My cousin N. and her husband, Mr. T are always going to exciting events around Seoul. For instance, last week, she went to a charity dinner where she met Alex from Clazziquai, and told the singer that her cousin (that's me!) is a big fan. Whenever she has the opportunity, N & Mr. T invite me, along with the other teachers at The Hagwon, to join them. It's fun to take N up on one of her invites because you never know what's in store.
Two weekends ago, we found ourselves at the Seoul Club celebrating St. Lucia Day, a Swedish Holiday. We listened to Swedish carols, munched on saffron buns, drank glog, and ooh-ed and ah-ed over dozens of little blonde children with rosy cheeks and blue eyes. Swedish families must have a hard time walking around Seoul without encountering people who want to pinch the cheeks of their children or snap photos of them. Every kid we saw at the party looked like he or she walked out of a Gap Holiday ad.
The Swedish winter festivities concluded with a raffle, where Seong won a bottle of mushroom wine from North Korea. I'm not sure what they're doing up there in the North, but they're definitely not working on perfecting their wine-making techniques. Just the thought of the mushroom wine makes me shudder.
This past weekend, N & Mr. T invited the entire Hagwon gang to their Rotary Club holiday dinner. We were just expecting a buffet, but were met with an entertainment extravaganza! In addition to the buffet and a free-flow of wine, soju, and beer (oh my!), the evening began with a live performance by a woman pursuing a career in the music industry. She hasn't made it to Inki Gayo or anything, but she does have a song on some drama OST. I enjoyed her performance, even though she concluded her set with Frank Sinatra's "My Way", a song, as someone at the table noted, is better suited for a funeral.
The musical performance was followed by a dance lesson, where we were all forced to learn the jive. Thanks to Social Dance I back in college, I was able to keep up with the ajusshis. I think I may have even been leading at some point. It was embarrassing, yet fun.
Later that evening, one of the members of the Rotary Club, a folk singer from the 70s, who, according to N, was part of the Simon & Garfunkel of Korea (no, not SG Wannabe), brought out his tribute band. After, rocking out to numbers by Pink Floyd and Eric Clapton, "Paul Simon" joined the band and performed a few of his greatest hits, including a few songs that we were required to "twist" along to. Twisting is hard, y'all. Gidget and Elvis make it look so easy.
Since I'm normally inclined to just roll up into a ball and never leave the house during the winter, I'm grateful to have a family with a social life. :)