Gayaguem, Galbi and love songs: Not bad for a first date

Last week at a fundraiser for the local orphanage, I almost bought a boy with a guitar and a song. It was for the kids, kept saying my friend Angie, who later sold herself for 70 bucks.
It was an event where love was for sale, where you could put your bid in for the date of your choice.

Oh yes, Whit was there, sitting right beside me. Sweating.

It was when I asked him how much money he had so I could bid on the poor guy on stage when he realized it was time to take me out on a date.

All week long he planned behind my back, sending e-mails and making phone calls to plan the perfect “first date” in Korea.

What’s funny about this is that most wives who complain about not going on “real dates” any more often don’t see their husbands as much as I.

The only time we spend apart is when we go into the bathroom at work.

But still.

So he told me what time to be ready (I was late…stupid nap) and we headed out with our own driver! Ok. Taxi driver. But still.

We headed across town to the Gwangju Arts and Culture Center to see my a concert featuring my favorite instrument, the Korean traditional Gayageum. I consider it the perfect blend of the harp and the violin. It’s beautiful. Just beautiful. It was the best concert I had seen in my life. I can only apologize to you for not bringing the video camera. I am attaching a You Tube video of a Gayageum rendition of the Beatle’s “Let it Be” just to give you an idea.

Next, as if this wasn’t the perfect date already, we headed to Sangmu, a happening area of town, for some galbi (Korean barbecue that puts anything every considered barbecue in the West to shame). We had what was considered an expensive meal. Total cost: $26.
We then headed next door to Outback Steakhouse for wine and dessert, two things not available at Korean restaurants.

Even though that could have been the perfect ending to a great date, Whit had other ideas.
So we headed next door to the noraebang (singing room). I know we have written about this popular Korean entertainment before, but I’ll just remind you how popular it is. There is a noraebang on every single street block in Korea. Think I’m kidding? We have one on each side of our apartment building, featuring terrible Korean singers that Mom and Dad thought were stray cats that lull us to sleep every night.

We have been to the noraebang many times with friends. But never just the two of us.
We had a lot of laughs as we sereneded each other with songs like “You are not alone” by Michael Jackson; “When a Man Loves a Woman” (my mom’s personal favorite) by Percy Sledge; “You Got It” by Roy Orbison. The list goes on and on.

We ended the evening a little surprised by the giant success of our date night, promising to do it again at least once a month from here on out. Despite the fact we spend 23.75 hours together every day, it still doesn’t hurt to hear a little You Are Not Alone.


  1. Emily says:

    Gosh, I love y’all. I think I might vomit.


  2. Brittany says:

    I love it! Whit really out did himself. The gayageum is gorgeous. I am glad you shared a snippet.


  3. Corneice says:

    Loved the music! Instrument is fantastic. Whit and you are search a well matched couple. You seem to have much fun together. And Whit, you did good!!!


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