Children’s Day Bike Ride

What we actually just learned was that we were being respectful without even knowing it (love when that happens). This long weekend was a “No Travel” weekend for some. EPIK says “Many schools, communities and government offices in a show of solidarity for those who have been affected by the Sewol tragedy may be participating in a ‘no travel’ plan for the holiday weekend.” So it works out that we stayed in all weekend.

 So what did we do over the long weekend if we didn’t travel? We stayed in and relaxed. The midterms were stressful for our schools and co-teachers and thus stressful for us by association. We’ve been running around either helping co-teachers with the test questions or coming up with last minute games for classes that were ahead.

We were feeling pretty tired so we’ve been enjoying sleeping in and just being lounge lizards. It’s wondeful. We’re watching Game of Thrones, playing video games and just taking leisurely walks around Gwanpyeong (where we live, lets not call it Daejeon anymore. We live in Gwanpyeong).

Our 6 year anniversary was on the 4th. “Star Wars Day” – May the Fourth be with you. It’s kinda a pun. We were going to go to the next town over and hang out, but it was 3 hours away so we stayed in. We had a nice lunch and went on a walk. That was it. So lazy. So nice.

We finally did something on Monday, it was “Children’s Day”. We’re still unclear on how it’s celebrated – mostly buying gifts for your kids. It actually has an air of Christmas about it – lots of gifts, and lots of time spent on your kids. It’s really neat.

We were finally sick of just hanging out inside so we decided to take a bike ride into Daejeon and go see the Expo Bridge. This bridge is arguably the only thing to see in Daejeon. There are no real landmarks or monuments or anything really defining about Daejeon except for its bridge. We’ve seen it from afar from our bus rides, but hadn’t had the time to see it up close. So we bought a nice blanket and a cooler and set out with a picnic.

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It was really really nice. We had a nice quiet picnic. But then we rode around in the Expo Park area – along with everyone else in Daejeon, I’m afraid to say. What we didn’t know about Children’s day is that since it is a springtime/summertime holiday, that common gifts for kids are wheels. Bikes, roller blades, skateboards, etc. Everyone takes their bikes out, everyone has kites, everyone has picnics. It is a very busy outdoor holiday. So a landmark like the bridge attracted pretty much every family in Daejeon.

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Pictured: more people than you can count and at least 6 kites
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A girl with an Elsa costume flies a kite while Dad tries out her new scooter

It was fun to see but harrowing to ride or even walk a bike through the masses. I have never seen so many bike/roller blade/skateboarding accidents ever. But Korean children will eat dirt hard and then get right back up. So we witnessed quite a bit of learning-to-roller-blade destruction but didn’t see any tears. Good, it’s Children’s Day, afterall. No tears on children’s day (there were actually lots of tears from nap-needing kindys and kids who didn’t get a balloon but we’ll skip over that).

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Look at this kid’s crash-pants, though. It’s like what motorcyclists wear.
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Mom waits on a blanket. What I love most about this is they brought a little plastic kitchen on their picnic. In case the bikes became boring for the kids.

 

We had fun watching all the kids playing and flying kites (kite flying is an art here, it’s amazing to watch their skills). We wanted to ride around some more but there was so much traffic and people it wasn’t even safe any longer so we headed back home.

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