Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Four Day Weekend

It's Tuesday night and we have just finished our four day weekend.  While it would have been nice to travel somewhere for those days, I am glad that we didn't.  The extended weekend allowed us to visit places around Seoul that we do not normally have time for.  We did not go anywhere new but instead revisited some of our favorite places around the city.  

Due to some personal reasons, one of our co-workers, Leo, is leaving Poly.  He was a great guy and well liked by the entire staff.  We'll all miss him.  Some of us decided to take him out on Friday night for a few drinks.  It ended up being a great night.  In the picture below is the man of the hour, Leo, along with Kerry who you have probably seen on this blog before.

In the picture below, you will see Sam on the far right.  He is new to Poly and he has fit in quite nicely.  He actually invited Kim and I over to his apartment so he could cook us dinner. His job at Poly is to help us communicate with the parents of the kids that we teach in the afternoon.  His English is perfect since he studied in Australia for a couple of years.  You would be amazed at the amount of complaints that Poly gets about such trivial stuff.  I actually had a parent call up and complain that I used a black pen when I wrote in her son's journal.  She told Poly that she only wants me to use red ink.  Anyway, I think that Sam will be a great resource in the future for the teachers. 

The picture below is called a "Love Shot".  You can see Korean couples doing it at bars.  I do not see the point.  

Pictured below from left to right is Chris (a teacher from Canada), Sam (previously mentioned above) and another new Poly employee, Hansen.  He is taking over for Leo and he, too, is a great guy.  I think that he is still getting adjusted to the kids and the noise that they produce.  He came from the corporate world so this is all new to him just like it was for Kim and me.  He actually went to school at Maryland and worked in the states for a few years as an IT programmer.  His English is perfect too, which was evident when we went to a karaoke bar and sang Billy Joel's "New York State of Mind" without missing a beat.  Sam is also a good singer but he chose songs like "Barbie Girl."  Honestly, it was kind of weird.

Kim and I attended another wedding on Saturday.  This one was for one of the Korean teachers, Irene.  Neither one of us have talked with her much since her English is not that great and we cannot hold a conversation in Korean.  She is very nice from what I can tell and the wedding was a lot of fun.  We got to meet her husband and we found out that he is a minister.  I am jealous of both of them because they are on their Honeymoon at a beach in Vietnam.  Below is a picture of the chapel.

Just another picture of Kim and I.  Kim is sporting a newly purchased dress that she has been freaking out about wearing.  She was actually suppose to wear it last week but chickened out at the last second.  I thought she looked great.

Below is a picture of the bride and groom. 

This is a picture of Anne, Kim's co-teacher in the mornings.  That is her son and he was hilarious.  Every time his mom looked away he bolted to go play around somewhere.  He was very energetic.  

For dinner that night, Kim and I went to the Noryangin Fish market again.  I had a craving for crab legs.  This was the first time we have gone there without a Korean speaker so we were a little nervous but we were able to manage.  We ordered one crab and twenty shrimp and it was delicious.  After dinner we met up with Dennis and Chris, two of Sang Kwan's friends from grade school, at chicken restaurant.  I wasn't really that hungry, but this place has great fried chicken so the four of us split an order.  The weather has been getting very nice over the last week so Kim and I decided to walk home from there.  It was a straight shot to our apartment and it was only about a 15 minute walk.

Sunday morning Kim and I decided to visit the Apgujeong area.  It is located in central Seoul just south of the river on Line #3.  The area is famous for its shopping and "Rodeo Drive" which is loaded with shops, restaurants and bars.  I guess it was our lucky day because we stumbled upon and great breakfast place that serves pancakes and waffles all day long.  They actually have a combo deal where you can get a Belgian waffle, pasta, and a dessert.  I am not sure why anyone would want to mix those two.  My Mom will love it because they have an "organic" section on the menu.

I went with the Banana Nut Waffle.  It had carmel sauce drizzled over it.  I was in heaven.

Kim chose the pecan pancakes.  We also had a side of hash browns and bacon.  

The next day, Kim and I trekked up to Insadong to look for Mother's Day presents.  I cannot say what we purchased since we have not mailed them off yet.  The area is loaded with great restaurants.  The architecture of the restaurants are very different then what you normally see because most of them are renovated homes.  We were able to get a seat in the courtyard at the place we chose.

We decided upon haemuldukbokgi (which is a spicy dish with seafood, veggies and rice cakes).  One of the Korean teachers told us about this dish and I love it.  It is fairly spicy, but then again pretty much everything in Korea is spicy.  At the end of our meal, a family from France came sat in the courtyard.  They looked every bit the part.  Kim and I both wished Dad could be there to talk with them.  I think they were a little nervous about ordering and wanted to get our advice but I do not believe they could speak English that well.

 I was hungry and forgot to take a picture of the dish before we ate it but this is kind of what it looks like.

After buying some lavish gifts for our mothers, we decided to find a coffee shop so we could sit and read.  We found this nice place located on the 2nd floor of a building that had window seating.  Below are the pictures of the view.  It was very relaxing since there was a nice breeze flowing in.

Last night we were invited to a small party at Chris's friend Mike's house.  I am extremely jealous of his place.  It is 2 stories with 4 bedrooms and two full bathrooms.  He also has a roof top where he can BBQ.  He lives there with his fiancee, Chan, who you can see in the picture below.  Mike and Chan are getting married in June at a city just outside of Seoul.  We were actually invited to it last night so you will being seeing more wedding pictures in the future.

Below is a picture of Kim, Jade (Chris's girlfriend), and Chan (the bride-to-be).

That is pretty much it.  Today we did not do much except go see the new Wolverine movie which was unbelievable!  I suggest you go see it.

1 comment:

Aunt Carol said...

Mark, it seems like you have lots of social activities! Were you this busy socially here in the states? I remain pretty amazed at the abundance and variety of food they serve -- and you eat! How eclectic you've become!!!