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Muddy Blues

SOUTH KOREA | Friday, 21 July 2006 | Views [861]

I've been a little blue lately, but...

nothing cures the blues like painting yourself in mud, running full speed into the ocean to wash it off, re-applying the mud, diving into the ocean once again, and continuing the cycle until the weekend is over. Luckily, Korea provided me that opportunity last weekend and I seized it.

The Boryeong Mud Festival has been held annually since 1996. It's essentially an extreme marketing strategy for selling the mud, which comes from the bed of the Yellow Sea and is normally packaged and sold for cosmetic purposes. During the Mud Fest, anyone who strolls onto Dacheon Beach in Boryeong can slather the stuff all over his/her body, jet down the mud slide, wrestle with muddy others, or sample the products for free.

Everyone gets star treatment- the paparazzi are everywhere and your fame is proportional to how many layers of mud you are wearing. The film is rolling all weekend long and they really don't care if you're not keen on being photographed. I didn't mind so much. In fact, I received so many compliments on how good I looked in mud that I am seriously considering keeping a pail in my closet for special occasions.

On the last day of Mud Fest, my friend Kelly and I took a bus tour of the city, something in which other wayguks(foreigners)seemed to have no interest. I mean, there was no beer or mud on the bus, so you can't put it past them. Kelly and I turned out to be the main attraction for the children on the bus. Two young twins told their mom (and she told us in English) that they wanted to sit by us so they could watch us, and that they did. They also fed us handfuls chips and cookies and other snacks and watched carefully as we chewed and swallowed. Near the end of the trip, they thoughtfully gave us gifts of glow-in-the-dark bracelets.

A journal entry about Mud Fest wouldn’t be complete without mention of the battery-powered mini-motorcycles which went surprisingly fast and were seen whizzing through the crowds of people on the boardwalk- with Kelly and I driving them. I was the one laughing manically.




Tags: Party time


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