Korea known to some as ‘Land of the Morning Calm’…. is home to over 50 million people and is one of the most ethnically homogeneous societies (apparently)..
I’ve currently been in South Korea for just a little over a month now and it’s been a series of ups and downs.. at first I wasn’t sure what to think, the struggle to order food, not being able to converse with the locals and the vast amount of apartment blocks scared me. Not to mention the random voice that shouts out over the tannoy in my apartment from time to time awaking me from deep slumber (although that is generally just annoying). One month in and I’ve found everything is steadily becoming more exciting as I immerse myself in Korean culture. I can now order a few dishes meaning that I no longer am stuck eating fast food (I was too afraid of unknowingly eating dog which actually is not as common as first thought), I love Bibimbap (hate Kimchi) and getting around is becoming easier as I am slowly getting to grips with the transport system (ok ok.. taxi’s are very cheap).
So this weekend I went to my first Korean festival: Pentaport Rock Festival! A small event that had some big western names such as LCD Soundsystem, Ian Brown and Stereophonics.
[slideshow] I managed to find some other westerners that were also craving some good music and we ventured on down there looking forward to relaxing in the sun. We had only been at the festival a few hours, our feet up, admiring the Korean people from afar when a large entourage of men in suits walked through the centre looking pretty god damn out of place. Obviously, we went to find out who these people were and before we knew it a journalist (whose English was not very good) had literally ushered us into the tent for an interview with the lead man and the Korean press were snapping away. This was all very interesting and surreal. This man we were told was the Mayor of Incheon City – (where the festival is hosted and Korea’s third largest metropolis) and I suspect this entourage were his party. Incheon is not too far away from both Seoul and the DMZ and is also one of the cities of Korea that aims to attract foreign investment. Which explains quite a lot.. FYI: I live further south in a city called Cheongju which probably means nothing to you. As I stood talking to him I tried to imagine Boris Johnson walking through the centre of Latitude Festival, with many men in suits behind him. I believe English culture would not let this happen but then Korea is in a very different place.. (and I don’t mean on the map!)
We also had the opportunity to meet Hoobastank who were very gracious to give us an interview 20 minutes before they had to go on stage. In fact they seemed to have no stage fright whatsoever, which shows how long they’ve been around..! Anyway I love Hoobastank (I know a few of you out there don’t… Phonebooth..) but each to their own! LCD also put on a great show, and it was a shame we didn’t get an interview… but one of the best parts of the night for me was partying to Astro Voize and wandering around the site witnessing really drunk Korean’s.. sorry but my camera was safely locked away at that point.
Check out my video report!
Next week Becki is very much looking forward to attending Jisan Festival and hopes that the mosquitos keep away..BECAUSE I AM IN SOOO MUCH PAIN!!