Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I have a confession to make. It’s a little strange, kind of like how some people enjoy Hello Kitty or dunking Wendy’s french fries in Frosty’s. Just makes you lift up your left eyebrow, and go “Yes, but… why?” There’s really no excuse for it at all, in fact, and I can only hope you’ll still like me after I tell you about it…

I am bizarrely obsessed with scavenger hunts.

Let’s quickly recap this admittedly strange obsession of mine, shall we? It all began with this kid I met in college named Matthew Jay Forrest. Maybe you’ve heard of him, he’s kind of famous. Anyways, Matt decided to create this big scavenger hunt at Miami, the Redhawk Hunt, which involved 50 teams competing for 24 hours straight running around campus taking hundreds of pictures, doing a slew of side events, and learning copious amounts of Miami history trivia.

Round #1. Team Kind of a Big Deal.

Four of us joined into a team at the last minute. We were disorganized, unprepared, and took breaks for napping. I had a terrible cold, and by the end of the event, had nearly murdered the whole team. A generally miserable experience, which I vowed never to repeat. 6th place.

Round #2. Team Party Planning Committee.

After spending twelve months forgetting how miserable Round #1 had been, my dear friend Matt Jolly and I decided to give it another whirl, co-captaining a team of mostly RA friendies. We did some research beforehand, and set more rigid rules about sleeping and down time. A much more successful experience. 3rd place.

Round #3. Team Hungry Hungry Hippos.

An all-star team combining the best of both Redhawk Hunt Rounds #1 and #2. I captained this team solo, although I still relied heavily on Matt Jolly for guidance. We studied more and fulfilled basic human needs like sleeping and eating less. Intense, but well worth it. 1st place (by roughly 4000 points).

Given all that, just imagine my excitement at finding a new scavenger hunt to do! Hooray, Seoul scavenger hunt.

There were, of course, some key differences between the Seoul scavenger hunt, and my beloved Redhawk hunt. For one, the Redhawk hunt was sponsored by RHA, an on-campus group aiming to promote safe and alcohol-free events for students. The Seoul scavenger hunt was put on by a bar. As such, the clues were much more straightforward (i.e. not “This hall shares its name with the same men who presented Miami with the statue of George Washington that currently resides in the building named after an old Western building no longer located on Western campus?”) than I was used to, but they were also much more ridiculous… (ps. The answer was Laws. Bam.)

Some of the tasks were quite typical of scavenger hunts… “Build a human pyramid.” “ Fit your entire team into a telephone booth.” “Have the police fake handcuff you.”

Some of the tasks were silly… “Be a dinosaur on the subway.” “Act out the jumping scene from Dirty Dancing.”

Some were just plain awkward… “Lick a stranger.”

Some were violent… “Slap a teammate. Make it hurt.”

Some were sweet… “Propose to a Korean stranger. Bonus points if she says yes.”

Some were disgusting…”Eat a raw egg.”

Some were borderline illegal… “Stick your head in a fish tank.”

Some required dedication… “Get something pierced.”

Some were over the top… “Shave a teammate’s eyebrow.”

Some were hilarious… “Wax a teammate’s chest.”

Some were in questionable taste… “One shot an entire bottle of soju.”

Some of them were painful to watch… “Eat a spoonful of wasabi.”

And some of them were really just there for the alcoholics… “Drink a pint of beer in under a minute through a bendy straw.”

In the end, we placed second, which was completely fine with me. With clues like those, I don’t need to be a winner. It was a fun experience, but I don’t know that I’ll be doing the Seoul scavenger hunt again. I’m perfectly happy with two eyebrows and no salmonella.

- Christine -

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