Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Chusuk (Thanksgiving)

Melissa said, “It is a famous Korean holiday, come to my house tomorrow with Randi and help my mother cook pancakes”. Sounded fun to me, so I set the time to meet Randi at the subway at 11:00 AM. Now, 11:00 AM comes pretty early for me these days. I know all you out there might be crying out “WHAT!” but I don’t have to be at work till 2PM so sometimes I sleep till 11 or 12. Stay up late, wake up even later.

Also, 11 AM must have also been a bit early for Randi because she was late but it was no big deal. Randi is from Hawaii and she is very laid back. It is clear she has lived her whole life on the islands and so we get a long well; I like that style. In the meantime while waiting for Randi, two grandmothers who I am sitting next to try to talk with me. I don’t speak Korean, except enough to ask for the bathroom, get directions, and then say, “thank you but I don’t speak Korean.” Unfortunately, they don’t even speak that much English. Still they still manage to mime out the fact they have daughters or maybe sons and wanted me to meet their kids, maybe for dates or for English lessons, I am not sure but when it came time for them to ask me for my #, I didn’t give it to them, not because I wouldn’t have because I might have but I really didn’t have a pen with me. This is by far not the strangest meeting I have had with strangers and I expect many more.

Randi and I caught the bus and were on our way to experience the traditional Korean Thanksgiving, the biggest holiday in Korea. Here, it is called Chusuk and we were arriving on Chusuk Eve at Melissa’s house, a co-worker of Randi, to help her mother prepare some pancakes for the following day. I figured that for one, it would be really neat to see how a regular Korean family acted and lived in a house and two, that it would be cool to see the traditional food being made and assured myself I would get to try some during the process. Cultural exchange and good food is what I thought would happen and I that was pretty much right. It was a great time and here are some of the pics.


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