I’ve been trying to backtrack and catch-up on all the (really?) cool or at least mildly interesting things that have happened in my life. I still have one or two months to cover…especially now that December is almost over. What I’ve decided, though, is to alternate between something new and something old. Therefore, I will talk about my Christmas weekend.
Last year, I went to a party with foreigners and Koreans on Christmas Eve. Although the party was interesting, I didn’t have that great of a time because of something horrific that had happened at my school earlier that day. It’s still really hard for me to talk about, but, suffice it to say, my favorite student had attempted to commit suicide that morning and was in intensive care. I think I grieved for a solid two weeks…but anyway. This Christmas promised to be better, and it was.
The evening before Christmas Eve (at about 11pm), Hyun-oo and I picked up his friend and his girlfriend for a mini road-trip and double-date (the most common way to celebrate Christmas in Korea). We headed 2 hours East to Yeongdeok (영덕) which sits on the coast of Korea (pic above and on flickr). It’s famous for seafood, particularly crab. So for a late night dinner at 1am, we feasted on four VERY expensive, large, and salty crabs at a diner/inn. (The upstairs dining area had 3 rooms available to rent for the night.) We slept there and headed out for more crab for lunch. We went to the street market, selected 10 discounted crabs (they were discounted because they were missing legs!) and then a nearby restaurant steamed them up for us. As ‘service’ we also got a free small bucket of spare crab legs. LOL. (These crabs were not as salty, 1/4 of the price, and we ate them all up—minus the extra legs.) We stopped at a local fossil museum before heading back home and dropping off the other couple. After that, Hyun-oo cracked me up with his singing “We Wish you a Merry Christmas” because he only knew the rhythm and “Wish you Merry Christmas.”
On the double-date I was definitely a bit gloomy because, well it was still a bit overshadowed by last year, but more importantly, I missed the ‘feeling’ of Christmas and the time with my own family. I’ll admit that America over-sensationalizes and turns it into a materialistic holiday. I don’t miss the Christmas music playing non-stop, the tacky, monstrous decorations, and the shopping crowds. I do miss the Christmas lights and decorations on some of the doors and a little of the music (I caved in and listened to my Jewel Holiday album Christmas morning). Luckily, I was able to talk to my mom and sister on the phone to tell them Merry Christmas.
The plan for Christmas was to join Hyun-oo and his family for Christmas. I told Hyun-oo that I’m used to gift exchanges and that Christmas is a big and important day in America. With that, we all bought gifts to exchange. (In Korea, gifts are only bought for small children on Christmas.) I also cooked up some deviled eggs, which by the way, they all enjoyed. SCORE! His mom is a hairdresser, so she chemically straightened my hair and gave me a new hairstyle. DOUBLE SCORE! They were happy with my gifts for them (but I guess surprised at how much I bought: a belt, thermal pjs, and ginseng drinks) and they bought us dinner at a pretty nice restaurant.
The highlight of Christmas: One of the presents I gave Hyun-oo was a couple sweatshirt (the JEEP sweatshirt I’m wearing above) but it was in a pop-tart box. He encountered pop-tarts earlier when my mom sent me a box of American goodies…so he was SUPER EXCITED about getting pop-tarts. LMAO…then he realized that pop-tarts weren’t in the box.
He went from “OOOOOO! POP-TARTS!!!” to “Oh my God. Embarrassed.” ㅋㅋㅋㅋ