This past July, I finally gathered the courage to introduce Mr. Eom to my parents and brother. For some, this may not be a big deal, but it was for me (for a couple of reasons).
1) My bf is KO-RE-AN
2) My dad is “special” and loves me veerryyy much
3) I am Croatian/Serbian … Trust me.. it MAKES a difference
4) My brother likes to tease, EVERYONE and is an expert at sarcasm, which is at times difficult to grasp by Asian peoples, since it is not their preferred type of humour.
5) My mom constantly shoves food down any guest’s throat out of fear that someone might go hungry. This is evidently a consequence of post-traumatic-stress caused by life in a war-torn country such as our former country of (now no longer in existence) Yugoslavia… Croatia.. Serbia.. Call it whatever you want.
6) My dad
7) My… DAD .. ugh!
Basically, my dad likes to “test” any guy who crosses this household’s front door. The first and LAST boyfriend to step foot inside got the following treatment (this treatment was also applied to almost every guy friend I’ve brought home for one reason or another)… Mind you, the last boyfriend was Moroccan, Muslim, and thus THIS family’s greatest enemy (based purely on my dad’s assessment. He is currently seeking help to get over his prejudice and racist ways… NOT. It’s part of him! He is Serbian).
(My Tata speaking in a broken English or French accent)
“Sooo, you know my daughter hunh…. Ok.. good good”
“Ok, you are just friends orrr?”
“Ehmm.. yes. We “may” or may not be dating… ” *awkward laugh*
“Ohhhh! DATING?!… I see… I see… Did YOU see my Serbian axe standing outside our house?”
“Ehmmm .. I think so… ” *guy sweatingggg uncontrollably*
“Well, you see… We used this kind of axe to kill the dirty Turkish peoples when they tried to massacre OUR great people. WE won. THAT is very important to know. It’s a very special axe. Do you understand?”
“Ehhmmm. Yes, I think so” *contemplating an imminent escape*
“So, if you EVER try to touch or hurt my daughter, I will use THIS special axe to cut your balls off. Ok?! Now, let’s go eat some sarma! What do you want to dreeenk? Rakija? Beer? ”
*Guy never returned of course*
This time around, it was a bit different. I think my dad REALLY liked Mr. Eom, because he only tested him by assigning him the task of “grinding coffee beans” for our traditional Serbian/Croatian/Bosnian (really, it’s Turkish lol) coffee. It takes some muscle strength and about 10-15 minutes to grind each batch of coffee powder. For some 4-5 people drinking the coffee, 4-5 batches of powder are necessary, so YOU do the math.
Mr. Eom, smilingly, took the coffee grinder and began to grind diligently. I believe my dad was annoyed that Mr. Eom did not fear or flinch at the mention of this task. He (my dad) kept pacing, and pacing… At some point, he returned with a 1kg bag of fresh coffee beans and handed it to Mr. Eom, who (smilingly again) continued to grind.
After additional time had passed:
My dad: “Hana! Is that boy still grinding the coffee beans? If so, tell him to stop it already. Now I feel bad.. Is he trying to break some record???!! Sheesh! He’s such a keener! Maybe because he’s Asian? THOSE Asians..”
Mr. Eom: “This is not SO bad honey. Just 0.900 kg to go! ”
Me: “Just stop. My dad feels bad already. He’s doing it on purpose to annoy you.”
Mr. Eom: “Oh thank God! My arm hurts… woah! WHO in the world still uses this archaic method?!”
My dad: “Oh! you stopped I see?! PPPffff.. you know, Serbian grandmothers have a national coffee grinding competition, and most of them can last hours! Even MY great-great-grandmother was much stronger than you… Shame, shame.”
*Me shaking my head… *
In any case, here’s a glimpse of what the Coffee Grinder looks like, and of Mr. Eom grinding the final coffee beans once upon a time this past July.