Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Every year, for the last 3 years, there is a festival in Boryeong, S. Korea called simpley "Mud Fest".  I'm sure you can imagine what it's like, but just in case your imagination is currently lacking, I shall describe it a bit for you. 

A quiet beachfront city, with a nice long beach wheretwo rock bluffs stand on each side.  The sand is made up of shells broken down over thousands of years, but still not experienced enough to be fine, soft sand.  The wind blows from the cold sea over the hot land and cools those who stroll on the sea-view road.  The sun sets over the water as the reflection of colors bounce up into your eyes and illuminate a serene and calming piece of the brain....then BAM!  July 17th rolls around and buses roll in.  The local Koreans line the street selling everything from rooms to suntan lotion to condoms.  From the sand grows sculptures created by master artists.  The giant inflatable pool and obstacle courses get filled with air and mud.  The older crowd starts to lock their doors at night and sleep with earplugs in.  The inflatable slide get's blown up just like the hopes of the Korean store owners, who can make their yearly quota in two weekends. 

Mudfest begins.  From the buses come Koreans and Foreigners alike.  From cars come photographers and bystanders who hope just to watch.  The cardboard clad floors of the beachfront convenience stores lay silent as the immense stock of alcohol waits to be imbibed.  The air is about to erupt with amazingness.

Enough with the imagery.  There are pools and pools of mud, mud prisons, mud slides, mud courses, mud jousting, mud art, colored mud for body painting, and most importantly, mud covered people. There is about 1/2 a mile of activities boarding the beach.  On the beach is a stage with non-stop entertainment and a fireworks show later at night.  On the obstacle courses, there are lines where people wait for hours for a 2 second ride.  But I prefer the pools.  There is a full contact mosh pit in constant motion.  If you go in, be prepared to get tackled.  As a former rugby player and wrestler, this is my zen garden of happiness.  Boys and girls walk in and exchange tackles sans animosity.  If you tackle someone, when you turn around expect one back.  Hell, I personally run around the outside of the inside of the pool and tear people down.  I even started outside the pool and did a flying jesus onto as many people I could grab inside the pool...more than once.  Every once in a while I had to stop to bring my waterproof camera to the wash station and clean the tiny particles out of the lens cover.  But I went right back in with spewing anticipation.

I was in heaven.

After I had my share of peaceful violence, I made my way to the beach to clean up.  It's fun to walk around the hoards of people because you see people there you haven't seen for a while. You find them randomly in the crowd, covered in mud, and then you have a nice little reunion.  It's cool to go down into the ocean after you are finished to wash off the mud. 

Later that night there was a party thrown by the group I went with.  I was on the way when I saw these 10 Korean dudes eating Sam Gyup Sal (basically pork strips) and drinking Soju.  Naturally, I went over to them and introduced myself.  I spent the next 1.5 hours drinking and eating with them, alst the while practicing my Korean, which has gotten pretty good since my lessons began (but not THAT good). Some friends saw me but didn't join because they couldn't keep up with the language.  I eventually invited them to my party, but there weren't many other Koreans so they felt uncomfortable.  They went back.  I partied.  After a while I remember thinking to myself "that's it, I've had ENOUGH", and I mosied on back to where I was sleeping. 

The next morning I woke up and felt like I got hit by a truck (as you can see from the picture below, the guy was the size of a truck).  I went to the beach, ate a yummy pork backbone stew, and went home by bus.

Yes that is me being slammed.  But to my defense, he got me from behind! The next picture is what I did after I got up.
ROOOOARRRR!!!  Just like my tattoo sans arms.  I am holding my camera, not my unit.

I don' t know him, but we rassled a bit
What's going on?

Travis and me. 

Me and Alina A.


andy said...

has it been going on only 3 years or is that all you've been there for??

BrightPinkFishnets said...

glad to see you're up and running again. I'll definately be reading and may even start up my blog again

Cinder Block said...

Andy: I think the year that I went was the first, but I've been wrong before. It's definitely still new though. Google it.

Risa: Been up and running, just a little slow on the posts. Better than nothing.