A few weeks ago Yuri said "I have a badminton tournament soon. Want to come watch me?" Yes. Absolutely. That has entertainment written all over it. So she told me the time and place, and because it's Korea it got changed a few times, but it ended up being Sunday morning at 8:40 at the high school gym near my apartment.
So Sunday morning Katie and I met outside the high school at 8:30...with plenty of time to find the gym. Right? Wrong. We wandered all over. Finally we saw an old man and said "badminton?" and he pointed up some stairs. We got there and found 6 people randomly hitting a birdie around. That was not the tournament we were looking for. So we wandered some more and found an old lady. We asked her the same question and got the same not-so-helpful response. Eventually I texted Yuri and said "I think I'm lost." She came outside and jumped and waved her arms around until we found her. The tournament was across a courtyard in the elementary school gym. Of course.
By the time we got there she was finished :( We watched some of her friends, and when there was an open court she went down there and showed us her skills. When I tell other Koreans my co-teacher is Yuri they usually say something like "Wow, she's very good at badminton." They are correct!
Now...picture this. A parking garage with coolers, picnic blankets, tables, and portable stoves. Yuri took us to her club's area (yes, there are badminton clubs, and yes, each club brought it's own kitchen) A bunch of her friends were sitting down and she said "Let's have breakfast. We have meat, vegetables, and rice cakes." None of that is breakfast food, so I ate some pears. Then she said "Do you want some beer?" Umm...no. It's 10 in the morning. On a Sunday. Definitely not time to start drinking. That didn't stop any Koreans though....
Then she brought us back to the gym for the opening ceremony...even though the tournament had already opened. Katie and I were the only white people, and everybody noticed us. We felt very uncomfortable. Everyone had to sit on the floor, single file, with their club, and get counted. Each person was worth 1 point for that club. I don't know what the points were for. Then some man asked Yuri if I would give flowers to some important guy during the ceremony. She said no, thank goodness. This was a situation where I did not need any extra attention brought upon myself. We sat there for about 10 minutes (10 minutes too long) then she snuck us out. We went back to the portable kitchens for a little bit, then left to meet Alissa for church. All before 10:30.
The rest of the day was spent at church, then having a pizza picnic in the park with about 15 church friends. We turned a lot of heads! Such a fun Sunday :)