Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Nore-bong and Insadong

On Friday was our staff party to say goodbye to the 3 teachers teaching and welcome to the 4 new teachers (all from MN!). The school supervisors (4 Korean women) took all the teachers out for Duck Galbi, the meal that you cook over a grill at your table. I was so surprised by how good the smoked duck galbi was!! They had tons of side dishes and extras to accompany the galbi, including lettuce leaves to wrap the meat in, different spices and marinades, onions and peppers to grill, rice, and a spicy tofu soup (sundubu jigae- one o fmy favorites here so far). The supervisors also bought us wine and beer- and encouraged us to drink a lot and then accompany them to Nore-bong (the private karaoke bars). I had heard tales of this before, Korean teaching staff and professionals drinking a lot with their employees, but I was still surprised by how fun they were to hang out with outside of school! I actually like them all a lot- and found out that night that Lucy, the head supervisor, is Catholic. I was so happy to find someone (and a Korean, at that) who is Catholic! She also seemed happy to learn that I'm Catholic and am interested in finding a church- she's going to look up an English-speaking mass for me.

As usual. the nore-bong that night was SO MUCH fun and SO HILARIOUS...I know, all of you are thinking, "No way would Britney ever do that!" But it's been one of my favorites here...especially the tambourines they give you in the private room you rent (by the hour)- I've been loving those tambourines! The songbooks to choose from have pages and pages of songs and artists, everything from Van Morrison and Bon Jovi, to Spice Girls and Kelly Clarkson, to the "Lion King" soundtrack (that one has been a particular favorite amongst a few LCI teachers). I've included a few pictures here- and yes, there will be lots more nore-bong pictures to come!

On Saturday, a few of us went into Seoul to an area called Insadong. This was my kind of place- smaller streets filled with local artists selling tradtional Korean crafts- painted fans, woven tapestries, jewelry, and the most beautiful pottery. Can you believe I didn't buy one thing?! (except a delicious bowl of plum tea at a tea shop...this area is known for its teahouses and tea shops). I already can't wait to go back to browse the pottery.

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