Kim: I am not quite sure what it is about this city, but our social calendar has been jam packed. This weekend, for instance, we went to a co-worker's wedding and to a final playoff game for the Korean professional basketball league.
First the wedding...
Our co-worker, Chloe's wedding finally arrived. (She's the one we threw the shower for here.) It was an elaborate affair, to say the least. I've heard that not every Korean wedding is like this, but Chloe is obviously marrying into some serious money as every aspect of the event was top notch. (The husband's family pays for the entire wedding in Korea. Oh and in case you're wondering, the wife's family has to give gifts to the husband's family and buy the couple a house or furnish a place for them.)
The wedding didn't start until 6, so a few of us decided to go to On the Border for some much craved (at least by me) margaritas, chips, salsa, and cheese dip.
Here's a pic of the group. From left to right across the table from us are Billy (another Korean adoptee who has become good friends with Mark), Kerry (a Korean teacher who went out with us SangKwun's friends here), and Eunice (another Korean teacher).
Then we went to the reception, which was held at the Coex Intercontinental Hotel. The room was decorated beautifully with fresh flowers galore and an ice sculpture.
I thought I had been to a large wedding in the US, this one was rediculously gigantic. Chloe told me they sent out 1,200 invitations. Oh and get this... Koreans don't RSVP to weddings. They just send the invitations and hope for the best. Chloe told me that they had room for 450 people in the wedding banquet room and an additional 200 in the hotel's restaurant upstairs. So basically, if 200 people show up, they have to pay for 450 dinners. And if more than 650 show up, they have to turn people away at the door. Talk about chaos!
To give an idea of scope, we were pretty close to the middle and took this picture. Then if you turned around, there were the same number of people in the opposite direction.
We all sat at our dinner tables during the ceremony. Everything was in Korean, and the ceremony probably took about 45 minutes. One of the highlights for a lot of the Koreans was that a formerly popular Korean pop singer, Gummi, sang a song to the couple. In the US, Gummi would probably be comparable with Nick Lachey minus the reality TV show popularity. Lots of cell phone cameras appeared to document the event. I thought she was very good.
I know that some of you are very interested in wedding table settings, so here's a pic of how the table was decorated. Which brings us to dinner... it was a delicious 5 course meal, complete with red wine. We started with a phenomenal crab appetizer. Then they brought some soup, then steak, potato, and asparagus. And shortly after a caesar salad with real BACON! (Bacon is really hard to find here in Korea. And I didn't ever realize how much I'd miss it!) And then we had a noodle soup, then a delicious berry cream cheese. I almost had to be rolled out of there.
Afterwards, all the Poly teachers gathered together. I was joking with Kerry about how she always puts her hands around her face for pictures. And of course, I had to teach her the "Look at my cute face" pose. She loved it. :)
And one more fab five joke for any of you girls out there. Here's a fab five picture in reverse. 4 asian girls and one white girl...
From left to right are Robin (another Korean adoptee and Poly teacher), Rachel (Robin's good friend), Jade (a Poly teacher's girlfriend), and Anna (an English teacher at Poly). I've been hanging out with these girls a lot (particularly Robin and Anna).
This was the best picture of the night. I still can't stop laughing every time I look at it. Both Robin and Rachel are abnormally short (like under 5 feet) so of course we had to pair them up with Mark. Enough said.
Still in the mood for cute faces, Mark and I took this one.
Afterwards, a group of us went to Gangnam to the Monkey Bar. We learned several new Korean drinking games, which was fun.
Here are Kerry and Sunny, two Korean teachers. Sunny is Mark's Korean co-teacher, and she absolutely ADORES him. (Duh!)
Today (Sunday), Kerry and Billy invited us to see Game 5 of the Korean professional basketball league championship series. The teams playing were the Samsung Thunder (Seoul's team) and KCC (I am not sure what city they were from). The Thunder were losing the best of 7 series 3-1. But after a thrilling last second buzzer beater, it is now 3-2. They inbounded the ball with 3.8 seconds left on the clock and the player bobbled the ball and then heaved it towards the basket. It swished through the hoop and the fans went crazy. It was one of the cooler experiences I have had at a sporting event.
The tickets were awesome. We were very close to all of the action. But these were clearly the worst seats in the house. I would have demanded a refund.
I have been to Cardinals, Rams, Blues and Billikens games but I have never been to a game quite like this. The stadium was nothing special but the fans were CRAZY. They did not stop cheering the entire game. I had to shout when I was talking with Mark just so he could hear me. It was great!!! The absurd thing about it all was I didn't see a single person drinking alcohol. These people were sober! Below is a picture of the arena. I think that there was standing room only left.
Kerry got the tickets from her uncle. Although she says that he is not a coach, only a manager, Mark seemed to think that he did most of the coaching. Below is a picture of him. He was pretty intense throughout the game.
Our timeout/half time entertainers were really good. They did the usual shooting shirts into the stands and handing out free food to lucky winners.
Just another random picture.
Mark's favorite part of the game was these signs that they passed out to all of the Thunder fans. These things were the main culprit behind all of the noise because they could be folded up like accordions and used to clap extremely loudly. Once Mark got his he did not stop.
Here is Kerry.