Friday, May 25, 2012

Let's See How Much We Can Cram Into One Day

Today has been really busy, and it seemed like every spare 15 minutes had something else going on in it.  We started the morning with a "tutorial" on how to use the Seoul metro system. We took the metro to the World Cup Stadium that is located in Seoul. The stadium is from the 2002 game. The Korea United team is the top Asian football (soccer) team, and they advanced to the semi-finals in 2006, where they made the top 16 and reached the highest position that the team had reached in 49 World Cups. We were able to see the field, locker rooms, and FIFA museum. We had to move through everything pretty quickly so that we could get on the bus, drive a block or two to get lunch, and get back on the bus to head to our last concert venue. We were very pressed for time, particularly because so many people ordered things that took a very long time to get and we were delayed at the mall longer than intended. Lucking, our bus driver is an absolute champ and he drove insanely fast so that we were only 15 minutes past when we were supposed to be there.

We sang at the Asia Pacific International School for their K-12 students. We did a shortened concert, and tried to stick to the more upbeat songs to keep their attention. Many of the younger students didn't pay attention no matter what we were singing. It was a good concert, but not our best. It was incredible hot and we were all sweating like there was no tomorrow. The school graciously fed us doughnuts, oranges, and juice, and also gave us gifts. They were very welcoming, and the opportunity was really special, even if it wasn't one that most appreciated our choir and even if it wasn't our best performance.

After the school, we drove to a park that we were supposed to have lots of time at; however, we only ended up with 20 minutes to be there. There was a lot of things to do at this riverside area, but because of the time restraints, many of us just sat around and enjoyed the sun and the scenery. We went to dinner following our park time and were able to partake in a 10 course Korean dinner. The food was really delicious, but they brought course after course after course after course!! The amount was very overwhelming.  Lara said that the waitresses were very impressed with how much we ate... It sounded like many Americans who come through there leave a lot of food, so they were pleased that we enjoyed it.

After dinner, we went to a show called "Nanta." For anyone who has seen blue-man group, it's a very similar concept. There was a review that said "Nanta is a cross between Jacki Chan and the Marx brothers. I prefer to think that it's a cross between Iron Chef and Blue Man Group. Nanta is a stomp show where a group of actors/actresses use kitchen skills, utensils, and cookery to make percussive sounds.  The talent of the members was overwhelming, they not only had to act out the story line and character relations, but they had to dance, chop and insane rates, cook some, and keep rhythm. The show was phenomenal, and was something that everyone in the choir really enjoyed being at.

The area that the Nanta stage is in is has a great downtown life. The streets are littered with shops, restaurants, bars, and clubs.  We were given 20 minutes or so to look around and see if we wanted to stay later and catch a cab back to the hotel.  There were bands performing in a park, and Korean teens and young adults socializing, dancing, and enjoying the nightlife everywhere. I have not seen that many people all at once in a very long time. A handful of people chose to stay and experience a new dimension to Korean life. I chose to come back because I knew that if I stayed I would get really behind on blogging.

Tomorrow is a "free day," so we all have reign over where we want to be and what we want to do in Seoul. The city is similar to Manhattan. There is so much to do. We currently have a pretty big exploring day planned... one last chance to learn as much as we can about the city and area before we head back to the states!

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