As you may have guessed, I have been busy busy busy lately. However, I am happily postponing my homework in order to finally get all caught up on the blog.
We left off on the weekend of May 06 -08. A wonderful (and sleepy) weekend. I don’t remember much about the week that followed, except that we finally bought a rug for the living room. It was on sale for a very reasonable price and I think it’s absolutely gorgeous. My only regret is that we didn’t get a small one for the kitchen.
Oh, and we made a late night run to Dongdaemun (remember the super shopping district?) to buy P a suit for the next weekend. We didn’t make it home until about 2AM, but P got a rather schnazzy summer suit.
Wait, I know exactly what happened that week. P was in the field for most of the week. They came back early because of severe flooding. That’s right. Anyways, back to my story, I go!
The weekend following the ball (May 14 – 15), we attended a wedding. It was a rather bizarre event, but beautiful nonetheless. The wedding was at 3PM, so mid-morning we all headed out. We made our way to Seoul Station, where we caught a KTX train (aka fast) towards Asan, the town where the wedding was held. The train ride gave P and me an opportunity to see a little bit of the the Korean country side (and be total goofballs).
We arrived in Asan slightly ahead of schedule, but that was okay. You want to know why? Well, because there was a Toys R Us across the street. Oh, yeah.
We spent a little time goofing off in Toys R Us and Lotte Mart (Korean Wal-Mart), before moseying back to the train station to catch a cab. Our friends wanted coffee; P and I, of course, wanted donuts. Did you know that Dunkin’ Donuts makes a ‘Spinach Donut’? Yeah, we didn’t either. And, no, neither of us tried it. Veggies + fried deliciousness = a bad idea, if you ask me.
Once everyone was satisfied with their coffee and/or donuts, we caught a cab and headed to the church. Now, the invites came with directions printed in Korean. Yet, somehow, we still ended up riding in circles. We eventually made it (and were the first to arrive. It was cool, though, because we got to hang out with the groom for a little bit and then watch the bride and groom sit for their wedding portraits. It was very formal, not at all like the sassy portraits currently popular in the States.
The wedding was held outside, and it was an absolutely lovely day. After a few weeks of rain, the happy couple were married on a sunny, blue-skied day. The service was a little strange. They called it a “Western” wedding; however, you could tell that this was the pastor’s first wedding of that sort. They hired a translator (or asked a friend), but she got frustrated and quit halfway through. What was really strange about that was that they had an announcer of some sort who spoke perfect English. There were three musical acts during the ceremony and a number of prayers, lots of bowing and hugging and moving around, but they forgot to exchange rings. The service was longer than a full mass Catholic wedding if you can believe it! It was beautiful.The groom later told us that he had no idea what was going on throughout the ceremony.
The reception was also held outside. They had a mix of Korean and “Western” food, it was pretty good. There was no dancing or music, and it seemed that most people left with a quickness. We were told before hand that many Korean weddings and celebrations are quick by American standards. The reception is just a meal and everyone gets moving.
We made it home fairly early. I have no idea what we did that Saturday night, or what happened on Sunday. Obviously, I should have blogged a little earlier so that these details could have made history.
The day before my birthday, I was lucky enough to be invited on an Air Evacuation Exercise. The exercise simulated what spouses would experience in the event that all non-military personnel needed to evacuate the peninsula for whatever reason. The exercise included a ninety minute Chinook ride. It was pretty neat to get an idea of what my husband and father do on a day to day basis (even if it was the wrong aircraft); and, quite frankly, it felt damn good to be back in the air. The vibrations of the aircraft, the noise, and the wind, have all be sorely missed in my current Korea life. You know what the best part of this opportunity was, though? Making new friends. The women who went on this trip are absolutely amazing, and I am happy to say that a few are quickly becoming great friends.
Out of twenty-nine people on our aircraft, sixteen threw up. Our group stayed strong, though: none of us succumbed to the motion sickness. However, a number of us (myself included) got a pretty good nap in!
The next day was my birthday. I spent the morning volunteering at the American Red Cross. My days at the Red Cross are quickly becoming my favorite days of the week. After volunteering, I got my evacuation packet checked off (twice a year, we are required to have this done… Of course, this one fell on my birthday. Thumbs down.), then moseyed over to the commissary. P was awesome enough to meet me there with the car, so I wouldn’t have to drag everything on the bus in the rain. It turns out, though, that he had an ulterior motive: he needed to sneak and get ingredients for a special birthday dinner he planned for me. He insisted that I dress up for dinner, because he was taking me somewhere awesome. Well, that place happened to be our kitchen, but he played all the parts: The host, the waiter, and the chef. It was pretty cute. And the food was delicious (some sort of schnazzy Chinese dish)! He even got me my favorite Paris Baguette dessert: a strawberry yogurt roll. YUM!
It was a very nice, quiet birthday night after a very long and exhausting week. Although, now that I think about it, I really don’t even remember what I did that week. I just remember being exhausted.
Saturday night we celebrated my birthday with friends. We went to the Landing Zone, merely, because it’s one of the only places in this country where being 21 matters. It was a very relaxed night, and one of my friends even brought cake! Mmmmm.
Sunday, we went to church. As we waited for the bus to return home, I saw a poor little disable pigeon. He had a terribly deformed foot. It was so sad.
That afternoon we went took a hike through the woods behind our apartment. It was awesome. The last time we went was before all the plants started blooming, and everything was dead and brown back there.
After our hike, we went home, ate more cake, and watched TV. It was a rather delightful Sunday.
Lucky for me, my birthday weekend happened to come with a DONSA/Warrior Family Day (aka P didn’t have to work on Monday). So, my birthday weekend fun continued through Monday! As of that Monday, P and I are officially learning to rock climb. That day, we bought basic gear and ventured off on our very first climb. P is definitely hooked. I haven’t decided if I am or not, yet, but it’s certainly fun!
Ok, it’s getting late, so I am off to spend some quality time with my love before bed. We are not entirely caught up, but we’re getting closer. Thank you everyone for the wonderful gifts and for making my birthday extremely special when I am on the other side of the world. I am blessed to have such thoughtful people in my life!