Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Anyone have marshmallows?

 In Korea every year they have a big bon-fire on the beach.  I've heard about it in the past but never had the time to make it to see if it was really worth all the talk.  This year I actually circled the date on my calendar to make sure I made it!  I also sent out an invite to all my friends to see who would be interested in joining me.  I mean come out...a big bon-fire, on the beach, what could be better than that?
Sadly, the day of the bon-fire I had to work.  Grrr...Korean academy life.  But, I got off at 3:00 and the fire didn't start until 6:00.  Why they decided 6:00 I don't know as it's still daylight out at 6:00.  But I assumed that a big fire would be awesome in the daylight or night!  So after getting off work I met with my friends and we headed to the beach to see this big fire.  Honestly I didn't think it would be that great.  We got to the beach a little early but I was hungry so we decided that there was time to grab something to eat!  As we were walking down the beach we saw the trees they were going to light.  I say trees because that's what they were, trees.  Big trees.  Not bushes or logs...but real trees with roots attached.  As the massive tree mound came into view I realized that this might actually be something really amazing!  Then I saw all the people.  It must be a really big event because there were so many people there.  Actually I was a little worried about the people in front.  Fire is hot...and when it's a big tree filled mound they are lighting I bet it would be pretty toasty in the front row.  And true to Korean fashion, I don't think they thought of that.  People were standing pretty close to it.
I started to get worried because naturally I wanted to see the fire up close.  But with all the people on the beach we were located across the road from the beach.  It worried me because I thought, "what if I don't get to see it?"  Silly me!  Who wouldn't see it?  The tree mound was massive.  So we decided to not stop for food because it was almost 6:00 and we had awful standing positions.  When they lit the fire it was like how I would imagine a forest fire spreads during a drought.  It was pretty fast and wickedly awesome to watch.  Another thing Korea didn't think of was the smoke.  Naturally dead dry trees with the leaves still on them are going to cause much smoke.  I actually felt bad for the people on the beach.  Not only was it unsafe because of the massive flames of fire but all that smoke.  And when the wind would change you know smoke changes directions.  It was pretty epic from where I was standing though!
As people left because the main show was over, my friends and I slowly made our way down to the beach to get a realistic picture of how big the fire really was.  When we got down there all I could do was think, "man it's too bad no one brought marshmallows"  what a waste of a perfectly good fire.  No marshmallows.  A big fire, lots of people, but no marshmallows.  Who does that?
We also discovered that they did have a small area that no one was allowed to enter.  I assume for safety reasons but I can't imagine it did much good.  That fire would have been super hot.  And true to Korean style, no one was concerned that you weren't supposed to enter.  As they entered any ways and went right up to the fire.  OH KOREA!!
This just makes me want to go camping!

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