Saturday, May 03, 2008

Last Weekend's Escapades

I have to start this off with my favorite picture from last Saturday. Matt singing and Margot backing him up on the tambourines. Check out those rubber boots!!!

I feel like I'm falling behind with posts even though I only work six hours a day. How is this possible?!? Last weekend we had a really good time with a lot of our friends. When we went on the Worak trip we promised John and Elaine that we would show them a real norae bang and we also have meant to catch up with some other friends that we haven't seen in awhile. More and more people kept being invited until there were 12 of us gathered at Sincheon station last Saturday.

We were an incredibly interesting and diverse group and quite a site to see wandering down the street. We planned to have dinner and do norae and see where the night took us. Choosing a restaurant was not an easy task since many people in our group have dietary needs/concerns. We had a vegetarian (who ended up getting the shaft a bit- sorry Elaine!!), someone allergic to seafood and eggs, and someone who cannot eat spicy food. Anyone familiar with Korean cuisine would know that those 4 things are the top things they love to eat and restaurants here tend to have a pretty limited menu.

We settled on Outback because then people could choose their own meal but they didn't have a great vegetarian selection and even though we had Koreans in our group, the restaurant wasn't flexible with their menu items. Apparently it is a big deal to make cheese fries but not add the bacon bits. I didn't take any pictures at the restaurant, which is why Hokunani is missing from the group since she didn't stay for norae bang.
It was a really fun time and it was nice for our friends to meet our other friends. Actually, I (not Matt since he didn't know Rachel) was the only person that knew everyone. We went to our favorite norae bang and stayed for 2 rounds. Turns out that Rachel is an outstanding singer. Everyone was completely floored! Interestingly, every Korean I've been to norae with is really good. I'm not sure if it's because they sing more and therefore are more used to it and practiced or what. Ironically, most of the Korean professional singers I've heard tend to be pretty mediocre singers. I guess they have the right "image" though and can dance? It's a bit strange. Anyway, Rachel sang songs by Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston and not a single person cringed (except when they realized they had to sing after her) so that is quite an accomplishment. John and Curtis are already scheming about starting a record label and signing her. You can see all the pictures from norae over here.

On Sunday I met with another new Korean friend, Iris, who had invited me to see a concert. It was over near Seoul Art Center at a place called DS Hall. The title of the concert was 중국 구쩡 연주가 런지에(任潔)초청 공연-草綠의 香氣. Yeah, I have no idea what it means either. Basically it was a fushion concert between a Chinese musician who plays a famous traditional Chinese instrument and Korean musicians who played the piano, guitar and clarinet. The Chinese musician was amazing and besides being talented she was also really beautiful and had a total of 4 costume changes through the 2 hour performance! They really go all out. Iris was sitting next to the proud mother of the pianist. It was a wonderful experience even if I'm not familiar with any of the pieces that they played. Iris knew a number of them since she is trained in piano (actually she's a piano teacher!). I didn't take any pictures since they weren't allowed. It was a fun day though. Oh and I wanted to add, I'm not sure what the instrument she played was called but it is quite similar to the Korean instrument: gayageum but hers was much bigger and more complicated looking.

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