You may recall that teacher shortage crisis I mentioned in the Blue Sky Church post. Well the teacher that left to get married invited me to her wedding! Lovely.
Unfortunately, it was not a traditional Korean style wedding. From what I'm told, in those, they wear tradition clothes (called han-boak) and do things like carry wooden ducks around, which are supposed to represent faithfulness. This picture I found online gives you an idea:
Here, they toss nuts in a cloth?
Ahn yung, wife-to-be, Ms. Kim.
The wedding took place in a giant, multi-storied building where like 10 weddings seemed to be going on at the same time. There's a real assembly-line approach to tying the knot. Leading up to the ceremony, they make the bride sit alone in a little room where she smiles til' her face hurts, depicted above. It was a little awkward to take pictures with her perched on a little cushion consumed by her giant plume of a dress.
Soon after, we made our way into the hall.
I was feeling artistic with the black and white. I'm no photographer.
The groom! Note the woman standing in front of him. There were a bunch of them running around dressed either like flight attendants or secret service and they all had earpieces and mics to orchestrate the big show.
A lovely exchange of the rings. It was impossible to get a picture without the photographer in the way. He stood directly in front of the bride and groom through half the ceremony.
The man presiding over the affair finished his remarks and they built a champagne waterfall for a toast. Afterward, a friend went up and sang a famous Korean karaoke number from the side aisle while they stood from the altar watching. With the flight attendant secret service agents rushing everything along, the whole wedding was over in under 20 minutes, I assume because another wedding party was waiting to use the space. Amazing!
All told, I haven't been to many weddings back in the west, but this one was certainly different and memorable.
Later on, I was downtown with some of the other teachers from my school and I got a picture with one of the giant costumed characters that try to attract people into the make-up stores. Woo Asian character advertisement!
Mr. Lee invited me on a picnic with his family and friends in Cheong-do, a town 40 minutes outside of Daegu. I took some pictures, so why not attach it to the wedding post?
Mr. Lee's oldest son Jae-Min (pronounced jay-meen) in the car on our way. Jae-Min is one of my newest phonics students and we have blast drawing pictures of dragons, firetrucks, and sharks. He can spell "banana" with the best of them.
We set up on a little parking space along a peaceful river. Out came the grill, steak, beer, soju, and of course, kimchi. The grilling was delicious and the company friendly. His friends were very nice and I enjoyed playing with the kids.
I did my best to make sure the boys behaved themselves with the rods.
With the rods not working out too well, we tried to use nets to catch fish. Mr. Lee with his shorts rolled up in the distance. It was an interesting net rig: two bamboo sticks with net strung in between and weights attached along the bottom. I managed to catch a few with it:
I was the only one that had success, so Mr. Lee told me I should change my job. Jokingly, right?
Jae-Yoon and I. Jae-Yoon is his second son, and you may notice a pattern. His third son's name is Jae-Soon. Commonly, Korean boy siblings are given names with the same first syllable. For example, I have a few sets of brothers for students: Wan-Ook and Wan-Joon; Hong-Woo and Hong-Ook; Dong-Chan and Dong-Chul.
They've recently flooded the rice paddies across Korea. It made for a pleasant picture from the car.
See Peckrill's blog for a bit about rice planting. He actually participated...I'm jealous.