A Korean Housewarming

When a Korean moves into a new place, all their friends can’t wait until they have a housewarming.  It just so happens that a friend of mine just moved into a new apartment.  We were thrilled because we didn’t realize she was going to be living in walking distance of our house. She plans on us visiting back and forth a lot. The housewarming was this afternoon, and everyone had a great time!  You may recognize some of the guests from other blogs.

Grace’s rice balls were really good!
Unyeong, Grace, and Joseph in the kitchen giving one another a hard time and laughing. Joo Pil and Hyeongjeong in the foreground.
Unyeong was helping by getting kimchee from the kimchee refrigerator for everyone.

Grace is the lady who had a house warming. Grace speaks English well. She went to school in America and worked in America for a while as a nurse after she finished school, but is back in Korea, married, and has a baby now.  You have seen her brother more than once in my blogs, Joseph.  Her sister is Unyeong, one of the women singing Christmas carols in my previous blog. All three of these people are some of my best friends in Korea.

The pile of gifts/ You would never see gifts like this in America.

The gifts at the housewarming was quite interesting.  They were the traditional gifts just like I have told you about. There was lots and lots of toilet paper as gifts. If you have read my other blogs, you will know that if someone gives toilet paper as a gift, they are wishing the person a long life.  We decided to give her cooking oil wishing her riches.  However, from the looks of her apartment, she is already doing really well.

From top to bottom: white kimchee (not spicy and made with pickled pears), chicken in a spicy sauce, gimbab (rolls of rice with seaweed on the outside and eggs, pickles, other vegetables, fish, and rice in the middle), fried chicken that doesn’t look spicy (but, if you take a bite, they have put chili spice in the breading), topoki (rice cakes) and kimchee in the same bowl (This stuff is also spicy).
Pasta and mayonnaise pizza
This pizza has a little bit of everything including pineapple and jalapeno peppers.


Sweet potato pizza on the left, and cheese pizza on the right/ The kids have to eat something not quite as spicy.

If anyone wants it, there is rice in the rice cooker.
We are in Korea. We must have tangerines from Jeju for desert.

The menu was very Korean.  As Unyeong was putting the chicken on the table, I asked in Korean, “Is it spicy?”  (Unyeong has tried to speak English, but has basically given it up.)  Unyeong replied, “No,”  and then she paused, “Well, a little spicy.”  I had to say, “Okay, when a Korean says, ‘A little spicy,’ I know that means it is spicy, ” and she laughed and said, “You understand a lot!”  I have learned that what is just a little spicy to a Korean may burn our mouths off and let us feel like we are burning holes in our stomachs. Yes, I have learned.


Everyone was having a great time!  If you look back over in the kitchen, you can see Grace still working on her rice balls.  She just kept working and couldn’t seem to make enough because everyone loved her rice balls.

Unyeong was standing in the door way telling how her husband had gorged himself on everything. She kept naming off all the different things he ate, and when she was done, she got more food and began poking it in his mouth!  She gets really funny!  Grace was bringing more rice balls.
Unyeong was entertaining the whole group! She was telling jokes, dancing, etc.
The little kids were off in the other room playing.
Ha Min found a quiet spot in a room where no one else was to eat and play electronic games.


Everyone laughed and talked while Grace sat off by herself making more and more rice balls with seaweed and sesame seed.  Her rice balls were really good!  While she worked, her husband kept making more sandwiches. I didn’t try his sandwiches because the meat looked a little pink which meant it was spicy, and I have a hard time trying Korean sandwiches because often they put strange things in them.

Grace’s husband kept himself busy in the kitchen making sandwiches.
Hohyun decided to lay down. I kept trying to decide if he was teasing the baby because the baby hit him with the walker or if he decided he was really full. His little girl decided to join him.


Grace finally stopped making rice balls and joined the group to eat, but when she did, her baby crawled in her lap.

Everyone had a blast at the housewarming!  They enjoyed the food. They enjoyed laughing and talking.  We all just enjoyed being together.  We had to be the first ones to leave because we had an appointment across town for me to teach a Bible class.

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