- We visited a rural traditional market. Not only was it vibrant and colorful, but the people were open, friendly and warm.
- So warm and friendly that we were spotted by a KBS (the major broadcasting station where Whit and I have been featured before) reporter and interviewed about our thoughts on the market (“please use more motions” says the interviewer, prodding Whit to act more animated a.k.a. cheesy for the camera). “Now walk and try from vendors,” he said. We feigned over-exaggerated amazement at the kimchi and strange spicy puddings. Video of broadcast to be posted next Wednesday after it airs.
- We visited a temple where children followed us around and let us take their photos.
- We walked peacefully through green tea fields with beautiful mountain vistas until we were asked by a a group member with a very large lens (the largest I have ever seen, including newspaper photographers’ lenses) to please walk to the middle of the field. Please hug. And then, from the mouths of Koreans who we thought did not speak English, “KISS! KISS! KISS!!” We obliged. Cheesy photos to be e-mailed to us sometime this week.
- Whit (who insists I left him high and dry on more than one occasion today) was invited up to a stage where a middle-aged Korean man was entertaining a crowd of ajumma (old permed Korean women) with songs and dance. Through our co-teacher and friend Ha-Young, he interviewed Whit, making jokes about him and then somehow talking him into singing karaoke for the crowd of at least 100 people. Which he did to the sporadic clapping and straight faces of the ajumma. He was awarded with three pairs of traditional Korean rope shoes, none of which fit his Western feet. The second pair is for me and the third is for our future children, says the kind man on stage.
To some of you, our day might sound a little torturous. But not to us. On the crowded bus ride home when we stood swaying back and forth to the rhythms of the bus, we couldn’t help but be sad that one day we will leave this strange wonderful colorful kaleidoscope of a country that is Korea.