Saturday, October 23, 2010

gwangalli fireworks failed to impress

But in all fairness, I didn't give it a chance. I'd like to see photos from this year, because I became so irritated I left right before the show began.

It was a snowball of negativity for me... I got to Gwangalli at 2 to save a spot on the beach for me and my friends. And I played the waiting game. I didn't really mind. But as time creeps on more and more people showed up. And then a family parks themselves nearly on top of me (calling me a waygook too, which really ticked me off more than anything...)

And so as I'm sitting there, I am stewing. I don't know why I let it get to me so badly today. It's something I usually brush off. But as I scan the crowd for any sign of my friends, I notice that when I spot a foreigner (yes, a waygook) they are always a couple. Or in a large group. And so I think the root of this all is I felt lonely.
Yes, I chose to head out by myself to claim a spot. But the few people I know were going later to the show and I did not want to risk not getting a good spot. Even my old coworkers told me, "You've gotta see the Gwangalli fireworks. It's amazing. But get there really early to get a spot."

I just feel like... I'm such a freak. All I saw were couples. If you don't come here with someone then you are a guy and guys hook up with Korean girls almost immediately. And I'm a single American female. The odds are stacked against me.
Why should it matter? It doesn't usually. I'm more than ready to get back out there, but at the same time I don't think this is the time or the place. And its not so much a relationship I wanted today, but just someone to be with. Like a good friendship. Moving here altered all the ones I forged in San Francisco and it took a toll on me. And when I tried making new ones here, most ended in failure or didn't have enough time to really make a connection.

I digress.
But low, I wait for hours and by 5pm when two of my friends show up the cops will not let them on the beach. I am very irritated now. I have spent hours waiting for what? I get to sit by myself.

Oh! But no. At 6 an ajumma and ajoshi barge right on next to make and start setting up a mat right on top of mine and the people around me. But lo, was this the worst thing? No.
The old woman LITERALLY, and I mean LITERALLY sits on me while she's throwing her mat down. I am sitting on the ground and she plops down on top of my shoulder.

And when I yell at her to get off, SHE yells at ME. WTF! I'm sorry, am I in backwards land? Has anyone ever been sat upon by a total stranger? Do you not feel that I was within my rights to tell the old bitch to get the hell off of me? And she gets aggressive with me? Alas, who will win the fight? The local or the foreigner? In a sea of Koreans, I had no chance by making a scene.

It was shockingly rude, even by my Korean standards, and so I had enough. They pushed me into the corner of my mat, (Nobody puts Baby in the corner!) so I walked off. I left my mat, which sucks because I hang that on my wall for decoration. And it was a nightmare leaving, just hordes of shoving, impatient people and it was definitely not my scene.

I have counted how many times I wanted to get the hell out of Korea. It is now 4. Tonight was one of them.

Don't get me wrong. I have had plenty of positive experiences in Korea. Tonight doesn't make me hate the country. Yeah. I got sat upon. But for every bad encounter I have met many wonderful Koreans that more than make up for it. Example, today the family next to me had two little girls that, when they saw me, spoke to each other only in English. They were fluent too.
"Excuse me Minjee," said one, "but may I have my shovel please? I want to make a lemonade stand."

But I want to belong somewhere. And I really wanted to leave tonight. The problem is... I don't know where to go. The place where I was born is the last place I want to go now. I've decided to never live there again. And the city where I blossomed is now a place that I feel is no longer suited for me.

If you don't belong to a place, you belong to a person.

I have neither.

So I just want to go. Go and search.

But for tonight I will geek out and play games. Here's hoping for a better tomorrow.


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