Over the past few weeks, I’ve looked in envy at friends’ Facebook albums full of cherry blossoms and Washington monuments. Despite four years of Beltway living and actually working in Washington during the spring, I’ve never made it to the Cherry Blossom Festival on the National Mall. As luck would have it, Korea has it’s own Cherry Blossom Festival! While the cherry blossoms can be seen all over the city, the best place to go is Yeouido Park, an island in the middle of the Han River, right in the heart of Seoul. A couple of weekends ago, at the height of the bloom, Melanie and I decided to check out the festival. I think pictures do cherry blossoms more justice than words can, but unfortunately, my camera battery died after about half an hour.

There are conflicting arguments about Korea’s cherry blossoms. Some say that the tree is indigenous to Korea, as well as many other Asian countries. But another argument is that the Japanese planted the trees during the “occupation” of Korea in the earlier part of last century. It doesn’t really matter where they came from. The beautiful blossoms brighten up your average walk down the street, and that’s about all you can ask from a flower, isn’t it?

Mel and I with our spiffy nametags. I finally learned how to write my name in Korean!

Mel and I with our spiffy nametags. I finally learned how to write my name in Korean!

I bet you never thought to plant flowers in your pants!

I bet you never thought to plant flowers in your pants!

According to Melanie, whose Korean is really good, the ribbons talk about eventual peace with North Korea.

According to Melanie, whose Korean is really good, the ribbons talk about eventual peace with North Korea.

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There was literally a line of people waiting to climb up and pose for this exact shot.

There was literally a line of people waiting to climb up and pose for this exact shot.

There were plenty of other things at the festival–a few art exhibits, people in costume posing with children and musicians playing traditional instruments and dancing. Melanie’s even got a video of me being pulled into a dance circle. Do I know traditional Korean dances? Absolutely not. Was I the silly waegook (foreigner) dancing around with the drunk Korean man? Absolutely. Perhaps someday, that video will surface on this blog. But judging by my lack of posting and the fact that Melanie takes forever to upload things, it could be awhile. Till then, enjoy me pretending to be Asian (like Miley Cyrus, but less offensive):

안녕하세요!

안녕하세요!

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