Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Delights of Daegu

And also a Korean wedding.

One of MY's University friends was getting married this past Saturday so the two of us went to the wedding.  The wedding wasn't until about 6pm so we had plenty of time to do other things before that.

At about nine I caught a bus up to Daegu again.  For some reason there was a CRAZY line for taxis at the Changwon Bus Terminal.
Don't know why...
MY had caught a bus at about six from Seoul.  We got to Daegu at about the same time, but I had to wait for him to run by his parent's place and pick up his car before he could pick me up.

So I waited in a Paris Baguette for a little bit, drinking a green tea latte (which has replaced coffee as my drink of choice at coffee shops).  The sitting area was quiet and empty, so it wasn't a bad place to wait for MY.

On my way to the Paris Baguette I took a little walk through the market and enjoyed the atmosphere.
Indoor market, much neater and more organized than Changwon's.
The selection of all sorts of delicacies at Paris Baguette...
The quiet and private sitting area...lovely.
I kakaoed my sister while I waited and enjoyed my green tea latte.  Then MY called and I walked back to the bus terminal.  He picked me up and we drove downtown.

Once we got downtown we parked in this amazing underground parking garage (it was actually under the road, proving once again how amazing the Koreans are at maximizing space through engineering masterpieces).  Then we walked through downtown to a Japanese restaurant he used to go to during his University days.

Unfortunately they weren't open yet, so we just wandered the streets and he showed me places.  I saw where he studied English, drank coffee with his friends, and would go out to party with his friends.  It was very cool and the downtown in Daegu is much better than the downtown in Changwon.  It's much nicer in the fact that the roads are brick and aren't meant for cars.  Leaving lots of room for pedestrians and a nice flat (hard to find) surface to walk on.

While walking around we saw this little gem of a restaurant:
Apparently we Americans are lazy...
We wandered around for about thirty minutes and then headed back to the Japanese restaurant.  The food there was delicious and very authentic since the owners are Japanese.
Courtesy of my cell phone since I left my camera in the car....
The food was amazing.  I especially loved all the spices and such on the rice.  So yummy!

After eating we drove to the part of town he grew up in.  He drove me around and showed me where he went to elementary and middle school.  The place he went to high school was torn down, so he couldn't show it to me.

Then we went to his parent's house and met his sister.  HG is studying to be a nurse and wants to live in the US of A one day, preferably New York City.  I speak almost no Korean and she doesn't speak much English, though her listening ability is much higher than her speaking, so with MY translating some we were able to communicate.

It's funny, MY says he hates translating and doesn't care for it, but he's very fast at translating when he introduces me to someone that isn't comfortable at English.  He does it very naturally, which is awesome.

We went to get ice cream, but Baskin Robbins was packed, so we went to Dunkin' Donuts instead and got drinks.  All iced, since it was rather warm.

It was cool, she's also a fan of Japanese manga and anime, so we ended up talking about that, which left poor MY completely out of the loop, since he's only watched some animes to practice his Japanese.  HG reminded me a lot of Elinore.  Plus, their relationship was amazing, it had the same relaxed, teasing attitude Elinore and I have.  She and I joked about MY being 바부 (babo - silly/stupid) when he did something silly, which he took in stride.  We had a great time.

Then we went upstairs and played pool.  Since we had three people we played by numbers (1-5, 6-10, 11-15).  Uncle Jerry, I would like to seriously thank you for letting me play on your pool table as a child.  Apple Jack and Kay-Kay, I would like to thank you for helping me do sailing, which really helped my real-life geometry ability.

We played two games, I won one, MY won the other.  HG came in second both times.  MY's rather good at pool since he spent a lot of his weekends in high school playing at this pool hall with his friends.  It's still popular with the high school students.

After we finished pool we went back to his parents apartment.  MY changed clothes for the wedding and then we walked down the road to the wedding hall.

We walked in and he went to say hello to his friend (the groom).  The groom had been told that MY was bringing his girlfriend, and that I was a foreigner, he still did a double-take and looked surprised.  As did his parents and the mother of the bride.  His father knew some English though and seemed very proud that he could say 'Hello, how are you?'  'Where are you from?'  'Thank you for coming.'

Then MY and I went to the guestbook where he handed over the money he had brought as a gift and signed the guest book.  The entire time people kept staring at me, more than normal.  Probably because I was the only foreigner.

After he had signed the guestbook we went and waited outside for a little bit.  I took some pictures.  MY kept looking for more University friends, but they ended up not coming.  One he couldn't get a hold of and the other's wife was expecting her baby at any time.

View from the balcony at the Wedding Hall.
MY trying to contact his friends.
The inside of the wedding hall.
The bride and groom
The 'chapel' part of the Wedding Hall
I don't have that many pictures from the wedding because I didn't want to look like the standard tourist foreigner.  I've gotten to the point where most of the time I don't even notice if people are staring at me, but at the wedding I noticed since it isn't common to see foreigners at a wedding for someone that isn't usually associated with foreigners.

The wedding was very unusual for me.  There were more people than there were chairs and there was a guy on a microphone making announcements during the entire wedding.  The mothers raced down the aisle (literally, no stately walking for them) and lit the unity candles.  The bride and groom walked down the aisle together (MY said that was unusual, typically the groom walks first, then the bride) amide dry ice smoke and flashing strobe lights.

They said their vows on the 'stage' and were herded around by two Wedding Hall workers.  According to MY they don't typically do rehearsals.  Then the groom sang a song for the bride, which was the first time I saw her smile during the entire ceremony.  The groom's friend helped him sing.

Then the groom went back to stand by the bride and the friend started breakdancing.  This is VERY unusual, but highly entertaining.  After this they thanked her mom and he kissed the mom on the cheek.  Then they thanked his parents and she kissed his mom on the cheek.  Then they brought a cake out, the couple cut it, and they pulled the cake away.

No one got to eat any cake, not even the bride and groom...

That made me sad.

The guy made some more announcements and the new couple walked back down the aisle together.  Once they reached the end of the aisle (with more dry ice smoke escorting them) the lights all came on and they turned around and walked back to the front for pictures.

MY and I took the cards we were given when he gave the money and signed the guestbook and walked out of the building and down to another building.

In this building was a buffet area with lots of food and each of the tables had cups, some beers, and a bottle of soju on it.

MY and I ate our fill, but only the fruit was really good.  I had some beer, but he was driving so he didn't.

After eating we went and walked around the nearby lake that he used to go jogging around.  Then we went back to his apartment, he changed clothes, and he drove me back to Changwon.

Elinore, Nicole, I had to take this picture for you two....
The pretty lake
You can't really tell, but their are swan boats on the lake you can rent.
Us!
This crazy huge coffee shop by the lake.
After such a filled day I spent all of Sunday not leaving my apartment, lounging around in my pajamas, and being entirely too lazy for my own good.

I guess that diner is true....

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