October 2nd was the Korean national holiday called "CHUSEOK". It's a time to celebrate the harvest time. Traditionally, families travel to the husband's home town and spend the holiday eating, drinking and relaxing. Well, the men relax anyway. From what I am told, most women do not like this holiday because of it's labor intensive burden placed on them. Nonetheless, Koreans come out in masses (the streets are clogged, some people are seen in tranditional hanbok dress) and celebrate. This is also a time to honor their ancestors with food and ceremony. To read more about that (and Chuseok in general)… click the meaning of Chuseok.
~ Let the Festivities Begin! ~
My chuseok celebrations began with a trip with my co-teacher and another English teaching friend, Amy. My co-teacher met up with her good friend, her friend's husband, twin 1st grade girls, and 3rd grade daughter. All of whom were happy to try out their English skills with Amy and myself. Amy and I enjoyed much conversation with the strongest English speaker of the group, the husband. He started almost every sentence with… "Kasham&Amy…" yes, all one word. 🙂 We stayed in a condo (Korean style– see bed photos) with an ocean view. We ate boiled chicken and had songpiong, a traditional ricecake with a sweet center.
~ Public Bathhouse ~
I went to a public bathhouse for the first time. I had no idea what to expect– except that I knew everyone is completely in the buff. The morning of this adventure, I was informed that the children wanted to go, but since no other adults wanted to go, I could take them by myself. Now, I know what you're thinking… American taboo: adults being naked with children whom are not their own & of whom they just met! lol– I had the same thoughts! Anyway, I did end up going… we will leave it at: what an adventure! There were probably 20-25 women there enjoying the public bathhouse too. I was such a strange sight for them and much conversation insued. Thankfully, it was all in Korean so I could only imagine what was being said… glad to keep it that way!
~ Other weekend activities ~
The rest of the weekend was filled with exploration: Bamboo forest, Taehwa River, hanging out with friends, etc. Overall, it was a nice weekend. Filled with a nice balance of adventure, new experiences, new friends, and rest.