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Before I left for Korea, I celebrated my 22nd birthday and my dad took me to go see Cirque du Soliel’s Kooza in Washington DC. It was a pretty amazing show. So when I found out Varekai was playing in Jamsil for almost the  entire month of May, I decided to had to go. It had been a while since I had been able to any kind of show or big entertainment so this would be a nice farewell to Korea.

I ended up going with Karen, a friend I trained with who had recently returned to Korea to teach at Yeongtong’s April branch,  her boyfriend, Brandon and a Korean friend of theirs (who bought the tickets for us). Karen had seen Cirque du Soliel before but Brandon had missed it and I don’t think their friend had seen it either.

Even if circus or performance art isn’t your thing, Cirque is a pretty unique experience. The tents (at least in my two experiences) are small so even if you have seats in the back you can still see everything. The performances are like a mixture of classic circus acts and these crazy acrobatic stunts. It’s very impressive and seeing the more dangerous ones really do take your breath away. And the costumes are pretty crazy. The ones for Kooza were a little more traditional and clown-like but the Varekai costumes were just amazingly over the top. The performance we saw (apparently there are differnet versions) is a retelling of the story of Icarus where he crashes into an enchanted forest, so the costumes of the different creatures were really like something out of the imagination.

And luckily for us we were only four rows from the stage so we really got to see all the details. Probably the most amazing part of being that close, as Brandon pointed out, is that you can see what the performers doing the more intense acts go through. With so much going on during a performance, it’s guaranteed that they won’t do everything with 100% accuracy and when you’re really close you can see as performers start to get strained or loose their footing. But then you also get to see how the correct themselves.

And after that we meet up with another group of fellow teachers and went to get some Coldstone ice cream. All in all, it was a fantastic last weekend in South Korea.

Because I haven’t posted in forever, thanks to my efforts to be a good intensive teacher while maintaining my social life taking up all my time, I’m going to now play catch up. The week following MudFest was an interesting one. From August 24th to July 31st, the April teachers had their vacation, which for me meant going the longest period of time here (9 days) yet without any interaction with Quinn (in case you haven’t noticed, he’s in basically all my posts). But it was for the better because I was super-busy that week.

However, the weekend was all mine. Here in Korea, it seems I’m slowly crossing things off the list of stuff I should do before I die – a list I didn’t realize I had. Most notably, I bungee jumped for the first time. There are other things, but bungee jumping kind of blows the others (mostly food related anyway) out of the water. Well, th 25th was an opportunity to me to cross off another thing.

I went with one of my co-workers, Kevin, and his girlfriend, to Jamsil station. Which, despite having been there before, I didn’t realize was also a mall and where LotteWorld is. Lotte is, according to Wikipedia, an East Asian conglomerate. And in Jamsil station, they happen to have an amusement park of sorts. I didn’t go into the amusement park (yet) but it looked interesting. More on that once I actually go there.

In addition to the amusement park, there’s also an ice rink, many food options, and perhaps most randomly, a shooting range. That was our destination this day. Kevin and his girlfriend had been before. Me. Never shot a gun before.

I chose a Smith & Wesson revolver (I can’t remember anything more specific than that), figuring it would be a simple and classic choice to start off with. I did pretty well. All my bullets ended up on the target and I scored a 68. Although I have to say I am definitely not a gun person. At least, not a shooting-guns-in-a-enclosed-space-so-they’re-extra-loud-and-I-ended-up-jumping-at-every-shot person. Maybe I’d do better shooting out in the open.