Last weekend, we got mudded.
The Boryeong Mudfest is an annual festival that has become sort of like an oozier (and boozier!) Mecca for all foreigners in South Korea. Supposedly the Boryeong mud is really healthy and will do wonders for those crow's feet of yours, but really, its just another opportunity to mud wrestle hundreds of naked strangers.
A few days before the festival this year, some school kids took a field trip to Boryeong, and more than 200 of them were stricken with a case of dermititis and hospitalized. According to a festival organizer the presumed cause of the outbreak was "because of some contaminated water coming from Daecheon Stream and an unhygienic environment downtown."
This news didn't seem scare away anyone away from Mudfest, and judging by the average mudfester, I have to assume that most them were probably expecting to contract an itchy rash one way or another.
When we finally arrived in Boryeong on Saturday afternoon, we were a little out of place stepping into the unhygienic environment downtown completely sober and unsullied. But after a shirtless beer run, and a long trek down the beach away from the central festivities, we found a quiet little mud oasis that we could call our own. Mudfest Jr. had these basins of mud where you could coat your body in peace without worrying about getting mud-groped from behind by a GI on R&R. When the mud dries on your skin, it looks exactly like the zombie makeup from "Dawn of the Dead." There was also a mud-slide and a mud-air castle that were more fun than they should have been.
Thanks to the HOOG for the pictures.
For dinner that night, we had samgyeopsal (literally 3 layer meat; its looks like thick bacon), but for an appetizer, I finally got to try something that I've wanted to eat since I came to South Korea: sannakji, or live baby octopus tentacles. They come out on the plate still squirming and the suckers will attach to anything nearby--including tongues. We spent most of dinner waggling our tongues out of our mouths with little tentacles hanging on for dear life. We are all college educated adults.
I'll try to post video from my phone soon.
Overall, Mud Fest was a great time, despite some torrential rains and a leaky tent. Also Laura got a skin rash (not from the mud though, probably from a spider that snuck into our tent...).