Gangneung Indoor Ice rink

When it comes to teacher trips, it’s a hit or a miss. It’s a good chance to spend time with my coworkers outside of work and go somewhere new with ease I wouldn’t have on my own. However it also is usually drunken noribang bus rides and my coworkers spilling soju because we’ve only had raw fish for dinner. The food is usually a miss, with me eating only side dishes and a lack of sleep. While there were elements to that this time I think this visit to the Gangneung indoor ice rink shot this trip into my favorite spot. (Barely edging out the time a drunken coworker handed me a cup with a crab in it that they’d dug up from the mud flats that joined us for a trip to a noribang)

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Despite the heat I dressed warmly for the indoor ice rink because we weren’t going to the Olympic rink to watch something, we were going to learn the sport that took Korea by storm and that I saw everywhere when I was visiting for the Olympics. Curling. My coworker had booked us a curling lesson on the Olympic rink!

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A man explained the rules to us in Korea and then got the shoe size of anyone wearing flip flops, sandals, or heels. My flats were fine. We collected our curling brooms and watched him show us the basics and run us through some very very basic drills like passing the stones back and forth. This is where I learned I was using too much energy, like I would if I was bowling. We then broke up into teams of four. One person would slide the stone towards the center of a bulls eye or to try and knock an opponents stone out of the way. Two other people would use the brooms to try and lead the stone in a specific direction (sweeping heats up the ice a bit) or to help it continue going if it ran out of speed. The last person would be near the target and would try to lure the opponents stone out of the target or to get it to go in the center of the target.

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It was a ton of fun. It wasn’t exactly the way the professionals do it, we didn’t wear the proper shoes which he showed us glided across the ice and were very slippery. But it was a great way to be introduced into the game, and it was amazing to get to learn it where the Olympics were held. (Even if my team lost every match we played)

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