Seventeen teams competed, mostly all foreigners with a few native Koreans here and there. About six of us teams had never set foot in Daegu before-- including us. That would prove to be less of a disadvantage than you think it would.
We were given instructions, rules, and the final checkpoint, should the missions be just too impossible for us.
Starting Task: Hit the shuttlecock thing hackie sack style five times in a row. The boys ruled it.
When finished, we were handed our envelope with super secret missions inside. At each location, we had to take a video/pic of the entire team to prove we did all the tasks.
Mission One: "Holy-Roller Mission: This has been a place in Daegu since 1886".
Now, I don't know if you've ever been in a far off country, looking for a specific landmark that you don't know the name of or what it looks like, but I will tell you, it's not actually as hard as it seems. Some help of our guidebooks, the tourist information stand conveniently located at the starting point, and our dazzling street smarts got us to just the right place. After stopping at the wrong cathedral first.
Mission Two: "Park Ji-Sung Mission: On June 6th, 2002 the Red Devil's faced-off against Uncle Sam's Army at this location." Park Ji-Sung is the most famous soccer player in Korea, students rave about him. The goal was the World Cup stadium. It's there in the background.
Mission Three: "Ajima Mecca Mission: This is the largest market in Daegu." Background info: Ajimas are any woman in Korea who is married. Older Ajimas have a very... particularly strong... personality. They are widely known for the following: huge visors that hide their entire face; polyester clothing in bright, floral, and strange prints; being either generally pretty cranky or rarely very nice; short, tight perms; and a complete willingness to give you the stare down or even push or (I have heard cases) hit you. We headed off to Seomun Market, a huge traditional market selling food, clothing, fabric, spices, and all sorts of other treasures.
Mission Four: "Food Mission: Find and eat either soondae or dong jeep. Racist clause: You can not have a Korean member of your team eat this food." We're still not clear what dong jeep is, but soondae is pig intestine blood sausage filled with noodles and spices. Thankfully, the boys covered this one too. Notice the vendor's face.
Soondae in Daegu
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Mission Five: Dancing Mission: Record a choreographed dance at one of the following locations: Dongdaegu station, downtown stage by the McDonald's, or a crowded subway car." We took the subway car, and also took the easy way out by using an old standby instead of making our own. Got the ajima stare down for it.
Mission Six: "Viking Mission: Go to Soosung Lake and ride the most unsafe amusement park ride you can find. Take a video." This was just plain awful. Super scary. Like I cried scary. Don't make fun of me too much.
Mission Seven: "Speed Game: Your team will receive a sealed letter at the beginning of the race. You must find a random Korean person to read this to you. The letter has a secret word written on it. The Korean person will give you clues and you must guess what they are talking about." This was actually probably the most challenging task. We used our well honed street smarts, and found a random Korean with a western boyfriend. This is a big clue the gal knew English, so even though she pantomimed the words, she was able to confirm when we got the word right.
Mission Eight: "If you live in Daegu you might have been to this park at least once or did a sky jump close by. Find an attractive ajima wearing a visor and get a picture with her." Impossible. we had to hatch a trap, wherein we posed and waited for an ajima to walk by us, and snapped a picture while she was trying to figure out what was going on.
Mission Nine: "Find Daegu's premier skater boi doing tricks at his hang out downtown." We had no idea about this one, but a phone-a-friend bailed us out.
Mission Ten: "Do your best Abbey Road recreation. Be careful." Another scary mission. South Korea has a really high traffic fatality rate.
In the end, we came in ninth, not bad for strangers to the city. While we were waiting for other teams to come in, we grabbed a juicy, delicious burger and beer at Gorilla Burger. Super amazing tasting. Best onion rings I've ever had.
After a long day, it was time for the awards ceremony and drinks at Who's Bob Bar. Great drinks, great people, great fun at Amazing Race Daegu!