Friday, June 27, 2008


Last weekend I went on a river rafting trip with a few friends from work. We went on an arranged tour that included bus, lunch, rafting, and a BBQ afterwards (check the Facebook group EXCITING LIFE in DYNAMIC KOREA).It was great fun... well, most of it. I was sick on the bus on the way to Hantan, but was fine by the time we got there. Lunch was a sort of boxed lunch of either rice with bulgogi or rice with a few bits of misc. fried meats (chicken, pork cutlet, etc). Then we got all dressed up and ready to go... Or so we thought. We ended up standing around in our rafting gear for who knows how long. We were waiting for buses to come to pick us up. and waiting. and waiting. and waiting.[pic taken while waiting... borrowed from EXCITING LIFE IN DYNAMIC KOREA.]
Finally 2 little buses came and we all piled in, bumping helmets and paddles the whole way. The bus ride to the starting point was about 30 minutes or so (maybe??).
Once at the river, we split up into 3 groups of ~12 people. At least one Korean speaker had to be in each boat to translate as the rafting guides had limited English abilities. We got our group organizer in our boat. We were the "Blue Team" due to the fact that our helmets were blue. We recruited a few guys to join us. Our rafting guide was Alex. There is some discussion as to how we got him. It is said that we picked him. I have also heard that he picked us... will add more to this later, possibly.[pic taken by Tom, posted on facebook and the previously mentioned Facebook group site]
The rafting was excellent. With some white water stretches and some smoother waters (of which some we floated, some we paddled and some we had water fights with other boats), it was both exciting and relaxing. I'm thinking that it is quite possible that our boat ride was the most interesting with one of the girls providing entertainment most of the way. She was flirting mercilessly with Alex, who didn't quite understand all that was said (which is perhaps why she said as much as she said). We all had a great time, though. And she did eventually get pushed off the boat. :P
After the last dangerous stretch, all 3 boats pulled over to a little sandy beach to take a break and enjoy the water. We went sort-of swimming (with lifejackets and helmets still on), and also did some sliding off the bottom of an overturned boat. I'll probably have a scar left from that, as my ankle got a bit scratched on the bottom (the seams? the sand?). I didn't even notice until I was back on the beach watching the sliding and the blood running down my foot was brought to my attention. Oh well. All in good fun.
When we all got back into our boats to move on, the other 2 boats took off and we noticed that we had an extra helmet in our boat all of a sudden, and one less paddle. WHAT? How did that happen? Needless to say, it was decided that our flirting friend would be the one without a paddle. She moved up to the front to make a few poses and cause more laughter. It was sometime around then that she was pushed off. She loved it. Especially when Alex pulled her out of the water (though the under-straps of the lifejacket got a tad uncomfortable).
On the boat ride, my friends and I tried to convince Alex to join us afterwards to share some maekju (beer) and soju. Unfortunately, he still had work to do. We found out that he is from Jamsil, which is fairly close to Apgujeong, so we said he should meet up with us back in Seoul.
Once the boys from our boat carried our boat up the slope to the buses, I got Alex's number and we all piled back into the little buses and headed back to our end point, where our tour bus was parked and where our BBQ and drinks were waiting.
The BBQ was great. The maekju and soju were great, too. :) I'm not even sure how much was drunk. What ever was left was shoved into bags and taken onto the bus for the 2 hour ride back to Seoul. Needless to say the ride back to Seoul was quite different from the one to Hantangang. I cut myself off at on point, but my friends kept on. Not the best move, as a few of them don't remember much after that point.
Once back in Seoul, some of us headed to a rooftop for some more drinks and a little rooftop party. It was good but short lived. Then eventually the remaining 2 of us went out with a trio of Koreans (one was her boyfriend, the other two were his friends) for some noraebang. Gotta love the Korean singing rooms. :D
I guess I could mention that while my friend (who actually has a boyfriend) was flirting with Alex, he had his eyes on me... Anyway, I sent him a message while on the bus, and he responded fairly quickly. We had an ongoing text msg conversation for the rest of the evening. He then came into Seoul on Sunday evening just to meet up with me for a drink. We sat at a soju tent restaurant talking (with a lot of help from his Korean-English dictionary that he stopped in Suwon to pick up). I think I got home at around 5 or 5:30 Monday morning, only to have to be at work at 9. For those that know me on Facebook, that kinda explains the whole "is TIRED" thing. He went all the way back to Hantangang Monday morning, as he is training other rafting guides this week. Normally he lives in Suwon and works a a personal trainer and PE teacher during the week.
To see more pics, check out the Facebook group I linked to above.

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