Delightful Girl Choon Hyang
That Friday was such a lovely day. The forecast called for rain, but except for a momentary light drizzle (more like a mist), Seoul remained overcast and dry. We took our time getting ready in the morning and headed north to visit my aunt and uncle. The commute was long, but relatively easy. On our way, we stopped by a small grocery store and bakery to pick up a few Korean pears (my favorite fruit) and pastries. The owner of the grocery store took his time picking out the biggest and ripest pears for us to purchase.
My aunt had prepared a multi-course meal of pumpkin jook (rice porridge), jjigae (stew) with meat and kimchi she had fermented, boiled in makkoli (rice wine), a variety of jun (Korean pancakes) and homemade banchan (side dishes), and packed extras for us to bring home. We had an equally massive and delicious spread for dessert. After sipping on coffee and tea and allowing our meal to settle, we headed to a park that houses the largest man-made lake in Asia.
We hoped to rent bicycles for two, but walked instead as there were none available. This allowed me to stop at every sign of fall, my favorite season—pinecones, trees with changing-color leaves, family activities (pedal boats and playing hide and seek through the park), and couples cozying up on blankets and in sweaters.
Halfway through our walk, we found traditional-style swings and a standing seesaw. The swings were just like the one Chunhyang, the namesake of one of the best known love stories and folktales of Korea, swang on when Mongryong fell in love with her at first sight. A and I had actually been watching the drama adaptation, Delightful Girl Choon Hyang, which was my favorite in high school. So, we had a laugh, swinging, pretending, and playing like children in the park.
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