Greetings from SK! Once again, I have much to blog about as the Korean culture becomes more fascinating each week.
Last week I went to my first baseball game in Korea and it was unbelievable. To start, you are allowed to bring in your own food and drinks, but there is certainly no shortage of food and drinks sold indoors as well, so that makes for an incredibly cheap and exciting time. Tickets were a mere 7000 won, which is less than 7 dollars CDN and our seats were pretty decent! The atmosphere in the stadium is indescribable – at times the excitement of the crowd and the circus acts going on around us (not in the literal sense) made it very easy to get distracted from the baseball game itself. Which, let’s be frank – baseball isn’t the most exciting sport to watch from start to finish, so I appreciated the distractions. haha Each player on the team has a song or a chant that the crowd would bust into each time they were up to bat … the cheerleaders/aerobic dancers had about 394 costume changes … there were numerous mascots including a dancing Soju bottle – so symbolic of Korea. In the 8th inning they handed out orange Lotte Giants plastic bags – which, naturally one would fill it up with air and tie it on their head. So, when in rome, we followed suit. It made for a hysterical end to the game as we began to catch on to the chants and songs, and how can you not have fun with a plastic bag tied to your head? The ironic part of it all – the bag serves as entertainment but also has a purpose – after the game, the loyal fans remove the bags from their heads and fill them with the garbage from the stadium. How cool is that!? Fans enjoying sport and caring for their environment all in one setting. So dynamic. It was certainly a great experience and I will be heading to numerous games this season I can assure you!
Saturday I took full advantage of the clear sky and warm temperatures and made my mold in the sand at the beach. After about 7 hours in the sun, I came home with a wicked burn that has turned into a solid base tan and I also saw some interesting sights. lol Including men in thong underwear playing frisbee – and us foreigners being followed by paparazzi in their undies. hahaha hilarious. We were definitely the focal point of many photos and even had a group of Japanese sailors and armed forces ask for a picture with us. Only in Korea. hahaha
Sunday morning was the marathon and it went really well! There were a ton of people so we weren’t “in it to win it” but we made the most of it and ran our 5 KM in about 24 minutes. Not bad for lacking my youthful athletic ability. I am going to enter the 5 KM again next month, and work towards the 10 KM. My new friend Maddi and I have been getting into a routine of running, so it’s nice to have someone to run with. The other morning we went for a run before school – we ran from our apartments to Haeundae beach and the sky was the clearest it has been in awhile. The waves were absolutely massive that morning! It was unreal. I often have moments thinking “My life is not real” … it’s hard to believe that I live 15 minutes from two of nicest beaches in South Korea. And to top it off – they are surrounded by mountains. Life is good. This is always the type of place I’d envisioned living in and it’s actually happening. Love it!
Sunday afternoon after the marathon, I visited the temple by the sea which was pretty neat. It is definitely very touristy as there are lots of vendors set up with things to buy and food to eat. The temple itself was extremely busy. On May 2nd it is Buddha’s birthday so all of the temples and even the city itself is preparing for the big day. On that day Koreans will visit 3 different temples and make wishes at each one … it’s supposed to lead to good luck in the coming year. Also, apparently if you visit a temple at lunch time, you get free lunch. I am definitely planning on hitting that up some time soon!
So this weekend is Jindo … the details are still a big hazy as to what is going on. I think I may end up doing a weekend package that way I get to see a few different places as well as take part in the parting of the sea. Hopefully it all works out and I get to go. If I do, expect a lengthy post!
So my birthday is next week and I am very excited. On Monday I am going out for dinner with a bunch of teachers from my school and then they are all coming back to my apartment afterwards. Should be fun times! I managed to find some sweet buys and have furnished my apartment nicely, so hopefully I can accomodate every one 🙂 I will be sure to post some updated pictures of my apartment soon.
That is all for now – oh, besides the fact that I ate pig intestine and pig blood yesterday. Not my favorite. lol
Next time I hope to have the video option working so then I can show you videos of my cute students!
Miss and love you all! xoxo