Sunday, August 27, 2006


Today I went rafting for the first time. I went with 5 of my friends from work. It was so much fun!
I was so tired, this morning, though. I'm not used to getting up that early.
The bus ride there was a few hours. Then we got our life jackets, helmets and paddles and headed down to the rafts. We had a group of 4 join us, as the rafts seated 10 people (plus the guide guy, of course). We had a little bit of instruction as to the commands and what to do. Since I was a weigook (foreigner), the guide decided to do the commands in English: "Let's Go" for paddle forwards, "Let's Go Back" for paddle backwards, "STOP" for stop.
I think our rafting group was the most interesting. Lots of jokes being told and such. At one point, my friends broke out into some song and we were bouncing down a slow part of the river to that. We also stopped at one point to jump off of a huge boulder into the river. That's always fun. We got to go for a little swim at another slow part. One of the girls from the group of four ended up floating past our raft, so we had to all jump in and paddle to catch up to her. It wasn't in a dangerous part, so it wasn't a problem. At the end of the rapids, we caught a smaller bus back to where our bus, and the facilities are. While we were waiting for that, another raft that was going through the last part of the rapids, a fairly strong part, ended up tipping over. I'm not sure if they got the oars back, as the disappeared fairly quickly down the river. No one appeared to be hurt, thankfully.
Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of me on the raft, as it isn't exactly a safe place for a camera. This picture is near the beginning of the rapids, below where we had lunch. The river did get wider and bigger in other parts.Back at the buses, we got cleaned up and had a nice little lunch above the river.

On the bus ride home, my friends all wanted English nicknames. It is easy to name kids as it doesn't really matter, usually. But giving English nicknames to friends takes a bit more thought. After a while, though, I did manage to come up with names that I thought suited them, and that they all liked. Clockwise: Karen, Deanna, Angela (she kind of picked her own name... saying we should call her Angel... which was what started the whole English nickname thing), Me, Shannon, Melanie.

The bus ride back home took A LOT longer than the ride there. That seems to be normal for Korea. A little bit more traffic can mean a HUGE difference in travel time (add an hour or two, or more, depending on how much traffic).

We all had Dalk-kalbi for dinner: a spicy chicken and cabbage dish, cooked in the middle of the table. VERY yummy. Shannon's boyfriend met up with us when we got back and he paid for our dinner. Very nice.

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