Last weekend, I went on my first organized social event outside of EPIK (the government program through which I applied to be a teacher). I went with a group of about 65 westerners and Koreans, mostly Daegu locals, to a place called Bong-hwa. We went rafting the first day, spent the night in a small town near the river, and then toured a famous cave on the way back to Daegu the second day.
Although the river was pretty tame, the rafting was a lot of fun. I was fortunate to find myself in a boat with five people who made it exciting, even when we weren’t (accidentally) hitting rocks and nearly flipping. Because the river guides didn’t speak much English, at least one bilingual Korean was placed in each bot. We definitely lucked up in the translator department when 윤다정 (Da Jung) was placed in our group. Unlike most Koreans who are reserved around westerners, she was outgoing and lively. This allowed us to understand and interact with our guide, who was a lot of fun, too.
The rafting was a blast, but my favorite part was the cookout later that night. The entire group gathered for a great meal that included pork, shrimp, hot dogs, and an “all-you-can-drink” supply of beer. The organizers’ definition of “all-you-can-drink” isn’t the same as ours, so we ran out pretty early. It probably didn’t help that the group included at least a dozen members of Daegu’s Gaelic (Irish) Football team. Fortunately, there was a store in walking distance with beer and soju.
The next morning, we woke up and drove to a cave called 단양고수 (Danyang Gosu). The cave tour was a lot of fun…for the first fifteen minutes. The last half hour of the cave tour got a bit repetitive – it basically became a long walk underground. On a positive note, it gave us a nice long break from the sweltering heat and humidity above ground. Unfortunately, the cave tour came too late for me – I smelled pretty horrible before we got to the cave. I feel awful for the poor girl who had to sit next to me all day on the bus. If she noticed, she was pretty damn polite.
I can’t wait for the next trip. It’s a great way to meet new people and have a fun weekend without hemorrhaging money. Enjoy the pictures!
Until next time.