It’s been more than a week since the blossoms have faded into oblivion. The weather is slowly and steadily getting warmer. Every once in a while, the weather gods have a little fun at our expense and send in a splash of rain. Back home, we have distinct seasons. When its hot — it will feel as if the fires of hell are burning and when its raining — there will be no mistaking the knee deep water we have to trudge through. Sometimes, I feel as if I’m stuck in limbo — having lost track of space and time. I wonder if locals feel any symptoms of withdrawal post bloom-boom? The high is wearing thin and I’m desperately waiting for some sun. I can’t believe I said that. My friends, back home, would kill to trade places.
Spring is one of the most awaited seasons in South Korea. And anyone, who’s been following our posts, wouldn’t find it hard to understand why. The buildup is gradual and when the blooms do make their much awaited appearance — it’s celebration time. Yeongdeungpo Yeouido Spring Flower Festival showcases Seoul’s talented street artists and performers. And it’s also one of the most popular places to visit during cherry blossoms.
A word of caution, it won’t be easy, to navigate through blossom-obsessed crowds without photobombing selfies. But, who said travel is easy?
There were multiple arenas and satellite stages set. By the Han River, a dome shaped stage served as the venue for Korean rap and an all-girl dance performance. The music blared as the group of young teens tried to get into sync. There seems to be a unwritten precedent set for teenage girls dancing. The moves weren’t different from the ones you see on TV. I wondered, once again, if we’ve got confused between feminism, empowerment, and sexuality. The music changed from K-Pop to Taylor Swift and was met with a loud applause. On the other side, we saw young couples dance. And if they recognized a song, they sang along.
The main festival arena was set along the street which runs paralel. We were drawn towards the metallic sounds of the electric guitar and strong screeching vocals. A young female vocalist turned up the energy levels. I couldn’t understand a word she said. Strangely, it didn’t matter. If I knew the words — I’d have screamed along.
I’ve always admired street musicians. It’s hard to beat their raw passion. Not making it big can have its advantages. Maybe, a struggle can bring the best in you. More often than not — the worst. And, the feeling of failing, is not one that can be easily faked.
Narcissism is on a steady rise these days showing no sign of a decline. And the selfie stick doesn’t do much for the vain. Occasionally, there will be an odd solo traveller — looking to take back travel memories. Anyone, who’s travelled alone would understand, and make a concession in this case. Marketeers don’t want to be left behind and will try to sell almost anything. And festivals like these — are soft spots — for those in need of a colourful backdrop. Not one to be left behind, Cinderella stuck to character, and left her pumpkin carriage for those in need of a ride or photo-op.
No street fair would be complete without a magician or sketch artist. It’s not easy standing in front of a crowd, trying to look like a fool, with burning sticks in your hand. Fortunately, this street magician knew exactly what he was doing. The artist stalls were quite a hit. One look at their work and all doubts would be squashed.