Christmas is for couples and cakes

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve.
I can’t believe it’s here already.
You hear Christmas music in coffee shops and see mini plastic trees for sale, but otherwise, Christmas isn’t a big deal in Korea.
Christmas is a couples’ holiday here, and you give each other Christmas cakes.

Steve is here. I’m so glad.

So far this week, we went to Noryangjin Fish Market, Samcheongdong, Insadong and Bukchon hanok alley, and Steve hit Bugaksan Mountain, the DMZ and Namdaemun market among other places. I love traveling with Steve, because he appreciates details and nuances and adapts to situations but also is a good planner. I worried about the cold @$$ weather and me being in class during the day, but this week’s worked out well. Steve’s gone on day trips, and we’ve gotten together at night (after I’ve done homework and Steve’s bushed) to recount the day over coffee and dinner.

This weekend, we go to Jeju for Christmas. (yay!)

steve holding the airport sign i made for him

You know, I’ve been to Korea before, and my mother’s Korean. Still, we’ve eaten food this week I’ve never eaten or heard of before.


Today was the last day of class before Christmas break. We went to Lotte World folk museum. We, all ~100 of us Level 1 students, made a Korean paper bowl and walked through the Shilla, Gokoryo and Baekjae periods of history. Our teacher says the better folk museums are the Seoul National Folk Museum at Yongsan and the museum in Gyeongju.

Lotte museum is a hair cheesy. Still..it was a field trip.

We got a chance to sit next to students in other classes. So far, I’ve met Korean language students here from:

  • America
  • Japan
  • Canada
  • Columbia
  • Indonesia
  • The Philippines
  • France
  • Italy

Here’s our motley crew:


Interesting that the 4 Americans are all from the south—Susan from NC, Jonathan who graduated from the NC School of the Arts, Chelsea from Kentucky and Jordan from NOLA. Is there something about the south that makes people want to travel or just get away?

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