Well, after a 12 hour delay, I headed to Incheon International Airport on Friday to pick up the The Stumbling Parents (TSP). The 5:15pm (later delayed to 5:30pm) arrival time was MUCH better for my sleep. The only bad thing was the traffic on the return drive to Seoul. I think we spent 40 minutes driving 95% of the way to the hotel, then another 40 minutes driving the last 5km in heavy traffic.
I arrived at Incheon at 5:15pm, and waited for the plane to land.
While I was waiting, I had time to have a coke and a pizza ho-bbang:
This is like a dumpling made from soft bread. In the cooler seasons here in Korea, they are available at nearly every convenience store. My favorite is called Vegetable Ho-bbang, but the store only had pizza flavor yesterday. Trust me, it wasn't as delicious as this photo above looks.
Well, finally TSP came through the arrival doors and met me. Here I am taking a photo of The Stumbling Father (TSF) as he takes a photo of me!
So, after the long drive to the hotel, TSP checked into their room. They are staying at the Hotel Niagara, which overlooks the Han River and the Annyang Stream. The way the building is designed, every room has a beautiful view of the river. CH met us there, and after they delivered the suitcases to the room, we all went for dinner.
I had been planning for over a week now exactly the best meal for TSP's first night in Korea. It was going to be Kimchi Samgyeopsal (belly pork) cooked on a flat rock. There is a restaurant that all my friends know which cooks in this style, and I had even spoken to the owner last time about my parents' visit. Imagine our surprise, when we arrived at the restaurant at 8:30pm and all the lights were off and the place was closed! I'm not sure if last night was some special event, or if the place is closed for good.
Anyway, we decided to keep with the pork theme, and ate at another good pork restaurant nearby. This place serves a cut of pork called Gabeurisal (가브리살) which the internet tell me is pork meat from the small part of the pig's chin. My friends and I have always enjoyed this restaurant and pork for many years now, and last night was no exception. Everyone seemed happy with the food, and I got over my disappointment about the other restaurant being closed.
Today will be a busy one. A visiting professor from Mississippi State and his wife are coming up from Daegu for the weekend, and we will spend the afternoon sightseeing around Itaewon and then have dinner together. This man is a college friend of my company's president, and I'm looking forward to meeting them. They will arrive this morning on the KTX train, so I need to go get ready to pick them up.