I signed up to go because every one of my friends here in Suwon was planning on going. I had heard nothing but good things about it from the mouths of all the veterans. I was going to go because all of the foreigners in Korea go it it; therefore, I should go, too.
I’m almost positive that from the moment I landed in Korea and stepped off the plane, new foreigner friends and fellow English teachers were telling me about the Boryeong Mud Festival held every July at Daecheon Beach. “It’s so awesome! You have to go!” was a popular exclamation. However, even though I kept hearing constant accolades about the event, I still wasn’t too enthused about it. “So what?” I thought. “You have a couple beers, roll around in the mud, and call it a day. Big deal. Buuuut, I think I’ll sign up anyway so I can avoid being The Only Foreigner Who Didn’t Go to Mud Fest.”
Now that Mud Fest is all said and done, I’m so glad I made the decision to go, because I had an amazing time. The best way for me to describe it right off the bat would be: It was like the MTV Spring Break I never had, only with Korean alcohol and a huge mud pit thrown in there. There were a ton of other foreigners in attendance; in fact, I’m almost positive that every foreigner in Korea was there. There was the beach, and you really can’t go wrong with that. There was lots and lots of alcohol, which makes almost any social situation better. There were good friends and new friends. And there was mud. Lots and lots of mud.
I think what I liked best about Boryeong Mud Festival was that it reminded me of home. For the first time all year, I got to play on the beach. (The sun even decided to come out and grace me with its presence for the occasion.) Also, I was surrounded by people who spoke English. And while many of them were obnoxious military bros and bro hos who made me feel somewhat embarrassed to be an American, being around so many westerners at once gave me that “home” feeling I’ve been missing. Finally, I was able to just relax and have fun without the worries of having to work the next day or spending too much money since the event was on a Saturday and it turned out to be way cheaper than I had anticipated. All of these factors combined made for the most fun I’ve had here in a while.
Now that I’ve experienced Boryeong Mud Fest for myself, I can see myself being one of the veterans who exclaims, “It’s so awesome! You have to go!” If for some reason I end up teaching in Korea for a second year, I’ll definitely be going back to Mud Fest.