Day 2053

June 14, 2017

In my last update, 2016 was about to come to a close... but not before we got in some skating at Lotte World in Seoul where the 8 and 80 year olds were doing laps around us. 

The beginning of 2017 brought us one of Big Bang's final shows before the members started their mandatory military service (and got busted for drug use, but that's a completely different story). 

And then it was two weeks of hell bliss with these demons angels for English Camp at the university. If I'm being sincere, I would say it was a pretty great experience overall, but was absolutely exhausting. My homeroom consisted of 9 unmotivated middle schoolers from 9am to 9pm, and that should be all the explanation I need to describe how those two weeks went.  

For Seollal/"Chinese New Year", we headed to Daegu and stumbled upon a cafe full of playful (albeit smelly and probably not sanitary) raccoons. We spent the last day of our holiday at the ice-fishing festival in Hwacheon. I've been to a lot of festivals in Korea, and this one definitely ranks in the top 3. 

In late 2016/early 2017 there was only one Korean drama that anyone was talking about: Goblin/Guardian: The Lonely and Great God/도깨비. It wasn't the best Korean drama I've seen (and was, in my non-expert opinion, garbage), but we discovered that part of the filming location was very much local and couldn't pass up the hype. Perhaps you saw the video I made about it:

People in Korea were thrilled that their president was impeached and they all went out celebrating. I couldn't pass up that energy.

When the sun and warm weather made an appearance, we took a trip to the birthplace of Buddhism in Korea: Baekjae (백제불교최초도래지). 

A wedding brought us back to Daegu again. This time we discovered Hillcrest, an "eco theme park" which had a zipline course.

And then came the cherry blossoms!

Warm weather also opened up opportunities for more touristy things. I had been to Gyeongbok Palace in the past, but this year they introduced evening entrance/night views.

A rock festival came to town which we couldn't pass up. We initially went to see Zion.T (who I wrote about in my January/February favourites), but a folk singer called Jeon In-Gwon (전인권) completely stole the show before Zion.T was even on stage. Jeon In-Gwon was popular since the 80s and had a huge following which was evident from the teary-eyed, middle-aged women in the crowd. The only song I recognized by him was "Don't Worry/걱정말아요 그대" which was originally released in 2004 but was brought back to the surface as a cover by Lee Jeok (이적) and featured in the soundtrack of the super popular Korean drama, "Reply 1988/응답하라1988" in 2015. I wasn't only won over by his amazing covers of Fleetwood Mac and Jimi Hendrix, but also the intense love from his fans which was extremely palpable.

Jeon In-Gwon performing "Don't Worry/걱정말아요 그대":

My dear, don’t worry about anything
Let’s sing together
Bury all the painful memories
Deep inside your heart

All things past is in the past
They all have a meaning
Sing to the one who left
Say that you loved without regrets

You went through so many difficult things
You lost that newness
All of the hardships
Brush them all off

All things past is in the past
They all have a meaning
Let’s all sing together
Say that you dreamed without regrets

All things past is in the past
They all have a meaning
Let’s all sing together
Say that you dreamed without regrets

All things past is in the past
They all have a meaning
Let’s all sing together
Say that you dreamed without regrets
Say that you will dream a new dream

Jeon In-Gwon:


Another weekend brought us camping! It was borderline not camping season yet, but what could stop us. Photo context: We were playing a fibbing game that HK received for Childrens Day. I lost.

A first birthday brought us once more to Daegu.

A TOEIC workshop brought me up to Seoul. After the workshop was done, we wanted to do a cafe tour. This mission didn't pan out as we expected since we ended up spending 3 hours at the Personality Test Cafe (심리카페 멘토). Filling out an 80 item questionnaire like that one was the truest test of my Korean to date. We managed to squeeze in the Selfie Cafe (CaFace/카페이스) before driving 4 hours back to Mokpo.

Another weekend, another trip to Seoul. This time I was looking for true music festival feels which is exactly what I got. I didn't know any of the artists super well, but got the chance to get to know a lot of new ones. And to make my students jealous by taking pictures of their favourite artists. 

On the night before the festival, we stopped at a phone-decorating cafe, DB Story (디비스토리). We paid for the pieces we pieces we selected and then assembled them on our selected phone case (mine ended up being around $15 altogether). 


Blushing Youth/Bolbbalgan4/볼빨간사춘기:


And then clueless me didn't even see this shiny thing coming. That story may have to be reserved for another time. 

In anticipation of turning 30, I wanted to try something new/fun. That new/fun something was rollerskating. 

Did I mention I turned 30?

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