I remember 4 years ago when I heard that Seoul would host the 2018 Olympics. At that time it seemed so far off, and I had imagined I would have left the country by 2018. However, I am still here and the city is buzzing with excitement about the upcoming Olympics. Especially with the arrival of the Olympic Torch in Seoul.
The torch arrived in Korea some time ago, but I don’t think the reality sunk in until this weekend. Suddenly the city became even more alive, blasting K-pop, hosting live performances, as the torch made its way around Gyuenbok Palace. I was unable to attend the festival on Saturday so I made it mission to see the torch on Sunday.
Jennifer and I searched the internet for the route of the torch and the times it would arrive in each part of the city. Initially, we couldn’t find any information, and we became increasingly frustrated.
We wrote the Korean Olympic committee, scoured the entire internet, translated pages and page with no success. However, Jennifer finally found a tiny Korean map on Facebook, and our puzzle was solved.
On Sunday morning we stormed out of our apartments and beelined to Dongdaemun station. When we arrived we sprinted up the stairs and heard the sounds of the parade. Jennifer’s friends informed us that the parade just passed, but we could still catch it. So off we were running down the sidewalks of Seoul chasing over the parade and dodging ajjumas on the way.
We finally caught up to the parade as they were passing off the torch and I was able to snap a few photos. People were handing out flags, and Olympic paraphernalia and old people laughed at the two waygookins running down the street like crazy people.
It was really interesting to see the torch in person, but also to see the excitement of the city. As a matter of fact, I suspect that the excitement will only continue to grow over the next few weeks. I know Jennifer and I are looking forward the events, as I am sure many others are as well!