October 10, 2011

boiling frog...

I  have such a hard time throwing a football, I don't get it. I think myself into confusion, and when I throw a good spiral I jinx myself. My thought process is kind of as follows. Remember it's not a baseball, it's not a baseball.. okay wind up (like a baseball) grip the laces (kinda like a baseball) at the top of the throw, release. I try to remember what Tom told me as well "If your arm feels weird when you throw it, you know you did it right". However, my arm wouldn't feel weird and the ball would wobble through the air. I'd remember in hindsight that I forgot to point with my lead foot where I wanted the ball to go (again something I learned while playing baseball). I continue with this internal monologue every couple of seconds, and only occasionally would the ball would flow aerodynamically through the air. 

With my skill level, and the unpredictable bounces that accompany any drop of a football, it didn't really surprise me that on Saturday my friends and I were able to carve out a section of grass amid thousands of spectators. While some observers were keen on watching us, and a few children joining us (above), most were there to witness a firework display. I attended this fireworks festival last year, well I partially attended. My friend and I left halfway through because of the insane amount of people gathered. There were no fewer people this year, I just arrived early enough to not be as bothered (think frog in slowly boiling water scenario).

I realized that the pot was becoming full when the 3G network in the park stopped working. It's the first fault I've ever found with any Korean technological system. There were simply so many people in the park attempting to use 3G, that the network couldn't handle the workload. Oh, this overload occurred at around 4pm, four and a half hours before the fireworks were scheduled to start. It was around this time that our football playground became cramped, people would drop their mats (Koreans sit on mats when they sit outside, then they take off their shoes and sit on the mats, while outside. It's strange, I know and I don't have an explanation beyond Korean's aversion to anything 'dirty') and claim victory over their piece of dying grass.

As the people packed in along with the darkness, it was almost time for fireworks. I spent the final hour or so playing around with my camera. Armed with my new tripod and a few tips I picked up from the internet, I positioned my camera where I thought the fireworks were going to be. It turned out that I was a little further away and incorrectly aimed than I originally planned (as you can see from the pictures, above and below). In the end I got some great shots, but was prevented from so many more because of the distance, and the fact that I took all the photos using a 2 second timer (anticipation! YAY).

Leaving the event was a nightmare, as fine as I was with being slowly boiled by spectators, I wasn't fine with being trampled by pedestrians. My friends and I waited at least a half hour, and the stampede out of the park was still flowing steady. The subway station at the park was shut down due to congestion, and the bridge across the river had streams of people flowing towards Hongdae. I went against the flow, and returned home. The problem is that I was still traipsing along with a couple thousand other people avoiding the bridge.

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