설날 (Lunar New Year) was pretty interesting this time around. Thursday morning I waited at 방촌 subway station in Daegu for my girlfriend’s parents to pick me up. We were supposed to go to her brother’s military base for a visit, but plans were changed so that we went to a huge temple where her father waited with mom while she prayed, so 아린 and I walked around. I bought a book of Buddhist sayings in Korean and English (I’d like to do a temple stay sometime soon, and in Korean, not English, as some of the more exotic temples don’t offer English), and a beautiful Buddhist goddess bookmark in stunning yellow, orange and red. Finally, we had a most delicious lunch at a temple restaurant.

Arriving at the house of my girlfriend’s grandmother’s about an hour later, we unloaded and began to relax. I was introduced as merely a friend, per my girlfriend’s wishes, though her parents know I’m her boyfriend; she thought it  better for family harmony that way. We ate and ate and ate, then bed time, sleeping in the boys’ room; her father tucked me in at night, and in the morning, gave me a massage.

After breakfast, we hit the road, returning to her parent’s apartment in Busan. Entranced by the mammoth model of a French ship her father made, he pulled it down and we inspected it. He joked that his daughter only ate and slept and ate and slept without studying, which isn’t okay. Her parents were impressed that I read “dictionary books” (Genji) and that I’ve written so much. At first I didn’t think her mother liked me, but, when I left two days later and she was mad that her daughter didn’t accompany me to the bus station, saying her daughter has a cold mind, my opinion of her mother changed.

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