Monday, December 13: Alex sleeps in while I schlep into work today. Again, he visits the DVD bang during the day. In the evening we go to Lotte Cinema to see The Tourist, with Angelina Jolie & Johnny Depp; it’s quite cute. We have an exciting dinner at Mr. Pizza afterward, where we are the last customers of the night.
In the evening, I expose Alex to the samgyeopsal and noraebang experience with Anna, Seth, Maurice, Myrna, Lilly and Ben. Samgyeopsal consists of thick, fatty slices of pork belly meat (similar to uncured bacon). Usually diners grill the meat themselves and eat directly from a grill. It is often dipped into a spicy pepper paste and wrapped in lettuce leaves along with other vegetables. Noraebang, literally a “song room,” is similar to what we Westerners know as karaoke; it’s different in that a group of friends rents a room for an hour or two by themselves, and the public is not involved (as in Western-style karaoke).
At noraebang, Alex wears dreadlocks and belts out songs along with the rest of us, losing all his inhibitions.
Wednesday, December 15: Tonight, we go to my neighborhood Italian place for dinner, visit an outdoor Asian market near my house, and then try a different DVD bang where we watch The Time Traveler’s Wife, which happens to be the first book I read when I got to Korea in March.
Thursday, December 16: Tonight, we go to downtown Daegu and eat fat juicy hamburgers at Gorilla Burger. Later that night, Alex, prone as he is to making exaggerated sweeping statements, says, “This is the best December I’ve ever had in my lifetime!” This is so much in character for him; I remember when he was a little boy and he’d meet some random kid at a soccer game and he’d say, I just made a new best friend today, Mom!