Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Disco pang-pang (Daegu pt. 2)

I'm going to have to do some research into the origin of this name. Disco pang-pang (디스코 팡팡; perhaps officially known as a tagada ride?) is a thrill ride designed, as it would seem, purely for disorientation, discomfort, and disbelief. It is a large, circular disc with a single padded bench all along the circumference, seats facing inward. It spins, wobbles, and bounces, and there are no restraints (literally or figuratively). I'm not kidding; there are no seat belts or harnesses. The thing just goes nuts as people hang on for dear life and strobe lights flash and heavy K-pop blasts and you know what? It's absolutely fun.

So part two of my Daegu adventure involved meeting up with my Fulbright Orientation roommate Jet, who's teaching at Daegu boys' high school, grabbing dinner, and then discovering this hellish torture-cum-entertainment device, fittingly located underground next to a video game arcade.

For a mere 4,000₩, one gets to ride the disco pang-pang for a whopping twenty minutes, including a two-minute breather for people who have forgotten to breathe. The ride operator had a hilarious mean streak; while he did give everyone the opportunity to be mercilessly bounced on the higher end of the ride, rotating everyone around so that we'd all end up in the hot seat at least once, he happened to pick on foreigners a lot more. Jet and I were the token Americans, and we were seated next to a group of Vietnamese girls who looked like they regretted their decision to ride the pang-pang. Guess which side of the circle got the longest and most insane bouncing? Yup. ("WHERE ARE YOU FROM?" he asked us over a loudspeaker. "OH, Miguk? YEAH," *insert unintelligible Korean that's probably something like "Take that, foreigners! Bounce bounce bounce!"*)

I managed to take a few videos with my phone... I apologize for the brief profanity! I was kind of on an adrenaline rush.
And here is video #2. This is the part of the ride where the operator would pick on people to bounce just for the lulz. He was definitely trying to make them tumble out of their seats. It was hilarious! (Watch for the end, when Jet nearly falls out of his seat!)
When our ride was over, I wasn't dizzy but just kind of in disbelief at what I had just spent the past twenty minutes doing. Thanks, Jet, for showing me around Daegu, treating me to my very first disco pang-pang, and being awesome! Thanks, Korea, for being crazy enough to have this ridiculous thing and leaving an impression that I won't soon forget!
Jet 씨 at the over-priced Italian restaurant we went to, smiling because risotto for dinner is much better than spam.

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