Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Potluck and 33. a Korean wedding

     What an interesting weekend. It started kind of sad unfortunately. I had to wash my last fluffy towel, which meant that it wasn't going to be fluffy ever after that because there are no dryers here, so all clothes end up being stiff from line drying. Every time I wash my jeans, I put them on and have to do lounges just to loosen them up.
       Moving on, a couple weeks ago, my friend Joyan sent out an invite for a Thanksgiving potluck at her place. She decided to host it because she has an oven, get this, ovens a luxury here in Korea. I think that's why bakeries like Paris Baguette and Tous les Jours are so famous because Koreans rarely bake. But anyways, I told Joyan I would make the mashed potatoes for the potluck. At first I said, "yeah! Mashed potatoes," but then I realized I was going to need heavy cream or half and half and that I would have to hunt it down by trying to read Korean labels. I actually found it at Home Plus, but I wasn't sure whether it was going to work because it said "fresh cream." And like I've said before, I don't know much about cooking, so I had no clue what "fresh cream" was, but it looked like something I could use. I then went to buy the potatoes, and OMG I don't know if I was ripped off or what, but I bought 35 small potatoes and paid around $35!!!!! That's freaking crazy!!! A dollar per potato?!?!?! ....I didn't know how to ask about the price, so I just paid :/. All I thought was "these better be some damn good potatoes!"
bus ride to WolPo =)
     Joyan's place is in a town called WolPo, and it is about 45 mins away from my house. The bus ride was actually pretty nice, we rode along the beach so it was nice to see the scenery. There were also some cool buildings; I think most of them are restaurants because apparently Koreans have a thing for themed buildings.
name that building! ....o_O?
White house? suuuuuuuuure

Ana and I got there a bit early, so we went for a walk to the beach.

      As people started arriving, we started cooking all the yummy food. OMG everybody was soo excited to have a real American meal!! There was turkey, mashed potatoes, pizza, mac and cheese (NOT from a box), salad, steamed veggies, stuffed mushrooms, cranberry sauce, gravy, stuffing, and chimichangas hahaha (not American, but who cares!)...and wait for it...pumpkin pie!!! YES! I was sooo happy to have pumpkin pie! And believe it or not, I ate with a fork for the first time since September 20th. Yes, I've been using chopsticks this whole time, I don't even own forks! I eat my beans with chopsticks lol. I think I am a total pro at eating with chopsticks now. I even conquered eating noodles with them muahaha Selene FTW!!
     Needless to say, it was a great night!! Great food and great company =)....and we were all thankful to have an American meal. We all spent the night at Joyan's because the last bus out of that tiny town is at 7:30pm and the only other way to get out of there is to pay a taxi, which we were not about to do. So some people played drinking games, and we watched movies...including Poetic Justice (with Kanet Jackson and Tupac)
People's shoes at the entrance...yes, we follow the Korean ways even at our own homes.
All the Yummy food...look at those beautiful mashed potatoes!
     Ana got the wishbone!             Yes, we get excited to have whipped cream and Hershey's syrup!
Pumpkin pie and ice cream...oh man! delicious! ... (bought at Costco so yes, it was the real thing!)

     Ana had invited me to go a wedding on Sunday, so we left Joyan's early Sunday morning. The bus ride back was actually very nice...sunrise along the beach, wha!?!??! Which side of the Earth am I?? Haha, it was kind of weird to see a sunrise and not a sunset at the beach, but it was gorgeous!

<--- another weird building called "love boat"
Sunrise at the beach.

      Anyways, like I said, Ana invited me to go to a Korean wedding and I was all for it. She did warn me that Korean weddings are not all that...and oh boy, was she right. But before I tell you about the wedding, I have to say RIP to my hair straightener. I wanted to straighten my hair for the wedding, and I hadn't used my straightener since I arrived in Korea because I was waiting for a special occasion. Before coming here, I did quite a lot of research about the voltage and which American appliances I could use here. Of course, blow dryers are a no-no, but there were mixed thoughts on hair straighteners. Most websites said that if the label read "120/220~" then it would be fine, so I brought my baby to Korea with me...and just in case, I also brought a voltage converter. So first I plugged in the voltage converter and it started making a buzzing noise...mmmm. I then plugged in my straightener, turned it on, and let it heat up. A couple minutes later, I went back to check on it and now the straightener was making a buzzing noise. I waited a bit and it signaled that it was ready to use, but then I saw smoke coming out of it!!! I quickly turned it off, but smoke kept coming out and it was still making the buzzing noise....and then "POP!" waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa =( *snif snif*

"Amor" Hall                                                                             The bride ^.^
So that you can feel like a princess on your wedding day.

          Back to the wedding (which I will make my number 33 on the list). I was excited when Ana told me that the wedding was going to take place at a wedding hall near our house that looks like a cheesy! It's even called "Amor marriage." I've been wanting to go in there this whole time just to check it out lol. So we got all dolled up and headed to the hall. First of all, there were like 5 other weddings going on at the same time so it was crowded! When we got to Hall #3, a lady in a hanbok (traditional Korean dress) pulled us to a little room on the side and there was the bride! She was waiting for us to take a picture...aaww how sweet! We then went outside to a side table where gifts were being collected. And when I say gifts, I really mean money. Apparently, that's what people give here, money, no gifts, which means no fun gift registries...booo. Oh and they also gave us our coupons here for the buffet.
       The ceremony began and everything looked normal up to then. But then, I noticed that as the ceremony was taking place, people were having conversations, were getting up and leaving the room, they weren't paying attention to the ceremony! Also add that there were no doors to this room so we could hear all the chattering from the people from other weddings who were outside the room. It felt rude and awkward, but I guess that's how things go here.

<----the ceremony room

       When the minister finished, the couple went to the side and blew out candles on a cake and cut  a piece. That's it. No eating or sharing of the cake =( was only for the sake of having a picture cutting a cake =/. The couple then bowed to their parents and walked down the aisle as people applauded. Then they went back to the "altar" to take pictures. First with the parents, then family, and then friends (including the two foreigners: Ana and I hahaha). Then, one chick went to the front and the photographer asked everybody to clap and look happy. This was the "throwing of the bouquet"....a pre-determined catcher of the bouquet??!?!? Whaaa?!?! No desperate single ladies diving for a bouquet??? Nope!!! Aaaaand the bride threw it twice so that the photographer could take the perfect picture....lame!

I took this pic standing behind the bride as the photographer
                                                                  took our picture.

The bride ready to throw the bouquet.

There were these flight-attendants- looking girls who were like ushers.  ---->
 We then left this room and made our way to the buffet. Oh yeah, by the way, Koreans don't really have a reception. Everybody just eats at the hall's buffet, and I mean everybody! All the other people from the other weddings eat at the same place. And that's pretty much it, after the buffet people go home.   I was told that usually as people eat at the buffet, there is a second ceremony: a traditional Korean ceremony to which only the close relatives can go. A co-worker also told me that sometimes the family has a small gathering at the bride's house, but again only relatives. And sometimes the bride and groom don't even go to it because they leave right away to their honeymoon. She also told me that weddings have become like this because real traditional weddings back in the day would take up to 3 days (ceremony wise), but that with today's fast paced society, it's   impossible (see #32 on my list lol).
Buffet time!
The happy couple came to thank us at the buffet ^^
There are also no bachelor/bachelorette parties, no bridal or engagement showers, no rehearsal dinners, no sexy garters, no speeches. Oh well, at lest they save money hahaha.
      So that was my weekend ^___^....I'm hoping that for the next few weekends I'll be doing a bit of traveling to Daegu, Geoje, and maybe Seoul! yay!!

 Night night everybody!


  1. you had me laughing. sounds like certain things they do at the wedding are for western show but they aren't interested in it. very interesting. looks like you all had a fun time at the thanksgiving dinner. did the food taste american?

  2. Yeah, it just for show :/...if they're gonna try do western things, do them right!...Oh and yeah, all of our food was American, everything was made with American products, except for the veggies, which are obviously Korean hahaha. We can find a lot of American products here, but we end up paying double or triple to price :/