Monday, January 30, 2012

Light Show in Seoul

When we were at Seoul Station last weekend, we saw this wonderful light show on a building across the street.  I took some video of it.

We've been running around doing a ton of sightseeing which I'll post about when we are back home.  It's been wild and we have been having a blast.  Our flight leaves at 11:30 am on February 1st and arrives in Minneapolis and the same time.  Imagine that!!!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

My Last Field Trip with My Bojagi and Chasu Teacher

I met KJ one last time near Dongdaemun to visit her favorite silk and satin store.  It happens to be a hanbok store too.  I walked into a color explosion.  There were rolls of fabric everywhere and I was in heaven.
The shop was tiny but it had a steady stream of customers.  I chose one pattern and bought 10 different colors to make a transparent bojagi like my green one.  It's part of my homework to do when I get back to the States.  I didn't want to leave and I wanted to buy everything!
                         I came home with these and you can see how pretty the pattern is.
I was also surprised when the owners gave me this.  It's silk and satin hanbok scraps and it was free.  I had asked KJ a long time ago if she ever asked for scraps from hanbok shops either for free or a low price.  She had not thought of that and had the shop surprise me with this bag.  It's pretty big but luckily I made sure to save some room in case I bought anything in Seoul knowing that there was a good chance that I would.

We stopped at a coffee shop and she showed me how to begin my triangle bojagi.  Time went by so quickly and soon it was time to go.  She took a taxi with me to make sure the driver got me back to the hotel and she was going to catch the subway from there. 

As we said our goodbyes, I saw tears in her eyes as she told me that she loved our weekly class and would miss me and our class very much.  I thanked her for all she had taught me and told her I would always come back for a visit and we could have class.  As I hugged her and walked away with my own tears, I felt so sad for the tears I had brought to my Korean friends but I feel blessed for all the friendships I had made.  It has been bittersweet to be sure and there are still more goodbyes to make.  It will be a hard couple of days.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Moving Day!

Rocketman had a going away dinner Thursday night with all his co-workers.  He came home not too late (around 11pm) and with these wonderful gifts.  This picture is of what I would call Buddha's sidekick.   I forgot his name and what it symbolizes.  I will have to ask my Korean girlfriends and then write it down.  His co-workers are sad to see him go and like ourselves, surprised at how quickly the year passed.
             They also gave us this beautiful tea service.  I was really touched at their generousity.
Moving day, Friday morning, came way too quickly.  This is the luggage we are taking on the plane.  The movers showed up shortly before 9 am and got to work quickly.  I offered something to drink while they were busy packing our things and we also gave them money for their lunch.  Jennifer, from the relocation agency, was supposed to come with Jeff but Jeff is really sick so another co-worker came.
The furniture was supposed to be picked up the same day as our move but things didn't turn out that way.  We're not sure what is going on where that is concerned but our relocation agency is working it out with Rocketman's company who owns the furniture. 

Jennifer taking an important call.  The boxes went out the window and straight into an ocean container.  The movers had to pay 100,000 ($90 USD) just to use the elevator although they didn't use the elevator that much.  We were surprised to hear that.  But it is a common practice here in Korea.
The relocation agency loaded up all our luggage and off we went to Seoul to our hotel.  We are staying in Seoul for a few days to do some sightseeing but I have a feeling Rocketman will be working some of those days.

Jennifer, Rocketman and I met Hannah at Seoul Station for dinner.  We ate at the food court and this is what Rocketman chose.

                                                     This is Jennifer's dinner.
I chose kimchi jjigae but I didn't like the kimchi.  It was really huge pieces.  I like it when they cut it into small bitesize pieces.
Jennifer was taking the KTX train to Daegu for her father's 60th birthday party.  It used to be a huge celebration when people rarely lived that long but now it's just a little party.  We were all very tired from the day.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Crazy Wednesday! Part 2

I arrived at chilbo an hour late and to my surprise Metal Guy was already there.  He had designed and made me a butterfly (nabi) brooch.  Since I was so late, he painted it for me while I worked on another project.
                                           This is what it looked like before it went into the kiln.

                             He even fired it for me.  Usually Nan-Young does all the firing.
            Here is what it looked like immediately after being taken out of the kiln.
                           Here it is after a little more cooling, about 30 seconds or so.
 And here it is in all it's glory.  He did a great job and here I thought all he did was metalwork.

This is what I was working on.  Nan-Young had me hammer some copper pieces and then I applied the enamel.
                                         Nan-Young also made these for me as gifts.
                                           She also painted the gourd I had gotten at hanji class.
Then it was off to dinner!  It was a cold walk but the restaurant was really warm.  This is Nan-Young with her boyfriend.
                                             Here is Young-Soo with her boyfriend.
                                  Nan-Young was taking a picture of the two of them.
                                  The arrival of the side dishes!!  They put the kimchi right in front of me.
Then came a kimchi jeon (pancake).  Nan-Young started to cut it with a scissors but Young-Soo stopped her and wanted me to eat like a Korean.  I couldn't agree more.
They had also ordered a fish soup.  I'm not a big fan of Korean soups that contain fish and not because they taste bad because they are delicious.  It's the fish bones that I am so afraid of.  Even the insides of the fish were in the soup and of course, they wanted to put them into my bowl.  No thank you. Young-Soo and Nan-Young gave me pieces of fish that did not contain any bones but I was still pretty nervous.  Young-Soo even took a part of the spine and was sucking the meat out of it.  I was so scared for her and she thought I was hilarious for being so concerned.
                                 Then the waitress brought out this piece of dough.
                     And ripped it up and placed it into the pot where the remains of the soup were.

                             Here is what my bowl looked like.  It tasted just like a noodle.
 My bodyguard came late and had to point out this work of his.  He says it's very ancient Chinese characters.  Yeah, right.
I had to use the restroom and this is what I found on the bathroom wall. I guess that's how they sell beer in Korea.
 My bodyguard gave me this picture of him being a Master.  I'm not sure what martial arts he is a Master in but he is intimidating.  He says if I'm ever in trouble just to call and he will defend me.  Pretty cool!
                                        I bought this for Rocketman from my bodyguard.
He also gave me this picture of a bird.  I wanted to buy it also but he wouldn't let me.
Here he is with Nan-Young.  After we finished dinner, we went back to Nan-Young's shop and Metal Guy gave me a ride home.  I was really, really trying not to cry but as the goodbyes started so did my tears.  I will miss them soooooo much.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Crazy Wednesday! Part 1

 Thursday morning started out with bojagi class.  I finished my one project along with the socks.
It really turned out great.  I thought it would be my last class but we are meeting in Seoul on Saturday to do some shopping at a shop that is either giving away or selling cheap fabric scraps.  Then she is going to show me how to do a bojagi made of triangles.  We are meeting at three at Dongdaemun so I think I will show up early and do some last minute shopping at my favorite place, Dongdaemun Shopping Complex.
Hannah's sister was driving down to pick up some leftover food from our refrigerator and freezer.  When Rocketman suddenly had to be gone to Japan last week, it left basically a week's worth of meals to be eaten.  Hannah's sister speaks very good English and she was really surprised at all the stuff we had to give her.  Her son, who is 10, was a hoot.  He ran around the apartment looking at everything.

We loaded everything into her car and she knew I wanted to close my bank account so we drove to my bank.  It was incredibly easy to close my account.  I had also brought a years worth of Korean coins to deposit and he was shocked to see the bag.  Apparently, Koreans don't save their coins.  Even the machine was too small for all my coins and it got bogged down with the amount of coins and the caculating.  I ended up with a little over 80,000 WON ($70 USD) which I deposisted in Rocketman's account.

Then we went off to a famous restaurant for lunch.  It is owned by a famous trot singer.  I loved the front of the building and it was huge.
 The inside was really cute with lots of plants.  I loved that we didn't have to sit on the floor.

This was just the first round.  They brought additional dishes ending with rice.  I was so full and the food was delicious.
 I loved her lighting.  Hannah's sister had been there before and had never noticed the lighting.
                               She had a couple of her gold records near the cash register.
                                          And a couple of pictures of herself.

Hannah's sister knew I needed to be at chilbo by 3 and it was 3 when we left the restaurant so I had her call Nan-Young and tell her I would be late.  Then we realized that her GPS was sending us in circles, she said it was unreliable.  So she also had her IPhone GPS telling us the way.  Hannah called while we were pulled over trying to figure this out and she was shocked that we were lost so I had to give my phone to her sister because she wanted to see what the heck was going on.

She did get me to chilbo but I arrived after 4 pm.  She went in and explained what had happened to Nan-Young.  I am breaking this post up into two parts because there is just too much to tell with too many pictures. 
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