So I set off on Wednesday for Korea! We all got up early in the morning and headed to the airport, where we discovered that my flight from Detroit to Incheon had, in fact, been canceled. Thankfully, there was still room for me on a flight to Seattle and from there to Incheon, which actually shaved three hours off of my trip, so that was appreciated, though it left me with absolutely no information about my second flight. I figured it all out though, and while in Seattle met another exchange student from Minnesota who was traveling to Thailand! So we sat and chatted for a bit before the plane started to board, and shared our nerves. I was really nervous. So nervous, in fact, that I felt really sick. By the time I arrived in Seattle my nerves were starting to settle, but I still did my best to distract myself.
The plane ride went by pretty quickly. I watched a movie then slept for about four hours before waking up and watching two more movies. Then we were landing. After I cleared customs and everything, I left through the international arrivals gate to find my family… who weren’t there. Surprise! I just found some benches and sat for a bit though, before connecting my phone to wifi and shooting a message to my host sister. I’m pretty sure that they weren’t told that my flight was arriving earlier, but I didn’t mind.
My host family is pretty awesome. I have two younger sisters, one 17 and the other 13, and a host brother who I believe is 11? Anyway, Dahyeon, who is 17 is mostly who I’ve been hanging out with, and she’s super sweet. I’m kind of bummed because last night I found out that she’ll be leaving for Minnesota at the end of the month with the Rotary as well, but it’s also kind of cool and I’m sure she’s going to have a great time.
So yesterday (Friday) I ended up waking up at 5:30am unable to go back to sleep so I decided to unpack all my stuff. My room is really nice and there’s so much storage space I couldn’t hope to fill it all. By the time I got unpacked breakfast was ready. I was really happy about breakfast. I’m not sure if they’re weaning me into Korean food or what, but breakfast was not traditional Korean food. I was surprisingly worried about that, because in the mornings I don’t really feel like eating a full meal like lunches for dinners. There was a salad, which was the only thing that differed from what would be considered normal in America, but it was awesome.
Around 11 Dahyeon and I headed out to meet some of her friends in town. I was a lot of fun. We went to a 노래방, (karaoke) before going out for lunch. After lunch we went to get 팥빙수 (pat bing soo) which is a korean dessert of shaved ice with red bean and some other toppings. We had strawberry, and the four of us all got one to share because the servings are absolutely gigantic.
We all separated after that, and Dahyeon and I walked back home. I have to admit, by the end of our hangout, I was completely toned out. Jet-lag had started to catch up to me at that point and I had a hard time paying attention to anything. We got home by about 4 in the afternoon, and I just relaxed and eventually took a nap for about an hour before having dinner.
And that is basically what I’ve been up to the past couple days. I’m really happy here. I was expecting feeling a bit more conflicted, but I’m just content, and I’m sure that’s because everything is shiny and new. Today Dahyeon and I are going to Insadong, in Seoul to meet a few more of her friends. It’ll be pretty cool!