Monday, September 19, 2011

A Korean Wedding... or two- May & June 2011

I know I am in that Wedding-Time of Life, when all our loved ones are starting down that wedded road together. I just didn't anticipate continuing that chapter in our Korea-life, but luckily we have had special invitations (more because we were working mates and less because we were established bossom-buddies) to TWO co-worker weddings. 

We also have the great luck to know a well written Wisconsin work/friend mate who has already put into words our shared experiences and reflections of both Jade and Jenny Teachers' Weddings. Is this a cop-out? Sure it is... but I got permission from Rose and we should all try to work smarter not harder... that's not really a deep sentiment I practice daily or anything.  

Please enjoy Rose and Shane's words from their Busan blog: Soju Cocktail, and take some extra time to read more. Read much much more! 

Monday, September 12, 2011

An American Wedding- July 16th, 2011

This year has been a time of many incredible events, one being my mister and I making this trip to Busan, South Korea to teach English. Another being my sister, Nicole, getting married to a man named Dan... I shall continue to call him an obvious nickname... Danskin. If you know Kent, my mister, then you also know that he is a fierce haggler. So, when SLP, our private school employer, wanted to hire us Kent negotiated for me to have a week off for the Chu-Gaspar wedding, which was in Texas. June rolled around and the planning commenced. A Mexican, man friend was able to cover my classes so I prepped the materials and he came by a couple times to meet and greet the kids. This unintentionally put the fear of Buddha in the children... seeing a 6-foot 2-inch brownish man with some thick facial hair... 
"Teacher, Amanda Teacher... change-ee dark, man teacher? Amanda Teacher finish-ee SLP??" 
"No Ruben Teacher is here for ONE week." 

I said anyeong to Kent at 5:30am on Tuesday, July 12th and arrived saying aloha at 3:50pm on Tuesday, July 12th. Total flight time 14 hours and 45 minutes... it's confusing to do the math. 

I hit the ground running and made it from the airport to an AAA office to get my International Drivers Permit (Kent Teacher and I would later rent a car on a Jeju Island vacation... more in a future post). My lack of effort in the esthetics department resulted in a permit photo like this one:

After running errands, we made it back to Tut's house and Nicole laid out the agenda for the rest of the pre-wedding week. From there out, life was a blur of activity. Somewhere in there was a visit to a floral wholesaler, 10 trips to the airport (one of which was to pickup Kent's sister, Bonniejean, and mom, Debora), home meals, restaurant meals, visiting with family, seeing the final Harry Potter, making any and all things that one would find at a wedding reception... barely making the list of accomplishments in the pre-wedding week was sleeping. It was all a wonderful fury of happiness and focused energy.

Boys pulling their wait and doing wedding chores...
for 20 minutes. 
Me and Mama Hutch

Dad and Bon

3am Waxing Party

Some delicious Baja Taco

Bridal Shower Babes Luncheon
Bridal Shower Luncheon Babes

More Bridesmaid Babes
Rehearsal Directing

Bros of the Bride

Our Femi-Trinity of Power

By the rehearsal, the wedding party moved and responded like a well oiled machine, lubed by humor and a little alcohol. Dan and Nicole were ready for the big day, both of them with a calm aura about them. 
Wedding Day: Girls got their hair done and faces all dolled up, then we all changed at the house suite on site. Almost all of the photos were finished before the wedding, getting all the nerves out early. The ceremony had sweet southern charm with tender midwest heart, and I... I had a bee in my bonnet. Literally, I enjoyed the wedding being sidekick to my beautiful sister while in a zen-like trance, trying to discourage a bee attack. I thought I was playing it cool, and that I hadn't drawn any attention until I looked out into the guests. I saw Nani motioning for me to flip my veil, Lisa motioning that something was inside my veil and my dad motioning to Gianna (another beautiful sister who was standing right next to me) to stop staring at my veil. 

Our beautiful Nicole-ee and proud Mama
In the end, the loving words of our cousin-in-law/minister Bobby, Danskin and Nicole made for a touching, short-n-sweet ceremony. The reception, however, was too fast and the food was too delicious and before I knew it I was saying enough goodbyes to last another year or two. 

Me and sister Gianna
(I mean she's my sister, not a nun)

The Tutu's House Gang
Drea, Laura, Megan & Lauren
(Left to Right)

Me and my sister BonJeanBean
(technically a sister-in-law but
that's not how is plays out in the real world)

Kent joined the newlyweds and I in a laminated 2-D form.

Kent and sister Victoria

Nani trying to feed Flat Kent.
She's Italian and she's saying he looks too thin..
"Eat, Kent! Eat!"

A dance floor that was never lonely.

I have a good memory of my send-off back to Busan. Tutu, my mom, dad and Moke all waited with me until I finally had to head through security. We reminisced about the night and about some other everyday things, but it was  one of the handful of moments from the week that paused enough for me to capture it into clear memory. 

The night I got home to my husband, I revealed the smuggled goods (like, peanut butter, beans, beer, ranch and curry seasonings, tortillas and scotch) and unloaded all of the stories and pictures. It was a great time and we look forward to seeing what adventures they'll have in their long, married lives together. 

Congratulations Nicole and Danskin!! We love you.

Welcome to the family, Dan!!!
In Korea the man takes the woman's name.
No, that's not true. It's just a funny photo.
PS- My dad used some of his businessman points to upgrade my seat on the long flight from Texas to Japan. I then saw how the other side travels. The meals came in courses, the movie list came in an extended version, my cup came with a bottomless feature and my seat came with a "be totally comfortable" button, AKA it reclined into a bed. The flight attendant was a Japanese version of a moody/femmy Chris Kattan, who I won over with a compliment about his bracelet bangles. Ahhhhh. It was a good time and I learned something about myself too. 
Dad, now I want to be a businessman when I grow up.