Sunday, April 23, 2006

Rohgan Family’s Farewell Dinner for Us

I met Rohgan and his family at the Tourist Information Center of Gwangju’s Downtown for their farewell dinner to us, Mus, Agnes and me. Mus got an emergency call from a fellow countryman who has a labor problem so he did not join us for dinner. Nazik our new intern was introduced to the family and liked so much the sweet and well behaved children of Rohgan – Suyon and Nohgan.

Joyce came last night from Suwon to say goodbye to us interns. She gave suggestions for our planned trip to Gyeongju. As always playing her role as our tour guide, she dutifully toured us before around in Seoul and introduced us to her officemates and stayed for overnight at their Suwon office.

Also, she helped Agnes plan out for her trip to Seoul before she goes back to Indonesia. Joyce slept over our place and we had brunch together. She was also at the Tourist Information Center with Mus whom she accompanied to buy some stuff downtown. So I hugged my teary eyed friend Joyce goodbye and prod her to come again to the Philippines.

Nohgan did not recognize me with my short hair. He asked his mom , “ Is he Pete Ajoshi?”

Rohgan brought us to Folk Village Restaurant and had a daegi kalbi, grilled pork, I feasted on the mushroom and the doenjang paste with green chili. Nadira wrote down the name of the dishes for her to remember them. She crossed her eyes in wonder that it was just the appetizer we had since she’s already full.

For the main and last menu we had green iced noodles – Chorella and another variety which is spicy and sweet. We arrived at the restaurant around 5:30 pm. An hour of dining, families start pouring in, some with their small babies with them. When we left the place, the waiting line is up to the door’s entrance. I got two handkerchiefs for a send-off gift that was chosen by Nohgan, I was told by his dad. True to tradition, the “second session” invitation was not missed out in our dinner date. Rohgan invited us to their house for a tea this time not to a Hof or Soju Bar since the lady companions are not alcohol drinkers.

On the street Nazik saw vendor and got curious what they were selling. She bought the dried fish (____) that was heated on the fire. The lady vendor came after us since we were short of 1,000 won of what we got. The children liked it but Nazik not so fond of sweet food just tasted it. (I learned though that she liked kim the dried seaweed so much and so I gave her some from the pack we had opened when we had the brunch).

Rohgan brought two round tables. One table contained a plate of strawberries and fresh tomatoes, the other table contained the tea set. We had exchange on Korean education and culture. Rohgan said he does not want to pressure his children on their education like other parents do. We also traced on the globe the country where Nazik came from which is Kyrgyz Republic. Nazik told us how Korean men - and women – are called in her country. Suyon was not on her entertaining mood so she did not perform to us her song and dance repertoire. Rohgan drove us back home.

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