I was in downtown Seoul with a couple teachers, at the Bosin-gak bell, which dates from the 1300’s and is rung only on New Years. The crowd got pretty crushing and people were lighting off fireworks like crazy, there was a constant flickering of roman candles in the sky nearly the whole hour before countdown.
It was also Extremely cold- I bought some hand warmers and crammed them into my shoes. There was a traditional Korean percussion/ dance group that snaked its way through the crowd until the show on the stage got started. A bit before the countdown music from the stage started and what I heard and saw best was a man playing a big drum- when the bell rung a massive number of roman candle fireworks went off filling the air with smoke and ash.
The crowd had gotten so excited, I was being jostled and lost my hat- that I’ve had since I was 6. I started scanning the ground and when I was ready to give up- I saw my hat and went to pick it up but when I looked around my friends were gone. I tried to call them and went looking but was alone for a good 15-20 minutes when I got a call from one of the people I came with, Cassandra. She said they were coming to look for me and another 10 minutes passed. Then I miraculously spotted another teacher, Jess, from Guri- who had come down with some of her other friends.
Jess and her friends were ready to go and get out of the freezing cold. She was headed to Itaewon where I was going to go with the people I came with…so I got a hold of Cassandra and let her know I was leaving with Jess. I felt so lucky and happy to find people! Just when I was ready to give up again- and I still have my hat.
We went dancing into the wee hours and had a blast.
I really wanted to put up some pics…I’ll figure it out soon.
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE