Spring not yet Sprung

18 Mar

It’s a quiet Sunday at English Village.  I am working today as I am still on  the “weekend shift” along with a small collection of colleagues.  The promise of Spring it seems was just a tease as a cool winter bite has returned to the air.

There are groups of Korean students visiting English Village this weekend not related to our regular teaching program. Truthfully, I am not sure why they are here or what they are doing.  They wear school uniforms and are lead by Korean teachers.  I just walked out into the hall and stumbled upon a group of them leaving a classroom.  One of the Korean students caught my eye and I smiled and waved.  She giggled in typical Korean girl student fashion and waved back.  I said “hello.”  She said hello back and began to giggle even more.  It’s fun have these brief interactions with students and visitors where even just smiling and saying “hello” can make a difference.

Last night I had the pleasure of having dinner and chanting with some of my friends from the Seoul SGI Buddhist Group.  It was such a treat to see them and chant with them.  We grabbed a bite for dinner just up the street. It was refreshing to be surrounded by the sounds and smells of Korean food and good company.  I ate something called Galbi Tang, which means rib soup.  It was… really good!  It’s a simple soup filled with rice noodles and short ribs cooked in the broth for a VERY LONG TIME… hmmm… not sure how long…  We took the ribs out of the soup and ate the remaining meat on them and then enjoyed the broth with rice noodles, mushrooms and what looked to me like green onions.  Oh it was so good.  One of my dinner companions, originally from Korea but who spent many years in the US, told me that Galbi Tang is good for your health and helps to give you energy!

Earlier this week during my “weekend” (which is Wednesday and Thursday, by the way, and does not feel like a weekend!) I wandered across the street to the neighboring art community called Heyri Artists Village.  It was a bit of a strange visit for me as I entered the village from what must be the “back side” just across the street from English Village.  As I walked past what almost looked like abandoned houses and streets and with no one else in site besides me, I wondered if I had gone the wrong way.  As I followed the road I found some comfort as I moved towards the more central area of the Art Village.  It was a coldish Wednesday afternoon and wasn’t a big day for tourists.  With winter still lingering in the air and the surrounding “dead” hills and trees, there was not much activity.  But still, I saw the “promise” of an interesting place to visit as the weather gets warmer and the area comes back to life.

It appears that artists live on-site and have their own little shop to sell their goods.  There are also different cafes and shops dotted throughout the village.  They even have small motorized bikes that you can rent to weave your way through the streets.  I saw one young Korean couple motoring their way around.  They couldn’t have been cuter with her at the wheel and him sitting behind her, slender and soft wearing his thick-rimmed glasses and reading the Village map.

The streets of English Village continue to become more alive, although it does feel like we are trying to will away the edge of winter and invite Spring… even though she is not quite here.  We have more visitors and guests on the weekends.   The “Edutainers”, American performers at English Village, are in the streets singing songs by popular American artists (Billy Joel, Michael Jackson). This week we begin our “busy season” as once again English Village will be flooded with visiting students.

What about your life?  Is there anything new “coming to life” as Spring may be threatening to make an appearance?  It’s always great to hear from you!

Top image of ceramic roses in full bloom on a cool winter/spring day at the Heyri Art Village.

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