Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Looking Back…

Ok, so this has been an only marginally interesting week.  I say marginally because we have been in school in the routine for most of it, but we did get Children’s Day off.


I cannot say that we really did much on Tuesday.  We did go to Yongson to get a power supply for one of the other teachers for her laptop.  What you have to love about Yongson is the ability to ask on “flea market” style vendor and if you don’t like the price, simply barter.


One cool thing we saw (and I couldn’t resist trying) was the “Kkultarae” (꿀타래).  You can see it being made in the video I found on YouTube below.  It is basically honey that has been fermented and then pressed with a small hole made in the middle of the “pancake” which is then pulled like taffy and folded.  Unlike taffy though, the individual strands are kept separated by malt.  The finished little cushion of fine strands is wrapped around nuts and sesame seed oil which makes a wonderful treat.


I can’t say that we have done much interesting since then.  We both have been getting ready for summer.  That may sound like a simple statement, but it involves the installation of a air-con for the apartment, reading up on Hangul, figuring out our Master’s degree correspondence classes (yes we are both trying to get our Masters in Education) and preparing for summer school.  It has been a little difficult to know that we are only going to get a week or so off before we have to be back and teaching again.  Also, the week school is over is the same week that our Hangul classes start at Seoul National University (aka Seouldae or 서울대).


So, we are looking forward to a pretty busy summer! 


Also, pretty soon on the horizon we are going to be “debt free.”  What a blessing it has been to be here in Korea!  I am doing what I love in a new country while experiencing new aspects of the culture and all the while I am paying off debts back home.  I am profoundly at peace with the world it would seem.


Ok, so may 10th was Mother’s Day.  I thought it would be good to talk on the differences between Korea and America on this important holiday. 


First, Korea has new true “Mother’s Day.”  Tuesday was Children’s Day and Friday (which is actually carried over into Sunday) is Parent’s Day.  Now I think to understand Children’s Day fully, you would have to understand that Christmas in not nearly the marketing mayhem that you have there in the States.  It is actually very low-key and sedate comparably.  Children’s Day is comparable to Christmas in that Parents will spend most of the day with their children.  Also, this tends to be the time of doting and presents. 


For us, we went to Outback (I know it sounds a little strange, but Outback restaurants are quite prolific here) and they gave us “service” (ie something free) of those mini brown bread loves with their signature butter in extra tubs. 


Parent’s Day is actually Mother’s Day evolved.  I have been told that in Korea “every day is Father’s Day” and now so is Parent’s Day.  The holiday is geared more to the mother and the father does take a back seat.  The usual gifts are a carnation along with some other small gift like, *snicker*, a necktie for dad.


I wish I had more to say, but if there are any comments or thought, please drop me a comment on the blog for all to see and I will respond accordingly.


Otherwise, more to come…