Sunday, June 8, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend (and a Birthday!)

Left to right: me, Sophia, Hana, and Amy at Dadaepo (다대포) Beach in Busan.
I had a lovely three-day weekend thanks to Korean Memorial Day (현충일, 6/6). Many Koreans celebrate the day off by going camping or to the Beach. Unsurprisingly, the Haeundae Sand Festival was also held this weekend. My friends and I avoided the huge crowds at the festival, however, and went to a quieter beach in southern Busan called Dadaepo (다대포). Actually, we didn't even spend that much time on the beach. A good chunk of our weekend was spent in restaurants and cafes, eating. 해물파전 (savory seafood pancake), 수제비 (wheat flake soup), 밀면 (cold flour noodle soup), Baskin Robbins ice cream, pastries from a local bakery, and more... To work all of that food off, we took jumping pictures on the sand.
Me at my least chivalrous. (taken by Sophia)
Not only was it nice to see friends this weekend (especially since I doubt I'll have time to even leave my city for the foreseeable near future), it was great to welcome Hana back to Korea! Hana and I met at church in college, and it was a surprise to me when I found out we would both be going to Korea on Fulbright grants. Fast forward two years later, and here we are catching up, stuffing our faces with food, and singing our lungs out to the soundtrack of Frozen like friends naturally do.
Hana and me, and the most delicious pajeon and sujebi I've had in recent memory.
Things I missed this weekend: the Haeundae Sand Festival, the Korea Queer Cultural Festival, and Swarthmore's 150th anniversary celebration! Yes, my alma mater turned 150 years this year, and there was an enormous reunion party. I stayed away from Facebook all weekend so as to prevent feelings of jealous and... FOMO? (I've never used that acronym before, not sure if I did it right.) But I'm okay; I'm having a great time on the other side of the planet, anyway. Happy Birthday, Swat!

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