Here is my random collage of the day.
|Top left to right clockwise: a street vendor pulling his cart to his spot on the street; the Canadian pub in Itaewon; a cart filled with recycled cardboard; Seoul's very efficient subway system|
We came home from Itaewon, picked up Anton, and headed out for an unforgettable experience. Rebekah's head teacher had invited us to join her family for a meal. Their home is in a more rural area of Korea, far from the crowds and traffic of Seoul. They have several chickens that supply them with fresh eggs every day, along with garden plots in several spots around their home. It is an incredibly beautiful setting.
From the minute I walked through the door I knew it was going to be a very special evening. They were so welcoming and happy to have us visit them. They had invited a few friends over, and between their collective English skills and Rebekah's increasing Korean we managed to carry on some lively conversation.
I could not believe the food they spread out on the table in front of us. It was their version of a traditional Korean dish called bibimbap, which is basically rice mixed with a variety of side dishes. By the time all the side dishes were brought out every square inch of the table was filled!
After dinner the head teacher's two sons and a friend gave us a Taekwondo demonstration. These were not kids just fooling around. They were seriously good. Those are black belts they are wearing around their waists! (So far all I have managed to earn at my Wing Chun lessons is a t-shirt. And to be honest I didn't earn it. I bought it.)
The head teacher's husband sang a traditional Korean song for us, accompanied by a friend playing the drum.
Then the head teacher brought out a covered tray.
She pulled off the cover to reveal a beautiful traditional Korean tea set. Then she explained that Buddhist monks consider the tea ceremony we were about to participate in a form of meditation. First hot water was added to the teapot and cups to warm them, then that water was discarded. Next she poured hot water into the teapot, then poured the water from the pot over a strainer into a bowl, and from bowl into the cups. It was a Korean green tea, and was the perfect finish to a wonderful evening.
As we wound our way down the narrow road to catch our bus back to Guri, the faint smell of wood smoke from neighbouring homes wafting through the air, I knew I had just had a once in a lifetime experience, one I will treasure for the rest of my life.