Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The "Water Park"

Things have been pretty relaxed around here on the weekends. Eric's baseball season doesn't start again until next weekend. And without me pushing to get us all out the door, we're pretty content to just hang out at home. This past weekend, though, I think I must have been feeling a bit lazy. Especially after barely leaving the house all week, I felt a push to get us all out of the apartment.

IPark is our neighborhood mall that seems to have a little bit of everything. EMart is there, which is where we tend to shop for toys, household items or sporting goods, and when we're really desperate, clothing items. The mall itself has some decent stores, and we've bought a few clothes there. There are dozens of restaurants, a movie theater, and a huge selection of furniture and electronics. It's kind of a one-stop shop type of place.

IPark also happens to be one of the places where we ice skating last winter, and in the summertime, they have a little water park where the ice skating rink is in the wintertime. Evidently, it's there every year, but I had never seen it, and we had never checked it out. Since it was the last weekend it was open, I decided we should go for it! (I have no idea why Korea insists that summer is over at the end of August when it's still 85 degrees, but all of the pools seems to close around this time.)

So, the kids changed, we had some lunch, and we were off. For some reason or another, I think that both Eric and I had it in our heads that this would be pretty easy. We knew exactly where it was, we knew how to park, we knew the basic requirements, so we figured it would be pretty simple--even for an expat.

But things are never as simple as they seem. After a very awkward conversation, we finally managed to pay for us all to get in rather easily, and it didn't even cost much--less than $20 for all four of us. Then, we found a place to sit--a table with chairs and an umbrella. (I knew what time it opened and that we wanted to get there as early as possible to avoid the massive crowds.) Eric found a place to change, and the kids were ready to go.

While Eric was changing, a man came over and told me in broken English that I had to rent the table and chairs. (That explains why all of the Korean women were sitting on mats on the ground!) As I walked around trying to figure out where to rent a table, I had already decided that any price was acceptable for me to have somewhere to sit--in the shade. I don't own a maternity bathing suit and wasn't willing to try the shorts and t-shirt route in the public swimming pool. I was going to need somewhere to sit!

It ended up costing $10 to rent the table plus a $10 deposit...apparently they were worried I might walk off with the table? When I returned, Eric and the kids headed for the pool. As soon as they stepped up to the deck, the lifeguard told Eric that he and Cade needed swim caps. We knew that Kennedy would need one, but we assumed that with their short hair, the boys wouldn't (and we don't have any for them anyway). So, he was back to get money to rent swim caps. At least I knew now where he needed to go for that.

When they were finally ready to go--we'd probably been there about a half hour by this point--they stepped into the pool and the lifeguards started blowing their whistles for everyone to get out of the pools. Eric was beyond frustrated by now. Apparently, they clean the pools every hour, so at ten to the hour, they clear the pools of people. That happened to be the moment they had walked into it, of course.

Though I think Eric would have been happy to leave at that point, they waited the ten minutes and then had their fun. Cade isn't much of a swimmer, especially when the water is cold, so after going down one slide, he took a break while Eric and Kennedy checked out all of the slides.

The two of them had a lot of fun while Cade and I did a lot of watching. I also spent some time working on shooting in Manual with something other than a stationary object (at least the light was consistent!). I got Starbucks to help me cool down, but it wasn't too long before I was uncomfortably hot and the kids started complaining about being hungry. It was time to go.

I think we only lasted about two hours of actual pool time, but it turned out for the best when it came to paying for parking. Typically we don't have to spend much to cover the parking fee, but the lady laughed when we showed her our pool bracelets and my Starbucks receipt didn't make a dent, so we ended up paying more than we wanted to for that.

Suffice it to say, we learned a lot of lessons on our first try. If only we were planning to go back at some point, it might all have been worth it! No, I'm just kidding. It was fun for Kennedy and an experience for all of us. Sometimes it's just hard for us to remember that even after living here for three years, trying something new can still make us feel like the ignorant expats that we are!

And just because I'm thinking about it, let me mention that Chuseok is coming up, which is a great time to visit Korea! It's a bit earlier this year--the first weekend of September, but it's usually cooled a bit by then. If you've been thinking about visiting, this would be a good year to do it!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...