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495 A Little Trip to Yangpyeong County 1 – Part 2

 That night, Gun-Ho made love with Young-Eun.

Young-Eun did better than at the beginning of their marriage. She used to play like a piece of wood during the intercourse, but these days, she sometimes wrapped her arms around Gun-Ho's neck; she became more active. Also, when she felt good, she gave a kiss to Gun-Ho which she didn't before. All these changes made Gun-Ho think of Mori Aikko or Seol-Bing less and less.

Gun-Ho was putting fruits, coffee, and stuff in his Land Rover when Young-Eun got into the car with a fat bag.

"What is it? What's in the bag? It looks heavy."

"These are some spices and sauces."

"Spices and sauces?"

"Yeah. I talked with my aunt yesterday. When I asked her what to bring to her house, she said she needed a soy sauce. So I'm taking a bottle of soy sauce."

"That doesn't look like just a bottle of soy sauce. What else you got there?"

"Oh, these are some red chili-pepper paste and vegetable oil too."

"This is so heavy like a rock inside. You carried these all the way from the mart? Why didn't you ask me to carry them for you?"

"You left the mart before I could ask you for help. Remember that?"

Gun-Ho drove a quiet road with Young-Eun. It had been a while since they rode together. Gun-Ho turned on the music. It was not Bohemian Rhapsody that Gun-Ho chose this time. He had used to listen to Bohemian Rhapsody a lot when he drove his shabby car that was about to die, on the way to his work in Pocheon City or Yangju City. The music that Gun-Ho selected was songs sung by singers like Onion, Young-Eun Seo, and Wax.

"I do like quiet and calming music."

Young-Eun changed the music to some classical music that Gun-Ho had no idea of. Young-Eun seemed to really enjoy the music that she chose, and she looked happy. By looking at Young-Eun who seemed to truly enjoy listening to music, Gun-Ho wanted to buy her a nice smart phone.

They arrived at Young-Eun's aunt's house. It was her dog who greeted them first by barking at them. The dog particularly barked hard toward Gun-Ho.

"This guy is chasing me and barking so hard at me."

Young-Eun's aunt came out of the house with a smile. She had a handful of anchovy, and she gave them to Gun-Ho. When Gun-Ho gave anchovy to the dog, the dog became calm.

'Of course, dogs need either a stick or food to be calm.'

When he thought about how to handle a dog, a scary thought crossed his mind. It was Egnopak's president's face that popped up in his head, along with other business owners who he met in the meeting in South Chungcheong Province.

'That is exactly how those people think of their employees. They thought they should handle their employees with either a stick or food. That's why they treat their workers without respect, and they are often on a serious power trip.'

Gun-Ho tried to replace a dog with a person in a sentence that he just thought.

'Of course, people need either a stick or food to be calm.'

It was terrifying and egregious.

'Of course, people need praise and compensation.'

Gun-Ho nodded his head as he changed the wording as he thought more appropriate. He felt like Chairman Lee from Cheongdam Town and Master Park in Goesan Town were smiling at Gun-Ho proudly.

In handling workers, employers were not supposed to use a stick or food. A stick and food in handling dogs require a perfect balance to be effective; otherwise, a dog would bite a human.

'People who are screaming 'out' toward the business owners who were on a serious power trip were not the people outside the firm, but they were their employees. Employees are not a dog or a pig, but they are human beings who require fair treatment with respect. That's how the business owners could be respected and admired by their employees as well.'

As he was developing his thought, Gun-Ho looked at the dog's eyes.

"Goo Seobang!* Come on in."

Artist Choi didn't call Gun-Ho as President Goo any longer. Since Gun-Ho was now her niece's husband, she called him Goo Seobang.

"Goo Seobang? That sounds weird."

Young-Eun laughed out loud when Gun-Ho made a comment on his new title.

"What about me?"

"What about you?"

"Remember the day when we went to the costume play event? Your workers called me ma'am or Mrs. Goo. That was really weird to me."

Young-Eun's aunt chipped in while bringing steamed potato.

"You are a married woman now. Of course, people should call you ma'am or Mrs. Goo. You sound weird saying that's weird."

"I felt really old when they called me like that. I felt like I became an old lady."

"That's how you get old. Try steamed potato. I harvested them from the farmland myself."

Artist Choi brought a small amount of salt along with potato. Gun-Ho and Young-Eun added a pinch of salt on top of the potato before putting them into their mouths after peeling the skins.

"This is really good."

"It tastes fantastic."

Young-Eun closed her eyes half way down while having the potato. She seemed to truly like it.

"Have some water too."

Artist Choi brought some barley tea. She said while joining them at the dining table, "I received the Chanel handbag that you sent to me through President Shin last time. You didn't have to spend money like that on me."

"I wanted to show my gratitude, but I don't think it was enough."

"You should buy Young-Eun a handbag like that."

"I did."

"Really? That's good. Well, thank you for the bag. I heard President Shin got the same one."

"I have lots of things that I want to thank her for too."

"President Shin was not sure if she could accept your present. She said it was excessive, and she was sorry that you had to spend that much money on her."

Young-Eun chipped in while listening to the conversation between Gun-Ho and Artist Choi.

"Auntie! What about mine? I brought something for you too today."

"What did you bring?"

"These!"

"Whoa, this bag is really heavy."

"Open it!"

"Wow! I see soy sauce, red chili pepper paste, and soybean paste! Oh, you got me a vegetable oil too. I guess I can skip grocery shopping for at least a month. Thanks to you."

Young-Eun's aunt went into the kitchen, and she brought cold noodles for them. Several ice cubes were in the bowl along with noodles with young radish kimchi.

"This is a young-radish-kimchi cold noodle soup."

It was good and cool. It was a nice dish for summertime.

"Please try this too."

Artist Choi brought some side dishes like pumpkin pancakes and rice wine. They could see Artist Choi's flower garden from the dining area. It gave a relaxing and serene feeling to have a meal with the garden view, especially when they added a rice wine. Young-Eun seemed to enjoy the food as well.

"I feel like I'm gaining some weight whenever I visit this house."

"Auntie, you look better than the last time I saw you."

"Really? Maybe because a friend of mine moved into the area."

"Your friend?"

"She is not an artist, but she is running an art gallery at the entrance of this village. She offers tea and some art tools there."

"Really? That's very nice. You can hang out with her sometimes."

"I actually go to see her at the gallery on a daily basis. You probably remember her, Young-Eun. Her name is Nan-Young Eum."

"Nan-Young Eum? I'm not sure. I think maybe I heard of her name before."

"She used to work in a travel agency. Her husband used to work in a bank before moving to this area."

"By the way, auntie, your feet look swollen."

"Well, it started yesterday."

"It could be your kidney that needs to be checked up, or it could be just a sign of lack of exercise. You should go to the hospital and let a doctor take a look at it."

"You think so? It's nice to have a niece who is a medical doctor. So, I could have some idea about what went wrong. So, you don't think this is serious?"

"I don't think you have a serious health issue. It could be just a high blood-pressure that caused it."

While listening to the conversation between Young-Eun and her aunt, Gun-Ho thought that he didn't have to worry too much about his health while living with Young Eun.

Note *

Seobang - A title within a family when you marry their daughter.