Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Lantern Festival and Other Hijinks

On Sunday it was the annual festival for Buddha's birthday and the Lantern Parade. We met up with some book club friends and then later had a bit of a reunion with other friends we haven't seen nearly enough this year. I started off the day painting a fan with Catherine. I had wanted to make my own lantern but unfortunately that activity had started earlier so I missed out. Oh well.

There were tons of things to see and do and we really only got to experience a fraction of them. Matt made a few crafts and watched a couple of performances. The day was fun but the weather wasn't really cooperating- it was raining on and off all day.
Later on we met up with Eddie, Gisela, Margot, Bobby (her beau visiting from the USA), Joia, her friend Tamieka who was also visiting and Margot's roommate Emma. So with our book club people we were a pretty large group.

The parade, well I couldn't see much because I'm so short and people were holding a lot of umbrellas. I hear it was interesting. Later when we were on our way to dinner we saw the actually lantern carrying part and that was enchanting. I'm glad I got to see it. Hundreds of people walking together carrying soft glowing, lovely lanterns. I wish I had better pictures of it but I'm short and therefore Matt was the photographer...
An interesting sign, some of the many lanterns and some pretty ladies.

Oh, I almost forgot, we spent quite some time around the main (largest) temple. It was really breath taking with all the lanterns.
After the festival our group split a bit (we lost our book club friends) and we ended up at Carne Station. This was my second visit to this "all you can eat and drink" buffet. The other location had a much better variety of food but this time I didn't make a fool of myself. So I guess you can be the judge of which experience was more positive.
One funny/embarrassing did happen to Matt. He managed to break a chair at the restaurant. Guess he needs to pace himself on the buffet!

Of course we ended up at norae bang and while it was brief (since everyone had buses and trains to catch) it was really fun and hilarious. Somehow we ended up with 2 extra bottles of soju in our bag when we got home so I guess we're primed and ready for round two!

Matt and I made an executive decision for the way home to get a cab instead of getting halfway on the subway and then ending up in a location where there weren't any cabs and everyone was clambering for one. Lately we've had some annoying instances with cabbies trying to charge us ridiculous fares. I guess they think we're tourists and have no idea how much it should cost for us to get home? The first cab we stopped wanted double the fare that it should have taken for us to get home so we sent him packing. I'm glad we did because we found the most awesome cab driver. Not only was he fair, he was interesting, well traveled and spoke numerous languages. We had amazing conversation with him and he treated us with respect. To top it off, he totally confirmed one of my ongoing suspicions- there IS a button they press to add an extra 20% on your fare when you're not looking. Damn cabbies! So this guy totally showed us which button it is. It was a great end to a great day. Check out all the silly pictures.


Anonymous said...

Gah! Amber! That is a truly horrid picture of me holding that Buddha print.

ambearo said...

You think so? I don't think it's bad at all! That's what you look like!