Saturday, November 26, 2011

Walker Hill Hotel

One of the perks of teaching in an international school overseas is the fact that you tend to be respected and appreciated a bit more than you are in the States as a teacher. In South Korea, in particular, teachers are very well respected and there tend to be great benefits when families that can afford to send their children to prestigious international schools appreciate the teachers at those schools. Last night we reaped the benefits!

the ice sculpture in the entrance when we arrived
One of these families has a son in the middle school and a daughter in the high school, so they hosted a dinner for the middle school and high school staff to show their appreciation for us. It was unlike anything I have ever seen before! Thankfully, we had warning that it was going to be fancy, so we dressed up (me in the only dress I brought that's too nice for school and Eric in one of his new suits). Yes, we did manage to find a babysitter. And we headed to school where they had arranged for a bus to transport us all to the Walker Hill Hotel (which they own--among other things). We actually ate in the same "villa" that the President stays in!

This year they did buffet style, but we've heard that in years past it has been more of a 7 course meal. We also heard that this year the dinner was a bit more relaxed allowing everyone the chance to mingle and feel comfortable rather than out of place (which I certainly appreciate!). We started with cocktails and then our hosts delivered a short speech before dinner was served. I think that there was nearly any food that you could think of in this spread. There was a pasta bar, a barbeque outside that had beef tenderloin, lambchops, kalbi, and ribeye steaks. There was a sushi and sashimi bar. All of these things were prepared right in front of you. They would ask you what you'd like and then put it on the grill for you. There were many different types of salads, breads, rolls, and antipastos. There was a shark fin and crab soup. There was grilled eel, fried chicken, and mayonnaise shrimp. There was more food than I ever could have tried, but we all did our best...I think Eric had 4 full plates and I had 3 less full plates.

Eric enjoying his wine and Bennett being himself
The best part may have been the desserts....or they may have just been the most photogenic...either way, who wouldn't enjoy a chocolate-topped cream puff sprinkled in gold flakes?! flakes...

my dessert plate and coffee...I kind of got the impression they would have brought me anything I'd asked for...I wonder if they could have made me a gingerbread latte?!

The evening ended with some wonderfully entertaining norebang (Korean for karaoke). Karaoke is huge here...a very regular past time for the younger crowd. A norebang is actually a small room where people can go to do karaoke with just their particular group.

these guys sang the final song of the evening, "Lean on Me", but everyone was very entertaining--you know how it goes--a lot of people with no ability to sing mixed in with a few very talented people!

and the evening ended with the cake they sent home with us...I had to get a picture of it in front of our Christmas tree last night...because of course they hadn't provided enough yet, we each needed our own cake to take home with us!

I don't think we've ever felt so appreciated!

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