Random Happenings at a Strawberry Festival.
Saturday morning came upon us like a wave of berry goodness. Why? Because we were about to experience the Nonsan Strawberry Festival for the first time in our lives! Nonsan is famous all over Korea for their delicious strawberries that come into season in early spring.
At Choenan station, we met up with some friends to catch our 08:50 train towards Nonsan. We boarded our train, nestled into our seats, and before I could look up from my enthralling read of “1984,” we had arrived.
One of the effects of living in Korea as a foreigner is that you learn to live and behave very spontaneously. In school, schedules aren’t set until a week or two into the semester, and often plans and lessons are changed the day of. To survive with your sanity, you must learn to be okay with flying by the seat of your pants.
Such was true of our company when we got to Nonsan. None of us had planned ahead to know how to get from the station to the festival. But we weren’t worried about it; this is how we’ve learned to live and travel in Korea. After a lot of flailing of the arms and broken Korean/English conversation, we found out from an employee at the station how to arrive at our destination. Luckily, the strawberry goodness was only a short fifteen-minute walk from our current location.
We knew we were getting closer when the density of people grew and grew until the bright red strawberry-shaped balloons welcomed us from the sky. Just below their happy floating presence was a big field filled with people, tents, strawberry mascots, TONS of bright red strawberries, anything that can be made with strawberries, and lots of other utterly unrelated things such as two ferocious black bears, and sweet Korean women trying to trick us into getting our fingers pricked to check our blood-sugar level for diabetes.
Like little kids within sight of the playground, our hearts filled with joy when we began to take in all the random happenings at Nonsan Strawberry Festival:
And now for the utterly unrelated things at the festival…
However, my favorite photo from the day came when we were leaving, and we ventured into a market looking for some ice cream. I saw this older woman selling some vegetables, and for some reason my soul is always drawn to the elderly, so I bent down and asked if I could take her picture, to which she kindly obliged.