“Every dreamer knows that it is entirely possible to be homesick for a place you've never been to."
Inje-Gun, South Korea
I just stumbled upon this quote the other day:
"But that's the glory of foreign travel, as far as I am concerned. I don't want to know what people are talking about. I can't think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything. Suddenly you are five years old again. You can't read anything, you have only the most rudimentary sense of how things work, you can't even reliably cross a street without endangering your life. Your whole existence becomes a series of interesting guesses."
Nothing so true has come across as this in my time spent here. I say it all the time - I wonder how deafening it will be when i get home hearing all the English. Sigh. Not looking forward to it. The other day a woman turned to me while I was waiting for the subway, "May Jesus Bless your Life, Welcome to Korea!"
You can't NOT appreciate that. With a huge smile on her face, she walked away. Of course, on the opposite end of the spectrum, I had to call American Airlines the other day, and hearing real English from a happy stranger almost brought tears to my eyes. Getting a little excited about home :)
Anyway, i've really slacked the rest of the summer with blogging, so one is gonna have to serve for the rest of June and then July. Which is fine, nothing worth remembering has really happened. Memories will be memories, and thats fine and good. But beer drenched weekends hardly neeed to be recorded. I did do a river trekking trip. That was..........incredible. About 5k through a river. Yes through a river. Not alongside it. And then we went white water rafting the next day. This was all traversed on a very small bus, and it was ... rough. At one point we traveled 5k in an hour. Yes. Really. I got well acquainted with every rest stop's bathroom.
We stayed at a beautiful hostel though, the night of the river trekking. That was absolutely incredible, waking up to the misty mountains in the middle of Gangwando countryside was something I could get used to.
Other than that though, we had a beer fest in Itaewon the first or second weekend in July, I believe? where, for the first time in about 11 months, I got real beer to drink. Not Cass, not Hite, real beer. Pineapple, banana, and cream soda flavors were also all present.
Hmm.. ah yes. That weekend, was also completely epic. Can't believe this almost slipped my mind. After beer fest, my friend and I went back to my apartment and crashed. When we woke up the next morning, he informed me that.....there was ....... flyboarding... right in Yeouido. Flyboarding, you ask? Well, it's essentially a quick trip to the future. You are jetpacking in the water. A hose is connected to something like a snowboard, in which your feet are buckled. Then the hose launches you out of the water by spraying water so forcefully that you're actually floating. Jet packing. I don't even need to explain this. What you're imagining is what happened. No, I didn't know this existed in the world either. But waking up, and deciding to walk 20 minutes from your apartment to do something i've only seen in Back to the Future, is not a bad start to a sunday.
We also went to World Cup Stadium that day as well. Finally saw a Seoul Soccer game! We spent the rest of the day hanging on in Hongdae Park, drinking hanging out. My friend Mel had the brilliant idea of inventing Coolju - a mix of soju and these flavored ice flakes you can buy in the ice cream section of any convenience store. The combo costs arounddddd 2,000 won. I mean alright.
The rest of the month of July was pretty low key. There was Mud Fest, the 16th annual HUUUUUGE expat fest. Again, what it sounds like, raging through mud, mud obstacle courses, etc., and loving it. Let's just say the biggest decision of this weekend was whether to jaywalk out in the street, with a drink in hand, before or after the oncoming police car. Oh wait, there was also making the choice of whether to carry the alcohol with me on a motorized scooter. Which could be rented for under 10USD, at 3 a.m. at one of the biggest booze fests of the year. OF course, the choice was, yes, I will carry this soju with me. And ride around for 30 minutes in the back streets of Boryeong. Where else in the world?! I'm never leaving.
The following weekend I went to Ansan Rock Fest and saw Yellowcard and Fun. FANTASTIC concert, and just what I needed.
Time is winding down, however, and it's very strange. I don't know how I feel about leaving, but it is without a doubt bittersweet. Though, backpacking for two months sweetens the deal. Oh yes did I not mention? I had an utter panic attack and extended my trip by around 3 weeks, so now I'm gonna be gone til the end of October traversing through Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos. Wild. It's weird how a place that has become so much of a home .. isn't. I have to remember this isn't forever. And ... that's scary sometimes.