another week done goneSeptember 25, 2006
Another weekend comes and goes, monday’s even already done too. Next week is a major holiday, so more days off then. A couple of new jobs to do. Shaping up to be a busy October. But that’s the future. Here’s the past….
(click on any of the pictures to go to the larger originals)
Friday night out with the other Fulbrighters. We had a good time. We came to the Hongdae area, stopping off first at the “nori-teo” – the “playground” where art exhibitions, student art sales, and various music performances take place – and various passers-by of all kinds come to sit, chat and drink.
When we got there, a pungmul-pae (traditional Korean folk music/dance troupe) was playing. I was quite excited, have been a troubador back in the Oakland years with KYCC. Luckily, these folks were the real deal, and as such, allowed for us cheering admirers to have our go with the instruments during the period of “daedong-nori” (great communal play).
That got me nice and sweaty, so, it was now time for a drink. If only we could find a nice place… oh, wait, there’s somewhere that might have alcohol… Indeed:
Everyone gets happy:
By now, it is time for “ee-cha” (second round), so we head off to the “norae-bang” (singing room). It is like karaoke, except you get your private room.
I communed with a grandfather made of stone:
Saturday, to the bathhouse to soak off my headache. No photos there, sorry. Sunday, I spent the morning on a fun run with my new hyoung, and then for lunch, met with Elaine to go to a demonstration down at city hall.
For Korean standards, this was tame and small (the number of police may have equalled the number of demonstrators). Yet it was interesting to see, nevertheless. The cause was to protest the destruction of two farming villages for the purpose of the expansion of a US Army base in Pyeongtaek.
The majority of South Koreans don’t want the U.S. military to leave, although many for very different reasons (old folks still fear the South can’t defend against the North; young men fear and increased mandatory service requirement). These folks here at the demo most certainly do want them to leave.
Tonight, after a long day at school, I met with an old friend from Madison, Charse. He’s doing very well. He’s found the Lord in a big way and it has changed his life very deeply. I can say that I’ve never seen him so deeply calm and happy. I look forward to spending a lot more time with him than I’ve ever had a chance to in the past.
Later this week, a trip to the Yellow Sea, some wheat fields, and a temple or two. Next week, we go to visit the deceased in celebration of Chuseok. Normally, it is a rather enjoyable time, but this year, two deaths are still too fresh. For one close family member, this will be our first Chuseok to visit him at the mountain. There will be no joy there.