July 14-15 ~ Boryeong Mud Festival!
This weekend we left campus around 8am Saturday morning to drive approximately 3 hours to the Boryeong Mud Festival! We took 5 bus loads full of people; our bus was really awesome because it had a card table in the back of the bus so we played card games the entire way to the trip: trip favorite was the mafia. Luckily someone had cards handy so that made the bus ride go by quickly!
I believe the Festival was a total of 10 days long but we only went for the weekend! It was a blast; we met other students from universities throughout Korea and people from all over the world. Most of the people we met who were fellow Americans were here either a) to teach English or b) serving in the Air Force. We all had a great time exfoliating our skin, meeting people, and getting nice and muddy! The festival is held right on the coastline of the yellow sea so once we went into the mud pit and down a few of the mud slides, we could run right to the sea and jump in to clean off! They also had fountains there to rinse off in in case of mud in the eyes, nose, mouth, or just to clean up a bit. The University paid for our entry fee as well as a free lunch pass and shower, which was really nice at the end of the day. I have been cleaning mud out of my ears for the past 2 days but definitely had a great time so I think it was worth it!
After the Mud Festival, we left for a small island with beaches that also bordered the yellow sea about an hour away from the festival. Once we arrived, we were placed into separate rooms with assigned roommates...lucky for the girls, we all got one bed to share in our rooms...the boys sadly had nothing but bare floors in their rooms to sleep on! I roomed with Amy, and our room was quite girly and dainty, haha...
Once we settled in, we walked a minute to a Korean BBQ they held for all of us outside; they had rice, pork, kimchi (of course!), soups, seaweed salads, the usual, and everything was very good! As the night progressed, the tents full of students started singing, playing games, and then, despite the pouring rain, all walked to the beach another minute away. At this point it was pretty dark out, so many students bought fireworks at the local convenience store and lit them off over the beach which was really cool to see! There were lights on the beach as reflections and with the rain, it was just gorgeous! Luckily, Amy had a waterproof camera that we were able to get some pretty good pictures with.
The next morning, we had breakfast also at a local restaurant located right on the beach where we sat on the floor on mats with our shoes off. Breakfast consisted of rice, shrimp, soup, and cabbage salad. Is is weird that this is normal to me by now?! :) It was good! After breakfast, we had a couple free hours to wander the beach before the buses left for campus. I ventured out onto the rocks in the yellow sea and got some pretty cool pictures! We made it out just in time before the tide came in and the view was great. Instead of playing cards on the way back to Hanyang, everyone slept. It was a long, full, and exhausting weekend! But definitely worth it :)
Once we got back to Seoul on Sunday night, Sara and I went out to find Pajeon, a Korean-style pancake. We also bought Makoli, rice wine that people drink on rainy days with pajeon. Little did we know...as we watched the lady make our giant square pancake about the size of 4 normal sized ones in the US...we watched her put what looked like worms onto it and we thought, oh boy this might not be as good as we hoped! Once it was cooked, Sara and I realized it was octopus on it, along with scallions and onions, and that this is quite normal here in Korea! We tried it and you aren't going to believe us when we say it was soooo goood! We actually loved it! I am glad we got a chance to try something new, especially since this is one of the foods many have recommended to us since we have been here :)
Yum Yum Yum Octopus! haha