So it's almost been 4 months (the 29th is my marker) and I'm still going strong. Lots of stuff has been going on. It seems like every weekend there is something to do or somewhere to go. Fall is very much the celebratory season here. Three weeks ago I climbed Seoraksan, two weeks ago I went to a lantern festival in Jinju, and this past weekend was the fireworks festival in Gwangali. I've also taken up Muay Thai, but I'll get into that later.
You know about and have seen Seoraksan, so I'll start with Jinju. Two Saturdays ago, me and 5 other girlfriends went to Jinju. It's not in Busan, so it's about an hour and a half bus ride for 7,000w. The festival had been going on for a week already so we were catching it on it's last night. It was incredible. Jinju is not a very big city but when it's filled with thousands of people, it sure does get big quick. There's a river that flows thru it which is where all of the lanterns are placed. Then on either side of the river are shops set up from all over South Korea to all over the world. You can buy different types of food to play games or make your own lanterns. It was spectacular, it was also incredibly expensive I imagine. They also had performances by singers and traditional dancers. I tellin' you, this festival is like no other festival I've been to. Since all the hotels were full and there was an opportunity to head home, that's what we did. There was a bus that headed out of Jinju at midnight. Now the thing is, is that it is first come first serve with a 9,000 price tag. And if you got a seat you were lucky. The 5 girls and myself weren't lucky. Four of us ended up sitting in the aisle and the other two stood the rest of the time. I'm not complaining at all though. It was a blast and so much fun! (I've run out of photo space on travellerspoint, so I uploaded them to a flickr account. Here is the link to view some of the pictures from Jinju. http://www.flickr.com/photos/31640083@N06/sets/72157608231071315/)
This past weekend was the fireworks festival in Gwangali which happens to be in Busan. 1.5 million people showed up. People from all over South Korea flock to Gwangali to see the fireworks each year. Typically you get there around 3, set up camp on the beach and wait for the entire beach to be flooded with people. I however didn't exactly go that route. Earlier I headed to a rally to see the third debate, and then went to Gwangali. By the time that we got there, which was around 7:30pm the entire place was a mad house. They had shut down the subway two stops ahead and behind of Gwangali, there were police pretty much everywhere (however they aren't so much police as they are little men holding red batons). There are people shoving and pushing you to move. I told a friend that this really could be the apocalypse. It was insane. However we made it to a rooftop of an apartment building overlooking the bridge and the water. There probably couldn't have been a better place to be. It wasn't crowded and I saw each and every firework that was shot. It was by far the best and probably will be the best firework show that I see. And if you look closely enough, there was a harvest moon in the background. I tried to get pictures of it but they all came out blurry, but in the video you can see it. It was the perfect moon for a night of fireworks. (See flickr for pictures and youtube for videos. http://www.flickr.com/photos/31640083@N06/sets/72157608223339062/ http://kr.youtube.com/watch?v=X4XelTwEk74http://kr.youtube.com/watch?v=GuhA_uQvu6s)
Then there is Muay Thai. Me and a girlfriend have taken up the Thai kickboxing/martial art. I do it Mon-Fri and it works me over. It's so much fun. It also helps keep me from getting into the shape that so many foreigners get in and that is being lazy, drinking, and eating so much. It's so easy to get trapped in that, so she and I decided to revolt against it. Probably one of the best decisions I've ever made. I've always been interested in doing a form of martial arts, so I figured that since I'm in the area I might as well go for it.
Other than that, everything is going good. Nov. 15th me and 2 other girlfriends are heading up to Seoul to see Billy Joel and I'm so stoked for that! I think that's the only thing that I have planned so far, but nothing is ever planned in advance here in South Korea. I hope everyone is doing well and I can't wait to see all of y'all! And if you have the opportunity to eat mexican food, please eat some for me, seeing as I'm craving it as I would imagine an eight month pregnant woman would kill for some.