In order to go out with a bang and say farewell to my life of leisure, I made plans with Lauren to take a road trip on Sunday/Monday. She had discovered that there was a full moon festival in Cheongdo, a small rural town, which we estimated was about a 3 hour drive from Seoul. Then we planned to leave the festival and drive 30 minutes to Daegu City, the 3rd largest in SK, for a nice dinner and a hotel stay.
Well, we all know things don’t always go as planned……..
Speaking of, my plan of having time this week to post on the blog fell apart about 5 minutes into the new gig. I will say that things have been going well considering the amount of challenges that present themselves when you can’t understand anything. Copy machines, co-workers and emails are all like trying to meet your friends at the bar on Friday. Not easy. But then worth it once you figure it all out. Everyone has been really welcoming.
So to make do with what I have (which is approximately 10 minutes) I am going to upload the pictures and highlight the 48 hrs.
- Woke up at 9 – made plans to meet Lauren at subway to travel out to the airport to pick up our car.
- Got to Lauren and then the airport by 12:30 – starved.
- Had a quick bite at The Lotteria (Korea’s McDs) and somehow managed to locate the car rental but not a map of the country.
- Got in car and headed back to the city center to find a map in english which Lauren had seen in a bookstore and remembered.
- Were finally on the road by 4pm.
- Feeling good – the festival was all about burning huts once the sun went down so we were in great shape. ETA 7pm.
- Lauren played DJ and we talked about everything under the sun…..for the next 6 hours.
- To say that we hit some traffic is an understatement.
- The map worked 81% of the time leaving the other 19% up to chance.
- Surprisingly enough we managed to find the small rural town.
- Was I back in Central IL?
- Pulled up to the festival sometime after 9pm.
- Huts were burning! People were eating and drinking! Drag queen was singing! Definitely worth the effort.
- Local small town folks were absolutely a treat to be around. They paid us all sorts of attention.
- Someone even gave us a container of unidentifiable candy and stared at us until we ate it. Wasn’t bad – sort of nutty.
- Decided dinner in Daegu was out so headed to one of the huts for some dinner.
- Not sure what we ordered but it was delicious. Made friends with the other patrons. Who just kept saying CHICAGO!
- Headed to our hotel by 11pm – beat.
- Sound asleep by midnight.
- Up by 8.
- Back on the road by 9:30.
- And continued on said road for the next bajillion hours.
- So relieved to make it back to the airport but had hoped it would have happened 4 hours sooner.
- Walked in the door at 5:30 feeling like work seemed like a great idea after all the adventures. I felt ready to settle into something normal. Only I needed to clean, do laundry, manage my hair and look well-rested and I only had a few hours to do it.
Learned that no matter where you are in the world, it’s important to be able to read a map and people in small towns are always friendlier. And just like being at home, there are Dunkin Donuts off the expressway and gas is overpriced. Next time we would definitely opt for the train so we could play cards and have cocktails. Still, it was worth it to see how people live outside this big city and get a chance to see a big full moon by the light of a big fat fire….or 3.