Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Boryeong Mudfest 2006

The cutest kids ever. I wanted to kidnap them.

So adorable!

The Mudfest is the biggest Festival of the year in Korea and this year it happened to fall on a three day weekend. Three days of sun, mud, sand, waves and rain. Oh yeah, and a bit of beer. Ahhh, the weekend, you really can't beat it.

This weekend was very different from my typical weekend away from the city. One of the main reasons (besides the mud) was because of all the foreigners here. Boryeong is a relatively small city with only about 10 foreigners, but for this festival, foreigners swarm to the city. It was probably an equal match of Koreans to foreigners, with hundreds of people gathered on the beach. It's amazing how many people you come to know after a year of living in one place. The foreign community in Korea seems to endlessly be connected in strange and unexpected ways that sometimes will only become known once you throw everyone together on a beach.

The sun was out on Saturday and by 2 pm I had a bright red splotchy sunburn all over. I put on sunscreen damn it! Maybe the mud interacting with it made it ineffective. By the next morning I also had several mosquito bites to go along with my burn. I think the jimjilbang I stayed at was breeding mosquitoes in an unused sauna room. Back to the beach though. There was lots of frolicking in mud, going down the mudslide, and then wrestling in the mud pit. Then also there was swimming in the ocean. Playing in the waves almost brought back childhood memories I would have had had I grown up by the ocean. It felt nostalgic anyways. I realized this weekend that I suck at swimming in the ocean no matter how much fun I have. I just didn't grow up with it, I don't understand the waves. Oh, I will someday (soon) but for now I'm still that awkward Midwesterner not knowing quite what to do in the ocean. This naivety of the waves led to my being pulled under for awhile, disoriented, and swallowing a nose full of salty water and losing my favorite blue bandana (impermanence, I tell myself). Either way it was fun and I didn't drown.

A great weekend overall, if not a bit exhausting.