When I was deciding what to write for today’s post, I wasn’t quite sure. I have a list of posts that I have to write eventually with thought-out notes and drawings from my time in South Korea. It is because I knew I would be behind on writing posts because when in another country, why would I be sitting at a computer writing about my experiences—while I could still be outside and having more experiences?
At 외대 (Hankuk University of Foreign Studies), right by the gate is a considerably large dirt field. While it is warm, soccer players wake early to get practice in and play until dusk. Next to the field (why can’t you be made of grass? But that is for another post) is a basketball court. During the fall months, before it got terribly cold, there would always be a group of students playing basketball around 8 and 9PM. After a long day of traveling around the city, a group of girls and I would purchase some soothing and delicious ice cream and watch these students run back and forth on the court. Rarely were there other girls joining the games and the boys didn’t seem to mind us cheering them on.
Now if there is one game I dislike, it is TRUTH or DARE. I don’t mind the truth part; if there are good questions, I usually have a good answer. However I have noticed the older I become, the more elaborate and increasingly more embarrassing the dares become. But “come on, this is Korea” was what my friends said when they started playing. “You don’t know these people,” they told the shy me to calm down and suck it up. Because, I guess, it will be fun. It may not have been fun but it makes for a good story.
One night, we girls sat enjoying our cool ice cream and watching the boys play basketball. The sun had gone down, the scarce basketball court lamps were on. We sat, huddled together, discussing the basketball play and the overall excitement of everyone’s day. Then the game TRUTH or DARE ensued. The dares started out innocent with a small cheer for the boy that kept missing the hoop or an awkward dance while listening with headphones. (As innocent as those are, I still wouldn’t have had the guts to accomplish them.) Then my dare came and I closed my eyes and asked, “Why am I being punished?” Was I having fun? A little.
There were limited seating at the basketball court so we shared a stoop with the boys that were out during the basketball game. They were so close that all one would have to do was scooch over and be a part of their group. And that is exactly what I had to do. *face palm*
I gave my friends the “Why are you making me do this? I think I might be sick” face and moved an inch by inch. To my left was one of the basketball players, drinking Powerade and distracted by his teammates, in conversation. When his head was turned, I moved an inch. Frankly, this is the day that my friends found out I was part ninja, slyly inching over to their group. It was something out of a weekend cartoon.
The boy looked in my direction, avoiding eye contact, not really looking at me at all. I averted my gaze and spoke to my friends who urged me to continue. I could tell I was as red as a tomato and all the blood was rushing to my head, giving me an annoying headache. The boy looked away. I took my chance and inched ever closer. He said something to a friend—not about me or the girls, just something about the game. I took a bite of my ice cream. He checked his phone. I inched closer, invading my own personal space by completing the challenge. The girls cheered: a completely rational response at a basketball course, though no one was cheering about what was happening in basketball but that I had succeeded in the dare.
Not wanting to be there more than necessary, I bolted for the exit as quickly as possible. My friends sent chiding remarks at me. The boys on the bench, at this point, had noticed something was going on. As they all turned their heads to follow my friends’ gazes, it was the moment when my foot decided to trip over the other—landing me into the high basketball court’s fence. I know it is such a high school-thing to say but “I thought I would die from embarrassment.” My friends were laughing. The boys were just staring. I caught myself easily and walked a little faster toward the court’s exit. Later I heard from my friends that the students on the bench gave my friends the most hateful glare, judging them with what-kind-of-friends-are-you look and it made me a feel a little bit better. Because I knew at least someone was on my side. (gifs: Flower Boy Next Door, not a true representation of what happened)