Monday, July 22, 2013

Color Me Rad: Seoul

Well, my dad left this past Thursday. I was a bit lazy in uploading his diligently written blog posts (sorry, dad!) but they're up now! It was really amazing to have him visit and we got to spend a lot of time together. I wish it hadn't rained so much because Korea really is beautiful (too bad he could barely see any of it thanks to the fog and haze and rain). Alas...

So Saturday was Color Me Rad: Seoul! I signed up a few weeks ago but there were some snags in the road to colorville. First, when I signed up it said "pay within 48 hours" so, the next morning maybe 12 hours later I paid via bank transfer (this amazing feature with Korean banks; its crazy easy to pay someone even if they use a different bank!). Well, about 12 hours after that (24 hours after registering), I got an email saying "Looks like you haven't paid in 48 hours...!"

I was immediately concerned, as I had indeed sent 40,000W into the oblivion. I immediately wrote them back and let them know there must be an error since I had actually paid. I got no reply for 3 days, then I decided to Facebook them saying the same thing. Two MORE days pass and FINALLY I get a reply on Facebook. It seemed to have actually been written by someone real (as it contained some grammatical errors), but they apologized for the error and gave me my confirmation code.

Then, when Romeo tried to sign up, the website told him it was sold out. So, after tons of ordeal, it looked like I was signed up alone. After thinking and considering a bit, I decide to try to sell aka "transfer" my registration, I advertised it on a few places on Facebook. One of those places was the group of my coworkers. Well, another coworker replies to my post and says "Yeah, I'm doing the same thing" (selling her spot). Lightbulb moment! I message her and say that instead of selling my ticket, I would buy hers for Romeo. So, then started the process of getting the name and contact information changed through Color Me Rad.

It took almost as much ordeal to get that straightened out (along with another instance of "you haven't paid" when I had a confirmation transaction code in hand!), but finally we got it worked out. And for good measure, 2 days before the race I got ANOTHER email saying I hadn't paid. I was fed up.

Friday I headed to Gangnam in the morning to pick up our race packets (tshirt, sunglasses, bib numbers, etc). Of course when I gave them the confirmation codes, one worked and the other didn't. After pointing out the big letters that said "PAID" on the transaction summary, they gave me all our goodies and we were set for the race on Saturday.

Saturday came and we were not feeling too hot. We had signed up for the 9am heat, but ended up arriving around 1030. Thankfully the race was very chill and no one cared when we started the race. In fact, we decided we probably could have done the entire thing without even registering, that's how relaxed everything was. No one checked us in or anything. We started the 1045am heat and after about a mile of running we decided to do what everyone else was doing: walk and enjoy ourselves. It actually WASN'T raining (first day in about 2 weeks without some precipitation), so we just enjoyed the moderately fresh air and threw colored dust at each other.

We went through the 3 different "color stations" and Romeo initially was barely getting any color. Finally at the blue station he literally pointed at his chest as he ran through and said "HIT ME!" - which they did. He was a smurf when he ran out the other end of the station.

The venue was actually pretty cool. It was in and around the Olympic Sports Stadium. We got to actually go in and run on the track and went through the soccer stadium, many track and field events locations, around the baseball stadium, and I'm sure many other spots. I got a few photos with the Olympic rings and the Seoul Olympics '88 logo. It was cool!

As we were nearing the end (although we didn't know it was the end), it started to rain a little bit. We hid under a tree for a few minutes and it lightened up. It cleared up totally within about 5 minutes (strange peninsula weather) and we can officially say we "ran across" the finish line (although the running at that point was about 5 feet in distance). We took some photos, got our complimentary VitaminWaters, and a color packet.

Then, being who we are, we had to have color fight with our free color packets. We had a Mexican standoff and then started throwing the color at each other. I can say with CERTAINTY that Romeo won. He nailed me in the face after about 10 seconds and with the taste of cornstarch in my mouth (and the smell in my nose, and even a little in my eyes), I started running. Of course, he chased me and dosed me in green powder. I did get him a bit before giving up, but not as good as he got me.

All in all it was a really fun morning. I think that the race was extremely unorganized and a total mess in some regards, but it WAS fun, which was the point!

After the race, we met up with one of Romeo's friends and I was officially introduced! It was a bit strange at first, because I have never met any of Romeo's other friends (we are fairly isolated in our neighborhood, and neither of us are big on "going out"). But they were really nice! I made nice with the girlfriends and let the guys have their "bro time". We sat on the sidewalk and had a couple drinks before heading to Noksapyeong for some burgers. We ended up at Burgermine, which was super delicious. It was about 15,000W for all you can eat burgers, fries, and soft drink for 1.5 hours. I had 2 chicken burgers (although I didn't finish the second, Romeo had to help me so I wouldn't get penalized for leftovers). It was really good though, and it was awesome to hang out with friends!

Finally we headed home around 5 and got clean. We were filthy and I had to scrub for a while to get all the color out of my skin and hair. It was a really fun day!

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