I Just Want to Play Some Ultimate
Trip Start Sep 01, 2010
39Trip End May 15, 2011
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This was our last unplanned weekend for the next seven weeks while we're here in Korea. Next weekend will be an overnight trip in Seoul, culminating with a FC Seoul soccer game on Sunday. The weekend after that, we head to Jeju Island on the southern coast of the peninsula, which is sure to be an amazing trip. As for the past two days we filled our time with some fun and entertaining activities.
On Saturday we spent most of the day on the base. We have really become fond of this place. It's nice to have a hamburger every now and again, or buy some American products to make things feel a bit more like home. I also really like watching the jets take off and head towards the north. Everyday is like an air show, all day long. It is easy to remember the situation with North Korea, because of the constant reminders of the mission that Osan Air Base is performing; To protect the South from the North
Sunday was another trip into Seoul. We are getting pretty good at navigating our way in and around this huge city. Even though it is a mind boggiling large place. both in size and population, it is pretty manageable to traverse and surprisingly livable. The subway system is great, as it brings us directly to the doorstep of most of the major attractions that Seoul has to offer. We got an early start on this particular Sunday and arrived at the Seoul Forest a bit before lunchtime. The Seoul Forest advertises itself as Korea's version of New York's Central Park. There is a lot to see here, and we pretty much just walked around and took in the sites. We heard some rhythm coming from around a corner and followed it to find a huge festival taking place. This random festival was the 2010 Seoul Drum Festival. There was traditional Korean performances and other shows to take in. There was also a whole section of hands on tents where we could play a variety of rhythm instruments
We had to keep an eye on the time because we had somewhere to be at 2pm. I had found a Korean Ultimate Frisbee website a couple of days before. The calender on the website showed that they play pick up games at a park on the Han River every Sunday. It said everyone is welcome, and I can't pass up a game of Ultimate, especially in a country I have never been to before. We had marked down the stop on the subway where we had to get off, but knew that it would take some exploring to find the actual field where the game was taking place. We found Hangnam Park on the Han river with no problems, and started walking around hoping to see some discs in the air. I was getting amped to run and jump a little bit, and hopefully dominate some Koreans in an intense game of Frisbee. However, it was not to be, because after a half hour of walking down the riverside we found nothing resembling a game of Ultimate. This was pretty disappointing for me, but was soon forgotten because the park that we would otherwise not have traveled to was absolutely beautiful. Seoul seems to be packed full of public spaces, which is just another reason why it feels so welcoming, and is quickly becoming a favorite city of mine. In Hangnam River Park, there are expansive views of the surrounding mountains, miles of green fields full of picnicking families, and all sorts of boat rides down the river. The river itself is very wide and is a dynamic feature of the city. We grabbed a nice cup of coffee on a stationary boat and took this all in. From this boat we noticed a large skyscraper with mirrored windows and an interesting sloped outer wall.
This is the 63 building, which houses a variety of activities. We walked a couple of blocks and ventured inside. I had to try some dumplings, which are my favorite snack so far here in Korea
Koreans and Coffee:
There is no shortage of coffee shops and french pastries. Where one would think the population drinks more tea, this is not so. The coffee is so delicious! Unfortunately as we walk around we see a good amount of American companies, KFC, McDonald's, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts. There are also many Korean changes we have noticed but no worries, for every chain there are a 100 more independent shops. So next time your in Korea come ready to drink all the coffee you can imagine and be hopped up on caffeine (decaf doesn't exist here).