Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Children's Day.

It is interesting to celebrate another country's holidays. Today was Children's Day, so we went to Hangang Park for a picnic and some bike riding.

A group of us from the school met up in the subway with various of Marius's friends for a picnic. While we were waiting, Marius and Korrine tried to get in trouble with this kick ball. Lots of times, though, authority figures just laugh at the dumb things foreigners do.

We passed through Yeouido Park on our way to Hangang Park. We decided to forgo the Pond in the Grassy Field for our spot along the river.

It seemed like all the savvy Koreans had shade tents. Fantastically savvy.

Playing footie. DeWet and Marius are both from South Africa.

We all rode tandem bikes. Korean sized. Dan is not that. His legs hit the handle bars, and it was difficult for him to steer, and, for me, it was what I imagine it'd feel like to hitch a ride with a Korean motorcyclist.

After bikes, we waded through the small water park. The reason I am wearing this bemused expression on my face is that we had just seen three completely naked little boys running around the fountain. In fact, several of them were inadvertently captured in all but one of the pictures Dan attempted to take of me at that time.

Rocks and flowers and pines.

What happened next was over an hour of us traipsing (and by traipsing, what I mean is trekking up mountainous back alleys and small town streets) through Mapo-Gu trying to avoid two subway transfers on our way to Shinsegae Department Store. Dear friends, never ever ever in your whole life think you can successfully make it somewhere you have never walked by way of a town through which you have never walked. Especially if that town is in a country you've been in for only two months. There is a system and it cannot be cheated. Even still, we got to see fun things. Guilty Parties Killer Tunes Broadcast Shake Alady.

By the time we mercifully found a subway station, we booked it home. As a result, we instead ate dinner at our local Taco Papa and had really fancy Mexican food. I got Arroz con Pollo (which my mom used to make and I always loved) and Dan got Lomo Saltado, which, according to Google is a Peruvian dish with Asian influences. I don't think I've ever had a true Mexican entree before, and it was very, very lovely. Another fun fact, we overcame our Korean language barrier by corresponding (quite successfully, I might add) with our waitress in Spanish. It's interesting, because I've noticed that, for me, constantly hearing a foreign language turns on the foreign language sector of my brain and tries to connect words to the only other foreign language I know, so I am often thinking of Spanish responses to Korean questions, and this one time it worked!



  1. Weird comment - but I also felt like the foreign language sector of my brain was turned on simply by hearing an odd accent on a daily basis, as well as learning new 'foreign'/British words. I frequently spoke in the small amount of Espanol that I learned in Elementary school.

  2. I'm glad someone else has experienced this Spanish speaking phenomenon. Aren't brains so weird?