The next day, I showed her around my neighborhood, including Toad Park. We wanted to visit the Mural Village on the other side of town, but my mother's knees weren't doing so well, so we just stayed in Sannam-dong. For lunch, I introduced my mom to naengmyeon (냉면, a noodle dish in a cold broth), which she quite enjoyed. Afterwards, I showed her Sannam High School where I had worked my first year in Cheongju, and we had coffee and bingsu (빙수; a shaved ice dessert, often with fruit or chocolate) at a cafe near Sannam High School which offers a beautiful view of the city on a sunny day. Cafe Bom is one of my favorite cafes in Cheongju, and there are many good cafes in the city.
Although my mother had already had jjimdalk, naengmyeon, and bingsu, we thought she should try some more Korean food, especially at a restaurant that served the meal at a more traditional table setting with many pancheon (side dishes). So, we headed to Samcheong-dong, a neighborhood right next to the palace. We had galbijjim (갈비찜; marinated steamed pork ribs) for lunch and followed it up with a more traditional bingsu at a nearby cafe. Both the restaurant and the cafe were built in the hanok, or traditional Korean architectural, style. My mother really liked this lunch!
After resting in Samcheong-dong, we walked to Insa-dong where my mother bought a few gifts for family and friends back in the States. Along the way, we stopped to watch some street performers and admire the first Columbine flowers I have ever seen in Korea.
Unfortunately, her wonderful visit came to an end this morning. We woke up very early and took the bus to Incheon Airport. I was sad saying goodbye to her, but also so glad that she was able to visit. I hope in the future more family members can visit.
After completing my undergraduate studies, I accepted a chance to teach in Korea through the Fulbright Scholarship. Originally intending to stay just one year, it soon turned to three. I taught in Cheongju as an ETA from 2012 - 2015.