Last week, while the whole world was going through nation-wide lockdowns; those of us living in the northern hemisphere were reminded that at the end of a long cold winter, nature rewards us with the blooming of flowers. Here in Korea, the beginning of spring is mostly signified by the Cherry blossoms and as someone who comes from a country without proper seasons, it was crazy to see how all the trees and flowers started blooming together.
Due to the Corona Virus, all the Spring Cherry Blossom festivals were cancelled to avoid large social gatherings in the fear of infection. However, my friends and I (eight of us in total) being the ignorant foreigners we are decided to go to a small park nearby and have a picnic at the park and admire the cherry blossoms. Although there were strict rules about wearing masks we all followed the necessary precautions to avoid any form of infection.
One of my friends is a great cook and she made ‘bento’ boxes with peanut butter chicken, rice and veggies for everyone. This was probably my first decent meal in a week and I really enjoyed it (I’ll discuss my extremely nutritious dormitory life diet another day). We found an empty picnic table and sat together eating and learning new things about each other because we are still all new friends. As it was the beginning of spring I was expecting the weather to be a bit warmer but after about an hour of sitting at the picnic tables, we all had to evacuate due to the cold. We cleaned our table and found shelter amongst the Cherry Blossom trees. It was absolutely stunning and we spent a long time walking, admiring the flowers and taking lots of photos.
Since arriving in Korea I haven’t really been able to do anything ‘touristy’ because of the virus. At some point, it starts to feel a bit depressing and we can ask ourselves ‘did I really travel halfway across the world just for online lessons that I could’ve done from the comfort of my own home?’. So being able to go out and see something new that I wouldn’t experience back home made me feel a whole lot better about this whole situation.
When we had walked to the end of the park we still wanted to hangout but somewhere warm so we went to play pool at a local pool hall. It was surprisingly really fun; the last time I played pool was in New Caledonia so I had forgotten most of the rules. We divided ourselves into teams and played Girls Vs. Boys; unfortunately, the girls lost and had to pay for the session but we had fun anyway. Afterwards, we walked around the city centre, I got iced chocolate because they’re really good here in Korea and hopped on a train back to our dorms.
The arrival of spring was well celebrated and maybe it can become a tradition for every year to have a picnic in a cherry blossom park with my dorm friends.
I’ve attached some photos of the Cherry Blossoms hopefully there will be a YouTube video up soon.
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