Week 10: GIC International Day
Gwangju Travel Blog› entry 12 of 33 › view all entries
For the past couple months we've been hearing how much fun the GIC (Gwangju International Center's) International Community Day has been. This year marks the 13th anniversary of the event. It's a chance for the numerous expats from all around the world to come together, teach others about their culture and feel better knowing that there are many other people here in Korea going through the same things they are.
The two day event began on Saturday with a talk given by a member of the International Community followed by a Korean Speech Contest for foreigners. As good as my Korean skills are I did not enter the contest on the odd chance that one of the other contestants might be able to say more than "My name is Katie", "I am hungry" and "You are fat"; maybe I'll try my luck next year :)
Sunday morning we woke up to pouring rain.
On the upside, we got to take the Gwangju subway for the first time. The subway fare is the same price as the bus fare but the subway is much cleaner, less crowded, and does not run the risk of tossing you on your tush as soon as you step onboard.
After a 20 minute subway ride we got off at the end of the line, Sangmu, and headed out into the rain. We soon met a Kiwi who has been here for 2.5 years and a Canadian who has spent the last 11 years teaching in Korea. We all split a cab and quickly found ourselves at the vast, rain-soaked grounds of City Hall. There were already 50 or so people there huddled under the tents waiting for the food vendors to start serving. We were heartily welcomed with promises of free beer and ponchos. While standing in line at the "mexican" food table we ran into most of our Korean class: Bobby and Meena, a married couple from Canada; Katie, a Canadian and her friend Sarah from the States; Jim, a Californian; Anthony from Philadelphia; Elizabeth, also from the States; Marisa from South Africa, and Lee from the UK.
After eating we wandered over to the stage to enjoy the talent competition. There was an Indian singing and dancing trio, a Scottish couple dancing in kilts, a traditional Korean band, a Filipino dance troupe, a Canadian rock band and a couple American guitarists. We were also able to catch part of the yogurt chugging competition (because here the consistency of yogurt is purely liquid) before we headed out. We decided that standing drenched and shivering for the next our while we waited for the raffle wasn't worth it so we splish-splashed our way back to the subway station.
Thirty minutes later we arrived downtown where we were supposed to meet Danny and Alicia to see "Bourne Ultimatum".
When the movie was over we exited the theater; we expected to be hit with 60mph gusts of wind since the typhoon was supposed to hit Gwangju with full force by 9pm but the skies were surprisingly clear.