Sunday, February 3, 2013

Get the Ball Rolling

So this weekend, as you may or may not know, I attended a military ball. When I was first asked to attend by my friend, Steve, I was a little surprised, shocked, and mostly thinking “a ball? Really? What century is this?” To say the least, it was really awesome!

I went on a hunt for my dress 3 weekends prior, found one that wouldn’t work, then went on another dress hunt the following weekend to a different area where I was successful. That was quite an experience in and of itself. The first place we went, the lady had me try on a few dresses, right there, change in the middle of the store. Strip down. When I asked her how much the dresses were, she informed me they were around 300 something dollars. I was like no way byebye. Went to the next place, asked the lady if she had any around the 100 dollar range and I scored big time. At least trying on dresses at this place, there was a small curtain with no light so it was very dark and hard to see. But the lady was super nice, good English, and quite encouraging. She told me she’d alter the dress for free as well.

This brings me to the ball itself. It’s in another city, 3 hours away. Steve and I hop on the train at 1030 in the morning and arrive in Daegu around 1:30. We taxi to the hotel, get out, see a bunch of steve’s friends, go to check in to this super nice hotel and they’re like “sorry everyone, you have the wrong hotel.” We’re like “uhhhh we’re at the right one, isn’t this where the military ball is?” and she was like “no, that’s at the other hotel with the same name.” So she writes down the address, Steve and I squish in a car with 3 other guys, and we follow the girl with the gps. After navigating the crazy Korean streets, driving like Koreans, we pull into a gas station. We are informed that this is where the GPS says the hotel is. So now we have to ask Koreans for directions. Fortunately, we have one Korean with us and she tells us where to go and we finally arrive, at 3 pm, ball starts at 5, and I haven’t eaten since the morning. Steve and I run across the street after checking in to eat some food, then I hurry my little self up to get ready in an hour and a half.

We’re successfully ready for social hour at 5:05 and head down to the hotel bar to have a drink before we go to social hour. After our overpriced gin and tonic, social hour commences. A bunch of wonderfully dressed people are standing around, greeting each other, introducing their wives and dates, taking pictures and buying drinks. We get our picture taken professionally and have ourselves a drink. Then we are told it’s time to enter the ballroom. We all pour into the ball room, stand behind our chairs, and so it begins.
We pray, participate in some toasts, watch the flags come in, sing the anthems of Korea and the U.S. then sit down and eat a fantastic dinner. Wow. It was so good. Cream of broccoli soup, steak, salmon, a few veggies, some salad, and cheesecake for dessert. Then we begin to watch people get different “awards” (that’s in quotations cuz I don’t know what to actually call them, they aren’t really awards, promotional medals maybe?...I think yes). Then it’s time for the dragon idol, where people from within the army are performing different things. Pretty cool. Pretty good. When that’s over, the flags leave and then so do the people. People pretty much dispersed, either going down to the hotel bar, or out to downtown Daegu. We ended up taking that road, had a blast in Daegu, and then the night was over.

Overall I had a really good time, I was so happy to be there. A new cultural experience and not one I thought I’d ever get, especially in Korea. So big thanks to Steve for taking me and being great company.

Steve and I at the ball. 

In other news, it snowed like 4 inches last night so our bus to school has been delayed. It’s also the superbowl right now and I can’t watch it cuz I thought I was gunna be working. So I’ll be watching it later after work, and therefore ignoring all social media all day. Although I’ll be honestly proud if I can make it through the whole day without finding out who won. 

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