So this weekend, we went to Seoul, Korea to play rugby. I was super excited about, of course, playing, and also about getting more stamps in my passport! :) Three months in, and this passport has already gotten way more use than my old one ever did.
I think the first question to answer is the one that the first photo in this post poses, and that is... why on earth were you in wedding dresses? As it turns out, every time the Beijing She-Devils go on tour, we apparently do some sort of fancy dress theme when we go out afterwards. Past themes include scarecrows and Sue Sylvester. This year, we came up with the fantastic idea of wearing wedding dresses. Now, the greatest thing about this is... we live in China, so yes, it is in fact possible to buy 15 wedding dresses, on the internet, for 100块 (~$15) each, on three days notice. Thank goodness for www.taobao.com. Needless to say, we got a LOT of strange looks as we wandered the streets of Seoul. haha.
So we spent all of Saturday playing rugby, including approximately six or seven games of 7s and even around 20 minutes of 15s! I really miss playing 15s. By the time I actually get back to it in the Spring, it will have been like 10 months since I've last played in a real 15s game. Anyways, some choice action shots:
I even scored two tries! It was super exciting. The Seoul Sisters (our lovely opponents) were also nice enough to lend us a front row, given that we didn't have enough people for a full pack. So here we are... learning how to scrum in 15 minutes OR LESS. :)
Ended up looking pretty good, eh?
Basically it was an awesome day, although I have not been that beat up in a long while. Haha. The Sisters also serenaded us on the bus-ride home (Well, maybe not specifically us, but the point is they sang), and we even got a live performance of this number. First of all, I'm totally jealous of that song... and secondly, it would be amazing to do something similar for MIT's team. Gotta put those freshmen to work! :P
So I spent a lot of time this weekend observing the differences between Seoul and Beijing. Besides being able to breathe (I was practically hacking up tar in Beijing last week), the city was much more westernized, commercially speaking at least. Now, I know that we spent a lot of our time in the international area of the city, but honestly a lot of these places can't be found ANYWHERE in Beijing. I mean, I'm talking Coldstone, Quiznos, Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks (of course), most importantly, TACO BELL. Definitely satisfied those ridiculous cravings for disgusting, possibly-not-actually-meat tacos.
The funny thing is, while I did really like the atmosphere of Seoul and saw it as a place I could potentially live (unlike Beijing presently), one of my teammates brought up a good point. Seoul is so western that, if she were to choose to live there or at home, she'd rather live at home and be close to friends, family, etc. and it wouldn't be so different. Naturally, I imagine the cultural divisions go much deeper than the superficial image we were presented with, but there was a kind of vibe of living somewhere in the States... that is if nobody there spoke English. Incidentally, the lack of English and honestly, lack of anything not Korean, made me actually, legitimately appreciate China. If I feel like a five-year-old in Beijing, I felt like a newborn in Korea. It's a country where I don't speak the language, I can't read the language, and I don't even know how to say things like "Hello", "Thank you", or "1,2,3...". I am now much more appreciative of the small amount of Mandarin I do know.
Exams next week! Eek.
hearts and stars,