Serious golfers go to driving ranges and courses. Serious golfers buy golf shirts and shoes. Serious golfers have a whole set of clubs and keep them in an oversized bag. For the non-serious golfers, there is mini golf. You may call it miniature golf, goofy golf, crazy golf, mini-putt, Putt-Putt golf or mini golf, but it is basically golf for the rest of us. No clothes to purchase or clubs for that matter. Just come as you are, pay a small fee and receive one ball, one putter, one scorecard and a tiny (mini) pencil. We recently participated in the low-stress version of golf at the mini golf range at Pippy Park here in the city of St. John’s.
We wanted to have some good old-fashioned fun. We didn’t want to watch balls disappear into water hazards and sand traps. We didn’t want to have to dress in certain attire. We didn’t want to lug around a heavy bag full of clubs. We wanted to play the miniature and less stress version of golf. Our afternoon of mini golf was a success because we had fun. Oh, and by the way…I won!
Where can you skate in a sprawling city like Seoul? Well, in front of City Hall of course. Since 2004, the city has set up a large skating rink on Seoul Plaza right in front of City Hall. For the very affordable price of W1, 000 (86¢ USD) you get to rent skates and enjoy the ice under your blades.
Also, this year they have added another rink for curling, a sport that is popular in my home country of Canada, but is almost unheard of here. I guess they want to prepare the population for the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. Soon they will realize how awesome sliding a rock across bumpy ice is, as people sweep in front of it with special brooms and another person repeatedly yells, “HURRY…HURRY HARD” really is.
For those in Seoul, you can get to the skating rink and curling sheet by getting to City Hall station (line 2 or line1) and going out exit 5.
Children’s Day is a national holiday here in South Korea. Children are given the day off of school and people are given the day off work. Families spend time together and typically go and do something family orientated such as visiting a zoo or a park. Children are also given presents.
The children performing a group dance
At my workplace, we celebrate Children’s Day by having a sports day (don’t worry I’m given the following day off as a holiday). We invite the parents and grandparents to come and watch their children/grandchildren play games and run in races. The parents and grandparents also get involved. There’s a tug of war for the fathers and a giant ball relay race for the mothers. There’s even a race where the children are pulled in a rickshaw/chariot style vehicle by their fathers.
Rounding the corner
At the end of the festivities, the families usually hang out with their children and each other. They bring food, drinks and picnic mats and have lunch together. My wife and I were invited to sit with a few of the fathers and ate chicken, fruit and cheese sticks. We ate and talked about Korea, Canada and their kids.
This country can be so busy sometimes with many parents (especially fathers) working late hours and children who are equally busy between school and after-school academies. It’s nice to see the children get to have a day where they have fun with their families and have a day they can truly call their own.