I’ll miss the Han River when I get back to the US. There’s nothing like laying a mat down on the park with some snacks on hand, just watching day transition to night. The park is so accessible too! I’m completely jealous of those who have spaces like the Han River to their disposal.
After coming back from my most hated class, my roommate suggested a spontaneous trip to the River. I am very thankful for her invite, because it was such a beautiful day. My usual nap would’ve wasted it.
What people do at the Han River is order food, drink, and chill. My roommate and I decided to order some chicken and get some drinks from the convenience store nearby. She, of course, did all the work, so thank you my roommate, if you’re reading!
Day quickly turned into breezy night, and since we had a drink in our system, we talked about anything and everything. There were a group of guys who circled around our vicinity a few times. My roommate told me that boys try to talk to girls and I was afraid they were going to come our way eventually. Therefore, I proceeded to say loudly, “I hate boys,” hoping that they will hear and know what’s up. Thankfully they never messed with us.
Before going back, we walked around to burn off all the chicken we ate. She took me to the Mapo Bridge and I learned some heartbreaking things about the River I never knew about.
Let’s be Happy
I’m not sure how many bridges there are in the Han River that people commit suicide on, but I know of two: the Mapo Bridge and Yanghwa Bridge. The one that I walked along was Mapo.
There’s a separate path for bike-riders and pedestrians to travel along, telephones connected to hotlines in case someone needs help to chose life over death, and words written along the rails of the bridge.
The words and pictures are from a project called “Bridge of Life” that was started to remind us of what life is worth living for. From “Let’s grab a coffee together” to “You’re not alone,” the words take a part in preventing suicide and also reminding everyone of the importance of hope.
It was a solemn walk for me. Knowing how many have taken their lives on the bridge that stands across such a bustling park was painful to think of. It reminded me of the high suicide rates of Korea and the many people that live with such suffering. It reminded me the importance of hope. It reminded me of kindness towards others.
The Yanghwa Bridge shares the same story as the Mapo, but what I didn’t know was the song about the Yanghwa Bridge. I’ve heard it once or twice in my life, but I never connected the dots until my roommate told me that day. The song “Yanghwa BRGD” by Zion.T is about the singer and his father standing at the Yanghwa Bridge.
He sings several times in the song, “Let’s be happy, Let’s be happy.” And I want to share that with you all.
Let’s be happy.