Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Day in the Sun

Due to our jobs and somewhat Korean lifestyle, Ian and I spend a lot of time indoors. Recently, we've been remedying this by having picnics.

So, yesterday was a blast, even though the temperature hit 91 and the humidity hit a peak of 82% in the middle of the day.

They (Chun wha, Chang su and their son Min su) picked us up a little after 9 and we headed to the Andong Hahoe Folk Village. The coolest thing about the village, which the Wikipedia article doesn't explicitly express, is that people actually live there and they are a part of the heritage preservation.

Andong is home to Korean mask culture. These two masks are from a satirizing a shamanistic exorcist (say that three times fast). There are four traditional masks assigned to that play. The top mask is the aristocrat and the bottom is the bride.

Puppets for sale.

Elizabeth II celebrated her 73rd birthday in Andong in 1999. There is a whole mini-museum dedicated to things like the food they served her and the table at which she sat. She planted a tree while she was there and these are the shovels used in the ceremony.

Rice paddy.

Lily pads.

This man lives in the village. He was very friendly and he was wearing a sweet bolo tie.

Different types of roofs and building materials originally designated standing in the village.

These houses used to be made out of clay soil, but now they use cement.

This is part of one of the noble houses. As far as I could tell, no one lives in these. They are more like museums with a few rooms made into displays. The noble houses are built up on stilts while the commoner homes are ground level.

This house burnt down. There were people touring it, but we didn't go over there.

In the middle of the village, this man painted "family precepts" (or "golden rules" specific to one's family) on rolls made of fabric and parchment. The one here is written in Hanja (Chinese characters).

The small lettering is the date: "Summer of the Tiger..."

Chun wha and Chang su asked us what our "family precept" was. Ian and I then took to discussing how to explain that Westerners don't have the concepts of honor and filial piety that Eastern societies do. We never had to explain, though, because Chun wha chose one for us and had it painted. "Faith, Wish, Love" in Hangul (I believe she chose Hangul and not Hanja because we can read the former). Ian took a video of the whole process, which will be at the end of this post. I am so stoked to have been given such a gift. It will definitely hang on our wall in the states.

Commoners used these swings to try to peer into the houses of the nobility, since they were built higher than their homes.

I'm not sure where this ferry goes.

Lastly, we visited the mask museum. It had masks from all over Asia and other parts of the world.

For lunch, they treated us to 콩국수 (kongguksu), which is a cold noodle soup made from soymilk. It was interesting. I'm not a big fan of Korean soymilk. It's full fat and very rich. But, I was happy to try something new.

On the way home, we stopped in Yongju which is famous for growing gingseng. Chun wha wanted to make drink for us with the ginseng back at their place. It was made by blending fresh ginseng, milk and honey and, though chunky, it was delicious. It felt like eating a power breakfast in a glass.

Then we drove back to Jecheon. We stopped at E-Mart to do some shopping, presumably for dinner. They kept asking us what we wanted (expecting foreigner specific requests like "bread"), but we just told them we would eat whatever they wanted. In the end, she made tons of banchan, rice and doenjang jjigae and lettuce to make wraps. It was fabulous. Nothing beats a homemade Korean meal. I really wish that we could have given that to Mom.

We started with a bunch of delicious, summery fruit.

And, upon Chang su's adamant request, several types of alcohol (beer, soju, whiskey, mokkoli, and later sake). Between the fruit/booze fest and dinner, we played yut. Yut is a traditional game played by throwing four sticks and then calculating your move based on numbers assigned to the possible positions the stick can land in. It is especially popular on New Year's. We played this game once before when we ran into a group of older Korean people having a block party. Here's that post in case you forgot.

I hope to have more adventures with Chun wha and Chang su. They mentioned going to the East Sea, so we will make sure that happens.

I left the video uploading all day (literally) and it still wasn't finished when I checked it tonight.  So, it will have to wait.

1 comment:

  1. what special people they are. And what a gift. I can't wait to see it. Your day was packed with fun filled things. It would have been awesome to have a home cooked meal. Especially with them, I really liked them. Did not see the video at the end though.

    Sounds like it was about as hot as it was when I was in Cambodia. Ugg, does it cool off at night? I hope so. Going to east coast with them will be cool. That is something I should have done too. Take lots of pictures