The summer of 2010 was an amazing summer of laughs, great friendships, and lots of late nights. Since a couple of my dearest friends left Korea this year, I wondered if this summer could be any better than last year. So- I challenged myself to have a better summer… a tough challenge, but was I successful?
Summer began with a birthday celebration of an unusual sort. My friend, Suzi, wanted to go to a trick art museum instead of doing the traditional celebratory things. I thought it was a fantastic idea! Me, two of her other friends, and Suzi made a 2 hr subway ride to the outskirts of Seoul to visit a temporary Trick Art Museum. If you’ve never heard of, or experienced, trick art, the concept is that the art “tricks” one’s eyes with optical illusions. I will let the photos speak for themselves. 🙂
The language club I am apart of (LanguageCast) took a summer (weekend) trip to Gapyeong. We went to the Garden of the Morning Calm. The scenery was as if I were standing on a movie set. It was really cool. The 40 or so of us who went, stayed in pension houses (where you basically rent out a house). We basically had one compound to ourselves. Crazy fun in the pool ensued, followed by a barbeque and games inside the pension houses.
This summer, as a random side note, I also learned to cook my favorite Korean dish–soybean soup– when I visited one of my friends and his family in the southern part of the country. We enjoyed a Buddhist park/temple/walking path, lots of laughs and some great food. This is a (nationally) famous dish called 빔빔밥 (bimbimbap), which means “mixture.” As you can see, it has lots of vegetables, rice and an egg. Yes, it tastes as good as it looks– DELICIOUS! The next day, we took a trip to their parents’ house and then waded in a small stream. Here are the highlights.
Every weekend of June, July, August and the first two of September, I did something. Whether it be travel to another part of Korea, visit a museum, a famous site, or meet up with friends. It was an eventful summer. One weekend, I traveled to the NE part of Korea to a coastal city called, Seokcho. I was fortunate enough to go out on a scuba divers’ boat with 6 other divers and the boat driver. I realized, once on the open water, that I forgot my sunscreen. MISTAKE! To make matters worse, the boat broke down (engine failure) and we were stuck– literally– in the middle of nowhere, open water, in a raft. Well, the short of it was that help came and pulled us back to shore, but not before the boat’s tie-down (what we happened to be being pulled by) broke. It was an adventure to say the least, but hey, they caught an octopus– which we ate for dinner– and other sea urchins… salty, but tolerable.
For Chuseok, I had 5 friends (from my former city– Ulsan) over and we had lots of fun playing my Korean Monopoly game. I also made my annual visit to Gyeongbukgong Palace (my 3rd visit) and did the “touristy thing” with Meagan. We also watched a performance FROM the SECOND ROW~ which was great as well. To top it off we got to meet the cast and as yet another bonus, we were gifted with the soundtrack because of some “issues” with ticketing.
Overall, I can definitely say that this summer was a SUCCESS! Can’t wait to see what adventures next summer has in store… my life just gets better and better!