Badger Blogging Blitz: Days 6 and 7

Today’s the last day of the Badger Blogging Blitz – sorry to people who have enjoyed hearing the extra tidbits of my life in Korea, and your welcome to everyone whose inboxes/newsfeeds/livlihoods I’ve infiltrated for the last week.

This week was too good not to mention and brag about. Let me break it down for ya.

LADY GAGA

Friday night I raced straight into Seoul from work to catch the very first stop on the mega-pop-superstar’s tour, which was totally fucking awesome. She played at Seoul’s Jamsil Olympic Stadium, built for the 1988 Olympics. Apparently this was the biggest international act to play in Korea since Michael Jackson’s HIStory World Tour in 1996. Although my 5-foot-3 self had a difficult time seeing pretty much everything, (I mistakenly thought this problem wouldn’t exist for me on this continent, but it turns out I’m still a short in Asia. Plus I would never wear heels to a concert which I have standing-only tickets to–most Korean women would, apparently.) I had such a good time going gaga. The set looked like a medieval castle, she donned some ridiculous getups, and of course shouted profanities throughout the entire show. Pretty. Damn. Awesome. There were some protesters outside the venue, and the government changed the show to be 18+ due to the “pornographic” nature of her music (acceptance of homosexuality is, unfortunately, still in its infancy in Korean society) and the sexuality in her music videos (okay, they might be right about that) and she made a little announcement about it. Videos to come!

Outside Jamsil Olympic Park - 3 hours before the show started

Castle Set

Rare and fabulous queens in Korea

MUSCLEMANIA

My good friend Quinlin (who was with me at Gaga!) is dating a Korean guy named Dong Cheol who might as well be a Calvin Klein underwear model…yes that’s right, a Korean Ashton Kutcher. He participates in “Sports Model” competitions. Think body-building, but less bulky, vein-popping, and steroidy. It was quite an experience, to say the very least. There were about 200 people in the competition, which took place in Gangnam in Seoul, and 5 dudes are selected to go to the big convention in Miami to represent Korea. Great job, Dong Cheol!

Courtesy of Quinlin O'Donnell. You're welcome, readers.

Dong Cheol is 3rd from the left. Sportswear!

CERAMICS

As I’ve written about in the past, Yeoju is famous for ceramics and puts on a festival celebrating the ancient craft twice a year. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, and my friend Moon joined me for some pottery perusing and purchasing. I got a mug, adding to my mugs-of-the-world collection, and an awesome circular vase. I wanted to buy so many more items, but I honestly don’t know where I’ll be living 5 months from now to display the items.

Moon and Moi

SILEUKSA

We moseyed over the the Silleuksa Temple complex, a gorgeous grounds which sits nestled between the river that runs by my apartment and a little forest, consisting of several pavilions for prayer, meditation, and places to spend the night for temple-stays. (I’m planning on doing a temple stay in June!) We were blessed with great wandering weather; there was hardly a spring season here in the R.O.K., and it already is starting to feel like summer.

Sileuksa details

The river...

...the forest.

Wandering weather.

Sileuksa

Stairway to...Buddha?

We spent the night cooking, baking, and jamming with the Yeoju crew. Joyful, joyful end to the weekend.

And now for the final question in the Badger Blogging Blitz:

How has blogging about Korea changed the way you’ve experienced it? 

When I decided to move to Korea, it only seemed natural that I would create a blog. I blogged while studying abroad in Prague, which fizzled out by the 3rd month and didn’t get the attention it deserved. But I decided my Korean experiences should be consistently and meticulously reported, as a way to both remind people at home of my existence and to serve as an account of my year here for future reference. Bassenyourseatbelt is all of those things, and has metastasized into a whole other beast–sometimes I feel like this blog has a life of its own. It has led me to some wonderful writing opportunities with Chincha?! and Seoulist, which has pushed me to level-up my writing style and really dig for interesting content. Most of all, blogging has deepened my level of curiosity. I ask questions, I read pamphlets, I travel alone if necessary, and I make a fool of myself quite a bit. I think I can thank WordPress.com for a lot of that.

Please check out my fellow Blogging Badgers, now and in the future!

Julia Bass

Emily Gaynor

Keith Kemp

David Klug

Zach McLeod/Liz Wansley

Soren Nieminen

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