The temple was beautiful as all temples seem to be here. There were stone bridges everywhere and bright flower pots lining the paved walkways. Situated inside this fairyland-like park was the Tongdae Temple. It is said to be one of the largest temples in Korea. Inside the park, there was also a building that held ancient Korean artifacts and Buddha paintings. It has the largest Buddhist canvas painting draping from the ceiling to the floor. In order to gain access into the building, you have to take off your shoes, check your bags, and leave all cameras and cell phones at the admission counter. Katie and I followed instructions carefully as reverence and respect was of upmost importance. After our best attempts at respect and reverence in the temple museum (much harder than you think, when faced with a “sharting” middle-aged Korean man), it was clearly time for a brewski.[frame align=”center”][/frame]
As soon as our feet hit the bottom step, there were elderly Koreans in our faces greeting us. They were pouring us drinks, feeding us food, and insisting we come to their tables to sit and talk to them. Of course, we took them up on these offers. Katie and I happen to have real soft spots for wrinkly geezers, especially ones throwing down drinks, collegiate style. They were making us drink a beer in one shot. Their hips were moving like they’d never been replaced, and they were singing songs with tremendous passion and commitment.[heading style=”1″]Before we knew it, they were shoving Katie and I up to Karaoke. (Norae Bang, as they call it.) Our song: “Livin’ on a Prayer”. Our performance: Rock solid. Our air guitar solos: Flawless. [/heading]We stayed and partied with the fogies for a good two hours. Suddenly, it was 9pm, and it was time to get lost in the farm fields of Korea. That is, until the three old ladies that were obsessed with Katie and I asked us where we were from. We told them, “Busan.” They said, “Oh, we from Busan. You ride bus home with us. Sit. Drink. We go together soon.” Crisis averted. Entertainment with the elderly, back on.
Around 9:30 or so, we climbed on the tour bus with our new Korean grandparents and made our way back to Busan. The three grandmothers that couldn’t keep their wrinkly hands off of us begged us for our numbers. I don’t have a cell phone yet. Katie took one for the team and exchanged numbers with our newest gal pals.[frame align=”center”][/frame]
The next morning, I woke up to Katie calling to tell me to get up and get my shit together. We were to have “tea” with one of the grannies from last night. She had been calling Katie since 8am trying to meet up with us again. For some reason, Katie and I agreed, and I got up, showered, put on my Sunday best, and headed to Granny’s house to meet her grandkids and go out to lunch. Granny paid for us and insisted we do it again next Sunday.