May is known as the ‘golden month’ in Korea due to the huge number of national holidays: a great time for them, as the weather is a lot like an English summer, good for sunbathing but without the stifling hummidty of July and August. Thursday was the first national holiday of the month, I spent it sleeping a lot and relaxing so I could make the most of the ones that are coming up. Work still really takes it out of me.
On Fiday I went out for dinner, drinks and singing with my favourite students again. The CEO of their company has now officially invited me to every event they have for the rest of the time I’m in Korea. They’re invariably great fun, so I’m really happy! One particular guy is a real ‘singing room’ legend, this time he spent at least half an hour stood on the table in Eminem like clothes whilst using a large fan to create ‘wind’ so it looked like he was in a music video. It would be pretty cringy if it wasn’t for the fact he’s such a great singer, you feel like you are in a music video. You could only get away with stuff like this in Korea.I’ll have to remember to film it next time! Note to self: must remember what is socially acceptable back home, if I did this down the pub in Salisbury I’d probably attacked…
After struggling through two lessons on Saturday morning ( really hard after an IZM drinking session!), a big group of us went down to ‘World DJ Festival’ on Saturday night. We’d anticipated a small stage, a few hundred people and a good excuse for a dance, but this thing really was huge. I reckon about 20,000 people, a really lively atmosphere and a stage the size of a reasonable festival back in the UK. Oddly it seemed to be dominated by rock bands early on – not a DJ in site. A particular highlight was a strange male rock group dressed in female Hanbok (Korean traditional dress) and playing music that sounded exactly like the Prodigy in Korean. Very odd imagery, but it sounded great and made the crowd go totally nuts. The site was so dusty that everytime a heavy riff kicked in a huge dust storm threw up from the front and the whole site was engulfed in mud and sand to the beat of the band on stage. Which was actually far more fun then it sounds. Great night.
On Sunday Helena and I went to Incheon, which is the Seoul satellite city which houses the international aiport and not a lot else. It’s a strange place – the traditional landing point of foreign merchants in Korea, it has a huge population of Russians and Chinese and even its own China Town. The whole city seems to be under the illusion that it’s Christmas in May: a park we walked through was playing ‘White Christmas’ over the tannoy and several shops were displaying Christmas lights or throws with ‘Happy Christmas’ written on them. We spent most of the afternoon relaxing on ‘Wolmido’ – a tacky but fun sea front area with rides, live music and pastries shaped like walking sticks. Strange and random, as was the Chinese food in China town – it seemed to consist almost entirely of seafood. I didnt see any seafood at all the whole time I was in China, but then it tasted good, so fair play. The park over China town had a view of Incheon, which is possibly the least attractive industrial skyline I’ve seen in all my travels. Still, good to see new places…
Today (Monday) is national holiday number two for this month, I’ll be relaxing on the roof and doing as little as possible all day. Can’t wait!
Love to all,