Julianne and I headed out to Seoul Snow Jam tonight . . . but we were too late.  But I should backtrack a little and explain how I found out about SSJ.

My co-teacher asked me on Friday if I’d heard about SSJ–I said a friend of mine, Sonya, had mentioned it to me.  My co-teacher then asked me if I knew that the main snowboarding jump was ‘3 stories high’ and in Ganghwamun Plaza . . . and it was at this point that the photographer in me began to giggle like a little boy on Christmas morning at the images I imagined I’d be able to shoot at this event . . . needless to say I was VERY happy my co-teacher had reminded me, and that Sonya had passed on the event info to me.

A brief search on Google brings up this link to the event’s site.  And more importantly this link to the event’s schedule.  On Sunday there will be a qualifying match from 10am to 12, another qualifying match from 1-5pm, and then the final match is from 6-7pm.  I can’t believe that I didn’t research this event on Friday when I heard about it cause normally when I hear about a festival or event I post a blog with all the info I need to go, and share it too.  Too much has been going on lately (for example, my school is asking me to do FIVE WEEKS of winter English camps–the most of any foreign teacher in Seoul that I know) and other stuff that I won’t bore you with . . .

There are also news articles about the event online too.  Here’s one from the Korean Herald, 2009 Seoul Snow Jam held in Gwanghwamun, and Hermit Hideaways has a bit on it too.

Anyways, tomorrow I’m going to head back to Ganghwamun Plaza and find myself a good spot and take a bizillion pics of dudes flying through the air doing spins and tricks that defy the imagination!  I can’t wait.

As for the trip Julianne and I took tonight . . . well, here are some pics of the event area.  Oh yeah, and it was CROWDED!

This little guy was very intrigued with the sun dial.

Ah, King Sejong . . . I once adjudicated an English Speech contest for elementary students.  I got to hear about 50 speeches about King Sejong the Great . . . I would liken the experience to staring at white snow on a television screen for 6 hours.  The winner, however, broke my catatonic state by writing an original speech about King Sejong–her first line was, “King Sejong came to me in a dream last night . . .”  I didn’t even have to hear the rest of her speech, which was fantastic, cause I immediately knew just from her speaking ability and the original theme of her speech that she was the best.

Oh yeah, you gotta love the little cutie and how she’s dwarfed by the monstrosity (and I mean that in several senses of the word) behind her.

Did I mention there were a lot of people?

If you go on Sunday be aware that the odds of getting close enough to the snowboarding ramp itself are not good.  There were big screen TVs set up for the crowds to watch the action . . .

I wanted to take pictures, however, and taking pictures of the live action on a big screen TV was not on my agenda, so Julianne and I backtracked to the cross walk and went to the sidewalk across the street running parallel with the snow ramp.

Unfortunately we arrived just as the last snowboarder finished his run, and then they did some awards or something while Julianne and I were still trying to get a good spot for pictures.

Instead of getting the pictures of guys flying through the air doing tricks I had to settle for some shots of the snow ramp–boo!

We stuck around for about 10 minutes.  I was hoping there’d be some kind of encore show with them doing another 20 minutes of stuff just for fun and the crowd . . . nope, no joy for me.

All I got to take pictures of was some guys walking around on the ramp . . .

Oh, and the balloon . . .

The bus on the left in this picture pulled up right in front of where I was standing.  I was still hoping that there’d be more action and had my camera all set up and ready–and then this big ass bus pulls up right in my line of sight . . . argh.

I waited 5 more minutes, after changing my spot, and then Julianne and I gave up.  I took a few more shots to try and give readers who live outside of Korea, or who have never been to the Ganghwamun plaza, an idea of how big it is.  You can see the snow ramp in the background behind the statue.

Here’s a statue of Yi Sun-sin that sits at the far end of the plaza.  (I originally posted that this was King Sejong–please pardon the error.)

I like the dragon boat thing . . .

Update: Okay Jason, you take a break from regular blogging and suddenly you’re forgetting all the Korean history you’ve read, and making two dumbass errors in a row.  The ‘dragon boat thing’ is a turtle ship . . . argh.

And here’s the big guy . . .

By this point in the evening it was about 9pm and Julianne and I hadn’t eaten so we began to look for a place to grab food.  On the way I snapped some pics.  I like seeing all the different scooters that zip around Seoul, and the personalities that ride them.

Has anyone noticed that this year there seem to be a bizillion Christmas lights in Seoul–more so than last year?  Am I the only one that thinks there’s been a Christmas light atom bomb set off in Seoul?

Seoul City Hall . . . Julianne and I find it interesting that the Christmas tree in front of city hall has a cross on it–something that just wouldn’t happen back in North America with most city halls . . .

We decided that chamchi kimbap (tuna in a seaweed wrap with rice and veggies inside) and dokbokki (sweet and spicy sauce with rice pasta-tube thingies) were what we wanted to munch on . . . it’s always very cool to watch the kimbap being made so quickly by the ajumma . . .

And then Julianne and I headed home to have our late dinner and watch some West Wing, Season 3.

Right now I’m charging my batteries and can’t wait to return to the Snow Jam tomorrow afternoon . . .

If you see me there, holla.

J

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