Goesan, Day 10: Archery, Pizza, and YA Fantasy

Going off the last entry, this week totally ended with a festive bang.

On Friday I decided I’d been too antisocial and decided to accompany my roommate into Goesan for a party. That was an experience I won’t soon forget; with all the energy packed into that tiny, one-room bar, I could have lived the entire night vicariously from blocks away. Much of it was not my scene (grinding, moshing, musical taste in general), but I think it was good to experience, especially in the company of the people I went with: the self-proclaimed “water only” table. I definitely ended up having fun with the mellow crowd. 🙂

Water. Ironically, it’s in a beer pitcher.

Yesterday, though, was epic, and this is why: ARCHERY.

Me! And a bow! And my elbow not in the right position!

In the afternoon a large group of us walked through Goesan to an archery school on the opposite side of town. It didn’t look like much: two low buildings, a long, covered porch from which to shoot, and a large field spotted with targets at various distances. I thought it was charmingly typical and quaint, until I realized the two professional archers next to us were there training for the Olympics.

Coolness rating: +1000.

Because there were so many ETA’s there to learn, we had to split into three groups. My group shot first, quickly alerting me to the gaps in my (Amtgard-provided) prior knowledge of the sport. I remembered the stance, remembered to keep my elbow up and my drawing hand under my chin; but I had to get used to pulling the string right across the middle of my nose and chin, as well as focusing through the sight with my right eye. In fact, I’d never used a sight before, and moreover I’m extremely left-eye dominant. By the end of my turn, my glasses were disposed of and I was squinting through one eye, half blind. For the entire last set, I couldn’t even see where my arrows were landing in the target.

Saving grace: I looked SO COOL.

Fortunately, these were just physical hinderances. After my turn was over, I was able to coach to other ETA’s so that they were able to improve more than I had. In fact, by dinner time my name had actually gone around to the orientation coordinators as an “expert archer!” (I’m still correcting people on that…)

We then got to watch a shooting demonstration with traditional Korean bows, which was really cool. These bows bent a lot further back than the normal recurve, and there didn’t appear to be an actual nock for the arrow — it looked like the archers were just shooting off their index fingers.

Badassery in progress.

Oh, and they were shooting targets 145 meters away. Or, simply put…

…all the way over there.

On the way home some of us stopped in town and got Korean-style pizzas with potato, bacon, onion, and corn. This was honestly more satisfying than anything else I’d eaten here. Though small, it was filling and tasted like a wonderful mix of the U.S. and Japan — probably because Koreans love corn on pizza just as much as the Japanese.


Coincidently, the ETA in this picture, I discovered, is also a YA fantasy novelist. Hence the entire walk home consisted of genre discussion and exchanging our own works. In fact, thanks to her presence last night I was able to work on Ciphers for the first time since arriving here. There are also several poets and a short story writer among the ETA’s, so a writers circle is looking like a possibility. 🙂


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Charlotte
    Jul 15, 2012 @ 23:13:46

    I am so jealous that your practicing archery, the only archery place i know that is anywhere near my living area is in west palm and its a 3 hour drive D:

    XD i am so happy that your enjoying yourself in Korea!!! See it was an awesome decision Mary, admit it! 😀 now you are learning Korean and you already are fluent in Japanese and English if only you learn Spanish *shakes fist*. But yes when I do get there to South Korea, I do challenge you to a archery match. ^_^ so practice lots because I am very good at archery, well… I lied i am a bit rusty lol since i have practice as much in the past 7 years. ^_^ but i can bounce back.



    • seilann
      Jul 16, 2012 @ 07:44:44

      Challenge accepted. >:D And that’s great news about Japan Club! I think my email is still on the mailing list, so I look forward to seeing what’s gonna happen from now on.

      PS: We need to Skype soon!


  2. Charlotte
    Jul 15, 2012 @ 23:18:49

    Oh btw May, can you add a follow button for email subscriptions (like Japan Club wordpress does)? Because I cannot log into my WordPress account ;_; and i really don’t want to make another. Also I will add your blog on the Japan Club blogroll :D.

    Oh i have good news on Japan Club. Several exchange students who studied and lived in Japan are now on the E-board. Laura Gonzalez is the president, she is has been to Japan about three times and all there the study aboard program. Komura is happy about that and the curriculum is all brand new too :D. So my persistence paid off. You don’t need to worry about Japan Club, its actually in very good hands and its heavily based on Language learning activities for the semester.

    Keep us updated on your adventure in South Korea!


  3. Barb the French Bean
    Jul 18, 2012 @ 17:58:52

    Can I just say…you so SO FREAKIN’ AWESOME with the bow and arrows and the Merida/Katniss get-up! 😀

    And corn on pizza? I’ve had potatoes, cream, eggs and bacon before, but corn kernels? Mind. Blown.


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