Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Dinner with the Family

In between all this job stuff I managed to meet JH's Mother and Sister last Saturday. JH and I have been together for about 3 months now and I have been asking him if I could meet his family. Also it seems like he has been talking a lot about me around his house and so they were starting to become curious.

Whenever you mention to other expats that you are dating a Korean guy usually one of the things they ask you is whether or not you have met the parents and how did it go. It is perceived that Korean families don't take it too well that their sons or daughters are dating a non-Korean. After the outcome with my ex I have come to realize that there really is no way to tell.

I was a bit nervous when I first heard that JH had made an appointment for us to meet. But on the day of our meeting my mind was too busy thinking about my contract that the notion of meeting his family didn't seem to sway me very much.

We met for dinner in Apgujeong in Gangnam at a Shabu Shabu place. For those unaware a Shabu Shabu place is a Koreanized version of a Japanese cuisine. Basically what you have is a pot of boiling water in the center of your table. You can chose to order a variety of foods to go in that pot to cook. Choices range from seafood, ham to beef. Usually they all come with mushrooms and sorted vegetables. This particular Shabu Shabu place was quite fancy with many dipping sauces than usual.

It was pouring down rain when we picked up his Mom and Sister from the subway station. They seemed excited to meet me. However their English skills were pretty low and I sputtered out the little Korean I know to help them get to know me.

We got to the restaurant and waited to be seated. It was that in between time where you don't really know how to act. I played it cool and joked with them as they spoke Korean. JH helped translate what everyone was talking about.

At the dinner table I was quiet throughout the meal as everyone ate. I got the usual question of "Can you eat kimchi?" and awe that I can function using chopsticks. Looking at JH's Mom and Sister I could tell their family is a petite skinny type of people, unlike my ex's which were on the plump side. Towards the end of the meal I warmed up more and joked about JH towards his family. They seemed to enjoy my humour. I felt a bit relieved that he has a sister instead of a brother. Hopefully we can go out more together and bond in that sisterhood kind of way. Of course learning and practicing Korean more would help.

It was time to leave and his sister took off to meet her boyfriend. We took his Mom home and were offered to come inside but we felt it was too late and would rather come and see the house when it is daylight.

Overall, it went well and wasn't such a big deal. From what I can tell they seemed open minded about their son and brother dating a foreigner. But I know to keep that open ended and see what they think as time progresses. I am going to find them something cute from America and bring it back as a souvenir for them. ^^

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