We started the day off by waking up to pouring down rain. We knew that we were meeting the President of University of Incheon, the weather put a damper on our wardrobe, and so we all were casual but very nice looking still. The drive to UI was not that long. When we arrived we met the other “buddy students” and they took us to the UI tower to show us the nice view since we could not walk around campus due to the heavy rain. The weather here is very cool, probably 60 or 65 degrees. It is a nice change from the hot South Carolina summer.
After the view from the tower we went back to the Administration Building and met President Ahn Kyung Soo. He gave us a letter opener and pen as a gift. We talked with him with Mr. Choi translating while we had traditional hot green tea to drink.
Lunch was served on campus. Mr. Soo told us everything we were eating. We had pork, duck, squid (that was not the calamari we see in America, very scary looking) it was all very chewy. As the other meals we had many different types of vegetables mainly in a salad type dish. In Korea for many business meetings alcohol is served with the meal. We all had a glass of Korean famous Chungha, rice wine. To me it was sweet, similar to Moscato wine.
At this point we were all starting to get tired so we were treated to some coffee at the coffee house on campus. This was very nice because it was still raining and the wind was blowing. While we drank our coffee we talked with the UI buddy students. Korean dramas, American dramas, music and differences in Korean and American government and politics were discussed.
At 2:30 we “removed” ourselves from UI and went to Korean Culture House. There we learned how to make rice cakes and decorate them. It was a lot of fun sifting the rice powder and making it into the cake form and then rolling out the decoration dough and making flowers with them to place on the rice cakes when they were finished cooking.
To go along with the rice cakes we went to another room where we learned how to conduct a tea ceremony. We got to make the green tea. I believe I made pretty decent tea. For it to be green tea it tasted pretty good. After making the tea we got to eat the rice cakes we made. They did not have much of a taste but were still good.
Hanbok are the traditional Korean wear for formal events. We all were dressed in these. They are very colorful. Certain colors and symbols have different meanings. They are two pieces. The skirt part has straps for your arms to go through and the top part fits on like a jacket would.
For dinner we had “Kraze Burger.” It is a burger diner that has scenes from NYC on the walls. It is located in a very modern section that reminded me of SoHo. It was a very cute street. The burgers were delicious. Mr. Choi asked if we would like to have a beer with our dinner, so I wasn’t going to turn him down. I chose to have a Korean beer over Budweiser or Corona. I was served draft Cass Beer. It was a very light tasting beer and very good. I doubt I can find it in Greenwood when I return.
Tomorrow (Tuesday) we will go to Yeongheung Island. We will spend all day there and also stay in a house UI has rented for the night for us. On Wednesday we will pack up from the island and go to the DMZ. On the itinerary it says that will be a 6 hour tour.