June has been a busy month and I’m sorry that I’ve been a little behind on my posts. The temperature here in Korea is on the up, last night I thought it might have reached 50 degrees, but it turned out that my flatmate had just left the heating on all night, 바보.
I’m writing this as I jump from class to class in the minutes I have between running class tests. We do these every month and if I have a small class I can finish early and do some writing. I though the best way to keep you up to date with my month would be to break it down into two small posts about my weekends this month. Each has been pretty different, highlights include swallowing bugs, feeding fish and playing ‘Never Have I Ever’ with Koreans.
This is Part 1 of my June Catch Up.
Weekend 1 – 8th-9th June – ‘I Swallowed a Bug!’
You know that feeling you get when you wake up early after a big night out. That feeling that your eyeballs are trying to push themselves into the back of your head, making you a little dizzy when you stand up. Do you know that feeling? Well, I seem to get it every time I wake up before 9am, regardless of whether I have a drink or not. I blame my body clock, 5 years of late nights and early starts have rendered me incapable of functioning before brunch. So imagine how I felt when I was woken, from sleeping on a sofa, at 7am, after a late night. I wasn’t a happy man. Susie, a Korean friend, had woken me and it was her sofa I was on. We were headed to Kangwondo to go rafting and had to be at the station by 10am.
When we reached Kangwondo the sun was turned up to full power and we had about half an hour to kill before our pick-up arrived. Our little group, which was made up of Nico (the Frenchman), Adrian (the Spaniard), Mi Ra and Susie (the Koreans) and myself (the only one at risk of serious sunburn), decided to find a coffee to pass the time with. Our options were limited, so we went to a brothel. It advertised as a coffee shop but we were pretty sure it wasn’t a coffee shop, and our suspicions were all but confirmed when the heavily made-up older lady was surprised when we ordered coffee, also, it was pretty bad coffee.
Later we were on the bus to lunch. I had joined Mi Ra in ordering the CheongGukJang Jjigae, a kind of soy bean broth. Susie was surprised I ordered it and asked if I’d had it before, I hadn’t. CheongGukJang Jjigae (also known as Dead Body Soup after a mix up with a Korean family’s German neighbours and the police) looks like vomit, smells like feet and had the texture of three and a half month old milk. I did my best (I really did) but one bowl and lots of water was all I could handle.
After lunch we had a drive to the rafting get on and before too long we were there. That’s when we saw the quad bikes and decided to have a go. It was great fun shooting around over sand dunes and through bushes. Mi Ra managed to launch herself off her bike on two occasions and somehow avoided any major injuries. I may have done some serious damage to my own body but I won’t know for sure until I want to start making babies. We took a break and Adrian, Nico and I decided to take a swim in the – perfectly flat, and calm – river that we would soon be paddling. In true 바보 style I took my wallet swimming with me.
The river, as I said, was flat, really flat. It was a little disappointing but the day was as nice as any for a boat ride in Korea. The lack of rapids was made up for with games and acrobatics off the boat. The only ‘rapid’ section was maybe just a kayaking grade 3 with one hole that might be a challenge for a kayaker but which a raft just breezed through. It was while we were coming out of this rapid that the kamikaze fly made its move.
I remember it as if it happened in slow motion. The lightning flash of brown as the sun gleamed off its back. The cruel look of determination and hate in its funky fly eyes, it almost seemed to wink at me… Ok, I may have imagined that last but no sooner had I seen it, I felt it hit the back of my throat and fall into the blackness of my digestive system. I swallowed a bug! This sent me into an undignified minute of coughing, spluttering and retching.
Tomorrow – Part 2 of my June Catch Up
James Vs World