OK, it was Sunday, but this is a good song
Today I went down to the library to study. After I got a bit burned out I went down to the nearby park, and continued to read. But when walking around I began to think about the park itself. Although as a child I went there frequently, I probably had not been there in a few months. The public park should be a place for general public enjoyment. What had stopped me from going?
I decided to walk around, and explore the park a bit, and ended up doing a fair bit of walking. Along the way I encountered some koreans, some nice looking areas, some ridiculously happy children, and a fair bit of self-realization.
“And after you're real drunk, maybe go down to the public park and stagger around and ask people for money, and then lay down and go to sleep.”
The above quote may be entirely irrelevant, but heck, quotes on parks are somewhat hard to come by.
Upon first entering the park, I witnessed something rather unsavoury. Four kids were pressuring a kid into doing a skateboard jump he didn't want to do. He was probably 6 or 7, and they were 10. I don't know where the parents were, but he fell down and got hurt.
But soon thereafter, it became much more positive. I saw this fine gentlemen reading a paper on top of a nice little hill. He was here just to relax, to be in the open air, etc. I think that I've spent so much time inside for school/gaming, that to a certain degree, I have lost a lot of my experience with the great outdoors. Or the fine outdoors. Whatever.
A slightly messed up picture, but is valid nonetheless
More interesting than the setting, however was the people. As varied as they were, they were all there for one purpose: to have fun.
First, I walked by a soccer game. There were three referees reviewing at the half. I've refereed a fair bit, and could understand what they were talking about. One of the referees, who is actually an assistant ref coordinator for our district had really botched some calls, because of a rule change circa 2001. In any case, some random guy had walked up and got mad about it, and got ejected.
Secondly, I walked right next to a road. It really struck me, when I saw Audis, BMWs, and a corvette, how different this was compared to most of the United States/the world. While in theory I am aware of these discrepancies, simply being aware and reading articles is nothing compared to experiencing them. Even when in the wealthier suburbs of Los Angeles, the quality of automobiles is generally lower. Sometimes the internet can be as isolating as it can be connecting.
Thirdly, I walked by some people drinking around a picnic table. The really strange bit, is that the first thing I thought is "that's illegal." Sure, it is illegal to drink in public parks in America, but what really matters is that these people were no harm to anyone else, and were having a good time. While I am by no means an advocate of public drunkenedness, a can of beer per person doesn't do anybody real harm. So many things are assumed. Especially with my area of upbringing a lot of things become assumptions, that in reality are far from it. Smokers are inherently disreputable, unemployment is self inflicted (still thought that pretty far into middle school) etc.
So then I'm walking around. And I see a 13 year old dressed in quite provocative clothing. I go, wtf. And then move on.
Then... I encounter huge tubs of kimchi sitting on picnic tables. And I go, herrmmmm, what could this be? Then a bunch of people with nametags written entirely in hangul show up, and start talking in korean. And then there is a ton of delicious galbi. And by a ton, I mean, at least 3 charcoal grills going for an hour and a half. It was delicious smelling. Then all the younger people engaged in what must have been the most ridiculously high level soccer game I've seen in a long time. Sure, they weren't as good as a division I team, but considering they didn't have formal teams, and it was purely pick up, it was DARN good. Lots of loud yelling in korean. And a couple people who were actually wearing red korean national team jerseys. Woohoo, tigers, or whatever they are.
ITS A SPIDER
Meanwhile, as neighboring white and hispanic children ran around and thwacked each other with sticks (literally) the korean kids ran after a spider. After slowly torturing it, they decided enough was enough, and went back. Then, one really loud guy, called them back together, and they had some sort of a group/team building activity.
(I have no idea what is being said... sorry about the poor video quality. It was 1080p, but until I'm at college I have ~ no upload capability.) Also, I was asked to take this video for them. I may have sort of failed though, in that I'll have to contact them to get a mailing address for the DVD. @.@
Conclusion: I think part of what has drawn me away from the park is my lack of friends who go to the park. Or even further my lack of close friends. Although I am on great terms with a lot of people, and consider a lot of people my friends, I don't really have a defined group. Probably in part due to the fact that my mom prevented me from doing much socializing earlier, and partially due to the fact that I just never got to know any one group well, and tended to bounce between them. The park in many ways isn't that exciting in of itself, but it most importantly brings people together. In college I must strive to become well acquainted with most, as I have already done, although I must too strive to achieve close friendships.