Tuesday, 13 August 2013

It is the Korean Way

Saturday was another day for friends.
Late breakfast of coffee and then to another restaurant in Gangneung to meet with another Sandra.
When Linda started at the school one of the first co-teachers she met was a girl who told Linda that her English name was Susan but she was changing it to Sandra so of course Linda said her mum was called Sandra and ever since that, the two Sandras had heard a lot about each other from Linda and had been looking forward to meeting.
So we met Sandra and her future husband Paul (they are getting married next Saturday and Linda is excited about going to their wedding). There was a lot of laughing and chatting while the food cooked, not so much as we ate the lovely food which was a Vietnamese meal this time, but more again when we went round to Yoon's Coffee Shop after the meal but just before the thunder and lightning.
Later we had a visit from our friend Park again but this time we were so delighted to be able to meet his wife and their two children. We were entrigued to learn that Park had written abook about their life and had it published so when he gave Linda a copy of it in Hangul we told Her that her mission now was to learn the language well enough to translate he book for us all. Lots more laughing and chatting over coffee and then of course another meal which was in a Lamb restaurant so we had two types of Lamb barbequed with soup and rice.
It was another goodbye again but what can we expect when we are only visitors in this country.
So the time to pack was upon us and when we had sorted out clothes for Sunday and for travelling on Monday we treated ourselves to the last late night snack which was BingSoo - a large bowl filled with ice shavings, yogurt ice-cream, & berries, which is then all mixed up together and shared. We have decided that this must be one of the reasons there are so many long handled spoons in Korea.
Sunday brought us another extremely hot day. Fred & I checked out of the hotel and we all had tea, coffee and pastry at Linda's appartment. Then we went to Linda's church which is in downtown Gangneung and her friend Jessie translated for us. We recognised some of the hymn tunes and Linda lent us her Korean/English bible which also has the hymbook in it.
So it came time for our last meal in Gangneung, we asked Jessie to join us and we all had Bolgogi in a restaurant quite near Linda's home. A different form of Bulgogi, but again delicious and as with 2 previous meals this one was enjoyed sitting on the floor at low tables.
Last minute looking at some of the pictures we had taken, getting our drinks ready and chatting and then the taxi to the bus station to get the bus to Seoul Incheon Airport and of course the final goodbye with Linda.
This time the bus journey was over 5 hours in length, again pretty good seats so we read and uploaded photos to the ipad from the camera and slept. Last night in South Korea was spent in an airport hotel and then up early on Monday morning for the long flight to London and finally the flight to Belfast.
Last meal on the plane from South Korea was our favourite Bulgogi with chopsticks yet again. We are so pleased we had practiced using chopsticks before we went on this trip as we entertained our Korean friends with our efforts and also felt like we really entered in to "The Korean Way" as our friend Park would say.

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