Monday, June 30, 2008

Nothing Special!!!!

Two of my grade 6 students

Tall Tall Tall


Sung Hyun and Kisu showing some love. Actually I HAD to get them to pose like this for AMANDA........ hehe

Hummmmmm........ soda or BEER with my popcorn combo at the theatre. I think my dad would like this place

Sung Hyun enjoying his dried squid before the movie starts

Then he stops for a 'drink in a bag' on the side of the street (alcohol included ;)

Guess what I found in the little mart close to my school?????.........CELERY!!!!!!!!!!!

Lunch -- Kimchi jigae with a bowl of rice...........yummy!!!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A dinner and a dance (couresty of Sung Hyun)

I love those nights when you don't plan anything and you end up having such a good time anyways. On Friday I met with my old manager Judy and my good friends Anne-Marie and Hodge. First we ate some yummy dalk galbi (spicy chicken stirfry) and then after a few drinks we were brave enough to go to a 노래방 (singing room)


Here are the two boys showing some love
Sung Hyun only had a couple of drinks (maybe 3 max) over the course of dinner. But it only takes him one to get loosened up. And if you think he's funny sober then you should see him drunk (which usually only happens a couple times a year).

Let's just say he got right into the songs

And if one mic isn't enough then you better use two

Us gals were into the opera songs and this is us singing to Phantom of the Opera

Then on the walk home we ran into this guy. Apparently some famous gag man in Korea. Anyone know who he is??

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Before you watch this video, might I remind you of Sung Hyun's previous singing debut here.

video

And his dancing skills somewhat resemble his love of singing ;)........hehe!!!! Enjoy

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A fun night had by all

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Food for thought

This past Sunday was a beautiful day. It seemed that for just a day the pollution lifted from the sky to reveal a wonderful blue pallet splashed with lovely white clouds.

We enjoyed our drive out of Seoul as we made our way to Sung Hyun's dads tomb

It was a nice time for reflection


And we just stayed long enough for Sung Hyun to share a cigarette with his dad

This is the only photo Sung Hyun has with (of) his dad. He carries it around with him in his wallet.
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On the drive home we stopped at a famous 'tofu' restaurant so we could eat every possible tofu dish imaginable. Sung Hyun loved it!!!


Tofu in a trough, tofu with salmon, tofu salad?

Tofu with kimchi and mushrooms

Tofu side dishes

Tofu and octopus soup, oh my!!!

I was thrilled........

....... especially when Sung Hyun dished me up a bowl

And apparently so was he ;)

BUT........... I got to choose dinner so I was happy to dig into my mushroom bacon carbonara pasta


So happy that I didn't care to wipe off my cream slathered mouth before posing for a picture ;)

Monday, June 23, 2008

The importance of family

On Saturday June 14th I was invited by Sung Hyun's mom over to her place. This was a special day, since it was the memorial of Sung Hyun's dads death. Koreans call it 제사-- a time when family comes together to honour the dead. I felt very privileged to have been invited.

But his mom's house isn't equipped with air con, so I pretty much hung out beside the fan. Sung Hyun's mom is so great and I love her little love pats on the bum. This time was no exception. I spent about 6 hours there, which left me with a sore back since I'm not used to sitting on the floor. They all laughed at me because it was becoming quite evident that I was uncomfortable. In this house there are no chairs or sofa to lounge on. So I did it the Korean way and floored it....hehe

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Sung Hyun's house is very small. Growing up, he certainly didn't have all the luxuries that I enjoyed. He comes from a family of 5 sisters, a mom, and a father who died of cancer when Sung Hyun was only 10. Because of the Korean war, Sung Hyun's mom never got to attend school. She had a lot of work on her hands raising 6 children by herself in a society that is so heavily dependant on the bread winning father. Only in this family, there was no bread winner and at times I image there was no bread. It was a tough life for them, but they knew no other. Where they lacked in material possession they made up for in LOVE. And I couldn't be happier to have met someone who is so happy having nothing. I think Sung Hyun's sisters had a huge role in raising him. I have them to thank for making him such a caring, respectful, sensitive man.

So to the family ................... I THANK YOU!!!!

(The four men in the back row are Sung Hyun's brother-in-laws, one arrived late so he didn't make it in the photo. If you can spot 5 females (besides his mom and the kids) those are his sisters. Sung Hyun's mom is sitting on the floor on the left. And the 6 kids are his nieces and nephews. Believe it or not, there are 6 more immediate family members missing from this picture).
IT'S ONE BIG FAMILY!!!!!
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And Koreans love their GO STOP game.

So the kids played in one room

And the adults played in the other

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Then they pulled out the baby album and gathered around for a peek

Sung Hyun with his oldest sister (a 20 year age difference)


Military training (which he did for 2 years and 2 months as required by Korean law):

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Then like all other traditional Korean gatherings the women spent most of the time preparing

While the men chatted and drank beer..............

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Then just before midnight Sung Hyun got dressed in his suit and organized the food on little pedestals, as an offering to the spirit, his dad. I watched in awe and then when the ceremony (bows etc) was about to begin I had to leave the room.

Since I am not married, therefore not part of the family, I wasn't able to observe or take part. So I waited patiently in the other room until they called me back into the room to eat the food.

We all gathered around the table and before we ate Sung Hyun told me this: "I said to my dad, 'I'm sorry dad but I think this is the last time I can do this for you because maybe next year I will go to Canada'". And those words alone made me cry. I know he will miss his family when he goes to Canada, and now I will too ;)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Hair Cut

My hair was a mess (since it wasn't cut for over 3 months) so I walked into a random shop last week showed the little lady my picture and asked if she could do it. She hesitated, hoed and hummed then said yes. When I asked how much it would be, I decided that maybe I was in the wrong shop. If the cut was only going to cost $7, then I probably would have gotten a $7 hair cut.

So the next day I found a better shop and got a haircut for $20. And I love it!!!!

Before:


After:

I first fell in love with his smile ;)

Years later, this same smile remains. It lights up a room, it brightens my day and opens my heart!!!! I LOVE YOU SUNG HYUN!!!!!!!!!!

Myra's house

My friend Myra has just left Korea on a S.E. Asian excursion with her younger brother. Myra is famous for her mouth watering Western breakfasts (aside from her sparkling personality), so it came as no surprise that she wanted to have one more before she left......

......and that she did!!!!!

......... So she stalked her fridge up with Campaign and OJ (which is quite a tasty morning drink)


.........And cooked for us one last time!!!! Which is no easy task when you only have 2 burners and a room full of hungry people.


But she made us proud and she will be missed by all of us. I wish her the best and want to thank her for being such a great gal!!! Happy travels ;)