Thursday, November 5, 2009

Meet the parents

Tomorrow I am off to Korea. Well, I nearly missed my flight in the first place. I am departing from Suvarnabhumi at 1.15am. Have you ever had a flight departing just after midnight?

They are tricky I tell you. Everyone asks you, so when do you leave? And you are like....ahmmm, Saturday (since 7 November is a Saturday). Or should you be: Well Friday night....but it's actually Saturday already.

Anyway, you already know what happened. I thought I am leaving on Saturday evening and made up a breakfast date (with my professor...) on Saturday. I just thought I'd better check the ticket for the time and bingo, I am leaving a day earlier....Saturday but kinda Friday.

You get the point, I nearly missed my flight and would have not made it to Korea. Thank you professor for asking me out for a breakfast date.

In Korea, it's going to be autumn. I kind of miss the seasons here in Bangkok, although we did have a cool day the other day. It was about 24 degrees and everybody was raving about the weather on facebook and twitter. I saw that last week in nearly snowed in Seoul, but this week it's meant to be 24 degrees. That's quite crazy!!!

The boyfriend is in Korea with his parents, and I am going to meet his dad for the first time. I saw mum when she came to Thailand earlier this year and she's nice. Her face looks like my boyfriend's, especially when they smile, and they are very alike in their cheekiness.

I have talked to dad a few times on the telephone when we used to live in New Zealand. I told him that the boyfriend is at work (in Korean). I have forgotten how to say it though. From what I heard, dad is a calm but lovely man. I am very curious to see how they boyfriend's dad is like, because I see his son nearly every day! They must have a lot in common...

I nearly booked a hotel for my stay in Korea. We are going to be based in Seoul, where the parents live, but also travel through the country a bit. The boyfriend's dad however got really angry when he found out about this and said that I must stay at their place. That's very nice of him!

Sine I got invited to the boyfriend's family home, I had to get some gifts of course. I really like to be generous with gifts. I dont know why, but I just love to see someone's face when they are happy because of something you gave them.

But what to give? It's hard enough for parents (especially for dads!!!) but even harder for someone I have never met....I knew that the bf's dad likes to paint, and is good at it. Actually, the whole family either paints or makes music (boyfriend) or takes pictures (boyfriend's sisters). So, it had to be something artsy.

I came up with something risky; this:

In university I once learnt that there are three things that one should not talk about when meeting a stranger: politics, sex and religion. I am not only violating the religion part but also buying a piece of art, which is a very subjective thing in the first place.

But the picture is so gorgeous (and the boyfriend's dad is at least buddhist, the mum is catholic though) that I had to get it.

For the boyfriend's mum, it was much easier:

Elephants always do the trick in Thailand...and the thing to the right (I dont know how you call this....a wind chime?) is just so pretty!

I got all these things from the same shop, in Paragon....gosh....I had never even been to the souvenir section of Paragon. They had silk there that cost 8000 baht......from that moment on I was a bit scared of looking at prices. But then I found an area with things from the North, which is where I got my presents. They were good value (I would probably pay a third on a market though...).

Then again, the ladies there really had nothing to do and I felt sorry for them somehow. Besides, the goods are very good quality there.

Personally, I find it a bit hard to get souvenirs from Thailand for someone. Actually, there's a total overload of possible souvenirs in Bangkok, but I just havent really found that "one stop shop" for cute, artsy and not too expensive things. Do you have any suggestions?

Later, I went to the Paragon supermarket, where they have the Thai Gourmet Food section. Ohmygod, that is my favourite part of the whole mall. I got dried squid with Thai sweet chili sauce, crispy pork, Thai wafers, dried mangoes and bananas....mhmmmmm, and they let you try everything too!

That's it now, I have to pack (and finish watching America's Next Top Model). See you in KOREA!!!

By the way. Thank you so much for writing me to all the people who reacted to my "growing up-series". I am glad you found it heart warming (as one reader said).

To be honest, I felt confused after writing all these blog entries (I wrote them all in one go). I had just rushed through my childhood and teenage years in 3 hours....and suddenly, here I was in Bangkok on a Saturday morning....

1 comment:

Was Once said...

Some of your gift details in case he asks:
The Alms-bowl refers to the the story that shortly before the Buddha reached enlightenment, a young woman named Sujata offered him a bowl of milk-rice. At that moment, he was practicing austerity by eating extremely little. But he realised at that moment that he would need to have more strength for the final steps to enlightenment, and further fasting would only reduce his energy. After he reached enlightenment, he is said to have thrown away what little was left in the bowl to signify his renunciation of all material possessions. Finding the middle way between extreme austerity and complete attachment to life is an important principle of Buddhism.