was rough. There's really no other way to describe. From the moment I woke up, muscles protesting as they complained about being put through their paces for the first time in weeks through the amazing race, to the moment I hit my head against the present my co-teacher handed me and then proceeded to drop it and trip, I keep on repeating the song "Where is My Mind". Very a la Garden State.
However, things started looking up after I inhaled the delicious spread at lunch...It reminded me of the times in high school when the trustees came and all the students had to walk around pretending they had lobster for lunch everyday. MY hands were still shaking so that I looked even more inept at using chopsticks than usual, but i was glad to discover that my host teacher is a kind and verbose woman who is more than competent in English.
I knew I was in for an awesome day when Jim, Josh, Taylor and I, were gifted both beer and snack food for the duration of our trip to Naju. The bus, a privately chartered luxury affair, was equipped with AC and a huge flat screen TV. We stopped in a restaurant known for their Kalbi on the way to our homestays and we parted ways and I stepped into the arms of a loving and wonderful host mother.
My family lives twenty minutes up the road to no where. However, there are perks to being out in the boonies. First of all, it is creepily similar to my home. Second of all, they live in a house and not an apartment. Third of all, I live in a separate structure with a bathroom and room to myself where they recently installed air conditioning and internet. Score. My room may be the biggest one out of all the rooms even in the house...
My parents are both artists. My host mother teaches art at a local university and my host father is gone for a year teaching near Seoul. My host sister is wonderful. She's basically fluent and she's one of my students at school. She's 17 and we bonded over mutual likes etc. The only downside is that shes at school until 10 pm every night...My hsot brother is also amazing. We already make fun of each other and have a good time being mutually frustrated over our inability to communicate. He has a scary knowledge of American movie stars and today he had me quiz him on Harry Potter trivia for around a half hour.
I awoke to a breakfast of cereal and yogurt. One thing it takes a little getting used to here is that all the water has to be boiled before you can drink it. That, and the fact that the water is brown because they put iodine tablets in it.
For lunch I ate pizza and sphaghetti that was strangely sweet. AND finally for dinner I did it up Korean style and ate kimchi and ham and curry and fish bulgoki...little fish that have faces. Generally I make a habit of never eating anything that can smile at me...but I guess when in Korea.
I successfully walked into town today to get the basic necessities, unpacked my room, gifted my host family with extremely badly wrapped presents, and sat through conversations where the only words I could pick out were gehriGO (and) and neh (yes). However, all that being said, I feel so amazingly lucky to be here in Korea and to have been gifted with such a wonderful family. I can already see that the biggest challenge will be to not let my relationship with my host family completely consume me whilst in Korea.