Did I say I’d update more? And you believed me? April Fools! Been sick today and busy this week/had children that crushed my spirit. Sorry.

This weekend was for firsts, including first time in Seoul and first bike ride! Seoul was cool, I was expecting it to be a lot more obnoxious like London or New York but it seemed more mellow. Maybe because I was mainly wandering around there early Saturday morning and late afternoon Sunday? Either way, it was pretty chilled and definitely a lot more Western than Daegu. We got there on Friday night to leave early on Saturday, so we had to navigate the far more complicated subway system, but it worked out ok.

The actual DMZ parts of the trip were kinda low key. We went into one of the secret tunnels that the North had built to try and invade the South, one of the battlefields, and a museum about the relationship between the two. It was all pretty matter of fact, they presented it like “Oh here’s where the battle took place”, there wasn’t a lot of drama around it. That seemed different to me, I feel like if you had that sort of thing elsewhere, it would be presented as a big deal. You’d probably have attractions themed around it, people dressed up in costumes, or at least t-shirts saying I Went Into The Infiltration Tunnel & Survived The Shitty Mannequinns In The Middle.

Group shot. Thanks to Danai for this!

We got to see the demilitarised zone, 4kms of space between North and South. It was kinda creepy for when you stare into the abyss, the abyss definitely stares back, the North were out watching us watch them.

But the big attraction was obviously the bungee. I nearly didn’t jump. Standing on a ledge 150 meters over a river with a line of people behind me urging me to step off was surreal to say the least. Looking down was a huge mistake and the second I did it, I wanted to chicken out. Actually jumping was completely contrary to everything my instincts wanted, my insides were screaming “What the hell do you think you’re doing? Why are you on a ledge? Get down, you fool!” But I was up there, on the precipe with a rope around my ankles, I’d come to far to back out – and I’d paid a non-refundable fee up front – so I jumped.

Massive thanks to Amy for this picture

If you can see me in that picture, you may perhaps be wondering why I am completely straight and my hands appear to be on my hips.

The answer is, I was fucking terrified.

We’d also all had a conversation just before jumping about clothing choices and the rational fear of the cord snapping mixed with the horror of potential embarrassment of my shirt coming up over my head and me flashing the crowd of people watching.

So I can proudly say I bungee jumped stiff as a board, holding my shirt in place, wishing I was somewhere else and hoping my shoes didn’t fall off (I believed them to be the only things keeping my ankle thingies on at the time of the jump. I’m not sure why) so I wouldn’t fall to my death. The adrenalin was insane. After being pulled into the boat, I could only lie there shaking while the guy rowed me off to the side. Super intense rush, I think I was shaking for a good five minutes, and I’d say it granted me like 15 minutes worth of reprieve from the banging hangover I had. Sadly, after 15 minutes, the hangover came back, angrier than ever. Pretty sure my body was just hating me so much, first for marinating my insides in soju and then for throwing it off a ledge when it had been throwing up all night anyway.

Watching other people jump is massively entertaining, though. And watching people who annoyed the man in charge of the jump getting dunked into the water for it was even better, especially as that was Dave. That guy’s such a dick.

Other highlights include: The fact that now I can say that my first bike ride was at the age of 23, on a tandem bike, right next to the DMZ. It’s true and it was magical.

Discovering Korean shops that were basically where people had taken a big front room in their house and just put a bunch of stuff in to sell. Super random, they had some weird combinations.

I wrote this over like four disjointed efforts so apologies if it doesn’t make sense, clearly the DMZ just wasn’t too inspiring.

Coming up on the agenda is the Starlight Festival with horse riding and some other shit I’ve never done and might break my neck doing, and hopefully shark diving in Busan at some point next month.