Oh well, I'll take what I can get!
On our first day of summer vacation we went to a water park with some of my students. It was a ton of fun but there were definitely some stark differences between Korea and the states. Allow me to elaborate. (don't forget to check out the videos at the bottom)
Enough pondering and on with the story. The 6 of us drove to the park, groggy and slap happy about the coming day. We left early, around 7:00, so that we could enjoy the park before it became packed like American chicken farms.
After going inside Claire and I distracted the lifeguard closest to us with fast and high vocabulary questions about the park in English. He was very confused but after taking a picture with us we became quick friends. This allowed Ray to throw the food over the wall to Jay without being seen. Very sneaky indeed. Koreans are natural born shufflers and ninjas! The successful distraction made me think about a life of foreign con-artistry, but in case this post serves as self incrimination later in life, I will digress.
At a Korean water park you must wear a life jacket at all times with the exception of the single person super fast water slides. It was really annoying at first but we got used to it quickly. On some of the rides you are also required to wear some sort of hat to stop hair from getting into the water. Because my hair is so short I was good to go without a hat. That left five people with only 2 hats. I suggested that we just wrap some shirts around peoples' heads like turbans. It totally worked! Another strange thing is that most Koreans wear shirts even while swimming, many times even long sleeve shirts. It is in an attempt to avoid being sun burnt/tan (being very pale and white is more beautiful in Korea).
There are two rides I have never seen before at an American water park that I want to discuss. The first is the not so lazy river. We called it the tsunami. You grab an inner tube and wade into a river with 12 foot walls on either side. About every minute a voice announces to the riders "five, four, three two, one, LET'S GO!" A 4-7 foot wave (depending where you are on the river) is released from the entrance of the ride like a charging war horse. It slams into you and throws you with flailing arms further down the river to wait for another wave to come again. It was exhilarating and one of the best water rides I have ever been on.
By around 5:00 we were all exhausted and ready for some uninterrupted hibernation.
The locker rooms were EXTREMELY nice. First of all, as opposed to the states, no one cared about being naked. No one was shy or embarrassed (if they were they didn't show it) about their bodies. I am a solid believer that everyone's body is strange, and unique. It is always so weird to me to see people so embarrassed about the temporary form they inhabit.
The locker rooms also had plenty of 10 second dryers for your swim suit and other wet belongings along with complimentary plastic bags to store your damp things in. Thank you Korea.
I think that covers about everything. All in all, Claire and I were surrounded by some really amazing company and hilarious conversation all day. Ray, Jay, Sarena, and Louise, you guys are awesome! Thanks for an amazing trip!
A dragonfly landed on Claire's finger. Good Luck!!
Check out some of the videos I took with my waterproof camera! 1 2 3 4 5