Recuperating from the overnight Music Core failure felt a lot like jetlag. I just needed a day to relax and catch up on my sleep. But, I also didn’t want to waste a perfectly good Sunday when I could be checking things off my bucket list.
So, after church (which I found!), I texted Silvia to meet her on the the river for lunch. By the river I mean the Han River but I like just say river because it makes me feel cool.
The River runs straight through Seoul, dividing it in half. And like most rivers that cities were founded on, it was a big deal in centuries past and is now a tourist attraction.
Looking back, it was one of my favorite afternoons in Seoul I’ve had yet. And I’ve had some pretty great afternoons in Seoul.
We took Line 5 (purple) to the Yeouinaru Station, followed the couples up to exit 3, and were met with a large grassy park with street food and bike rental places and restaurants where families were eating ice cream and fried chicken, and couples were straight up sleeping under trees, all the way down to a paved square where high school and college kids were fooling around on long boards and flirting with each other. On the other side of the square was the river, where apparently there are no boating laws because speed boats and jetskis with paragliders and giant ferries all shared the same water.
We bought take out fried chicken and ate it on a grassy hill overlooking the square. We joked about what the couples and the families and the boarders were all talking about, trying to guessing their life stories and making up lies about them.
As the afternoon wore on and more people came, I noticed some funny things.
First off, there was definitely a “picnic” attitude with families/friends bringing food and sitting around chatting, with some major differences. For instance, many stands were selling silver space blankets for 40000. I assume they catch the rays and do something for your health like everything else in this country. I will invest in one at some point because they look rather comfortable.
Second, while everyone was enjoying the first real day of spring, they were only enjoying it to a point. Like many Asian cultures, many Koreans consider pure white skin a sign of beauty and therefore treat the sun as an enemy. It’s a constant battle with their innate human need for Vitamin D and sunlight and happiness.
They solve this problem by either a) only sitting under trees or b) bringing tents. Like, actual camping tents.
Inside the tents were bottles of soju and half naked kids and sleeping couples.
If you didn’t have a tent or had snagged a nice spot under a coveted tree, then you at least had an umbrella.
Third, the food was obviously different. Fried chicken, chicken on a stick, fried octopus, honey butter chips, flavored milks, convenience store kimbap, meat flavored cheetoes, steamed bugs (actual bugs I don’t want to talk about it), corn on the cob, cotton candy, macaroon ice cream cookies (amazing), coconut juice, and more.
I came home rejuvenated and ready for the week.
Only for this morning to be hit with another bomb. In a good way.
Remember how just yesterday I said I was looking forward to Dream Concert because I had transportation from Gangnam and a ticketed seat and wouldn’t have to worry about fighting fangirls?
We got an email from Lotte, who we had purchased the tickets from, saying that they just released standing room tickets.
While still ticketed, with an assurance of getting in, the actual positions depend on a “first come first serve” basis.
What does that mean for me?
Looks like I will,in fact, be camping out and fighting fangirls to get into the front.
This just got real.