Sunday, October 6, 2013

Seoul International Fireworks Festival

Ever year there's this fireworks festival here in Seoul, I've heard of it before but for some reason I had the urge to go this year.  It's a two hour long show, with groups from Japan, Canada, and France coming to show us what they've got.

We didn't see much since we came late, on account of we were coming back from a cross country meet...but I was still rearin' to go with my camera and tripod in tow.

We hopped off the school bus and onto the subway (because we heard the traffic would be horrible).  Little did we know how horrible the subway itself would be.  Waiting at Gongdok station, we got our first taste of the massive crowds when we had to wait for another train to come because the first one was so packed.  I've never seen it like this...these kind of things only happen in China or something.

When we got off the subway at Yeouinaru, and were greeted with wall to wall people moving up two stories worth of stairs and escalators.  It probably took us 30 minutes just to get out of the Subway station inching along.  I wore a sweatshirt and was sooooo hot.  You can see the pained look in peoples' faces.  I can definitely say I have not been in a crowd that big before.  At least Koreans are pretty clean and after being here this long my "personal space bubble" has shrunk.  It was just so hot.  And sometimes it was scary when people got a little pushy.

We hopped off the subway and there was just a million people.  Literally.  Being with a million people was pretty surreal.  Apparently people start setting up in the early afternoon.  We were able to maneuver ourselves to a bridge where we could watch the last 15 minutes of the show, and even squeezed in right up to the rail.  I set up my tripod but was not able to get the photos I dreamed of...not even remotely close.  Please don't laugh at my pathetic attempts to photograph the fireworks.  Let's just admire the work of Vincent Wong. Maybe one day, with the right equipment and forethought I'll be able to get it right!

When the show finished there was NO WAY I was getting back on the subway so I was prepared to walk the seven?? or so miles home.  I actually have no idea, it could be much shorter or much longer.

We found a hole-in-the wall restaurant and had the best roasted chicken I've ever had in my life!  It tasted so good and we were so hungry by 9:45.

After a few drinks and a chicken, time had passed and we started the journey home.  We walked quite a ways before we finally found a cab.  I was beginning to think we'd actually have to walk all the way home.

The traffic home was bad but all in all, it was a really cool night, just being a part of the buzz.  I'm sure if we would have seen the whole show, it would have been cool, but I was more mesmerized with the sheer number of humans in that one area.

Olympic Park

On Thursday, October 3rd, we had day off school. (I know, I know, it seems like we always have days off school and we do....first quarter.)  Apparently it was Korea National Foundation day...meaning...celebrating the foundation of Korea, in 2333 B.C.  Makes America seem like a baby. 

Anywho, we got another day off school.  We have been pretty exhausted so didn't really plan anything, but decided to go to a park at the last minute.  We had never been to Olympic Park, so Thursday was the day.  There were a ton of people there, presumedly because of the holiday.  We were able to find a nice patch of grass to camp out on, proceeded to eat our junk food and then pass out.  (We had planned on reading.)  All in all, it was a nice day to get out and see something new.  

Apparently there was also a K-Pop concert going on there, so in addition to all the families and park goers there were thousands of teenage girls.  

I brought my camera, but forgot to bring my SD Card for like, the tenth time (you'd think I'd learn...) so we got these with the iPhone.  Definitely works in a pinch!  

Lately (September)

September and October are two of my favorite months in Korea! The weather turns and school is in full swing and days off and hangouts are abundant.  Cross country is great and school is still fun and there's so much to appreciate.  Here are just a few pics from September!

Dinner at Zelen-A Bulgarian restaurant which everyone raves about...it was OK...we probably should have ordered something other than the meat platter...which was legit just meat. Sangria was divine.

My old roommate and good friend moved from Korea to Hong Kong two years ago but came back!!  She now has her own place with an amazing view of the city.  She had friends over for a housewarming party and made WAY too much food but it was so delicious and it was so special!  Her mom even flew in from France and brought fancy cheeses to us.  (And special licorice candy for me!)  A wonderful time was had by all!

A little while later my man and I went back to her apartment and I had my tripod so I was able to get some night pics!  From her bedroom you can see Seoul Tower, from her living room, Seoul Station, and from her Kitchen Yongsan Station and the 63 Building!  It's almost a 180 degree view of the city!

 Three beautiful roses from my man just because.  Now I can't say "no guy has ever gotten me flowers" ever again!

We had our friend Brandon over a few times to watch the last episodes of "Breaking Bad".  We barbecued again for the finale.  I love how the show ended.  Sad to see it go!

These are just a few things from September...more coming in upcoming blog posts!