Sunday, March 28, 2010

Weekend in Seoul

Dad and I had a great weekend in Seoul. Early Saturday morning, two bus loads of people left Handong at 7:00 am for the 5 hour trip to Seoul. The bride and groom had arranged for the bus and provided everyone with a breakfast bun, fruit and kimbap to snack on during the trip. We made 3 pit stops along the way - I guess they anticipated that people at that time in the morning would have weak bladders. The buses took us right to the church where we were greeted with a crowd of people. The church was huge - it had a cafeteria, coffee shop, book store, 4 floors tall with I don't know what all else. Really amazing. After milling around in the front entrance for a bit we headed up to the floor with the santuary but first making a stop to see the bride and take a picture with her. Then into the santuary to stake out a seat. At precisely 2:00 the bride walks down the isle on the arm of her father, no attendants, just the bride and her father. The ceremony was 30 minutes long. When we took our seats the auditorium was almost empty, when we stood to watch the bride walk in, I was surprised to see a crowd of people behind us, I don't know when they came in. They had the traditional music but because it was all in Korean, I'm not sure all what was being said. After the wedding, everyone went to the cafeteria where we were served an excellent feast with various types of food. The bride and groom changed into the traditional Korean outfits and returned to greet everyone. We continued on eating and they returned again at the very end, dressed very casually to say good bye to everyone as we were about to leave. No program just eating and visiting.

After the wedding, while the Handong group boarded the buses to head back to Handong, Dad and I headed for the subway station to find our hotel. At presisely 6:00 Rachel's dad, brother and brother-in-law met us in the hotel lobby and we walked to a local traditional Korean restauarant for a great meal with the family. Her mother and sister arrived later. We had a great time talking with them. The parents English was limited but the son and son-in-law spoke pretty good English. Rachel's mom has the same smile as Rachel. It was a very pleasant meal, we enjoyed it very much. They walked us back to the hotel and the son-in-law and the sister arranged to pick us up the next morning to accompany us to an English church service.

At precisily at 11:00 the next morning (this family is punctual), they arrived and we took a taxi to the church. This English fellowship for the church doesn't meet in a church building, it occupies several floors of a commercial building. It would have been difficult to find on our own. We enjoyed the service, good music and the pastor was good. After the service, they led us across the road to have lunch in a bakery where they serve breakfast and lunch. Great bread. It was a pleasant brunch, chatting and eating. Around 2:30, Dad and I caught a taxi to take us to the bus station. We boarded at 4:00 and arrived back in Pohang around 8. I slept most of the way back while Dad read his newspapers. Back in Pohang we picked up some groceries and took the taxi back to the campus. Overall it was a great weekend and we had a very pleasant time with Rachel's family. They are very warm and welcoming.

The only pictures we took were at the wedding.

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