Frisbee in Pohang (summer vac begins)

23 Jul

The first semester has finally come to an end. We celebrated on Friday with an hour long end-of-term, prize giving with students enthusiastically singing the school song and cheering as school was dismissed for the summer holiday. This was all rather strange from me since the students will be returning to school on Monday morning at 8am for summer school. What this means for me is that I go into school at 3.50 and finish at 5.10 every day. I have smaller classes and, generally, they are the stronger English students. It was nice to finish at 11.30 on Friday.

I had the afternoon to go home and pack for our frisbee weekend in Pohang. Our train left Yeongju at 4.50 but since there was no direct train, we had to transfer at Gyeongju (there are SO many places in Korea that sound the same so asking for a train from Yeongju to Gyeongju can be a bit tricky). When we arrived in Gyeongju, we waited on the platform for our next train in 20 minutes. 15 minutes later, a train arrived and Baden wandered onto a train looking for a train master to ask where it was going; the doors began to close and I managed to jump onto the train moments before it headed off – in the wrong direction. With the help of google translate, we were told that this train was NOT going to Pohang, in fact, it was going in the opposite direction. We didn’t hold a ticket for this train and we didn’t know where we were going. After a while, people began to gather at the entrance ready to get off. At this point, someone with a tinkling of English began conversation with Baden who was able to explain that we made a mistake and wanted to go to Pohang. As we climbed off, a young woman ran behind us pointing at the train on the other platform saying “Pohang, Pohang”. The man with a tinkling of English ran to the station master, trying to tell him we needed to get onto the train, but the station master was more concerned with keeping people off the track and not under the wheels of the Pohang train which had now started and was disappearing away from us. We discovered we were now in Seogyeongju (Yeongju, Gyeongju and now Seogyeongju-all pronounced very similar.)

The next train to Pohang leaves in 40 minutes and so we take a walk to discover little Seogyeongju. When we return, it is dark and we have 10 minutes to watch the biggest most active spiders I’ve ever seen devour Korean insects around the lamp posts.

The tournament will be held in Bukbu beach and so after a sort bus ride, we arrive on the beach front which is very busy with walking people and restaurants. We head for a quieter area and find a love motel for 40 000 (R280) – the best yet. Very big, very clean, smells good and it has a bath!

The next day, we wake up slowly and make our way down to the beach. We laugh at how we’ve become real Joburgers. It’s actually a pretty cold day in Pohang but we’re dressed in shirts and shorts because we’re at the beach! We have a slow breakfast at Angels-in-Us (usually we eat at Korean restaurants but we can’t find anything open at 9am on a Saturday morning) and then make our way to beach where the frisbee is scheduled to start. We meet our team which is made up entirely of beginners. Most of whom have never played before, some who have thrown a bit. Baden tells me that he is switching into patient mode since there is no chance of us doing particularly well.

While our players were certainly inexperienced and, tried unsuccessfully, repeatedly, to throw long passes into the wind, we ended up having a lot of fun. We won our first game against another inexperienced team and then lost our other two games. It was a good tournament for me though because I got to handle, move the disc around, assist some points, catch some points and practise my backhand (which Baden and I practised everyday when we were on the beaches in Thailand.) The finals went well into the night and we only got home around 11pm.

We returned home early the next morning. Having slept very badly (our room was very humid!), we were actually too tired to sleep on the train and we ended up visiting the noribang (karaoke) room on the train for 30 minutes, belting out “Can you feel the love tonight”  and “You light up my life”.  We still need lots of practice before we can contend with the Korean in noribangs.

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2 Responses to “Frisbee in Pohang (summer vac begins)”

  1. trish July 23, 2012 at 4:07 am #

    Ha ha. You are getting quite the little Koreans.

  2. Ann Dowie July 24, 2012 at 7:51 pm #

    Sounds like good fun!

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