Article by: Hwangbo
Translated by Always Smile
Source: JoongAng Ilbo
The spring of the year before the last, I went to YongSan station with my friend. This is because it was the first bus that came to pick us up. If the bus was heading to Seoul came first, we would have probably gone to Seoul. I arrive to YongSan station; I don’t bother to look at maps and head straight to the nearest train station as I hop onto the first one I can get on. I don’t know where I’m going, I don’t know where I’ll get off, and I don’t have anything planned.
This is what I call a “blind vacation”. I’ve been finding vacation spots in this way for the last five years. Five years ago, I had become burned out with the celebrity lifestyle that I was living. My celebrity lifestyle never allowed any room for a normal vacation- it was suffocating. The only place I was allowed to go to by myself was my great grandmother’s house that lived in JunNam YeongAhm. I even had to go through a meeting with the staff of my agency to discuss how I would take my vacation. I was frustrated why I had to select a specific destination point and a specific person to meet. I wanted to find out where I would end up if I took off without planning anything. So, I decided go on a blind vacation. With who you ask? I didn’t plan that either. The day I go on blind vacations I would wait for someone to call me. I would ask them “If you don’t have anything planned for today, let’s go see the world!” The majority of the time, they answered, “no thanks”. Rarely people would answer, “sure”. I would then go on a blind vacation with that person. It’s still my way of vacationing today.
I go on these blind vacations the most during the winter seasons. I’m able to mask myself with scarves and masks so, I’m able to lay low very easily- I’m a celebrity so they recognize me easily kukuku. I’ve become braver these days, so I find myself heading out in even the spring seasons with a simple cap.
The charming points of blind vacations are the excitement of adventuring into an unknown land and observing things you’ve never seen before. It’s even interesting seeing the world outside from the car windows; even the environment inside the train stations seems special. I would witness random couples fighting, shop owners complaining to their regular daytime drinkers to pay up, and old ladies who complain that you stole her spot…. I am once again reminded that I too am living moving, and speaking as I observe all these people,
The station which I wanted to get off at was PoHang. I took the bus all the way to the nearest ocean. It was a tranquil secluded beach. The clothes I was wearing that day was shabby and I had plastered on a band aid plastered on my face from the injury I got from a schedule I had in China. My friend was embarrassed of me, however I felt it was such a comedic amusing situation. I wrote my name on the sandy beach, I even screamed out the name of my love there. I felt alive again. We each picked up a random stick as we walked around the narrow roads of this town playing “JJANG of the ally way.” (t/n: JJANG means boss.)
The most amusing thing to do is observing people. The old ladies who all have different clothes and faces while they all share the same hairstyle- permed and short; the little children who are whining; the people who are selling; and the people who stare at me with amused eyes. I hope they had a nice day wondering if it was really celebrity Hwangbo with a band-aid plastered on. Suddenly, I remember my mother; everyone works so hard to keep on living.
I saw a random rich person in the supermarket; a father who was dead drunk with his hand covered in gauze- probably because he hit someone since his face was also severely wounded. He allowed his child to get anything from the market. The father took out a five-dollar bill. The child picked a single bag of chips, the father then told his child “You can pick more things”. However, the child replied, “You can go buy your soju with the change”. Whenever I remember that day again, I feel a lump form in my throat.
I had taken this trip because I was exhausted of my own life. However, I meet people whose lives are worst than mine. On these blind vacations, I learn more about life. I observe, listen, and feel. The essence of life lies all over our very earth.
P.S. I hope that I could also go on a blind vacation on my honeymoon
On days where you want to taste a bit of happiness, lets leave on a blind vacation! But, blidn vacations have rules too.
1. Never determine your destination. However, it’s okay to select north, south, east, or west. There’s a limit to how far you can go up north. So, sooner or later you’ll end up going south again.
2. You cannot reserve friends to go with you. However, you can go with friends who accidentally happen to cross your path that day. Vacationing alone also has its charming points.
3. Digital cameras are a must. Any memories must have its photo taken.
4. You may not use your credit card. Only cash!
5. Um… It’s just my recommendation, but I don’t think it’s a good idea to go on these vacations with your new lover. ( Since girls always look forward to the event vacations their boyfriends set up for them! ^_^*)