Saturday, May 19, 2012

Small Town Festavel & Flood

Hey Ya'll!  It feels like it has been forever sense I have blogged on a Saturday but Ryan and I are spending the weekend down in GA at Stone Mountain and I thought I would use this time to post one of my many not yet finish but now finished drafts!  Hope you enjoy and hope you are having a great weekend!

So if you are new here I lived in Korea for a year or so and taught English.  It was amazing, I miss it like crazy, and there are so many memories I want to share and hopefully never forget.  The past few months I have noticed that I have had a few drafts hanging around....this one is sadly over a year old.  However rather than just delete this halfway written up memory I figure I would spell check it, add some photos and just go with it! So here is what I wrote about a small town festival that Ryan and I went to last summer. The photos are dated September 18th, 2010 so I would have to guess that is probably close to being around the time.


For the past month or so we have seen fliers all over the bus stops, seen huge banners on the way to Lotta Mart and have had a few kids in class mention this festival that was going on last week over in Anseong.  The teachers mentioned that they were all going last Thursday however it rained all week so no one went.  Ryan and I had talked about going however we really didn't see the rain letting up anytime soon and we were not even too sure of where it was, not that Anseong is a big place, or what would be going on.  All the banners have shown a Korean on what looks like a tight rope line and one of my classes pulled up videos online of past festivals.  So when the sun came out on Sunday and it was a nice warm breezy day we decided to head over and see what it was all about. 

So on the way over we decided to stop at the  McDonald's because we had taken a few weeks off from the good old Big Mac and felt it was time to treat ourselves.  It was before two so they were still running the lunch deal and they were packed.  I grabbed a table as Ryan waited in line to place our order.  They have seem to have given up the whole sixty seconds or you get a free fry deal and that was fine with us.  After a few minute and the people who had ordered before us got their food our order popped up but just as it did so did a little Korean man who grabbed tray and headed off to sit down with it. This bothered us but at the same time we figured that he must of just ordered the wrong thing and thought it was his.  So we stood there waiting for two more Big Mac's to pop up however after about fifteen minutes when they didn't we started to think something was up.  So Ryan grabbed the manager and tried to explain that we never got our food, and well when he didn't seem to understand Ryan just said even louder (because when people don't speak English it is always better to just tell them everything slower and louder...however it never helps just makes you look crazy) "that man (as he pointed to the man) took (as he did the motion of taking our tray) my Big Mac." At this point I think he was starting to put it all together thanks to the hand signals and the big upset looking white guy.  So he swapped out and order said he was sorry in broken English and "fixed it"; however at this point Ryan was too mad to eat because the Korean man and his wife were laughing and enjoying their free lunch.  So I ate quickly we packed his up and headed out to the market and to hopefully find this festival we had been told about.

As we made our way around the market we saw normal Korean things fish, squid and other sea animals for sale along with fruit, peppers, cleaning supplies, and even found some other cool things.  We were able to find a really unique gift for my brother Chris for Christmas when I had just about given up on finding him anything.  After about an hour of random wondering we had checked out  a few "quilt" shops and made our way down to a pet store.  As always I had to drag Ryan in to see what we could find; sadly this one didn't have the same welcoming feeling that the one we like to like at Lotta Mart. 

Once out of the pet store we noticed big balloons in the sky and well have come to learn that these normally are around where ever there is a festival.  After making our way down a few side streets we found one packed with food vendors and people and as we passed a man selling coconut milk out of coconuts we knew we were in the right place.  However I did wonder why there were coconuts at a Korean festival but hey when in Rome drink coconut milk!

We made our ways through the vendors down towards a river we never even knew was there only to look out and see lots of colorful tents all set up, but as we made our way closer we noticed that they all seemed empty and like something wasn't right.  Once we were at street level and parallel to the river we could see that all the tents were flooded because the river over flown onto the banks and then some.


And that is where I stopped.  My guess is that whatever class I was teaching was about to start, or Ryan and I were headed out to see friends or explore.  So lets see if I can wrap this up with a few thoughts from the festival before just ending this.....

I remember walking around a bit, being shocked at how much the water had risen from the rain, people watching, and having a good time.  We didn't ride any rides, we didn't really eat any food outside of our coconut milk, but it was something I can say I did.  We walked from one side of the river over the bridge to the other and made a loop.  After walking around for a bit we made our way back to the main part of town to catch the bus back home. 

And last but not least we have some photos from the day....as always sorry they are so big blogger and I don't get along. Oh photos from Korea always kind of make me a little home sick.  I know I don't have any family there but I did make some great friends and the country really is amazing if you are open minded and willing to change your way of thinking.

First we hit our small town market for a little bit.  Side note they did have stores like Walmart only nicer and more high end but some people still prefer the markets.

Fish from our market.
Bags and bags of my fave! Hot red peppers!
Some chicken and all the different parts.

Down at the festival...we followed the balloons in the sky to find it.

Roasted piggy
Coconut milk
Ryan and I just thought it was odd they were selling coconut milk at a Korean festival...I never once saw a coconut tree.
Where everything was set up until the rain came.
The bridge and to the right you can see the sidewalk that was flooded.

The walking path.

View from the bridge back towards the festival

The  mountains I feel in love with in my short time there
View from the other side of the river
Korea is really big in to characters.
A Korean Christian group singing songs.
View from down at the other bridge. 
Korean carnival rides....don't worry I didn't ride any of them
And another ride. Really Koreans are good at this ride....they just sit down on the edge and the ride tries to toss them out into the middle...no seat belts or anything.
I would say that this flood was a sad event and that it was devastating for the town.  Oddly thought that was not the case at all.  Yes it did flood their festival however the vendors still came out and sold their goods, the families still came out and had a great time.  Koreans are hardy people. The rebuilt the walking paths, and were just happy to have the rain.  When walking back over the second bridge Ryan and I met some Canadians who wanted to talk to us about how sad this festival was for the town, and I wanted to just yell back about how it wasn't sad at all.  It was great that this town was strong enough to over come things like this, carry on with their lives, and rebuild.  It shocks me that they could not see that this was not bothering the Koreans at all, they were still happy and going on with the events they had planned.

Maybe we could learn something here.  This small Korean town did not go looking for a hand out from some of the other, larger towns, they didn't ask for anything spacial.  They took care of themselves.  They didn't want or ask for help.  Really anytime anything happens in America we good looking for a hangout, demanding help, make it a disaster, and don't take care of ourselves.  Korean people are proud people and yes they care for one another but they also care about being independent and taking care of themselves. 

Over all I remember this day as being a great day, I remember most days in Korea as beging good days.  Days that now feel like they are years ago even thought they have only been maybe a year or so. 

Ahh memories of Korea!

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