I know, I know…
I have always said that actually visiting Korea wasn’t a top choice in my life. That’s only because I can think of more tropical, colorful…browner places I’d rather go, but I don’t take classes at the Jamaican Cultural Center, okay. So hear me out.
Picture it: Los Angeles, April 2015…
When classes for the current session started at the Korean Cultural Center, a table was set up in the lobby. I saw it was for a tour trip and immediately ignored it. After all, I don’t do tours because the destinations seem dull. Besides, they usually cost thousands of dollars and you’re forced to deal with yuckos, right? So, I spent the past 4 weeks, just walking past the table. I didn’t even look at the brochure because I just figured it would be some silly “let’s visit Gangnam and do a kpop tour” kind of thing.
I awoke this morning to an email from the director of the King Sejong Institute. It seems that since people couldn’t see the attachments in the (long since deleted) email he sent back in April, he sent the brochure again. It was the first thing I did this morning. Still half-asleep, I groggily opened the attachments on my cellphone and started reading through one eye.
The first thing I noticed was the price tag of $1899. I mean…come on. A ticket to Korea can cost close to that much. I rubbed my eye can kept reading. “Blah, blah, tours. Blah, blah hotel. Blah blah food…” Hold up. I took care of my morning constitution, then pulled up the files on my laptop. As I started reading, I just laid there with my mouth agape. The only words running through my mind were, “I need do this.”
Can I talk about Korean television again?
Well…I’m going to anyway. See, I really like the historical dramas. They’re so over-the-top and the writers have no problem making rulers of yore look ineffective or tyrannical, as needed. Such a contrast to American & British period dramas where they generally try to paint leaders in a good light despite facts. Anyway, years of watching these dramas led me to researching and I was floored to find that so many places still survive today. I recently watched The King’s Face and was amazed to learn that not only is the Tripitaka Koreana an actual thing, but it still exists. And…it’s one of the destinations on this tour.
The outdoor Korean variety shows act as something of a tourism guide. When a show airs, that destinations sees an influx of visitors because everyone wants to experience the same thing. Once place the shows always visit is the Suncheon-man Bay Ecological Park. I’ve seen the park in all seasons and I’m constantly in awe of it. It’s home to many variety of birds and has a large reed field. The first time I saw it, I thought of the Sea of Grass in Dan Simmons’ Hyperion. The stewardship of the land is so impressive and on such a vast scale, that I knew I’d have to see it in person some day.
Well, that day is coming up in September!
“Let’s make it happen, Captain!”
The $1899 for the trip is due by July 20th. I also need to renew my passport and get some stuff. I worked out a quick little budget to show what stuff. I can use any help to reach my goal. $20, $5, whatever you wanna kick down. I started a gofundme page and you can always donate via PayPal using my email address. As for my part, well work has picked up a little (yay!) and I’m going to start selling my jewelry and handmade purses online again to reach my goals. I really need to be part of this trip. Will you help?