A Visit to Cheon-An

Hey there,

This post is basically a memory on the visit to my brother’s (Na Min Soo) home last weekend and goes right into my Pensieve (Harry Potter Fame).Β  If you are someone who likes to visualize places through another person’s eyes based on the descriptions, this post is suited for you. Else, please be my guest and and make some productive use of the 10 minutes you would have spent on reading this post.. πŸ™‚

Something about Na Min Soo.. He is one of the best friends, alias brother, whom I gained from MWNL, my lab. It all started with an invitation from him last month “Hey Kiran. How about visiting my home and having some Chicken which my mom prepares?” I was like.. wow .. sure bro.. why not ?? I knew then that it would be an unforgettable experience to visit a Korean Home (My first by the way) and eat home made food after so long (I miss my family… 😦 ..) Due to exams and other commitments, we could not make it during the whole of last month but we decided to go last weekend, since it was the weekend right after our exams and we thought that this would be a good way to lay off some summer heat. As an icing to the cake, the day coincided with his dad’s birthday as well. What a pleasant set of coincidences. πŸ™‚ It was Minsoo, Dongmyoung (another one of my good friends from SNU) and me, in Minsoo’s Matiz on a bright Sunday morning of June the 15th, 2008.

I was apprehensive about talking to his dad at first since i was not really good at Korean and here in Korea, respect is a must. Hence i was afraid if I would make some mistake and talk something thats not appropriate. But to my surprise, the first words Minsoo’s dad uttered after meeting me were in English. What a relief.. He made me feel really comfortable and after some time, i started behaving like the regular “non-stop-talking” me .. πŸ™‚

As in the past, after coming to Korea, I did many things for the first time in my life. Today was not left out either. As a surprise to me, we decided to have Sam-Gyeop-Sal (μ‚Όκ²Ήμ‚΄), Pork fried on coal, a very popular Korean Food and one of my favorites. The element of surprise did not lie in the food we ate, but where we ate. We decided to go to a stream originating from the mountain and cook the food on a coal fire right across it. Since it was summer, there was not much water in the stream and hence that removed all the hindrances of a nature friendly lunch. We went to the stream and found many many families and couples whiling away their Sunday afternoon in the pleasant warmth of nature. We found a suitable place for our “adventure” and the dad started making the food. We had brought Kimchi (Something like Indian Pickle), Fruit Juices, Soju (Traditional Korean Alcohol – 20% strength), Rice and Two kinds of meat. The lunch was splendid, thanks to dad, and we really enjoyed the nature friendly, on-the-stream eating experience. It was the first time for me to experience such a thing and I have taken some photographs which i will upload soon. I still have them in my D40x and hence the delay. We were given live entertainment by children playing in the water and doing their activities. It was a memorable lunch indeed.

After the lunch, we went to dad’s work place. Its a factory that makes cotton yarn. It was the first time for me to visit such a factory as well. When i saw the levels of automation, right from the feeding of raw cotton to the finished output, I, for a second was happy to be an engineer. The only human intervention that was needed was for the switching on and off and for occasional maintenance.Β  I was really impressed with the beauty of the machinery built by engineers like many of us, and as usual i took some photographs as well ( I never go anywhere with my D40x these days.. Am just addicted to the sweet li’l electronic marvel. πŸ™‚ .. )

We had cold-ice coffee to beat the summer and went sight seeing around the industry campus. When i was looking into the lengths and breadths of Korean Suburbs i was able to find that they still depended to some extend on Agriculture. There were lush green fields all around me with small houses flanking them. This was a huge contrast compared to the tall sky scrappers in Seoul. I felt home. Seriously.. I felt as if i was in Viyoor (My hometown)Β  looking out of the window of my room, which opens the view to lush green fields as well. At that moment i really really really felt homesick. Thank god i would be visiting home sweet home in less than a month from now. Oh god.. One year passed by.. Cant believe that i am one year shy of being a professional engineer at the job i could only have dreamt of, one year ago.

Anyways.. coming back to my post from the small diversion… There was another reason i felt home actually. After a one year gap, there i was, in a place resembling my home town, with two siblings and one dad., smelling the fresh countryside air, far away from the hustles and bustles of the busy Seoul Life. I wanted to buy a home an stay there, starting right then as a matter of fact.. πŸ™‚ I was missing my home to that extent..

Since Minsoo knew that i never travelled in a Korean Train before and that I had really wanted to travel in one, if possible today, after departing from the factory, we went to a train station and he bought us, Dongmyoung and me the train tickets back to Seoul. I was really happy. It did feel like a big-bro buying the tickets and giving it to his younger bro saying “Here Kiran. Let your first train journey be a gift from me”.. So kind of him .. BTW .. the word “Kind” is used extensively in Korea as an adjective to a person. I haven’t used that word to describe my friends, even once in India. I guess that’s just Korean English..

Since we had about 2 hours before the departure of our train, we came back to Minsoo’s home and continued the birthday celebrations. We ate Tiramisu cake and watermelon and took some photo printouts using the hand-held USB photo printer Minsoo had gifted his dad today. Post, we started off for Cheon-An railway station to catch our train back to Seoul and with a pack of Walnut Cookies (traditionally popular with its origins in Cheon-An) gifted to us. En-route to Seoul I was able to take some pretty decent shots of Building 63 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/63_Building) , from an angle I had never had a chance to see it from.Β  Will upload them too soon @ my photo gallery in Picasa.

And yeah since we were so full with all the food, today we could not taste mom’s Chicken dish. Minsoo told me that he would eat my share in the night, on my behalf.. I am sure it was delicious.. wasn’t it Minsoo? πŸ™‚ I hope i can taste it the next time i visit Cheon-An

Thank a million Minsoo.. Thank you for this memorable day where i felt a part of the wonderful family you have..

Kiran

PS : starting my internship at Samsung this thursday. I would be working in System R&D Center in Telecommunication Networks @ Samsung head quarters in Suwon. Will post about it once i start the internship. Pretty excited i must say. A first step to corporate life before starting my dream job πŸ™‚

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9 Responses

  1. I haven’t eaten Korean home made food for ages…
    While I was attending highschool I used to visit my friends’ houses and have dinners with their families. I totally agree with you that the taste is superb and differs from what we eat inside and outside of campus.

  2. how r u……………… used to read all ur mailzzzzz ok…… ellam star cheythu soookshikunundu nyan………… korealu vanna exp aayi enikku……… hehe………… keep on posting ok

  3. @ Dilshod : Hey bro.. seriously.. They are at both ends of the world.. I miss my home !!

  4. @ Neetu : Hmm thank you thank you .. thats an honor πŸ™‚ keep reading ..

  5. very interesting, Kiran. keke.
    Hope you to update more story in Seoul.^^

  6. @ Minsoo : κ³ λ§ˆμ›Œμš” ν˜• ^^ Thank you so much for inviting me to your home.. Hope that i can visit it again!! ^^

  7. […] Posts A Visit to Cheon-AnA Korean First Birthday CelebrationAboutOh My Dear, I Miss You!![Photography] The World Trade Center […]

  8. Hey nice post..It must be difficult for u to stay far away from ur family ..I understand…Good to know that ur intern has started and I wish u all the best for ur intern..Do well..Bye.

  9. […] i had written in my post on the visit to Cheon-An, i have uploaded the pictures in my online web gallery. Check it out if […]

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