Day Seven: Sunday, The Final Day of the Show
The International Fiber Arts Fair has come to an end. I still find it an amazement that I am even here, much less comprehend that it is now time to pack up to return home! Once again, unique experiences were savored on this beautiful day in Seoul, South Korea.
My sweet little roommate, Dot, had discovered a Korean Presbyterian Church with English translation on her walk on Independent Day. We decided attending would be yet one more special thing to do in this beautiful city, so off we went!
To get to the church, we needed to walk through the older part of the city — in and of itself, that was quite a thing of beauty! It reminded me very much of Europe in many ways…
As we neared the little church, it was interesting to see the Christian symbol of the cross in this predominantly Buddhist country.
Dot and I were greeted warmly — if not jubilantly! — as we were escorted to our pew and offered headsets for translation. The service was beautiful, the 21 member choir amazing, and all very much like the services we have come to expect in the United States. Perhaps it was a bit “politically incorrect”, but I was so impressed with the church and the service, I could to resist lifting my iPhone ever so slightly above the purse line to snap a picture during the initial singing during the service.
This picture doesn’t really show how FULL the church was, including people in the balcony. BTW, this is their church bus….again not so much unlike our churches and their outreach in American…
After the conclusion of the service, we were approached by the pastor and two other English speaking gentlemen from the church. They not only were so kind to allow a picture with us,
…but the also insisted that we take part in the Korean tradition of eating together in the basement social hall after the service.
These two gentlemen are both attorneys who teach law at the Seoul University. The gentleman on the left, Billy, is a contract lawyer from Texas who has been in Seoul for two years. The other gentleman in the center is his co-teacher, Han (I believe that was his name), and he teaches Korean contract law. The lady, Sulee, is a nurse who worked in San Francisco for 12 years and we later learned was the translator on the headsets during the service. Again, just a one of a kind experience, thanks to my astute little roommate!
Our lunch hosts were quick to tell us that the building next door to their church was actually now a national treasure as it once was the home of their third president. It was a modest fortress, but a fortress none the less. :):)
Before church, I actually had my long awaited coiling lesson from Danielle Bodine in the lobby of the Aventree hotel. Danielle is such a master, and such a patient teacher!
Our Polish paper artist friend, Ania Gilmore, gave Danielle and I each beautiful handmade earrings as a commemorative token of our time together. Wasn’t that sweet?!!
Our final shuttle to the Seoul Art Center took place this afternoon via the subway. Many of the buses d not run on Sunday’s, we learned, and, as luck would have it, the bus line we relied upon all week was one of them.
It is hard to describe the feelings…. It has been such an incredible adventure, it is sad to see it end. Yet, fatigue is setting in and the heart longs for the comfort of home. Every sight is now treasured…
…the art center that is shaped like an historic Korean hat…
…to the shake-your-head-shock that people are studying and photographing your work for their own pleasure!
Oh! I almost forgot to tell you about one of the wildest experiences I have had here! It occured today. A sweet lady was really interested in my work, but she spoke no English. She brought a young girl, perhaps 10 years old or so, back with her to translate. Unfortunately, the young lady was a bit too shy, and they started to leave. Quickly she turned back.
“Fisher? Sen tze ein Deutcher?”
She had lived several years in Cologne, West Germany and recognized the common German surname. I explained in German that, while I was not German, I had lived and worked there for five years, and could still speak the language. The Korean and the American then spent the next ten minutes talking about my artwork…in German!! So stinking cool! The world is a tiny place and people can always find a way to share!
The bright colors of Happy, my felted sweater piece, seemed to capture everyone and was a frequent request for picture backgrounds.
It never ceased to amaze me also just how many of the foreign artists and visitors wanted to “make picture” with us. Remember the artist from the post a few days ago who painted with her mother? I learned more about how she really did the work. It was not painted color blocks at all. Rather, the color blocks were of tiling samples collected from her father’s flooring business over the course of thirty years. As each tile aged, it’s color became darker. She matched those tiles to her mother’s work. Get outta Dodge!! How cool is that?!?
We learned that we can email each other and use the translator to understand each other… another perfect example of where there is a will there is a way!
So the show is now over, the worked packed up, memories stored, and it is time to say goodbye. Perhaps the perfect way to bid it adieu is with another, cross cultural friend…. tea…. at Starbucks!!
Till next time!