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Smile love party

About a month ago my friend Botond and his wife So-young moved into a new flat. On Saturday, they had a party to celebrate this fact.

Habiba and I made our way from Habiba’s place. I annoyed Habiba by spending some time on the internet just before we left. (I hadn’t had much chance to get on the internet earlier: I’d had to get up early and go to my first private class. I’m giving a reading class to the boss of my language exchange partner. The class went very well, I think – I challenged her to think and talk about the book in a way she’d have been unlikely to do by herself. The book we’re doing is a children’s book about a newspaper editor mouse called Geronimo Stilton, I’m Too Fond of My Fur. After meeting my student (and being paid ₩160,000 for four weeks’ classes), I had to go and meet Ji-hyeon for our language exchange.)

Then I continued to irritate Habiba by not calling Bo from the taxi, when it started to become clear the driver didn’t know the address I’d given him (and, unusually, he didn’t appear to have a navigation gadget). He got out to ask for directions. When he came back, he dropped us off a few dozen yards down the street, and there we were at Miso Ae Apateu – Smile Love Apartments.

Although Bo and So-young’s new place is considerably bigger than their old place, it was very crowded, certainly while we were eating, as there were twelve guests in the livingroom/kitchen area. There were a number of So-young’s friends, a couple of whom I’d met a few times before; there was another Hungarian guy and his Korean girlfriend, Bo’s Congolese French language exchange friend, and a Scottish friend from his cycling group.

Bo had asked me to bring something for desert, so when I put this to Habiba she suggested rice pudding. By the time I came back from my language duties that morning she had nearly finished a panful. It was very different from any tinned rice pudding I’d had before (the last time must have been at primary school, I think) – it was much classier and less sloppy, and contained cinnamon, coconut, raisins, maple syrup. For my part, I bought a few packs of chocolate cookies that turned out to be very rich.

So we ate – I stayed away from the salad, having been advised by my doctor not to eat high fibre food. The food seemed to be very good all round, and there was lots of chat around and across the dinner table. As the evening progressed people left to go home. After the meal had been cleared away – and a projector had been set up – we watched a Hungarian film about the childhood and adult life of a gymnast. It was quite spare and understated, but engagingly grim and realistic. Everyone enjoyed it.

At the end of the evening, the half a dozen or so people who remained played a game that was a cross between Chinese whispers and consequences. One person writes a sentence at the top of a piece of paper. The next person then draws a picture of that sentence and folds over the sentence. The following player, not being able to see the first sentence, then has to write a sentence describing the picture. And so on. It was fun – there were a number of strange logical leaps – like how some geometrical shapes turned into Houston Space Center.

It was a good night and it was good to see Botond and So-young and meet some new people. I hope Bo and So-young (Bo-young) are happy in their new place.

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Categories: Employment, Life
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