Thursday, August 9, 2012

So, a funny thing happened on the way to the festival

I know, I know, I know! It has been too long, my friends. After three weeks of desk warming, I actually had a job I needed to do. Right? The audacity!

Anyway, so July 14, I headed to the annual Boryeong Mud Festival. Evidently, this is like college 'spring break' where a bunch of young people come to party and run around and be reckless.

So, on Saturday morning 8:00 am, my friend Sandra and I arrived at the proper subway stop to meet our bus. As we're checking in, my Bus Mama (the ringleader of the motley crew of Boryeong Bus Number 1), offered me a beer.

Now, I am from Wisconsin. Drinking early is not usually a big deal, but it was 8 am. We only drink that early on public holidays like St. Patrick's day, the Fourth of July, and Packer Sundays. So, I declined. But Sandra, a rocking woman from limerick Ireland, said, 'Well, might as well put it in my bag.' Always thinking ahead, that one. Maybe someday I will be as cool as her.  Likely as not, though.

Anyway, so we plus Tegan, whom we picked up on the way to forage for breakfast, wandered onto our bus into the seats my friends Daisy Maize and Jessica saved for us.

Five people, two seats per row, meant one unlucky Tegan. At 8:34, Cooper climbed on the bus with his back pack and cooler and shouted Sprrrrrrrrring Breeeaaaaaaaaak! Sadly, the only seat left was next to Tegan, right behind me. Now, I love this guy, I really do, but those of you who have seen me at 8 am know to proceed with caution, because I might kick you in the shins until they bleed.

So, being trapped in a very small bus with an ever more inebriated Cooper, got a little tiring. Sandra and I hung out and enjoyed the scenic four hour drive through the Korean mountains.

As we arrived to Boryeong, several on the bus were already tanked, and I was just stoked to be out of that place. It was like being so ju hot boxed. Rather unpleasant.

We checked into our hostel, and changed into our swim suits. We followed the way-gooks and smell of fun down towards the ocean. Finally, we arrived at the Mud Mecca. Being formerly nicknamed, 'Mudbucket,' I felt right where I needed to be. We literally painted mud onto our bodies. Strangers came up with muddy hands and painted our bodies for us.One thing I have learned in this country is that physical contact holds so many different connotations than it does in America. People. Will. Touch. You. Get over it.

We bought, swindled, and found wristbands to allow us into the bouncy rides. We waited in a giant line for  a big bouncy slide. It was obvious that this line was super boring. So, we decide to spice it up. Of course, Tegan brought an elephant back pack water gun. So, we decided to sneakily shoot unexpecting bystanders, then look around for the culprit. Our maturity level was maybe that of a 13 year old boy.

So, as the day progressed, we did things like forget to eat, while also lightly imbibing. We didn't really realize how hungry we were because we were having too much fun. Then, we meandered down to the beach to clean off our muddy selves.

On our way to the beach, we found a giant gaggle of way gooks around a beach DJ. Obviously, the only course of action was to dance through the crowd. As we were bustin' our moves, all of a sudden, mud water came flying out of these huge cannons. Mud and rain and debris fell on us, and all we did was lift our arms to the heavens and let it rain.

It was such an amazing experience being surrounded by foreigners, Koreans, mud and joy. The moment in which freedom becomes tangible allows nothing but that time and space to matter.

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