We have been fortunate enough to make some pretty amazing friends during our time here in Korea. It's funny how the knowledge of something suddenly makes that thing more visible. Allow me to explain my vagueness~ you know the first time you notice a Dodge Durango, and then from that moment on you see hundreds of Dodge Durangos on the road? Well the same goes for international teachers. While it seems like a stretch, stick with me... before moving to Korea, I only knew of a few people that lived overseas teaching English and the same went for my family. After moving here, everyone and their mother in law knows someone who is currently or has in the past, taught overseas. See what I mean about the Durango? Well, on to my post about friends... We had never actually met the Newtons before arriving in Korea, but through mutual friends and plenty of "Oh you are moving to Korea?! My friends are moving there too!", we formally met Chad and Joanna and it was "friends at first sight".
Now fast forward a few months from our first meeting and we arrive at "Seoullal"~ Korean Lunar New Year which is the biggest holiday all year here in Korea. We decided that a trip to Daegu to be with friends would be the best way to spend the holiday! Oh, did I mention it was the bigest holiday of the year? Yea, well, we tried to be all organized and plan ahead so while we were still in America we tried to buys KTX (bullet train) tickets. The website said we couldn't buy them until a particular day in January... on that day we got on to buy them and *kabam!* they were all gone! We moved on to the slow train... same story, different sound effect. Finally our friend, Jin was sweet enough to hunt around for us and found us bus tickets. While the 4 hour ride wasn't what we were planning on, we were just happy to have transportation and the bus wasn't really that bad. We left straight after work on Friday, boarded a bus at 8:45pm and arrived at the Newtons shortly after 1am :)
They had the cutest hostess/congratulatory gift waiting for us :)
Remember how I said that we celebrated Robert's birthday while in Daegu? Well, we did and it was quite the party! If you know Robert at all, you know he is pretty low key. He has put up with all my parties very graciously but his personal preference is the less hoopla, the better. Following suite, we had a cozy little dinner at an Indian restaurant, following by games, coffee, and dessert at a coffee shop.
The atmosphere at the coffee shop was perfect. We sat outside on an indoor patio and had heaters and blankets which just made it even more cozy.
If I had to condense the entire weekend into 5 words it would be this:
coffee-shop* scrabble* laughter* more scrabble* coffee
Daegu will actually be our nearest big city when we move to Gimcheon so they were good enough to act as tour guides and show us all the best spots, including very yummy restaurants...
We had late nights and late mornings... some of us didn't even want to get up then! :)
Friends from nearby, Pedro and Kirstey, came to spend part of the holiday too. It was great seeing them again and getting better acquainted with them!
Not only did we play Speed Scrabble all weekend, there was always a game of Words with Friends or Wordle going on too! :)
Pedro and Kirstey introduced us to a really neat place: a Game Cafe.
It's exactly what it sounds like... You pay either for an unlimited amount of games plus a drink, or you pay per game. When you are seated you are given a menu of games and you can choose as many as you want! It's the greatest thing ever! Why they don't have them in the states is beyond me.
After the game cafe, we headed to an indoor golf range with an interactive screen. It was pretty amazing! There are cameras and sensors on the ball which coordinate with the screen while you hit the ball outside into the open net. It's like a driving range and WII golf put together :)
It was a fabulous weekend with friends, but also bittersweet as it was the last time we will see them for awhile. They have finished their year here and are heading back to the states. A sad aspect of living here in Korea is all the goodbyes you have to say. You meet other teachers, make connections and then have to part. We had many great times with the Newtons and are sad to see them go. We wish them all the best on their return to the states.
We got home around 2am to a ground covered in snow :)