Koreans celebrate Valentine’s a bit different from the US. Apparently not all Koreans have gotten into the Valentine’s celebrations yet. On February 14th, women are supposed to buy candy for all the men in their lives. That can range from co-workers to bosses to more special people. And then on March 14th, or White Day, the men are supposed to buy candy for the women who bought them candy. And then on April 14th, or Black Day, all those who are single or did not get candy go out and eat black noodles.
We decided to celebrate the American way by getting each other gifts, which actually turned out to be a very interesting story. When we went on our lunch break, I walked to the flower shop and Rachel headed back to the apartment. I had seen the flower shop before, but had never been in. When I got to the store, I was not sure which door to enter because they had a lot of sliding doors, but none of them really looked they were entrances. Eventually I saw people through one door so I entered there. The flower shop was more of a greenhouse. I started out looking at the small plants and the Koreans were trying to talk with me and help me out. I ended up walking past a display of rose bouquets. I figured a whole bouquet would be like $100 because Koreans are crazy when it comes to gifts. But I did see a whole bucket of just roses. So I tried to tell the lady that I just wanted like 5 roses, and not a whole display. Well my zero Korean and her zero English left us confused. Sort of funny watching us stand there pointing at flowers. She was able to call someone and I talked with them to explain what I was looking for. Two older Korean ladies walked in with a little dog while I was leaving and I am pretty sure they all laughed at me while I was walking out.
It wasn’t until I was walking down the street with flowers in hand that I realized how funny I looked. Probably not many guys buying flowers on a day when the women are supposed to be buying things for men. O well. I stopped a convenience store on the way back to buy some Ferrero Rochers. Of course they had their display thing outside which just happened to be on a main street. Double awkwardness holding flowers and buying chocolate for everyone to see. Rachel had bought me chocolate as well so we enjoyed our spaghetti for lunch and chocolate for dessert.
After work we decided to go out to eat. So we went to Sorrento’s to get some Italian food. Just about every booth was full at the restaurant by the time we left so apparently Koreans do the whole taking people out for dinner on Valentine’s. We ordered Shrimp Alfredo, which rivaled Olive Garden’s but unfortunately the Koreans are not quite Italian Masterchefs. We also had some Bruschetta as an appetizer which came out different from we expected but still tasted good. All in all we had a romantic first Valentine’s together overseas.