Thursday 22 September 2011

Ocean world!!

          A few weeks ago our school decided that after a long summer camp of teaching everyday for most teachers (and just a long year of teaching everyday for us preschool teachers) that we deserved a treat. There answer was a paid day at Ocean world, a famous water park quite near our school. Needless to say most teacher's jumped at the opportunity for a fun Sunday in Ocean World followed by a buffet dinner.
         On the Sunday we left English Village at 10am and upon arriving got ready as fast as we could. Many things about Korea baffle me and Ocean World provided two more additions to my list of "But why??" questions.
          1. Everyone had to wear a cap in the pools.... Now before you ask what's wrong with that we do that in Ireland listen to the rest. It was not necessary to wear an actual swim cap! Nope in fact I think I was one of very few people there with a real swim cap the majority of people wore baseball caps. It gets better though.. it wasn't even required to have your hair up under the cap just as long as it was on your head. I arrived out of the changing room, hair tucked under my cap as I assumed was the rule and walked into the pool area to be greeted by girls with flowing hair around their shoulders but wearing baseball caps still so its all ok!!
          2. The second baffling thing at Ocean World was the life-jackets. Now I guess I should have to keep in mind that quite a lot of Koreans cannot swim (which for an island nation - by technicality - is a bit awkward). Well the rule was that life-jackets were compulsory for 2 rides in the park (which I understand because you would need to be a strong swimmer otherwise) but rather than providing and returning the life-jackets at those rides you collected your jacket at the entrance and had to cart it around with you the whole day long. Now holding it in your hand got annoying so everyone eventually ended up wearing their jacket continuously but being a warm sunny day I ended up with wonderful tan lines.
          Now Ocean World itself seemed a really fun place and the rides looked like great fun but unfortunately I only managed to make it onto 3 rides in the whole day there... a few reasons added up to this but the main one was the queues. Korea is not much bigger than Ireland at all but has 6 times our population. As you can imagine this leads to a lot of people EVERYWHERE! A sunny day at Ocean World certainly followed this general rule. The queue for the most popular ride was almost 3hrs despite looking forward to that ride from the posters I couldn't justify the wait.
          The rides I did got on though were a lot of fun! Overall I had a fun day there and I loved the wave pool. Now when I thought of wave pools before I thought of little kids jumping ankle high waves in a shallow pool... this was very different. This wave pool was one of the two life-jacket required rides and with good cause. For the most of the day 6ft high waves swept people up on a rise of water and three times a day they increased the fun to 8ft! Imagine a pool crammed with as many floating people as possible and a massive wave crashing in. Thankfully the life-jackets ensured no one was under water very long and it led to a lot of laughs!!
          After a fun day in the park we were treated to a buffet dinner. Now I'll admit i pessimistically assumed it would be like the lunch we'd had that day (basically our school cafeteria food) but I was very much happily surprised! It was delicious! They had everything from salads to sushi, pasta to pizza, cheese to chow mein... YUM! I went for seconds and then thirds and would have eaten more if I thought I could squeeze even one more bite into my mouth!
          Full and tired we returned to English village after an interesting but enjoyable day!

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