A few months ago, I had a chance to reconnect by email with a friend from elementary school over the internet. My friend GE had transferred to another school the last year of elementary school, and we had not see or contacted each other since then. We exchanged a few emails, and then I learned he was coming to Seoul this week! I went to pick him up at the bus station, and spent Friday afternoon and Saturday morning sightseeing, enjoying Korean foods, and catching up on the last 40 years. GE is a professor, and was giving guest lectures at a few Universities here in Korea. I attended his lecture yesterday afternoon, and was then invited to a nice dinner hosted by the department head. We had a great time, it was so fun to meet him again after so long.
We went first to the Gyeongbok Palace, after walking all over the neighborhood in search of a place to eat. We finally found an interesting cafe whose hamburgers were made like pieces of artwork! (sorry, no photo). The burgers we ordered were huge towers, without the usual hamburger buns. It was definitely required a fork and knife to eat, rather than using your hands. Then we took a tour of the palace, and the amsll Korean Folk Museum beside the palace. And finally we enjoyed a delicious grilled Korean beef dinner (where the above photo was taken).
Saturday morning we went to the National Museum of Korea, and afterwards a brief tour of Itaewon. He was interested in some Korean pottery, so I took him to Mr. Lee's Koryo Ceramics shop, where The Stumbling Mom bought a nice piece of pottery during her visit in 2007. While Mr. Lee makes most of his pottery using various traditional techniques, he showed us a couple of pieces he was experimenting with because of the Christmas Holiday. I almost bought this one (big one on the right).
We ate a Chinese lunch, at a place I had heard about called "Ho Lee Chow". It was a nice place, and food was great. Since I don't know the area well, I find it hit-and-miss when it comes to Itaewon restaurants. But this place was definitely a hit. After Itaewon, he had to get to the University for this lecture. They really were promoting this lecture - there was a banner over the street with his name announcing the event! Here we are at the University right before his lecture.
After the lecture, the University director and some staff and students took us to dinner, where we all had a great time. For me, I got an interesting glimpse into the inner workings of the academic world.
From what he told me, his visit in Korea was very good, and everything we very well. I'm actually a little jealous, because he got to see some of the country side down south, where I've never been. Anyway, I'm glad we were able to meet after all these years.