Sunday, September 23, 2012

Scavenger Hunt

Last night Irish and I competed in the annual KIS scavenger hunt. It was incredibly fun and utterly exhausting.

Fourteen teams of 6-7 players each met up at a park last night at 5:15.  With this many participants every available babysitter in our neighborhood was occupied.  Irish had the foresight to book one of the principal's daughters early.  Our team was called "The Bald and the Beautiful"  because the men were all bald, the ladies- beautiful (in case you weren't able to figure that out on your own..)

The first three challenges were humbling.  We started with a set of anagrams, like the jumble in the newspaper.  I have always been bad at these and did not add much to the team's effort.  After getting just six of the seven words we were mercy ruled. 
I am on the right, contributing nothing

This meant we had to go early in the next challenge, which involved singing and dancing, two other things I am very bad at. We had to sing "Staying Alive" from Saturday Night Fever, and incorporate the word "bunghole" into the lyrics, while being judged on teamwork, singing and choreography. We came in second to last on this one, I was a little surprised we beat anyone (the team with the middle school and high school drama teachers won, which isn't much of a surprise) There are videos of our performance, I wish there were not and would like to find them so they can be erased. 

The third challenge involved exercise.  This is another thing I am bad at (my undersized t-shirt in the pictures reveal my love of eating over exercising.  The school's Biggest Loser competition starts next month, with a large cash prize- so I will be very motivated to make some changes, but not until October)  We all hiked up to the top of a big hill, through the woods just after the sun had set. At the top we all participated in an exercise session while two of our teammates were doing the challenge.  Pete, the elementary gym teacher, led the group exercise wearing a pair of indecently short short shorts, lots of pelvic thrusts and lunges. We finished that one still in last place.  And then we started to pick up speed. 

We walked to a mall near the park, there we quickly solved a puzzle- then went to an arcade where we finished a series of games. After that we took a group picture in one of the photo booths Irish wrote about yesterday.  Several teams were having problems with the editing but Irish was our expert. And then we got on the subway for our next destination. On our way we saw a team still waiting to get to the arcade, so we knew we weren't in last.

At the next stop we went to the roof of a 32 story building.  There was a drinking challenge, a beer for each member of the team- with a few team members doing more than their share picking up the slack for non drinkers. On our way down we saw another team waiting for the elevator, so we went for the stairs. I think the original plan was to go down a floor or two to catch the elevator before them, but we ended up running down all 32 floors, stopping at each floor to hit all the up and down buttons- an enormous amount of work for very limited return.
The view from the rooftop (source: Steve Katz facebook- I was a little freaked out by the heights, and didn't take a picture)

Back in the lobby, dizzy and exhausted, we were told to get on the red line.  This is the train to Gangnam, where Irish and I went out to dinner last night.  At the train station in my urgency not to miss a train I spent a minute trying to go in through an out turnstile, then once I got that figured out we were handed a jigsaw puzzle, probably 100 pieces, and as soon as the train arrived we got to work.

foreigners acting weird on the floor of the subway.

There were two other teams working near us, so at least we were not alone in our strange behavior sitting on the floor talking more louder than is normally expecting on Seoul subways. A couple of train officials stopped and watched us, but they seemed more amused than angry. With the puzzle finished a few stops from the end we flipped it over and found a treasure map.

At each challenge up to this point we had been giving a picture that we were keeping on a keychain, on the back of each picture was a shape, the map showed paces to each shape.  We found out later that this is where some teams came off the rails but we got it figured out and expected to be on our way to the finish...except it was not finished yet.

When we reached the X we were given a new checklist of things to do, an entire scavenger hunt in it's own right.

There was a list of easier challenges, we had to complete eight of them.  Then we had to complete four items from a more difficult list, and finally every team had to record themselves singing an entire song from the eighties at a Noraebang (Karaoke). Having made it this far we were ready to do whatever it took.  This included, but was not limited to the following:

  • Recording ourselves doing the Gangnam Style dance with at least two Korean people
  • Following a group of foreigners who were not part of the game, and narrating their activities in the voice of Steve Irwin (We had a New Zealander on our team so he provided the approximately Australian sounding accent)
  •  Building a human pyramid and convincing a Korean stranger to join us on top of the pyramid.
  • Take a picture inside a DVDbang (When I lived in Taiwan they had MTVs- places you could rent movies and watch them in private rooms, I remember them being decent places nice leather sofa's, big screens good sound.  DVDbangs are similar, but much much seedier, basically rooms for couples to hook up in- the one we found had a bed in the room- I was glad to be taking the picture that time)
DVDbang room.  It was actually pitch dark when they went in, the flash on my camera lit it up

Human pyramid- the guy in the middle top was the stranger- he said it was his birthday, he was very happy to help out.

A three second clip of us dancing like fools in a public setting- anything longer would be too embarrassing

Finally- after singing "Sunday Bloody Sunday" at a Karaoke place we had to find a statue where we would turn in all our pictures and videos.  At least one team got hopelessly lost looking for this statue- but again our Friday night trip to Gangnam helped out, we had seen the statue the night before- so we knew where it was and that we were close.  All of our stuff checked out, and then... we still were not done! One last clue, a puzzle that gave us the name of a bar, a short walk looking up to the upper floors of the nearby buildings got us there, and after more than five and a half hours, we had finished, in 4th place!

After congratulating the teams ahead of us and saying hi to some friends we had to go home.

We took the same train back.  Found a burger place that was closed but willing to sell us take out.  So we happily ate cheeseburgers outside on a pleasant night, completely worn out but very happy.

Irish eating a cheeseburger late at night.


  1. Having a delish cheeseburger after a tiring but fun game is definitely a good way to end the day! And you totally deserved it! And I have to commend you and your team for giving your all for this scavenger hunt. I can only imagine how you got to sing Stayin’ Alive, and do some Gangnam style moves on the street! It is a little embarrassing, but I think it’s worth the fun! By the way, that was a hilarious team name.

    [Rosalinda Hone]