I do realize that this post is over a week late, but with this being my last week in Calgary for at least a year, I've been more than a little bit busy - more on that later.
I thought it fitting that with just over a week before Stephanie and I head to Korea, Calgary decided to hold a Korean Festival. It turned-out to be the perfect way for us to drive downtown and effectively pretend for a couple of hours that we were actually in our home-country-to-be. We checked-out a couple of martial arts displays - including this guy who looks like he would have no problem at all kicking even myself in the head.
My family decided to check-out the festivities as well. They had arrived much earlier than we did and they were able to take-in a Korean wedding demonstration. My mom even won this zany fan. Lucky girl! I think it was exciting for them to be able to see some cool Korean stuff before we head-over, a little preview if you will.
Perhaps the coolest thing about the festival for us was that we had our first taste of ordering Korean food. There were a handful of tents throughout the grounds and the ones that sold food were lined-up pretty solidly. I stood in a line, doing my absolute best to make-out the signs and decide what I wanted to have, and I guess I must have looked more than a little confused because two young Korean men eventually approached me to give me a hand. They helped me choose a dish and did their best to explain to me what each one was. It was really nice, actually. I'm hoping that when we get there, people will be as excited as the two ladies were who served us the kimchi - they seemed to be genuinely happy about the fact that we were going to try the Korean staple food for the first time - here's a photo of Steph giving it a go. Not bad at all, though I think I might prefer it in some hot soup form more.
And as we were checking out our Kimchi for the first time, who should we see but my buddy, Luke from the library and his lovely Korean girlfriend who's been visiting in Calgary for a while. It's comforting to know that the only people who are more excited about Korea than home-grown Koreans, are those I've run into who have lived there from abroad. Luke is one of those guys and he's seriously considering going back in the near future. I hope I get to add him to the ever-growing list of Calgarian ex-pats who we can chum with while in the Land of the Morning Calm.