I’m currently at Seoul Incheon International Airport, in the NAVER Free Internet Hot Spot. I’m so bored. I was able to get an earlier flight from Gwangju so now I’m here reading/listening music/surfing the net/watching TV.
I had a long Saturday, and tomorrow when I arrive in Hawai’i, I get to relive Saturday there.
After Thanksgiving, the sights, smells and sounds of Christmas usually begin. Not in South Korea. It’s very weird to be in the middle of the Christmas season, and not have a sense of the Christmas spirit. One would assume that because this country is full of Christians, Christmas would be a spectacle, but it’s the complete opposite. I think the only thing reminding me of Christmas right now is the Christmas music that was being played at the Outback Steakhouse in Geksa.
I think it’s so sad that it’s not a big celebration here. Christmas is probably the best time of the year, and in Korea, it’s hardly even recognized.
When I moved to Korea, I knew that volleyball was a huge sport here, and taken very seriously. They have a men’s and women’s pro league, and tons of people play it on their free time. I was lucky enough to be introduced to a team in my city that participates in a league. We practice once a week and it’s a very different game. Usually it’s 6 vs. 6 on an 8 foot net (men’s). But here, they play 9 vs. 9, on a court that is the half court of a basketball court, on 7’3” net. It’s weird and completely foreign to me. Nonetheless, it has been a great opportunity for me to meet locals and create new friendships.
This past weekend we had a tournament, where we played all the other teams in the league. I’m not complaining or anything, but they had men on their team that had played for the pro leagues here in Korea. My team had none of those players. It was a very interesting experience. Koreans are very big on ceremonies. Ceremonies as in opening ceremonies before an event. It’s a weird “tradition” (?). They put out flowers like what we see at funerals in Hawaii, you know, those big wreaths. They have officials (Namwon city council members?) come dressed in suits and give mini speeches. I don’t know what they are saying, and I can’t imagine what they would be saying before a volleyball tournament. Then they had a doorprize giveaway.
My team lost all our games, but they were close. I hate losing, and there is not a worse emotion to feel than being a loser. It just got kinda frustrating because I could not express myself becuase I can’t speak the language.