Thursday, September 23, 2010

Strange compromise

Yesterday was Chuseok, the biggest holiday in Korea. We had to go to Sejin's parents for the celebration. I can't lie. I do not enjoy the Korean holidays. Sejin's parents' apartment is very small and all of his relatives squish in there for the festivities. Me, Sejin, Grace, his parents, brother, grandparents, two sets of aunts and uncles and four cousins. The atmosphere, although lighthearted, is not the same as a western holiday, like Thanksgiving or Christmas. There are huge expectations placed on the women of the family to make massive amounts of food (keep in mind tiny apartment). They are bent over portable hot plates on the floor, frying away. Of course, women also do the cleaning up. The men and children often just sit around watching TV and snacking on fruit and rice cakes. Luckily, I get out of a lot of things. Sejin's mother and aunts operate like a well-oiled machine in the kitchen, and I would just get in the way. There is also a language barrier, and the fact that I have a very young child who even has to follow me into the bathroom these days. Even though I take delight in getting out of these duties, sometimes it really bothers me to see the aunts sweating away (although they seem cheerful doing it) while the men lounge about. Anyway, I just went off on a tangent.

Where was I? Oh, yes. We got through the holidays. Grace had a lot of fun, actually. She has a thing for dressing up these days, so she really enjoyed putting on her hanbok. She was a little entertainer, and no one could get enough of her. But I was very glad to get us back home for a late, but much needed nap yesterday afternoon. We had a nice dinner of Chuseok leftovers and Grace went to sleep easily after blowing me a few kisses from her crib. It was great.
I was looking forward to spending today with just Sejin and Grace, but Sejin had another idea. He wanted to invite his parents for dinner. The conversation went something like this:

Sejin: I was thinking of inviting my parents for dinner.

Me: Uh, no. This is your only day off for quite a while. (He's working seven days a week due to intensive classes)

Sejin: Come on. You're leaving Korea soon. I want my parents to see Grace as much as possible.

Sarah: I understand that. Okay, they come over, I get my new camera next week.

Sejin: It's a deal.

Is that weird? I don't want it to sound like I don't like his parents. It's just that one full day was enough yesterday and I really didn't want them to come over today. We had already been out at Homeplus, I was sleepy, and just wanted a low-key afternoon...maybe a stroll and a light dinner and some TV before bed. Anyway, we came to an agreement.


Becky said...

How'd dinner go? I had a mother-in-law that checked for dust on top of the refrigerator. My house was always spotless when she came over. I was always a bundle of nerves. When are you planning to leave Korea?

We might be moving back for a short stay next year.

Mama Seoul said...

No camera, yay!

Our Little Bonbon said...

Ha, my husband and I had a similar conversation, only I don't get anything out of going with what he wants. ;~; Yay for the camera, though!!

Grace wears that hanbok ridiculously well. She is beyond adorable. She can wear it to Nehemiah's dol if she'd like, lol.

CedarBough said...

not long to wait, then!

HLee said...

wow your kid has grown! :) she looks amazing in hanbok. i hope you don't stop blogging even after you leave korea.

Downtown Girl said...

I saw similar hanbok like Grace was wearing selling on ebay and I was going get it for Audrey's 1st birthday celebration ^_^

Grace is so cute!!

Helena said...

She looks so cute in her hanbok!