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A Muddy Birthday

July 26, 2011

On my 23rd birthday, a group of friends and I headed down to the Boryeong Mud Festival for the weekend.  The festival is held every July in this small beach town.   Though I thought it was a great beach, some Korean friends said that people only go there for the annual festival.   Originally, the festival began because of the healthy minerals in the Boryeong mud that is good for the skin.  (There goes the Koreans finding health benefits in everything again…)  The mud is trucked in from the mud flats and people of all ages paint themselves, roll themselves or slide themselves into the mud.   To me, the “health benefits” were just a side benefit for running around and getting as dirty as possible.

Though I saw many Koreans, young and old, the population seemed to be heavily influenced by foreigners (I kinda felt like it was spring break….).   A group of us went down by bus, and like the rest of the foreigners visiting that weekend (thousands) we stayed in a small pension room and slept crammed together on the floor.  We hardly had a pad on the hard wood and we had to use our beach towels as blankets.  It was probably the most uncomfortable, (not to mention dirty sleep) I’ve had in a while but it was definitely worth it.   Mud, rinse, (soju) then repeat was the itinerary for Saturday.  And in between those activities we swam in the ocean, took part in a mud dance party, mud wrestled, and did a mud obstacle course.

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