Well , in 6 months’ time. I will be known as Mrs Shin and “Hyung-su-nim” or “Ahjumma” in Korea.
“Hyung-su-nim” is like chinese equivalent of “da sao”. His friends who are younger than me ( irregardless if they are older than me) will call me that. And for married woman , must call Ahjumma liao. It is our local equivalent of “auntie”. Lol.
Hmm abit not used to it because his bro used to call me by name but now he called me “Hyung-su-nim”. I used to be served last at the table because i am the youngest but now i am served right after my hubby-to-be before anyone else who is younger than him. This is part of the table manners.
Hmm abit not used to it because everyone is very polite to me and being treated with respect. But this happens when im with people who are younger than him. Whereas if im with his hyungs ( older brother ) , they will call me “jae su ssi” which means younger brother’s wife and i will call them oppa. Hehe and they still dote on me.
Many people asked me “so what is life going to be like marrying a Korean ?”
1) Housework and Cooking – Alot or should i say ALL Singaporeans i know asked me ” So does he expects you to cook and do house work ? “.
To be honest , yes he did. But i told him i will do over the weekend. Because i am working and my appointments end at 9pm sometimes. Housework is easy for me because i do my own housework at home but for cooking , i am still learning to cook chinese food. I find it easier to cook Korean dishes than local dishes. So most of the time i will cook Korean food at home. Not all but i know about 10 dishes only. So why does he expect me to learn how to cook and do housework ? Because in Korea , it is not common to have maids like we do in Singapore. Most women became stay home mum after having babies and the man will be the one bringing the bread home. Women look after their children and the house. The man will be the one outside working. I guess that is one of the reason why family bondings are very strong in Korea. But in Singapore , i don’t think it is possible for one person to work only because our standard of living is very high. Whereas in Korea, education and health care are very cheap due to government subsidies. IV drips cost only $3 so you can imagine how cheap.
2) Will you move to Korea ? – No , our aim is to bring up our children here so they can learn 3 languages – English , Chinese and Korean. So that will be at least 25 years. To be honest if i were to retire , i will retire in Korea. If i have the $ , i will dream to buy a house at a countryside to enjoy the nature and retire peacefully. Being a financial planner , i plan up retirement planning for my clients and figures needed can be quite shocking if you want to retire at a comfortable and simple pace. So yup , at last the next 25-30 years here and then retire in Korea.
3) Korean husbands are MCP – Hmm..sometimes but i find it more like they think it is their responsibility to look after their family and wife. So it makes them look like they want to have alot of control. I am actually quite touched to know that my hubby felt that it is his responsibility to provide for his future family and to work hard so that he can earn enough for me to stop working.
4) Fierce mother-in-law – Maybe it is the way drama portrays Korean mil . But not all are like that. My friends’ mil are very nice to her even though she is a Singaporean. My mil is also very kind and nice. She had 2 sons and always wanted a daughter. So she treats me really well and she is quite open and not conservative. If she is very conservative , i don’t she will even approve this marriage.
If you have a Korean bf/fiance , always remember to have a good relationship with his mother.
Here’s about it…anything else you want to ask or know ? Let me see if i can help to answer that.
Some dos and don’ts here :
Do not act like a spoilt brat. Don’t expect to ORDER your bf/fiance to serve you this and that. Learn to wash your own dishes/cups after use because most household do not have maids or helpers.
Do not SMOKE infront of them. Girls smoking is still a taboo in Korea. That’s why when you go out to the streets , you will see some people hiding along the dark alleys to smoke. Ya , the girls have to “hide” to smoke. Not common to see girls smoking opening on the streets like what you see in SG.
Do not wear too revealing clothes that shows off your shoulders/cleavages or skirts that are sooo short . They are pretty conservative. Wear tights if you are wearing short skirts. I wore tube tops when i went holidaying in Korea back in 2012 and it attracted alot of stares from locals.
Learn to address her properly and always remember to serve her food or “kiap” food for her.
Hook your arms around hers when you walk around or go shopping with her. Girls there lock their arms together if they are very close friends. And you can go to jimjibang with her. Now i know why some girls there have really smooth skin. I ever met a 75 year old grandma and her skin ( hands and legs ) are sooo smooth..they are even smoother than mine !
Learn to aegyo abit. And if she wants to buy you something , let her buy. If you feel paiseh and want to reject , just reject once and if she insisted , just let her buy. After that say thank you in Korean and aegyo abit. They will be very happy that you like her gifts.
Whip up some dishes for HER SON. At least Korean dishes so that she knows are you are trying and learning despite being a foreigner.
Most importantly , LEARN KOREAN and the CULTURE. Bo bian , this one really have to .Not just learn basic table manners sentences but really LEARN to speak and understand. No need to be too fluent. They will find it cute and they can understand you. To be honest , my written , reading and listening is good and much better than my speaking because no one speaks to me here. Now my hub to be is learning Chinese and English , so i speak Chinese and English to him. Nobody converse with me in Korean over here leh. His Busan accent is very strong sometimes i also cannot catch what he says. Haha but when i watched Korean drama or variety shows, i can understand.
As for the culture , ask your bf/fiance to explain to you. Try to visit during their new year or thanks giving. That is when you really can get to experience their traditional cultures , food and meet his relatives.
When his mother is busy doing housework or cooking, try to ask and offer your help. Don’t sit there and do nothing. I think this is quite basic common sense because even in SG , if your SG mother in law is busy , you will also offer your help instead of sitting there and do nothing or watch tv right ? Unless she insist that you do not need to help , then you can do your own things guilt free. I think this is basic manners when you go people house EVERYWHERE YOU GO no matter whether is it Korea , Singapore or anywhere else.
Try not to drink until drunk. Heng i don’t drink and i cannot drink. Does not give a good impression.
Here are somethings and tips i can think of. If i can think of anymore then i will add on next time.
Wedding prep 101 –
Face care is very important. Damn scared got one ugly zit or whataever.
Wah now i put on masks almost twice a day on weekends (Mask sheets and a overnight cream mask) and everynight on weekdays.
Need to find time for new hair colour.
Going with my bro and his fiancee to Busan together this trip. Helped them to arrange their photoshoots there and booked their hotel stay. You can actually check in any time at a nice motel or this hotel. Not expensive. I booked for them 3 days 2 night for KRW 132,000 which works about $150 for 3 days 2 night ( double room ) with breakfast provided.
They have a few branches. The one i booked for them is at Seo-myeon right opposite a shopping mall and the shopping street. If not you can book the one at Haeundae or the one next to Busan Station.
Drafting half way on the “Smart Lady” post…maybe will publish the post tomorrow.