Sunday, August 5, 2012

Blue One

Yeah!!! For vacations and the last time off I'll have for a few months but anyway it was a unique one at that.

Vacation started on the first of August (Happy Switzerland day) and went to the fifth, well, technically the third but the weekend was tacked on there for good measure. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with that much time off. I at first wanted to go to Japan, but that turned out larger than what I would allow for my budget. Then I thought I would head down to Jeju Island, but I waited too long to get a hotel and so all of them were book, that and I didn't feel like overexerting myself to go through the traveling hoops of packing, buying a plane ticket and all that muck. I then realized that the vacation was in two days and I had bettter figure something out or I would be sitting at home staring at the wall wondering what I was doing with my life. With that depressing vision in my head I went on the internet and found the most Korean of activities I could sign up for and sent in my reservation. I signed up for the TempleStay at Golgulsa Temple in Gyeungju. I will explain what this is later.

The Temple stay lasted only two days and I was still unsure what I should do the rest of my time. My answer came a day before as I was talking to my coworkers about where I was going for the Temple Stay. They were surprised and said they too were going to Gyeungju but on the day before to a waterpark called Blue One. I thought that would be fun and asked if I could tag along. They all loved the idea and so another one of my days were planned. The reason I'm telling all you this is to show that I am discovering more and more here that it is better not to plan things too far in advance, that like the culture here things happen like right when events happen and a lot of times you just got to go with it.

So here I am with my coworkers, Hannah and Jinny and one of their friends, Dorothy, who is another English teacher at another Hagwon. Funny story before I start talking about the Waterpark Adventure. We met up with Dorothy in her town about an hour out of Masan, the plan was to switch cars for Dorothy's car when we met up with her. Well after we parked Jinny's car and with Dorothy went to her car. Well her car was parked in a parking lot that was completely full. Her car was blacked in by about six cars in front of it. Here is a diagram:
Just add one more row of cars and the red car was Dorothy's. Well I thought, 'great, now we got to all squish into Jinny's Car (size equivalent to a smart car). Nope, all the cars were left in neutral and so does everyone know the mind puzzle game where you had to move the cars around in order to get the one special car off the board? Well I got to play a life sized game of that. So picture me and three small thin Asian girls pushing around a bunch of cars and if your laughing well that is how I felt.
And yes I took a picture of it :)

Well, we got out and arrived at the park just after opening. Now most would think that if you've been to one waterpark you've been to them all and your right but when you add a different culture into the mix then things get interesting. First strange thing I encountered was that there was a requirement to wear a hat. That is why I am sporting the black cap in the first picture. Supposedly it reduces the amount of hair in the draining system, not sure if that really works but we must comply. The next big surprise was my nasty discovery that there was no changing stalls in the locker room, and young and old were stripping down in front of each other. I refused and found the bathroom but couldn't help feeling like I was back in my figure drawing class in highschool, oh so awkward. After everyone was ready we took pictures outside and went and got our mandatory life vests. I at first said that I could swim that I didn't need a vest. Well then I got stopped by a fairly attractive life guard and was told that I HAD to have one. I grumbled a bit but complied. As we were floating in the wave pool I realized the reason why it was required as I watched the gigantic tsunami hurtling toward me. The wave was huge, like twice the size we have back in the states and completely chuck full of Koreans. It was awesome and it was hilarious to watch people search for their belongings after the wave passed. I even lost my hat when the first wave that hit. So awesome!

We were at the park for about eight great hours and I only put on sunscreen like once. So yeah my shoulders are quite red. Totally worth it.

I got home alright that night and slept fairly well other than the fact that I was super excited for my Temple Stay the next day. I think that I will talk about the Temple Stay in another post that way this one won't be too long. That and I got videos :)

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