Day 180

Saturday | August 25th, 2012


This day had been in the planning since before we even moved to Gyeongju. Only moving to Gyeongju made it more complicated in terms of the dogs because both Meow and I have lots of friends in Seoul and both of our friends are getting married (to each other).

PD and JK (hero image, top) tied the knot on paper last year and they’ve both been living in Vancouver for a while now and we haven’t really seen them or much of anyone else for that matter. JK came down to Gyeongju a few weeks ago and aside from the ill-fated Thursday night, I hadn’t seen PD since last summer (and that was a depressing time, so I wasn’t much for friendliness or conversation).

Saturday got crazier and crazier the closer it came. Compounding things was that before I left Gyeongju, I had tried on all of my suits to take one with me to wear to the wedding. The only one that fit was 100% and more of a cold weather suit. Meow didn’t want me to wear it and sweat all day (something about Koreans thinking people who sweat in air conditioned spaces are ripe for death). This blocked up our morning with a suit quest on top of Meow’s shoe quest, her fix the glasses quest, and her just got sick last night and needed medicine quest. Squeezed in there somewhere was also a meet friends before the wedding thing that promptly died when trying to do everything else.

My suit was the easiest part of the journey. We found an STCO (where I buy most of my dress shirts and ties), walked in, I saw a nice suit, they had it in fat Korea boy / Westerner size, it looked good, we picked a shirt and a tie (orange!!), paid for everything (275,000 won | $242), walked out, turned a corner, turned another corner, visited the shop’s adjustment dude who then finished the pants and steamed everything while we ate lunch.

We then went back to the motel, got changed, hit Meow’s shoe favorite shoe store (pictured, thumbnail) and I got to watch her try on shoes for the next 30 minutes. Meow has had no luck for shoes in Gyeongju. She bought a pair which broke after four blocks of walking, we went back, got some money back and another seemingly less defective pair of the same. But those shoes broke a few days later. Meow went back a second time, got a different pair of shoes … which also broke after a day or so. This shoe jaunt was a critical event for her. She snagged four pairs of shoes, traded Kakao IDs with the owner whom she has a report with and he promised to send her a message when he has her style and size in stock. If she likes the pictures, she can buy them, and he will send them to Gyeongju.

After the shoe event and dropping them back at the motel, we snapped pictures of the half-building (above). This was a full building at one time, but they widened the street and all the buildings pulled back about four feet, except this one which was mysteriously cut in half and there it remains. Full of crap even.

We then grabbed Meow’s glasses and hopped in a cab to the wedding hall. The ride took almost 25 minutes, so I took a small cat nap too.

It was a really nice wedding. Usually there is some old windbag who stands in the front and officiates the symbolism of a Western wedding, then drawls on for-ever about whatever parts for marriage advice these days. It’s the most boring and most trying time of being at anyone’s wedding. (Yes, it might not be so painful if I understood all the Korean.)

PD & Jk chose not to anyone officiate. Instead they exchanged rings and vows. Read letters to both sets of parents, each read in English to PD’s parents and then in Korean to JK’s parents. Jk’s sister is in a dance club and they did a dance routine which include the PSY horse dance. Friends of JK sang a song, they cut cake, walked down the aisle and done. Short, sweet, and unique. I found myself wishing we could have left our officiator on a barge somewhere in the Han. Definitely a bit jealous.

There was the usual wedding buffet and I didn’t pack my gut, but I ate plenty. There was an after-party too, which, as it turned out, also had a buffet and better food in it at that. There was also free wine and beer. PD’s parents brought in their own spirits. Everyone we knew was there. Meow had planned all along to stay with her mother when she spent her two nights in Seoul, but since I conned her into coming to see me on Friday, she was dead on getting to her mother’s on Saturday night.

With a little wheeling and dealing, I got Meow to stay at the after-party and use the motel I’d already paid for. The price: go to another wedding on Sunday and eat lunch with her parents.

I love my MIL and FIL, but I hadn’t wanted to stay at MIL’s house because I knew I would be coming in late from being with friends and likely sleep late too. (Well, not until 8:30 pm late though.) I didn’t think it was a good way to trouble someone with a bed, to come back to their house in such a state, so I paid for the room (good thing too). For Meow though, she doesn’t really drink. And going to Seoul and not spending time with her mother was too rude to consider, as was me not paying respects.

Her father found out we were in the city and really wanted us to go to this wedding because the father of the bride was an 40+ years friend who apparently came to our wedding and dropped a lot of cash. The wheeling and dealing made everyone very happy. I got to spend more time with Meow, Meow and I got to make her mother happy, and her father too.

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