Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Korean Night. You think you know, but you have no idea…
First, I believe it is appropriate to give you some information to enhance this experience. I am living on a hall of Korean men. They are kind and polite and relatively quiet, save for the one Korean who sings Jason Mraz’s “Geek in Pink” at the top of his lungs on a semi-regular basis. On one of my first mornings as I was getting dressed, I noticed a large shadow appear on my window. Thankfully my curtains were closed but the window was, unfortunately, slightly open. My room is adjacent to the roof which can double as a pseudo-balcony when the mood strikes. And my dear neighbor, a Korean man aged approximately 20 years, had climbed onto the roof and began knocking on my window. I was taken aback. What is this Korean man doing on the roof trying to get into my room? As some of you know may know, I am not the best in situations that may lead to embarrassment of one or more parties, so I casually moved my hand toward the window, attempting to remain out of sight by flattening myself against the wall, and closed the window shut. I thought that this would be the end of our rooftop relationship, but the next day as I was taking a nap, he began knocking again, this time with more force. I pulled the blanket over my head and pretended not to be in the room. I promised after that day, if he knocked on my window again, I would answer it. I would attempt to not be awkward and I would say to him that either A) he has the wrong window or B) do you need to come inside? But he never came back, and so the mystery remains unsolved.
Other than those chance encounters, we say “Hello” and “Good morning!” as we walk past each others’ rooms. We chat about the internet and edit their English notes for them. Clearly, Floor 2 has bonded despite the language barrier, and thus, Calley, LT and I enthusiastically awaited Korean Night 2009.
As we entered the normally bland and undecorated dining room, we were astounded by the transformation that had taken place in honor of our Asian friends. Korean flags with something like origami birds and trees adorned the cloth laden tables in the dining room. Red and white balloons lined the entryway. Sushi, translucent noodles, rice balls filled with spice, and sautéed vegetables painted the blank canvases of our plastic plates. Music heavy with whistles and chimes serenaded our intimate dining experience. Those in charge, and those who got into the Asian sensation spirit, wore Korean flags as capes. The whole dining room was a tribute, an effigy, to the great country.
Immediately following dinner was the real program complete with traditional dancing, a band concert, some type of dance/fighting, and games eerily reminiscent of reality shows made famous by their neighbor to the south, Japan. One game even required all participants to wear aprons, kick a pompon three times in a row, throw a wooden stick into a bucket and then run and jump onto a mattress while blowing out four candles. A relay of relays.
At the end, they all sang a song in Korean and told us that they loved us.
It was and will forever be: Korean Night.