Saturday, October 3, 2009

Ain't No Party Like a Chuseok After Party

Tonight was a blast.  Chun wha and her family are amazing.  They picked us up around three and brought us back to the house.  There we met their kids (both very nice, but a bit awkward and shy) and gorged on amazing homemade Korean food for four hours straight.  I'm not kidding, and I don't mean that we grazed like Americans do when they gather, no we were expected to eat up, and eat up we did.  I didn't take any pictures in their home, simply because I didn't want to risk making anyone uncomfortable.  Though, Chun wha's husband works for Hyundai as an engineer, they live in an apartment about twice the size of ours.  It seems that Koreans prefer to live in smaller spaces, which makes a lot of sense, because it's a pretty small country.  Their apartment was very tidy and their floor was impossibly clean (we sat on it to eat, of course).  There was japchae (sweet potato noodles with veggies), salad, ha-mul pajeon (Korean "pancakes" with vegetables),roasted chestnuts, eggs and sweet potatoes and PLENTY of different kinds of dduk (the generic name for Korean rice cakes and cookies).  There was no meat in sight except for a very small side of beef.  It was very welcoming.

One of my favorites was the yakwa.  They're pretty much honey and flour (rice or wheat) cookies fried in oil.  So, they have the simple sweetness of a sugar cookie, but the same satisfying fatty taste of, say, a cornchip.  Yeah, they can't be good for you.  Image source (sorry, I didn't take it):

Along with the intense amount of food there was also a lot of alcohol.  Ian and I managed pretty well.  Our "anio" (no) abilities and the intense amount of food we were eating helped us stay sober.  Chun wha's husband (whom we've mentally named Hank because we are having a ridiculous amount of trouble with his real name), however got pretty tipsy.  In fact, he not only knocked my wine glass over on me, but he broke it.  It was hilarious.  They are great to be around.  When the food orgy began to wain, dinner was suggested.  Ian and I almost died, but they ordered a veggie pizza and insisted that we each eat two slices.  After four and a half hours of being pumped full of food and liquor (Autralian wine, Korean wine [more like a liquor], mokoli, soju, Korean sake, and Johnnie Walker) it was decided that we should go to the noribang (Karaoke rooms).

At the noribang there was singing, dancing, laughing and beer.  Yes, beer.  On top of all that food and drink there was now beer.  By the way, Koreans are the kings of peer pressure.  So much for that "just always keep some in your glass" rule.  They just tell you to drink it, so they can refill it.  The place didn't smell all that great, but I've decided that in Korea some places just kind of smell.  They don't flush toilet paper, so the bathrooms eminate a funk from the garbage can.  Side note:  that's one thing on which Ian and I won't cave.  The toilet paper goes down the toilet; our apartment is much too small for that business.

We're singing "Crazy Little Thing Called Love."  We also sang "Somebody Told Me" and "Bohemian Rhapsody" (complete with Wayne's World head banging) among others.

They mostly chose slow songs.  Their daughter had me sing "Because of You" by Kelly Clarkson with her at one point.

This picture is too dark, but it kind of gives you an idea of what the rooms are like.  You can see the disco light and everything.

We were almost home when I heard a cat meowing (a strange occurrence here).  I stopped to see if I could see anything and a tiny little tabby cat came out from under a truck to greet me.

I'm pretty sure it was a female, but it was dark.  She was very affectionate, but she was rooting around on us a lot, so we decided to get her something to eat.  Ian ran over to the store and bought her a hot dog on a stick.  She gobbled it like there was no tomorrow.  We put what she didn't eat in a safe place on the ground and put her down next to it.  But, when we went to walk away she cried a little and followed us.  We started thinking of our options and decided that since there was no way we could keep a cat (no space and we're never home) that we'd call the animal shelter in Asan and ask for their advice.  Well, when we decided we would pick the cat up and do this, she decided to head somewhere else.  If I see her again and she seems as hungry and cold as she did tonight, we'll get her to the shelter.  I wish we could just take her in, but we live in a box.

So, that was our eventful evening.  Now, I believe we're going to settle in and watch Flash Forward.  Have a good Saturday!


  1. Wow, sounds like a awesome time was had by all. Sounds like they like their alcohol and food. Did they keep it vegetarian for you and Ian, or does that family eat very little meat? And did you take notice of how the vegetarian pizza was ordered for the future?
    The Noribang looks fun, everybody just letting their hair down. "Hank" looks like he is having a blast.

    Casey, animals just seem to find you!

  2. You know, I'm not sure if they eat much meat. They don't seem to.

    They ordered the pizza in the other room, so we didn't hear them. But, we did learn that "gogi" is meat (the kind that lives on land) and bulgogi is seafood (literally "water meat"). So, that will help.

    Their family is so much fun. I hope they know how much we like hanging out with them.

    I know, I was so surprised that the cat came up to me.