There is a jug of pre-booze in my room right now and I just want to stare at it. I spent yesterday up in the sticks of Yeongcheon (yes, I had to look up the event on FB to discover how to spell it) making wine, riding ATVs and crafting soap with 6 coworkers and about 40 new friends on a trip through the Daegu Compass, a magazine for expats in the area.
We started out driving an hour from downtown Daegu on a bus to the winery and were given bowls to fill with grapes. “Take your time,” they said. “It will take a lot of grapes,” they said. “Don’t get any rotten ones,” they said. Well, joke’s on these suckers. Obviously they don’t anticipate a girl who spent 3 summers sorting, stacking and singing Britney Spear’s “Lucky” to raspberries on Honcoop Farms. I filled that bucket in 6 minutes flat and only left 2 bodies out in the rows. (They’ll be fine. Maybe?)
We plucked the grapes from their stems and threw them in a jug that we filled and labeled with our names. Then: SQUISHING. I…you guys…this is one of the best/weirdest/most cathartic things ever. I may at one moment have softly whispered, “FINISH HIM” but Chun-Li didn’t appear, unfortunately. We sealed the jugs (which will take 3 months and a bajillion steps) and ate some BBQ for lunch before stage 2: TOTAL DOMINATION.
We arrived at ATV nirvana with about 16 ATVs available; 4 heavies (Polaris Sportsman X2 800 [for my brother, y’all]) and 12 lightweight quads. I promptly jumped on and did a fast lap through the course, which included about 100 feet of a shallow creek (BEST BEST BEST). Then it got real. I’m pretty sure I was told at least 3 times to slow down and “no jump!” But I would have dishonored the men in my family by doing so, naturally, I didn’t listen.
We got to ride on the back of the heavies with the Korean guides, one of which was, I kid you not, a TWELVE YEAR OLD BOY. I got up behind him and realized there were no handles…so I gingerly put my right arm around his bird-sized ribcage (touching my stomach on the other side, this kid was a *rail*).I looked back at my co-workers and mouthed, “is this legal?!” as he took off into the sunset. Just kidding, it was only 2:30. No sunset. Once we entered the rougher back course, the kid reaches back and grabs my left arm and wraps it around him too.
Now, let’s have some real talk. I neither want to fall off this ATV as we go through an even deeper stream, nor do I want to somehow scar/maim/creep this kid so I’m frantically trying to curve my spine convex (concave? Sorry, Mr. C., I can’t remember what one was what, hence my B in Chemistry) to really try not to touch any “bits” to him.
I know. I KNOW. So then this kid hits a bump and of course we’re suddenly like SEAM TO SEAM, you know?! I try to let go and scoot back and he puts my arm back. And you know what, I’m sure this kid does this like every day, it’s a family-owned business and there were at least 8 of us that rode with him but you GUYS I have never been more happy to get off transportation in my life. Except maybe that 11-hour flight to Seoul.
Then I think, let’s go with this kid’s dad, who has been driving people up the creek bank and we’ve been referring to “The Crazy One.” Cue the Steve Jobs quote because this dude was definitely a rebel. He drove us up embankments then mid-way would just let go of the throttle and we’d coast down backwards, got up to 40mph on a bridge and most definitely hit all the jumps. He told me I was a good rider; all props to my brother and dad who taught me to lean into a corner. In general, the ATVs were the best part of the activities: it’s been awhile since I’ve really gotten to do some jumps and floor it around a gravel corner, but it did make me miss the bro and pops.
Yeah? Awesome! We then drove over to Skylake; an all-natural shop where they make soap, shampoo and tea. We got to make some lovely decorative flower soap and pet a Golden Retriever who was clearly happy for the attention. The view from this place was gorgeous; my coworker Jeff said it best with a “this place, this view, just makes me stop and feel at home.”
After all day, I finally went and sat in the back with a big group of people who clearly had been having as much fun as me and were all Department of Defense teachers, several with a Special Ed concentration and even a speech pathologist. And these people were, in a word, fantastic. 1. They brought their own cooler. 2. And they were sharers. 3. They adopted me and said to friend them on Facebook, asked me about my life, told me about theirs, told some great stories and we laughed all the way back to Daegu. We hugged goodbye and us DGEV folks went to grab dinner and wait for our shuttle back to the village.
SIDEBAR: I got some Indian food. There was Indian food at the place we went to. THERE WAS NAAAAAAAN AND CURRY AND I THINK I SCARED THE KOREANS. Probably because there were a bunch of foreigners with weird jugs of homemade booze swinging around. And because I keep no secrets from you guys, I will admit that even burping later and tasting curry made me smile because I can go back.
All in all, a great day with friends, new friends made, WINE made, SOAP made, jumps landed and blisters formed. We’re back into it tomorrow with a busy week at the village and a Personal Development session on Friday afternoon coming up. Thanks for reading, e’rrrbody. I’m in a good place and I hope you are too; or at least, not, like, on hold with a telemarketer.