Saturday - The Drum Festival

September 24, 2011 - Seoul, South Korea

Saturday morning was a later start than usual but I was ok with that.  After all this is my vacation and who wants to wake up early every morning.  Besides I have been having trouble sleeping through the night.  I'm not having trouble falling asleep but staying asleep.  I think that most of the time I have been waking up because my feet or legs are hurting.  It's not all the walking but all the stairs I have had to go up & down.  Everywhere we go there are stairs.  I hate stairs.  And I especially hate stairs that are uneven sizes and have no railing.  I'll admit that most Koreans are still taller than me but come on now, a lot of them have short legs and we shorties have trouble with stairs.  Well, at least I do and that all that really matters, right?  So enough with the stairs, Seoul. 

But I digress...  Jayme decided to be brave this morning and drive us into Seoul for the Drum Festival.  We had taken the train/subway into Yongsan on Thursday morning when we visited the DMZ and it is in the general area of some of the places we were going to visit this weekend so she decided to drive there, park the car and then use the subway to reach our destination.  The drive was uneventful until we were on Highway 1, which is the main highway into Seoul and is used by every Korean and his brother.  As we got further into Seoul we ran into heavy traffic and moved along at a snail's pace.  At first I was just taking in the view and enjoying my iPod but next thing I know I was waking up from a nice little nap just as we were arriving at Yongsan.  We were not exactly sure where the Drum Festival was being held so we had to walk quite a few blocks from where we exited the subway until we finally found it.  This was the last day of the event and it was pretty crowded.  There was one whole section where you could play with different drums.  Some drums are really good for working out your frustrations.  And talk about noise.  The place was very noisy.  Across the way was the main stage where different groups were performing  We only caught a few of these performances.  Then they put on a parade of sorts.  Guessing from their customes this festival was an international festival.  I believe there was one final evening performance but we decided to go check out Namdaemun market. 

Namdaemun market is the largest traditional market in the country and has been going strong since 1414.  We came up from the subway near the food area and after we stopped to get the kids a snack we walked down several streets of stores and street vendors.  It is said you can pretty much find anything at this market.  I'm not sure how big the market really is but I do know we only saw a small fraction of it.  It was getting late and we still had the drive back home.  As for the snacks the kids had - apparently you can get "crap-on-a-stick" in other forms such as cut up on a plate as I found at our lunch at the DMZ to cut up in a bowl of soup as the kids had here.  Who knew crap-on-a-stick was so versatile.             



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