Again, another belated post. My sincere apologizes to you all, really.  A couple weeks ago, Americans celebrated Independence Day. I happen to love this holiday. Why, you ask? First of all, I like that “independence” is a very long word that is easy to spell (all “e”s, no “a”s). Secondly, I think it’s awesome that John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on the same day of the same year, and that the in question day happened to be America’s 50th birthday. (In the hours before his death, Adams supposedly uttered, “Thomas Jefferson survives.”)

These days, Americans celebrate the Fourth in various ways. One of my most memorable Independence Days was in 2002 in Omaha, Neb., where we watched the “largest fireworks show west of the Mississippi” at a minor league baseball game, and followed that up the next day with a barbeque in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Doesn’t get more down-home American than Iowa, I’ll tell ya that much. It goes without saying that July 4th is best celebrated with friends, food and fireworks.

Sadly, the fourth of July is just another day on the calendar here in Korea, but heaven forbid that stop rambunctious Americans from doing it up Yankee-style. First stop, friends. Oliver, Mimsie and I headed to Apgujeong, an area of the city near the Han River, to meet up with our Tory friend Rachel and a Korean guy she met that afternoon. Second stop, food. We headed to Smokey’s Saloon, a burger joint with locations all around the city. I’ve never seen a burger quite like the one I ordered. Called the “Kiss Me Later,” it was a juicy patty layered with cheese, garlic chips, special sauce and seven fried onion rings on top. The burger was literally as big as a newborn baby.

 

Hello, thisiswhyyourefat.com

Hello, thisiswhyyourefat.com

 

Recreating the late 1770s...the Brit attacking the damn Yankee. Though technically, Mississippi Mimsie is hardly a Yankee...

Recreating the late 1770s...the Brit attacking the damn Yankee. Though technically, Mississippi Mimsie is hardly a Yankee...

We left Smokey’s with no leftovers and several food babies and went in search of our number three, some riverside fireworks. Considering the large expat community in Seoul, we thought it would be easy to find some Americans shooting off fireworks by the water. Makes sense, right? Well, no dice on the expat explosives, but we found a great alternative–the 7-11 in the park was selling sparklers and magic balls for only a couple of bucks. Excited by the prices and the idea of setting stuff on fire, we quickly threw down 15,000 won and headed to the water.

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We hung out by the water a bit longer before heading back to Suyu. It was interesting to spend the holiday outside of America, my first time doing so. The world gives America a ton of crap, and while some of it is deserved, I’ve never been more proud or grateful to be an American than I have since moving to Seoul. Small things that I took for granted my entire life, such as freedom of speech and freedom to buy Kraft mac and cheese, do not exist everywhere in the world. A few months ago, I showed my Korean friend Chloe the Sarah Silverman video “The Great Schlep”  and she was floored that it was legal for Silverman to insult John McCain in a public forum. A quick Google search informed me that Koreans, notably bloggers, have been arrested in the past for insulting the government and political candidates.

Not like you’re expecting to read another blog entry from me anytime soon, but just a heads up that I won’t have another one up for at least a couple days. I’m heading out early tomorrow morning for a weekend of sun, fun and mud at Boryeong’s annual Mudfest celebration and won’t be back until Sunday night.

Oh, and a fun read about America (no, not Vanity Fair’s Palin piece…though that was awesome) here. You just can’t hate on a country that gave the world toilet paper.

 

My blurry, over-lit city <3

My blurry, over-lit city ❤

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