Sunday, June 26, 2011

Korean Hiking Club...We're at it again!

Last time Danny and I went on a trip with a Korean Hiking club, it was literally the craziest day of our lives… and I’m not kidding. One might think that we learned our lesson and would never repeat that experience again, but when a Korean man we know from our gym, Yune Han, asked us to hike Seorak Mountain with his club we decided to give it one more try… let’s just say that we weren’t disappointed.

** Warning: This post is not inappropriate, however it does contain the male phallic symbol in the form of pottery and stone so just be warned family or friends before you go showing children or grandparents ; )

This trip was in one word: INSANE! We had learned some things from our last experience so we knew how to prevent things from getting out of control such as just saying “NO!” to drinking Soju at 9 in the morning and definitely NOT letting anyone pour beer all over you. However, one thing you should know is if you ever spend a day with a Korean hiking club, crazy stuff is going to happen whether you like it or not!

We started the day at 5:40 in the morning… yikes. I know you are thinking that should have been the tip-off that we shouldn’t have gone, but Seoraksan is supposed to be the most beautiful mountain to climb in Korea, so we thought we could suffer through the early morning. Off we were on our 4 hour ride to the mountain! Suddenly in the middle of the trip, the bus stopped for what we assumed was a mandatory bathroom break… WRONG! Danny and I, instead, found ourselves walking up to a sculpture park which we also assumed would just contain normal Korean sculptures… also WRONG! This particular sculpture park happened to only feature the male phallic symbol and lots of it… thus started the madness.

Before we knew what we were walking into.
We found ourselves in the midst of a bunch of 40 year old Koreans who were laughing, talking, and playing with penis paraphernalia. This particular sculpture park had penis cups, spoons, key chains, hat racks, and basically anything else you could think of. It took us a while to get over the shock of where we actually were, and from shock we went right into laughing hysterically. So far the trip wasn’t disappointing us and if a penis sculpture park was part of the itinerary, then who knows what would be next! ; )

The time back on the road was basically uneventful except for the fact that the Soju (Korean sake) was already flowing at 9:52 am, but we stuck to our first answer of “no thank you” and we made it to the mountain with no problems.

Our host: Yune Han and his wife.
Seoraksan is a beautiful hike that goes by a river, but who cares about hiking anyways? Korean hiking clubs should really be called anything but that because the hike was really the smallest part of the day… maybe call it “Korean Drinking Club” or “Crazy Middle Age People Club”, that would fit better. On the hike one of the funniest parts was that our Korean guide, Yune Han, kept stealing my camera and forcing Danny and I, and every other couple on the hike, to take “couple” pictures at every picturesque spot, which was about every 5 min as well. Another part that kept us laughing was that Yune Han somehow got it in his mind that if we were over 50 ft. away from him, we were in danger so he would call “Danny?”… “Candy?” (Katy must have been too difficult to say) and make us come stand near him.

After our camera was stolen... again.
After a couple more hours the hike was finished and, again, rather uneventful. We started to worry as we saw cases of beer taken off the bus and plates of compressed chicken that the low-key hike that we were hoping for was coming to an end but it wasn’t too bad. We drank some beer for good measure but said no to the compressed meat, and after some toasts and making fun of the waygookin’s (foreigners) we were on the road again. Again, we were pleasantly surprised that the Korean drinking party didn’t last a few (or five) hours as it can tend to.

Mmmmm... compressed chicken and soju.
As Danny and I sat back on the bus and were on our way home, we thought, “Maybe this isn’t going to be as crazy as we thought,” and from that moment on we were jinxed. Here were the next 6 hours of our lives…
Help me!
4:00 ~ No rae bang. These people really loved their “trot music” and let’s just say it could possibly be the worst music in the world. (Here is an example... just imagine listening to music like this for 6 hours straight!)

4:01 ~ I sneak my ear plugs into my ears so I don’t go deaf.

5:00 ~ We realized that we weren’t on our way home but in fact going the complete opposite way for a seafood dinner.

Still trying to enjoy the loooonnggg day ; )
6:00 ~ We arrive at dinner where we are basically forced to eat food until we want to die… and then we had to eat some more.

7:00 ~ Back on the bus…Lord please help me the “dance party” has begun!!!! : ( This is the time when we found out that ONE song can last over 45 minutes… oh no.

The loudest “Throat Music” + drunk Koreans + us being forced to dance in the aisles = a very sad and tired Danny and “Candy”… oh and by the way this is when we were told we would arrive back home : /

They wouldn't take no for an answer!
8:00 ~ Still not home, the music is still bursting eardrums everywhere and people are even more drunk. Poor Danny is starting to lose it.

9:00 ~ The crowd has subsided and all that are left are three VERY drunk individuals dancing with toilet paper wrapped around their heads. Danny is really loosing it now and has that look in his eyes like he’s gonna kill the next person who tries to make us dance.

How I was really feeling!
10:00 ~ People have finally tired themselves out so they have to sit down, however the horrible “Throat Music” is replaced by even worse, even louder synthesizer music. Danny has lost it and is on the verge of a mass murder of drunk Korean hikers.

10:30 ~ We FINALLY arrive back in Andong and say goodbye and good riddance to the hiking club.

There you have it. Our 2nd Korean hiking club experience. It may not have been the party train like last time but it was MADNESS just in a different form of transportation. We spent 17 hours with a group of middle aged Koreans and lived to tell the tale. We laughed, we almost cried, we almost puked, and more but let’s just say that we will never do that again.

In the end, if you are looking for an unforgettable and wild experience, join a Korean hiking club, but consider yourself warned, my friend, that you will never be the same ; )

1 comment:

  1. That is hilarious. Just the idea that you could have another experience that would rival the first amazes me! I especially love the last photo of you guys.