Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Weddings, Cemeteries and Cockroaches

So the day Kellie arrived in Seoul and all the new teachers arrived at our branch, I had to completely ignore them because I went to a wedding.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned Liz in the blog, but she taught at my school for the summer as a sub. She'd worked at our branch for a couple years, went home for a year and came home for the summer to get married in a traditional Korean wedding, but subbed at our branch as the wedding approached. She and I wandered around, saw Harry Potter and went to lunch a lot during intensives.

We got there a little bit into the ceremony, because our cab driver wandered around for a while and then dropped us off nowhere near the restaurant where the wedding was held.

Actually, that's not true. He dropped us off on the backside of the building, but to get to the entrance, it was a couple blocks around the corner and lots of wandering and I was wearing heels, so it felt like nowhere near the entrance.

Here's the pretty fountain at the restaurant:

Her wedding was very interesting. Obviously I have never been to a Korean wedding before, so it was a new experience. It was on the 18th floor of a building, which had a great view, which I didn't take a picture of. Oops.

They began by having a ceremony in Korean. He was wearing a suit and she was wearing a white/cream wedding dress. See:

Though my favorite part was definitely when the Mother-of-the-Groom sang:

Then, they cut their cake with a sword.

After the sword-cake cutting, they changed into the extremely traditional garb and had tea with his parents/grandparents/various Korean relatives. It was behind a folding separator (No idea what it's called) but of course I went behind the foldy separator and took pictures.

Aka, they said it was perfectly fine. This is what it looked like:

While they were having their tea and secret meeting, we all ate our meal. And met Liz's mom who showed us the bloomers she had to wear under her Hanbok, the traditional Korean outfit. Then, Liz came out in her Hanbok and chatted with us all for a bit and showed us her shoes and socks and the pretty part of her Hanbok that was under the jacket.

Then she made the rounds to talk to the various other wedding guests. We said goodbye and headed home. Afterwards, a bunch of us went to Hongdae and wandered around a bit for the evening, staying out til all hours as usual.

That Sunday I met up with Kellie and her dad. And I saw this statue:

We went to the Jeongneung Imperial Tombs near Gangnam, which were very interesting. Unfortunately, the Museum part explaining each individual tomb was entirely in Korean, so I'm still not entirely sure what we were looking at. The only part not in Korean was this sign:
Look at all that Helpful English! Again, I'll just have to return when I can read Korean decently.

And I thought this one was kind of funny:

Then we looked at these buildings, while also sweating.

Then we walked up a hill, while sweating.

Then we wandered over to this bench in the woods, all the while sweating profusely.

Then we looked at some tombs, while sweating.

Did I mention it was hot? It was so incredibly hot and uncomfortable and humid. Completely awful. We had to stop for a water and cool down break.

We wandered around for a couple hours and then headed back to Gangnam, where Kellie's hotel was and had ice cream due to the horrifying heat. Then, Kellie's dad left. We hung out with her roommate for a bit and then some of her fellow-trainees and then we all went out to dinner. I got my new obsession, Jjigae, which is basically spicy soup with various things in it. It looks like this:

Also, they served 'Nude' Kimbap. hmm

Then, I wandered home to plan my new lesson for my upper level classes.

I saw Kellie one more time for a couple hours, then she decided to go home.

I had a cockroach a few days ago. It was the worst. and it was enormous. And cockroachy. It climbed out my air conditioner while I was using it and then I was running about panicking. I grabbed a shoe and it met it's death, as usual. I apologize to those who think killing bugs is wrong, but I cannot help myself.

Also, I love when my students attempt to say "Heaven" but inevitably announce that the person "lives in the sky" it's so cute.

I have begun teaching upper levels, which is an entirely new experience. I keep getting surprised by questions.

For example, I was explaining what an Embryo was and a student said, "Isn't that a fetus?"

Also, I've had to explain what "amniocentesis" means and "Pleistocene Glaciation." It's fun, because they're very smart. It's definitely something to get used to, since normally I have to explain words like "sometimes" and "Both"and that "Mum" and "favourite" and "Colour" are not misspellings, just different ways of spelling them (Aka In England) which is perfectly fine and I love that age and teaching those classes, it's just an interesting shift to the upper levels.

Anyway, I will continue writing later! I have more blog posts, because I am behind, which seems to be an usual occurrence now. I have started Korean classes now, which is making blog-updating more difficult again. One of them is half written, so it should be soon!


  1. Always entertaining, Lorenzo. I like your variety of topics and always like your pictures. That soup does indeed look delicious.
    Is sweating required for sightseeing, or just an option?

  2. Oh my between your blog and your mom's answers, I am always entertained.

    Love the wedding photos and so glad you got to peak around the side and get photos. Wow! It is certainly a blending of two worlds.

    Yes I think sweating if what the rest of the world goes through in summer...just not us! haha It has turned cool and overcast...Thomas is getting hit with thunderstorms in DC. Would love to try the soup. So glad you are out there and doing it all! Your amazing and what a wonderful teacher you are. Glad your making the most of your time there. Thanks for sharing and making me jealous!