I'm lucky enough to have an eight-day holiday on-going this week. I still have a couple of days left but boy did I waste a huge lot of them.
Right after work, I could have gone to another city, two hours from my place. An exhibition of traditional martial arts (Korean and other countries) was being held for some days and I'm about to witness the last day. I gathered all the information I needed and I've been to that city more than twice. So there shouldn't be a problem... Actually, there is. As usual, I got so tired from work, I fell asleep just as I got in my room (this happens all the time).
With the approaching Chuseok (big holiday in this country), I was worried about having my bike checked-up and fixed. All businesses will close within those 2 days and sometimes more. That alone, set me back by cash and by time. Something in the engine needed replacement (I'm still bummed with this new purchase) and it all costs $100. Right now, I'm not really tight on cash, only a bit tight on budget. You see I've been wanting to buy a new lens. And my laptop money is just there waiting. I got others saved for other stuff. But the laptop money is also a lens money. It's a choice between the two.
I also belong to a gamer's group on facebook. Most are fellow foreigners and all are residing here in Korea. We're scattered all around, which makes the group more interesting. One of them hosted a game night in Daegu (a five-hour bus/train ride from my place). I was really looking forward to it (being an advocate myself) but...
You see, with all my years here in South Korea (a decade now), all I do is work, sleep, work, sleep. In time, I didn't mind the calendar. Time just passes by as it is. Nothing spectacular's happening anyway. So really, I only check my calendar if I have to work overtime a lot, within the month (as of now, my calendar is set on November of 2010). As for holidays, I really didn't care. Whenever we're on a holiday, I just consider it a day-off. A time to rest. A lazy day. It didn't matter how long the holiday is. I don't even recognize my own holidays. Birthdays, Christmas, New Year, they don't matter to me. I think there's nothing wrong with that. Day-in and day-out, it's either a work day or a rest day. That's all I cared about.
Like I said, nothing wrong about that. But it put me at a disadvantage. Forgetting this big Korean holiday, I didn't consider how tight transportation is. One of the biggest reasons why I was willing to travel as far as Daegu, is photography. So I checked out tourism sites, made phone calls for information, and then I was warned. Even though I called a day ahead of my planned trip, I'm running out of seats for every transportation to that city. Be it the KTX (the fastest train in Korea yet), the ordinary train, or even the buses. All in the name of Chuseok! I have two options left. A cutting trip (where I'll transfer from bus to bus on short trips until I reach Daegu... might be interesting), or an ordinary train ride-- standing only! Now I've tried this a lot of times. I could only last 2 hours doing so. We're talking more than 4 hours here. I'm okay with standing up for a long time, it's the space that's really gonna hurt. Worst case scenario, I'll end up standing very still in a jam-packed train so tight, I won't be able to even move my arms. I've been there. I've tried that a couple of times. It's no fun.
Still persevere! I decided cutting trips could be interesting and fun. The most fun of it is not knowing how to get there. It's a good experience and a nice way to know more about Korea. Believe me, I've done that a lot of times-- intentionally.
... and then came the rain
Needless to say, going to Daegu this week is a lot of struggle. I really wanted to take the chance while I'm off of work. But seriously! It's like the gods are literally telling me not to go. I guess there's always a next time.
That was Sunday. A good day to see whatever Filipino event is there. It turns out, there's a beauty pageant going on in Itaewon. I'm not really keen to it. And with this awful weather, I can't ride my bike, nor can I risk taking my gear with me. So, to me, there really is no point of going. For some reason, I lost my interest with beauty pageants. I think I wasn't as interested as my friends back then either. It just happened that my hobby that time (dancing and choreography) was very much linked to such events. I preferred to sleep the day away.
I could've called one of my perspective subjects too. A friend of mine has a sister living in Incheon. It's not too far to get there. And I already called her to pose for me some time. But I know she's also looking forward to watch this pageant. I didn't bother to check her out. I'm sure she had plans for this Chuseok too. Maybe I'll send her a text message if in case I get bored. I've never been to Incheon and I think a little tour along with taking pictures of her would be a nice combo. But we'll see.
So it's Monday afternoon. Almost 5 pm. The day has passed and I did nothing in my life. I'm glad the rain stopped. But today is the official day of Chuseok. So I know there really is nothing going on everywhere. All Koreans are with their family. All businesses are closed. I guess, to me, that's a bit of a good thing. Since I hate people, especially people who stare at me for no reason, this day might be perfect. I think I'll take this chance.... but again... we'll see.
There's another province I ought to visit. According to tourist information, there's an on-going event in Gangwon. It's something about a cherished Korean writer. Unfortunately, today is Chuseok. I can not stress that much. It's annoying because there are no programs happening today. I was told, I could go tomorrow. So I got to prepare for it.
Apart from my friend's sister, this is my last chance for some photography. I mean serious street photography. Not like the ones I visit where I can plan and come back anytime. This is as good as a one-time chance to take pictures and capture moments. I don't know if I'm skilled enough for this but I owe it to my self to find out.
Planning is still different from doing it. As you can see, I'm procrastinating. This happens a lot. I plan and plan and plan but nothing happens when the time comes. I really want to get rid of this characteristics of mine. It's very unattractive. But only time will tell. If I have no pictures to show next time, it means I gave in to laziness again. I pray it won't happen.