Yesterday the Kangs got a little more Korean as we had our first noraebang experience. Welcome to the world where you can rock out to karaoke as loud as you please within the privacy of your own room. Yeju's family and Dong Bin took us to a noraebang across the street because we asked for some guidance. Silly me. I let the fact that every 100 meters has a new noraebang keep from choosing which one to go to for our first time! Noraebangs, Siktangs (restaurants), Hagwans (after school academies) and make up shops are everywhere. Elise loved the tamborine, they loved the English song selection (pretty much anything minus our favorite musicals. They did have some Les Mis that turned out amazing!) and we especially loved that they put no thought into the what images played in the background. There was one children's song that basically had girls pole dancing in the back. Agh! Yes, we also did some Gangnam Style.
We also had a birthday dinner for Halmoni, Hannah and Chris' cousin. It included a whole ton of samgyeopsal (pork belly=happiness) and raw halibut. I snuck my halibut on the grill. Shh. Don't tell anyone. We sang happy birthday three times so nobody missed their wishes, a little like in Reply 1988. Hannah got the English version. Today was Hannah's real birthday so we let today be her last day of Korean school and sent her off to ride her first Segway. They're only $10/hour to rent here so Dong Bin, Chloe and Hannah chased down small children with their new wheels. (Ok, they didn't. BUT Hannah did speed. I'm actually not sure I'm ever letting her date, drive, leave her bedroom...)
Our last day of school was so Korean. My teacher tried to buy us all lunch, but I out Koreaned her. I was pretty slick. They didn't even know the bill had been payed. Then after our wood shop exursion (we made pens on the lathe and cut little animal puzzles from a saw that I swear he said couldn't cut fingers? The dangers of translating safety instructions.) our school tried to treat our family to dinner also. I already feel seriously indebted to them as they have been angels with the patience and kindness that they've shown our family over the past two months. Did I mention that this was a free school? They are just a bunch of sweet ladies that put up with a whole lot of sass, some tears and plenty of empty stares as the girls had no idea what they were saying for a lot of the time there at the beginning. If/when we come back, hopefully they won't lock the shutters when they see us coming. I'd love to have us attend there again.
Tomorrow we are off to Jeju-do (do=island, pronounced doh, Homer style) Hopefully there will not be anymore typhoons and enough sunshine to climb Hallasan (san=mountain) and the Olle Trail. We will try Jeju's famous black pork and let you know if it tastes any different than...pink or white pork.
snow snow snow
3 months ago