Since we are local people, people think we have done a lot of domestic travel. However, even I who is writing this article have never visited a winter festival because of my dislike of cold weather. I was excited to experience a winter festival in person, which I had only seen as a banner advertisement on the subway or from a local festival I studied in a social science class. This article is about my experience of this winter trip, which was conducted from February 2nd to the 3rd at the Singsing Festival in Gapyeong-Jara Island.
We met at 10:30 a.m. at Yongsan Station and took an hour train ride to arrive at Gapyeong Station. With the help of the station guide, we ate lunch near the festival when we arrived by bus. The fishing grounds at the festival, which we had arrived to on foot, following a map, were frozen white with a big mountain ahead. Seeing the water continue to flow under the ice in the small stream next to the fishing spot, I was afraid that the ice would break. Even in the cold weather, there was a donkey at the entrance of the fishing spot for a feeding experience. To enter the fishing area, we needed a ticket. We received tickets and three ice-fishing rods from the ticket office. Tickets were made to be worn on our wrist, they were tough and hard to tear off afterwards.
After entering the fishing grounds, we placed the bait in our ice hole and held the fishing rod. Afterwards, we bobbed it hard. There were many people around who brought their own fishing gear and chairs to sit on. At two o’clock, staff dropped trout into a large hole in the middle of the fishing spot. However, sadly to conclude we never caught any fish on our own. In an hour we couldn’t even see the fish’s shadow down the hole. The bait on the hook was shaped like a fish, so when no fish had not been caught, we joked to ourselves “The truth is, this bait we’re shaking is trout.” Our editor-in-chief laid on the ice, casting his eye over the ice to confirm the presence of trout. All the reporters were tired of not catching trout and had become bored of standing and waving fishing rods.
Then two of us went snow tubing in the snow sledding yard beside the fishing area. Unlike fishing, snow tubing was very interesting. (It was so fun that one person rode it 11 times!) When trout were not caught in one of the ice holes, we moved on another ice hole and found a crack. I was scared when I saw the cracked ice, but security guards were checking the thickness of the ice at every hole.
Eventually when we were disappointed that we had not caught a trout, the editor-in-chief got a trout from somewhere. He got his bait somewhere that was different from our bait. When I saw the trout, the bait on the hook was bigger than the mouth of the trout. On the sign on the way out, it said, ‘Today’s ice is 25cm thick.’ I was a little scared to think that I was standing on an ice shelf thinner than a 30cm long ruler. The trout were found swimming in the next steam, they remained in place, swaying their tail in the water. After looking at it, I could see why the fish hadn’t been caught, because they were not moving much.
In front of the fishing area, there were various kinds of food, and there were places to cook trout. After buying dinner at the mart, we headed for the pension using a pickup service provided by the same building. After arriving at the accommodation, everyone entered the room and the first thing we did was lie down. We started having dinner at 7 and I was sorry that I hadn’t done anything but prepare the table. After the delicious dinner we spent our free time in recreation. We fell asleep at dawn playing old songs, playing card games of East and West, and talking with people honestly.
The next morning, we arrived at Gapyeong Station earlier than we thought. We spent time talking inside the station, and then we went back to Yongsan Station by train.
I recommend that people bring gloves, chairs, and personal bait if they are planning to go to this winter festival, which includes fishing. Though it was comparatively warm, my hands were cold, and standing for a long time hurt my legs and knees. And as I said before, the bait on the hook is larger than the fish’s mouth.
This is just what I felt as part of the trip that a total of nine reporters took. Since this is a short written article I can’t express my feelings perfectly. Although fish were not caught, I felt a big happy feeling from going to the winter festival together with the Tidings reporters, seeing the same things, feeling different and having deep conversations with each other. If I have a chance, I would like to go on this trip together again.
Chung Minkyung firstname.lastname@example.org
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