Saturday, May 23, 2009

Old Friends

After watching the X Games I went to Gangnam, to meet up with some of my old students, who I first met whilst teaching in England. I was taken aback by the number of people who turned up and it was so nice of everybody to have made such an effort. One of my friends Jeon, had even travelled the length of Korea from the Busan area to come out with us.

It was so great to see everyone, most of whom I hadn't seen for nearly a couple of years. It's funny, but when you get older time just seems to pass so much more quickly.

It so was interesting to find out about where everyone now was in their lives and how things had changed since the last time I had seen them. Everyone was doing well for themselves, whether it was at work or at university. Some like Harry and Jane, had got married after meeting in England and others like Tae-sok and Jinny, had had a lovely baby boy called Min, who they brought along for everyone to see.

We ended going out to about three different places in Gangnam for food and drinks and we all had a great time. 'Gangnam' means south of the river and represents one of the newer areas of Seoul as it has gradually expanded outwards. Most of the area was built during the 1980's after land speculation caused a real estate boom in Korea. Now it's one of the most thriving areas in Seoul with it's high rise skyscrapers, shopping facilities and great nightlife.

We had lots of traditional Korean food plus lots of soju, which is a rice wine and this definitely helped to liven up proceedings for everyone. Soju is served straight from a shot glass and it's alcoholic content is usually between 24% to 34%. One of the most appealing things about it is definitely it's price, you can get a bottle for around 2000 won, which works out about 1 pound.

I also tried bulgogi, which is beef that has been marinated in soy sauce. In the middle of the table sits a grill with hot coals in it and on top of this you place the meat and vegetables to cook them. After the meat is cooked you take it and place it in some lettuce with vegetables and sauces and you then roll it up in your hand and it eat it. It's delicious, although the method of eating it is the perfect way to ruin your clothes if your your not careful, especially if you've had a little bit too much soju.

I had a great time, although we all probably overindulged a bit on the alcohol front. By about roughly 3.00 o'clock in the morning(at least I think it was) the effects of our soju fuelled reunion were beginning to take effect, so I thanked everyone for a terrific night, then we all said our goodbyes and promised to meet up again soon.

For all the photos click here.