Thursday, July 16, 2009
So this past weekend was mudfest. I think it is supposed to celebrate the health qualities of the mud...or something like that, unfortunately, I don't think I'm not sure what point was....but it was a festival...and there was a lot lot of mud eventually...
So I signed up as many foreigners do in Korea...thru some random agency I looked up on the Internet. The idea was that I would pay a bit more...but that I wouldn't have to worry getting down there, lodging, or getting back.
Unfortunately when I initially signed up for mudfest, it was during my time of transition. Where I knew I was leaving my previous job, but hadn't quite nailed down the new job yet. So I wasn't exactly picky about which subway stop I was picked up at. I honestly didn't think it would make much of a difference...a bus ride is a bus ride...right? That's like saying a boat ride is just a 3 hour tour...a 3 hour tour...
So, I just happened to pick the pick up location that was the farthest one from me. But that wasn't really a problem...as the subway system in Seoul is amazing. The problem is that this bus left last...and therefore hit traffic. How bad you may ask? There were men in the middle of the highway selling waffles. The picture is that of an off ramp...there were men in the middle of the biggest highway in Korea...selling waffles. When's the last time you saw a dozen hot dog vendors strolling between cars on I-90?
What should have been a 2-3 hour drive lasted well over 5 hours. It was so long that by the time we arrived.. they were out of mud. Oh...and everyone was wet...not from the mud...but from the rain.
I really didn't care...I was off that bus. I threw my things in a rented locker...and went for a brief swim in the ocean. Got bored, and went and found my room.
The downside of not planning your own trip, is not booking your own room. I expected a few extra people, but I didn't expect to cram 8 people on the floor. We figured out how to fit 6 comfortably....but we couldn't figure out where we were going to put the Aussies...but they weren't there...so we kind of put the decision off.
I strolled around...ate some delicious Indian food, watched the fireworks (a professional show that made of for the 4th of July), and watched a really bad hip hop concert. I don't mean to say I didn't enjoying watching the concert...just the guys doing the concert were really bad. The entertainment came from the audience. You see...they had 500 plus drunk foreigners...and only 3 security guards. While the guard could handle the 2 entrances to the stage...they couldn't do that AND patrol under the stage.
So what would happen is someone would decoy the security guard...and someone else would go onstage and dance with one of the back up dancers....only to be escorted off
Or just annoy the guards...
Once that was over...I headed to bed....or well what I called bed. You see...Koreans have a slightly different idea of beds than us Americans. They like to sleep on the floor on pads. So the hotel room was just a plain room with pads, blankets and pillows in the closet. Again...we managed to cram 6 of us on the floor...but theoretically had 2 more roommates that were nowhere to be found.
I woke up the next morning...with 6 people crammed into the room...only to discover the Aussies had miraculously showed up during the middle of the night. Not wanting to disturb anyone they politely just curled up on the floor in the hallway and in the closet...without blankets, pillows or pads...WHAT NICE GUYS.
After, eating some more Indian food for breakfast. I made it back to the beach only to discover that mudfest was officially back in business...they had mud again. Only today was a downpour and windy. Most everyone stayed inside to avoid the bad weather. I can't say I really cared. I mean...did you intend to stay dry...at a mud festival?
I muddied up like Arnold Swartzenager gearing up to fight Predator. Then ran into the mud wrestling pit. I held my own against a couple of guys...but really...but got tossed a few times...did my share of tossing...but decided it wasn't my thing when I took a guy to the ground...only to have a pair of guys topple onto us....and another set of guys topple onto the pile of us...
I washed off in the raging ocean...did I mention the wind was up? (there was a Korean life guard that made blow horn noises at you if you got any deeper that 2 feet of water...)
The bus ride back was uneventfully slow. We took 5 hours to get back...but not because of traffic this time...our driver just got lost... LOST ...all he had to do was follow the highway and we would have been fine! It's like getting lost going from Yakima to Seattle....just turn onto I 90 and follow the signs...it really isn't that hard.
He tried to placate the passengers with movie out of his personal collection....but it took a while to find on in English...
Anyhow...I'm not sure if I can vouch for the health properties of mud...but I can vouch for the negative consequences of getting mud in your ears. DON'T I'm still trying to get it out with these crazy wooden Q-tips!