Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Monday was Kibeom's birthday (I gave him a soccer ball...gold to match the red one I gave Kiyeong for his). On Monday evening, Kibeom was sent to play in the bookstore while my host mom, Kiyeong, and I went to the bakery to pick out a cake. The one we chose had a bunch of fruit and a big fat cherry tomato on top (you can see it if you look at the picture really closely). We had a celebratory dinner with some family friends at the usual restaurant, to which my host dad didn't get to until around 9:30, when most of us had finished eating. All the kids and the weirdo foreign teacher got sent home and the adults stayed in the restaurant to drink beer and keep my host dad company. They didn't end up getting home until past one o'clock, and poor Kibeom didn't get to have his birthday cake. Can you believe that? When my host mom talked to me about it the next morning she thought it was hysterical that they had "forgotten." I know birthdays aren't really a big deal in Korea, but they are a big deal to my little host brothers (when we finally DID do the cake thing on Tuesday night, we lit candles, turned off all the lights in the apartment--even the TV!--sang, and shot off little poppers) and even though Kibeom was really good about it, I could tell he was sad.