Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cherry Blossoms!!!

This last weekend I went to Jinhae, where the cherry blossom Festival was going on. I actually went twice, once on Saturday with a group of friends and then on Sunday (this week we were watching Conference in Church which I already watched) with a coworker. The first day, Saturday, I went with my friends Joel (my fellow English teacher), James(the guy with whom I hiked mulhaksan), Carter (He teaches me Korean), and Jeonmin (a friend from church who took me to Geonju) and Jeonmin's brother. Pretty big group and we left in the afternoon so we could spend some time during the day and night.

When we arrived there we started to take pictures and James realized he had forgotten to put his SD card in his camera. So he turns to me and says 'Cyndil, my camera is better then yours, let me use your SD card.' No 'please' or some kind of offer of kind picture taking in return. But heck I am a nice person and kinda of a lone shark so I let him take the my card for the day. Requiring him to take good pictures, well it turned out that how he takes picture isn't compatible with my computer and so I couldn't get more than half the pictures. Annoyances.
The rest of the day was great though, without a camera I got to really enjoy the festival. The first thing we did was sit down and eat. We had barbecue pig, where the whole pig was being barbequed and I had whale for the first time, tasted kinda gamy and oily and weird. Not my favorite, but at least I tried it. We also shared this dish of cuttlefish which is a lot like calamari. I thought that was really good, what was bad about it was that they didn't tell us the price until we got to the register. That was a bit of a problem because the bill turned out to be 120,000 won which is equivalent to 110 dollars (give or take a few). At least we were splitting it between six people. It was still good food though :)
After we ate we climbed a small hill and a tower so we were able to see all of Jinhae and the festival. That was one of my favorite parts. I'll add what photos I have of that below:

After the tower we went to the main strip where all the cherry blossoms were lit up. By then it was night time and with the different lights and the lazer shows it was really cool looking. There was a big crowd though and it was difficult to navigate. Around nine we all decided we had enough and went to catch a bus back to Masan. At twenty minutes to eleven we forced our way onto a bus with a hundred other people. We were like sardines, most of the buses were so packed that many of them wouldn't stop at our bus stop. That is why it took so long to get on a bus. Thankfully the crowd thinned out after the first half hour of the trip. It was about an hour ride back to home. I had to follow James home so that he could give me his SD card. More annoyances. And when he was done, he didn't even walk me to his door or to the street or anything. Man, I miss gentlemen!

The next day was actually way better compared to Saturday, even though it was on a Sunday. I met up with Molly, she is like the secretary/owner of the school, she also doesn't speak English that well or at all. We left around 11 and got their around noon. We first went to a strip right next to a river/ brook where all the cherry blossoms were hanging over the sides. Oh it was beautiful, and I had plenty of chances to take pictures. We started walking into more of the town area and Molly bought me some traditional Korean candy which was super nice. We then headed over to a long strip along the side of a naval base. After about a half a mile we came to a place where their was a live band playing all in Naval uniforms and we sat and watched them for a few hours. It was so nice to just sit and not feel like you had to make conversation because Molly wouldn't understand even if I tried.
Here is a funny story for you all. So as we were sitting and listening to the music after the song stopped and the conductor started to address the crowd. After he spoke for a while people started to shout and Molly was loudest of all. She grabbed my hand and started saying 'American' 'American' (she actually said 'migookin' but that to my Korean lessons I understood that much) and the conductor pointed at me. Then Molly grabbed my arm harder and yanked me up in front of the considerable crowd to stand next to the conductor. Two others stood up too, but at least they had voluntarily stood up and had some idea of what was going on. All I could do is smile, and the conductor said something to me in Korean, everyone made their murmurings in the crowd. And the conductor hands me an Ocarina. I graciously accept, thankfully it was handed to me in a bag or I would have thought I was suppose to play it or something. In any case, I got my own Ocarina (this is kinda like a larger version of a doodle flute) for free from a cute conductor in a Naval Uniform. Not too shabby. Awkward confusing and very rewarding, awesome event.

The last thing we did that day was go to see the turtle ship. Which was what the Koreans used in war to protect their land and people in ancient times. The ship was obviously a replica but it was really cool because we got to go into it and explore for a bit. Pictures are below.

Ultimately, the weekend was awesome, and that is where I am going to leave you. There is more to come but I'm tired.
For more picture check out my facebook account. :)

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