It seems like ages since my last post, perhaps because my better half has been quite the blog addict… I sometimes wonder how she gets any other work done 😉 I have also been terribly unwell. I suppose my busy weekends, especially my last, have finally caught up to me. Seems like it’s time for Faraaz to slow down a bit.
Last weekend was the first weekend that Aneesa and I had spent apart since I arrived in Korea. As you have read in her post, she had a pretty interesting time on Goeje Island with her girl friends. I, on the other hand, decided to attend the World DJ festival in Yangpyeong, 1.5 hours outside Seoul. The World DJ Festival is an annual 2 day DJ tour that takes place in Korea. It is a showcase of mainly dance and electro music, with some focus on rock and hip hop. Basically- 2 days of audio heaven.
The journey to Yangpyeong was quite eventful; taking two busses, a $50 cab ride and just over two hours of traveling time from Seoul (this included the cab driver getting lost, possibly to exploit his foreign passengers just a little).
The City of Yangpyeong is fairly small, but the centre of the city is still quite developed compared to what I am accustomed to on the island. The Festival however, was across the river, in the “rural” area. This was vaguely reminiscent of my island, save for the fact that there were motels and many restaurants here.
Eventually we found the “Phoenix Motel” where we would be staying for the next two days. Luckily, the owner is a man who had lived in America for a decade so his English was pretty good. He explained to us that we would all be sharing a Korean room, which meant that the 5 of us would all be sleeping on the floor on Korean style mats and sharing 1 bathroom… fun.
After settling in, we relaxed a bit before we got ready to leave for the festival, which was a 5 minute cab ride away. And thus began our festival of great music, beautiful people, dancing on the stage, being the life of the party and tons of pictures taken with Koreans. There are also very likely to be You Tube Videos of a certain skinny Indian guy, dancing like there’s no tomorrow at the festival. You see, I like to dance, and have proven to be pretty good at it, so when I get a chance to show off…. I “move with a force” (a term coined by our friend, Melita).
After this amazing weekend in Yangpyeong at The World DJ festival, Monday brought me some interesting experiences. After being separated from the rest of the group due to an emergency they had to deal with, I had to make my own way back home. I attempted to take on Korea’s subway system. To my surprise, and thanks to Aneesa’s crash course, I found it pretty easy, even meeting a few more foreigners who were also returning from the festival. Luckily for me, these foreigners were traveling in the same general direction so they were able to confirm that I had indeed chosen the correct route… phew, good news.
So after many hours spent on 2 long train rides, 2 longer bus rides, and a 20 minute walk, I reached the safety of my little apartment on the island, exhausted but with loads still to do. After unpacking, setting my clothes to wash and having supper, I hit the hay.
Tuesday had some surprises in store for me, I got to school and half the teachers are sick. This didn’t help since I was still tired from the weekend, so of course, by the end of the day I felt that annoying tingle in the back of my throat… a prelude to the battle ahead.
Wednesday morning I woke up feeling like death, ready to call in a sick day, but I figured it would be better to get out the house so off I went, to spend the day doing what turned out to be nothing because all my classes were cancelled. I left school feeling drained and sick but in need of some fresh air. I needed to be with nature so as I reached the driveway leading to my place, I decided, “Let’s see what goes on further along the road.” I set off on a little walk to see what I would find.
I walked up the road, passed some agricultural and livestock farms. Who knew my neighbors farmed cows and dogs? Well either it was a dog pound, or these dogs were being raised to grace some menu somewhere in Korea.
Continuing past the National park trail entrance I came across I narrow road with the magnificent pine forest on one side, and a lake on the other.
The sound of birds, frogs and other animals breaking the silence surrounded me. The fresh aroma of pine trees filled the air… it is said that even the smell of the pine tree has healing properties, I can definitely say it made me feel peaceful. Walking along this narrow road on my own, I took the time to enjoy my solitude and take in the beauty that surrounded me.