The Party Never Stops

LOL @ me aiming for a mid-May update....

Here's what I did the rest of May:

THE PARTY TRULY NEVER STOPS... The Tuesday following my Mudeungsan hike was only a half day so we could celebrate Buddha's birthday one last time.

Then Wednesday was actually Buddha's birthday, so I went to Goksung (곡성) with Anna, Maggie, and Mat. (If you Google "Goksung" you'll get information about some movie called "The Wailing"... IDK anything about that.) Here we are riding a rail bike:

Mat was such a trooper because I complained almost the whole time and made him do most of the peddling. This is also the last time I comfortably wore pants in Korea.

After Goksung Anna and I went to Jinju to hike Jirisan (지리산). Jirisan is one of (if not the most) famous mountain in Korea. A lot of people hike the entire ridge... I did not. Anna and I hiked to Cheonwangbong (천왕봉). Along our hike a lot of people stopped to take a photo of this rock: (not sure why)

We made a lot of friends with ajjushis (old Korean men) who were very concerned we didn't have hiking poles/would get lost. Frequently, I would hike a bit ahead of Anna and wait for her and every time some ajjushi would stop and be like "we're almost there! only X meters! let's finish this together!!!!" And I'd be like "uhh... uhhhh... my friend... coming..." (except in really bad Korean)

We finally made it to the top and I genuinely feared I would get pushed off the mountain by some ajjushi/ajjumas trying to photos of themselves with the rock that denotes it's the top so we skipped that and took pics at just a little ways down.

It was raining almost the entire hike, but still totally worth it. We got to see these creepy Miyazaki like scene:

After Jirisan I had a bit of time before my sister came to Korea. I had dinner with fellow Gwangju ETA, Tiffany, in Yanglim-dong (양림동) in Gwangju. The area was V trendy and very far from my house.

I also met Eugene, who lives near by in Jeongeup (정읍). We got dinner and these fancy ice cream 붕어빵 in Gwangju.

I had an open class the morning of the day my sister comes to Korea, so here are some staged photos I took with my coteacher. She's much better at playing along.

Finallllllyyyy, my sister came to Korea! Here are some highlights:
Suncheon Bay Gardens:
10/10 recommend the PRT

Jeonju Hanok Village
We did a ton of stuff that I didn't get photos of: KIA Tigers baseball game, played soccer with my students, ate dinner with my co-workers, had Korean BBQ with Annaliese and Mat... It was a very packed, but fun, week.

To finish off May I went to Seoul to have a BBQ @ Annaliese's apartment and Daejeon for the U-20 World Cup Games. On Friday night Annaliese and I had 양꼬치 (basically skewered meat that cooks in front of you) before grabbing some ciders from a bottle shop and drinking in park in 연남동 (Yeonnam-dong).

On Saturday AM we got our hair cut and then ran around grabbing supplies for the bbq! I unfortunately have to pictures from the BBQ, but here's a post-hair cut Annaliese next to her favorite flowers:

On Sunday, Annaliese and I got bagels at Bagel MTL before hopping on a KTX with our friend Mike to watch some soccer in Daejeon!

Avocado Shrimp Bagel... Yummmmmm^^

France/New Zealand and USA/Saudi Arabia.
Mike and I were pretty nervous about getting tickets back to our cities after the game, so when we got to Daejeon we parted ways to get bus tickets. Mike went to the larger terminal in Daejeon and I had to go to 유성 (Yooseong... possibly smaller than the bus terminal in 정읍 Jeongeup). So Mike got in a taxi to go to his terminal and Annaliese and I got on the subway to go to mine.

Now, Mike and I did our research for buying tickets (Mike had actually gone to games already) and I checked in the morning and there were THOUSANDS of tickets left..... so when Annaliese and I overheard some other foreigners on the subway saying that they couldn't get tickets to the USA/Saudi Arabia game because it was sold out I got a little nervous. BUT I knewwww in my heart of hearts that that wasn't possible because you had to buy the tickets as a double header and Mike confirmed that within four hours of the game you can't buy tickets online, but we were all still a little worried so I got off at my stop to go to my bus terminal and Annaliese stayed on to go buy tickets for the game.

IN THE END.... The games were no where near sold out.

Before I describe what happened in the USA/Saudi Arabia game I want to say that I think most of the foreigners in Korea aren't here to act maliciously. I think the root the behavior I saw is from ignorance and (maybe) self importance.

Mike and I moved closer to the field (practically front row) and found ourselves between two groups of very loud, possibly patriotic, mostly white adults... plus a few of their kids. Some of their actions were, but definitely not limited to:
     -Shouting "vamos" at some US players
     -Yelling "Allah" at the Saudi Arabian players
     -Shouting "Saudi Arabia" to each other in racist, caricature accents
     -Arguing with the security workers that they should be allowed to stand against and hang with flags over the railing because it's not bother anyone
     -In general, delighting when things were bad for Saudi Arabia and being very angry when things were good for Saudi Arabia

I've since learned that there is a German word for enjoying other people's misfortunes: schadenfreude. I'm angry with what happened, but also angry with my lack of action and all of reasons I didn't act are just excuses. I am able to live a very peaceful life in Korea: no one stares at me, people don't shout English at me, I can live almost as a Korean person and I guess I didn't want to give up that anonymity. It was selfish of me. I have a lot of privilege in the world and I hope that next time, no matter how small the act is, I react swiftly and appropriately. 

The even bigger bummer? Mike and I didn't get a photo with Jurgen Klinsmann </3

On a lighter note: I'm trying to drink all the drinks from convenience stores so here's the latest:

To be honest, I'm not entirely sure what it is. I'm 99% sure it's just strawberry milk, but not strawberry milk like in America. It was very light and refreshing (AKA not overloaded with sugar).

Up Next: June Pt. 1 (My first solo trip!)


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