Luckily I grabbed hold of a paddle and was able to pull myself back to sanity. No sweat.
2) After what I thought was a near death experience, I thought it necessary to lay out on the raft and relax once we hit a smooth stretch. So I made my way to the bow of the raft, stretched my arms behind my head, and what ensued was a chorus of women’s screams similar to the ones in old time horror flicks (LISTEN). The life vests we wore had these straps that went down underneath the legs to serve as an anchor so that the life vest wouldn’t go over the user’s head in the water. My stretching out had created the moose-knuckle effect, and I was front and center on the raft for all the woman teachers to see. The trip was meant for teacher bonding, and I can’t imagine a more bonding event than the aforementioned.
The weekend after the teacher trip was an interesting one as well. The Mudfest in Boryeong is a world famous event that brings out expats from all over Korea. There, once again, was no way I could take pictures. There was panoply of half naked adults who lost whatever sense they had during the week to let loose this weekend and gambol in the mud. There were obstacle courses, mud sculptures, Korean dance performances, and mud pits galore. We spent the day covering ourselves in mud, washing off on the beach, and then repeating the process. I wish I could have taken pictures of this venture to share with you guys. Se la vie.