If you asked me what my perfect idea of a rainy Saturday would be, it would probably not include camping in a tent in the pouring rain, but in fact, this past weekend, that is exactly what I did. When you mix a group of 8 adventurous friends, some amazing Korean indie music, one small island, delicious Korean snacks, some ponchos, tents, and sleeping bags, you can pretty much make a good time out of any situation. On Saturday morning I left my cozy apartment in the city to travel to Jongdo Island in Chuncheon where I would be camping with 7 other people at a two-day music festival. The journey included various means of transportation. I mean we were going to an island after all (an island in a river that is). I took an hour and a half subway ride to Cheongnyangni Station to meet my friends and from there we took a 2 hour train ride to Chuncheon, which is northeast of Seoul. Then we proceeded to take a taxi to the ferry stop and finally, a five minute ferry to Jungdo Island. As we arrived at our destination we were disappointed to see that it was raining, but with ponchos in hand, we were ready for whatever Mother Nature was going to throw at us.
The first thing we did was sort out our tent situation. There were 8 of us so we rented two 4-person tents and 8 sleeping bags. After dropping of our backpacks we put our ponchos on, opened our umbrellas, and geared up for the night ahead. We explored the island and got some food. Basically the island had two stages, a camping area, two food areas, a game area, and many other little tents that were selling things. The island was bigger than I expected. Despite the awful weather, it was really nice to see everyone in their ponchos sticking it out and determined to have a good time. The music was a lot of fun. We saw may bands, mostly Korean indie bands, but a few other cultures as well. I now have some new found favorites. There was one guy who played the harmonica with several other musicians who I though was amazing. His name is Jeon Jeduk and he is blind and he is phenomenal. All of his music was instrumental so I had an amazing time dancing to it. We rocked our ponchos and made the best out of our situation. In the end I think we had more fun because of the rain!
Camping out that night was interesting to say the least. It rained all night. I probably slept for maybe a half hour. There were people singing, music playing, and people snoring the entire night. As unpleasant as that sounds, I was happy to be warm and dry in my sleeping bag after being drenched for the last 1o hours.
The next morning we woke up to see the sun shining and we were ready to start off the day. We filled up on a wholesome breakfast of ramen noodles, snacks, and ice cream before setting off to watch more music. On this day I discovered two bands that will now be playing in my apartment for probably the next month or so at all times. 10CM and Dear Cloud are two really great indie bands that I would recommend to anyone. 10CM is actually a Japanese band. Their music is acoustic and the singer has an incredible voice. They ended with a cover of Jason Mraz “I’m Yours” which was a great touch for us foreigners. Dear Cloud is a band with a lead female Korean singer and I am obsessed with her voice! Even though I can’t understand the lyrics, the music sounded great and I’m hoping it will maybe help me with my Korean. At the end of the day, I was sad to leave but absolutely exhausted. I left with a few of the people around 4 and made it home by around 8:30 so I was able to get some sleep before it was back to teaching on Monday! It was nice to escape the concrete jungle for a few days, but I think I have had my camping fix for the time being.
Here are some links if you want to listen to some Korean indie: