MT, or membership training, is a special event popular among South Korean university students where they would travel to a remote area for roughly 2 days and 1 night with the purpose of helping the members get familiar with each other.
For our MT, we traveled to the east coast of Korea, which was over 3 hours away from Seoul. The bus ride was not fun. We left at noon on Saturday and everyone was tired from the night before so we all tried to catch up on our sleep. But it was hot and stuffy so none of us could really sleep beside….maybe Ivan (Exchange, Sweden) as shown below. [LOL!]
We arrived at Gangneung at around 5 p.m. at a beach house. The 2 story house has three bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, with a rooftop. Because our house was only supposed to hold 25 people and we had a total of 31 people, I knew that I would have to quickly mark my territory to ensure my sleeping spot for the night. I signaled Sandon (Exchange, Australia), and we both grabbed out blankets, pillows, and covers, and took over a corner of a small room near the bathroom. This turned out to be a smart move because poor Ivan had to basically sleep outside in the freezing cold that night.
Once we were all settled down, we headed out to the beach. And let me tell you. The beach was B-E-A-ultiful. The water was sky blue. The breeze was nice. And the scenery was on point. I walked along the shoreline for a bit before I headed to the pile of large rocks connected to the mainland by a bridge, while some people spent sometimes in the water.
I didn’t want to soak my entire body into the water because it was actually quite cold but I explored the “island” and to my surprise, I saw many cool things. I found a moving sea urchin, hundreds of baby crabs, and a school of fish. I left the sea urchin alone because he looked like he was about to beat me up. The crabs on the other hand were too fast for me. So I ended up bullying the fish. I surrounded the school of fish, and caught one.
After relaxing on the giant rocks and of course after taking about a thousand pictures, we decided to head back to the house for some homemade KBBQ! Because there were so many of us, it was difficult to cook enough to feed everyone at the same time. We only had two grills and it was also windy so the meat took awhile to cook. I was helping out as a “food distributor” so I ended up starting the Hunger Game. Every 5 minutes or so, I would bring in one piece of meat, drop it in the middle of the table with like 10 people sitting, and go “Let the hunger games begin!” and we all laughed.
Dinner took awhile but we were all stuffed by the end. Afterwards, we headed back inside to house on the second floor where we splitted into different groups and played different games. I went back to my “territory” with Sandon, Julie (Exchange, America), Biggi (Exchange, Germany), and Jay (Korea). We played games, chatted, and I don’t really know what else happened but we lost track of time. At 2:30 a.m., we went back to the beach and played with some fireworks and firecrackers. Apparently, they aren’t a thing in many countries so most people were very excited for it. As for us Americans, there weren’t anything too special. So I ended up just sitting on the swings and enjoyed the beach at night until it was time to head back to the house to sleep.
It rained the next morning so we were unable to bike around the area. We ended up eating Jjamppong (짬뽕) for lunch. Jjamppong is this super spicy seafood dish that tastes like heaven, but at the same time also tastes like hell. I was very conflicted but because it was so good, I pushed myself to endure the pain and finished everything. I want to say never again, but it was so good, so I think I will have to try it again before going back to the States.
Afterwards, we went to Yi I’s house. Yi I is a Korean scholar who’s on the 5,000 won bill. Honestly speaking, I wasn’t impressed. It was pretty and all but it was just like any other traditional houses in Korea that I’ve visited. But it was nice regardless to be at a famous person’s house!
It started raining again so we rushed back to the bus and head back home. Remember when I said the ride to Gangneung was bad? I take it back. The ride back to Seoul was worse. We were all tired and the traffic was bad. The 3-hour ride turned into a 5-hour ride… But everything for Gangneung… right?