Monday, October 08, 2007

Home Party

Friday night my colleague CH had a "welcome to my new home" party, which is traditional here in Korea. Usually the guests should bring a small present which is suitable for a new home, huge packages of toilet paper being very common. I decided to bring a bottle of wine, which was good because I noticed at least three other guests brought the huge toilet paper packages! I think CH will have plenty of toilet paper for the months ahead.

First we gathered around the tables (sitting on the floor Korean style) and ate the first course. This features a wide variety of side dishes, including kimchi (of course), raw salmon, a couple of salads, small finger sandwiches, and I can't remember what else. Unfortunately, I was so busy eating that I forgot to take any photos of the delicious foods! The next course was bulgogi (marinated beef), rice, and soup. Finally we finished with a dessert of Asian pears, apples and grapes. I was stuffed.

Just like in America, I noticed that the ladies (with one exception) all separated from the men in another room with the babies. Actually, the babies kept crawling back and forth, visiting both rooms.

Well, then after the eating was all done, the tables are whisked away, a blanket is put down on the floor, and the men all play Hwatoo card games the rest of the night.

Not being able to play this game myself, I was surprised when I received a call about 10 minutes into the card games from my friend JI. He wanted me to meet a new colleague of his in another part of town nearby, so that was a good reason to excuse myself. Actually, I do know the basics of the game, but whenever I try to play with a Korean they are quickly bored, because I have no strategic skill at the game.

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