Have a fabulous 2012


Gaga: Rest in Peace (b.2002 - d.2010)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Eve in Seoul

...My first ever Christmas eve was at Bob's place,  a classmate and also a professor, on December 24th. 2002. He is one of the coolest people I've ever met! Anyhow, it was my first year in Korea and my first semester at the graduate school....half of my classmates at that grad school were also teaching English there since it was absolutely FREE for them to study further.

Anyhow, it was Bob who especially asked me to come join him on Christmas Eve and a couple of others who couldn't visit families for Christmas back in States. I had no idea what to expect? However, to be on the safe side, I carried with me some 'chaplie kebabs' and made broccoli and cream soup in his kitchen! I also made some palak. Everybody loved the food. The fun part is ...I had no idea that on Christmas Eve people abstain from meat and that day, everybody tasted the kebabs.  I was wondering why there was 'no - meat - dish' and probably that was also the reason why Bob made chickpea curry and emptied the entire jar of achar (mango pickles), aside from chickpea curry he made a couple of dishes and different sorts of cheese and pie and not just that he brought  some new board games and shared childhood memories of what Christmas eves and Christmas days were like??

Bob's one of those people who love art, literature, political discussions with Dr. Dawson and cooking. His small apartment was like a small museum but at the same time a small library and then a small tea house - 3 in one. He loved Buddhists art work and had quite a collection. Sculptures and  paintings were aesthetically placed in that small place that it never gave a feeling of being crammed at all despite being very small. His was place where on entering the door - it was impossible not to have a sense of being welcomed, it was so homely, so cosy. Bob painted his apartment rooms in orange and bright yellow and his kitchen red with one wall deep blue. His mom used to send a variety of Cheese from America which he always shared with us.....hundreds of teas, spices and his experimental cooking surprised us all. He cooked some wonderful curries by downloading recipes and working on their details with passion. His get-together, potlucks and tea parties gave us a chance to listen to great debates between him and Dr. Dawson or him and Rob.It is something that I'll always miss. Bob left Seoul to work for the State Department and was posted in Indonesia and then Burma. He is now teaching in a university in Florida and I'm gonna meet him when I'll visit my folks!

I still remember the lively conversation on that cold, windy night....my first Christmas Eve. All I know is that it is time for family and firends to get together and enjoy time - at least, that's how it works at Bobs'.