Translated by: Jamie Chang
Publisher: Asia Publishers, 2013
“A few days before Christmas, he was drinking coffee from a vending machine in the rest area of a library. He pulled out the fountain pen the woman had given him as a graduation present and started to jot down projected expenses for a Christmas date. Dinner: 20,000 won. Movie Tickets: 14,000 won. Present: 20,000 won. Coffee: 10,000 won. Motel Fee: 40,000 won. It came to over 100,000 won. Even if she were willing to take care of the coffee and movie tickets, it was still quite a lot of money. He thought about borrowing money from people, but he had run out of people to borrow from. He wanted to spend Christmas with her. He wanted to dine with her, give her presents, drink wine or cocktails, and have fantastic sex at a slightly more upscale motel than usual…like other people do. He couldn’t come up with the money for a Christmas date, but he didn’t want to be the pathetic loser who made his girlfriend pay for everything on Christmas. In the end, he lied. ‘My mother’s sick.’ That was the best Christmas gift he could give his girlfriend and himself.”
Not readily available in the UK, but you can try Seoul Selection.