Sunday, August 29, 2010

my first belly laugh in korea

Today I went on a group excursion to the waterfall in Miryang. It's about an hour outside of Busan, past Ulsan.

I'm so glad I went. It was organized by the group I joined on meetup. At first I had no idea it would be such a big event; 48 foreigners. And as with other large group outings I've been on in Korea, it was a bit hectic and poorly planned. (Cue the griping and moaning. BLAH!)

But it was such a great experience. I never would have known about this place on my own. There is an area called the Freezing Place, and it's a pile of rocks that are about as cold as an air conditioner EVEN IN SUMMER. Then we went to the waterfall and natural rock slides.

Silly Korea-- you can't swim where it's deeper than your head. Some foreigners tried but they have a guy with an annoying hand alarm that he'll blast until you stop.
The slides were amazing, albeit terrifying. And I did some rock jumping. In the picture it doesn't look so intimidating. I have definitely jumped off of taller cliffs before. (And once I get everything in my flickr account you'll see!) But I've developed huge hang-ups in Korea and just getting over the initial fear and jumping from up high (and not climbing down lower like a sissy) made me feel freer than I have in a long time.

Also, the rocks were slick with rain and moss. 2 of my coworkers were also on the trip. So at one point Gia slipped on some rock and started sliding down towards us. Rick (my other coworker) nice guy that he is, tried to stop her..... but she had so much momentum going than she knocked him off his feet and they both kept on sliding down the hill until they ended up in a pool. Rick's girlfriend and I just could not stop laughing-- so thus I had my first deep, gut-busting laugh in Korea.

And as I sat in that valley surrounded by so many people, Korean and Westerners alike, just friendly people wanting to have a good time, I was struck by a near state of bliss. It happens, rarely, but still it happens to me. I was so happy to be in Korea today. It's been a while.


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