There, that huge façade of white peony lattice appeared before me again! The famous opening line in Daphne du Maurier’s novel ‘Rebecca’ - “Last night I dreamt I went to Mandalay again” ran through my mind like the timid new bride Mrs. De Winter. Gosireh is indeed a beautiful sight, not only because it is BYJ’s fulfilled dream, but architecturally, it marries both old-world (traditional value) and modern design (new thinking) as harmoniously as its owner.
Immersed in my own daydream and forgetting about the passing time, cloudnine waved at me because we were the last 2 people to arrive! I quickly snapped a picture and dashed into the foyer. The main floor dining room was already packed with sisters laughing, talking and sipping their drinks.
The very kind kiyomi and sweet tamatama greeted us warmly at the reception and brought out a box for us to draw a number for our seats. Next thing I knew from the exhilarated expression of cloudnine and kiyomi that we got the last 2 vacant seats in the VIP room! Still not realizing how lucky I was yet, I thanked all the organizers and lingered on to talk to a few familiar friendly faces, but lunch really had to start.
We clumsily dragged our coats, bags, and almost the boots (you’re supposed to take them off) and practically stumbled into the VIP room. There were 10 other sisters sitting snuggly with 20+ eyes starring at us. I kept bowing, greeting (and apologizing) for interrupting and quickly slide (trust me, it was like sliding when walking briskly on newly waxed floor with socks!) to the empty seats in the center.
Ignorant of my surroundings (as usual), little did I know this is not just any seat. Cloudnine onni told me that this is HRH seat!
The seat that HRH sat on during his private trip to Gosireh last year, it then dawned on me that this room is the reason that antique entrance was built for .....
Remember he walked down these steps?
onto these large stepstones .....
into the VIP entrance of Gosireh.
This is the inside of that VIP entrance.
Cloudnine is so selfless as usual and let me sit in the HRH seat! My face must have turned red as I sensed all the sisters were watching me when I slipped into his seat. Now chinggu, you are going to pound me into a mochi :) Hehe, I was thinking if this seat is a teleporter and transported me back to 2007, I could be sitting on the laps of HRH right now, hahaha!
Before I had time to savor on my daydream, we had to hurry back to the main dining room again as kiyomi has started to speak. She shared that the ‘April Snow & now’ circle is running a fundraising campaign called ‘one coin donation’. So far they have raised 400,000 yen for World Vision, a charity which BYJ supports. The money raised today from our special lunch will be donated to 2 organizations : namely NPO for homeless people and World Vision, 50,000 yen each. I am so delighted to know that as we are savouring on Korean cuisine and enjoying each other’s company, we are also following BYJ’s example in contributing to charitable causes. We held up our glasses and drank to his health!
Next, the food .....