Here is a deliciously upbeat song from a band that is fast becoming a favorite: New (옥상달빛).
Grace and Peace is a church in Hongdae where Karen, Jae, Kaia, Yongjin and Yoonseo attend, so this sunday I decided to give it a visit. I'm so glad I did, because it was a great time! Kate and Deborah came along too for a first time visit.
As soon as we arrived in Hongdae near the area where the church meets, I could see the influences of the university art students. There is so much graffiti and street art that you just kind of want to walk around and look at the walls. It's like an outdoor exhibition. The church meets in a Greek restaurant, right across from a little outdoor market where artisans sell handmade wares. We saw them setting up as we arrived.
As soon as we walked in, I spotted the most adorable little dude ever sitting at a table, coloring a lady with massively long blue hair. I am a super sucker for kids drawing, so I sat by him and tried to ask about his picture in Korean and color with him a little bit. Nothing like trying to talk to a preschooler to make you feel like your language skills are like poop. Still, I think we communicated pretty well. He called me Imo and drew a picture of me with bundles of red hair exploding all over the page, all while laughing like it was the best thing ever. He was quite fascinated with my hair too, which I found out later from his dad was because he loves the movie Rapunzel, so he likes ladies with long hair. Haha.
The service was neat too, instead of having a sermon, this week we heard the testimony of one of the members. Yoonseo translated for all of us foreigners, which was fantastic, because I actually felt like I could be a part of the service, instead of just kind of watching and catching a verb and noun here and there and the modal endings of sentences. Every service I attend though, it makes me more determined to learn Korean. Even with translation, I feel the distance that comes with language barriers. It's like listening to someone through a tin can.
After service, Yoonseo treated us all to some great iced coffee, and then we went out to check out the market. So many beautiful things! After Kate discovered it and bought one, I also bought a really neat leather bracelet which makes me feel totally chic. I also could have got a shirt that proclaimed that "I have the courage to touch the butt" for a mere 5,000 won, but somehow I felt like it's message wouldn't be appreciated anywhere but at home, so I held off on that. Maybe I will get it later if it's still there.
We checked out other shops in Hongdae as well, including the fantastic ArtBox, which I am glad does not exist in Deokso or I would be poor as potatoes in a week. This is not a good place to live for a person who has a hard time resisting cute notebooks. Also, everyone in Hongdae was stylin, let me tell you. I was dressed up for church and still felt like a bumpkin. Menswear here is also especially good--there were some fine specimens strolling about yesterday wink wink nudge nudge.
I rode back with Deborah to see her off at the subway station, probably the last I will see of here before she leaves Korea in July. A season of goodbyes is coming up, and I'm not looking forward to it.
We stopped at a fruit stand on our way back to get a watermelon for the dinner party with students last night, and bought probably the biggest watermelon I have ever seen. It was the size of a small child, so I buckled it in for safety. The fruit seller ahjumma also gave us two yellow melons no charge because I was pretty. Good to know my fabulous beauty is good for something: scoring free melons. I'll try it at Paul's Country Market when I get back to the U.S. Zowie!
The dinner with students was a rather grand occasion. It was to repay the kindness of the three families that took us to the Folk Village, though we were unable to match that level of generosity. In reality, I had nothing to do with anything--while we were at church the other teachers masterminded it all. I carried some watermelon and watched Sarah W. speak Korean. So I was pretty essential, if you know what I mean.
The kids helped Janet make hamburgers while we served bread and beer to the adults upstairs on the roof. When the burgers were finished, we all dug in, and then the kids went down with Janet again to make a blueberry cake, which I ate very deliciously later, to borrow the Korean expression.
The fathers were glad for an excuse to drink without their wives saying anything, but I've found it best to just pretend I don't drink around people I don't know well enough to say "I'm not drinking anymore," and them not think I'm rude. In truth, I've started to like wine a lot more, but not really recreationally, if you know what I mean. Alcohol I am convinced for me serves the same purpose as a good cup of tea, for settling down and having some nice friendly chat time or soothing alone time. None of this go crazy and drink into oblivion stuff. 내 스타일 아니야.
The evening ended nicely with some intense clean up and an equally intense game of Dutch Blitz. It was like a game with the Long sisters, with plenty of kind and considerate language. I was stomped by the other teachers, but they walked me to the bus stop so all is forgiven.
Today's teaching went really well, I thought, and I actually got around to taking some pictures of my classes! I got some pictures of all but the Phonics 1 class, so hopefully I'll upload those soon. I'm now just chilling at home, getting ready to do some Korean study. I want to start studying at least a half and hour a day, and challenging myself to ask and answer at least 1 question a day in Korean, slowly building it up so that I am speaking more and more. I hope I can stick to it.
Well, that's all for now!
Thanks for reading!