Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Gyeongbuk EPIK Get-Together in Daegu

The get-together or “business trip” that Gyeongbuk EPIK (English Program In Korea) held turned out to be quite the pre-holidays party.

With accommodations at the New Young Nam Hotel in Daegu, all English teachers met in the hotel’s swanky, tinseled-up restaurant, carrying wrapped boxes of gifts from the Gyeongbuk EPIK managers.

We had a glorious feast prepared for us – buffet style – where you could find fresh, handmade sushi, pork ribs, sticky in a lush, red sauce, buttery pastas, spiced sausages, delectable desserts, and more…

Listening to some quality music from two exceptionally paired vocalists, all of the teachers happily ate to their satisfaction, drank as much beer as they could (the restaurant’s home-brewed beer was free and unlimited until 9:00pm), and opened their presents. Our lovely holiday gifts from our managers turned out to be a solid black EPIK organizer, a smashing black bag for our books and groceries, and the traditional Korean game yoonori – a typical ‘get-to-the-finish-line’ game played on New Year’s Day (sometimes involving money :)).

Taking in some holiday caroling from the Andong teachers (including Corey and Ilana), and cheering on or sometimes sympathizing with some of the other English teachers’ experiences, the night finally came to a close, and most of the teachers left for their homes…

MOST of the teachers.

The unlimited, home-brewed beer was quite tempting. Especially since that beer had a slight caramel-like accent, a rich aftertaste, and was served in rustic, two-and-a-half-litre glass bottles. Suffice to say, we had our fill of it.

With the few teachers that were left, Ken and I took out our newly-received yoonori game, and we all started to play, throwing 1,000 won ($1) bills into our betting pot.

I won the game, of course, having years of experience throwing the four yoonori sticks with a personalized technique. The boys were certain that I was cheating. My prize – 3,000 Korean won. I left the remaining 1,000 won in the pot to keep the game going.

Minutes after the following dialogue, Ken and I decided to call it quits.

“Jess, it’s your turn,” Ken would say.

I would reply back, “Ken, I’ve already won (showing him my three 1,000 won bills).”

(circling around one round of players…)

“Jess, come on, it’s your turn,” Ken would say, again.

“Ken,” I would stress back, “I’ve already won.”

After a couple more cycles of this, I decided to retire Ken. We, and two others, were the last ones left in the entire restaurant.

Thank-you for another wonderful experience, EPIK. We’re so fortunate to have you.

- Jess

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for taking care of Ken. I'm so glad that you guys have each other!