It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything so it’s probably going to be more of a quick overview on what I’ve been doing. The beginning of last week was pretty boring- both my host parents had to work and my host siblings had stuff going on, so I basically sat around and watched TV for a few days. Last Thursday, though, was my host sister Dahyeon’s birthday, so I went out with her and some friends of hers and we went to Disco Pang Pang, (which was, first of all, not a disco… sad). It was like a ride more than anything. It was this big circle with seats all around the edges and what you did was sit there and hang on (because there were no seatbelts) and the operator would spin you around and make it bumpy and all that, then he’d stop it and ask people a bunch of questions and if he didn’t like your answers he’d made it tilt more, or he’d keep bumping you until you’re basically falling out of your seat. I don’t know. It was really fun. There were some other guys working there, and they would stand in the middle and do tricks while it was spinning, which was pretty crazy. They had a really good sense of balance.
That night my host family and I all went to an American buffet type restaurant, but of course when restaurants say American food here they just mean a variety of food from around the world. I think the only thing there that I’d classify as America was the broccoli soup. They also had non-alcoholic wine, which they labeled underneath as a black tea, but I tasted it and it was grape juice. Nice try being fancy restaurant.
Friday was the Korean Independence day from Japan, so we went to Everland, which is a really well known amusement park here. It was really fun. I rode all the rides I’d normally balk at and went through a horror maze which, surprisingly, Dahyeon ended up not making it through she got so scared. It was really freaky. I understood. We were at Everland from the opening at 10am to about 10pm, but about 7pm I was ready to leave I was so tired. We stayed for a moonlight parade, which was pretty cool because all the floats were decked out in lights and they were really pretty. We also stayed for two light projection type shows that projected a video onto the surface of a building and manipulated how the building looked with the projection. It was pretty cool, but I basically stopped paying attention at that point.
Saturday we visited my host father’s family, and I got to meet all of his siblings and all of the cousins. His older brother owns a chicken restaurant, so all of the kids just grabbed a booth and we sat in there and talked. It was pretty awkward at first but eventually some of the adults came in and started asking me questions and all the cousins realized that I could speak Korean passably (I guess) and after that they started asking more questions, mostly about school life in America, whether I’d been to prom (lol) stuff like that. It was really fun. One of them was really into selfies, but since I don’t normally take serious pictures it was a bit weird until she started making weird faces, so I joined her. So she has probably like 20 pictures of me with disgusting faces on her phone. No big deal.
Yesterday (Sunday) we went to get some clothes for me for school. My school doesn’t really have a uniform until the winter, so for now we just got a couple polo shirts and some longer pants. I need to bring like 2 extra pairs of clothes to school with me though, for gym class and for changing into for art, so that’s kind of a pain. Thankfully I only have gym twice a week.
Today was my first day of school. I got there and basically waited around for a while until we could meet the principle. I was with two other exchange students, both guys from Taiwan, (one of whom spoke English very well, so that’s cool) and a few rebounds from last year. Both of the other current exchange students gave me like literally 4 pins each, and the flags from their rotary clubs and pineapple cakes, but I forgot my pins at my house so I’ll have to hunt them down tomorrow to give then some. We’re all in the second year, which is basically Junior year, which is nice because then all my friends won’t graduate in the spring. So far everyone has been really nice- they all want to be friends with the foreigner, but as a result I had so many names thrown at me today that I remember exactly one of them, and I may not have that one right. Tomorrow I’m planning on just admitting that I forgot everyone’s names and writing them all down. I’m going to have my own seating chart, and it will be glorious. As far as classes go, I didn’t understand anything, really. I tried to listen and pay attention but by the end of the day (which was 4pm, mind you) I felt like my head had been split open by an axe, so it was a little bit more difficult. It also got more difficult to understand people when my head hurt, so I felt bad because they would talk to me and I’d just kind of zone out. I’m just taking it one day at a time though, and I think it’ll be fun! I think I may go to the slacker school… none of my classmates seem to take school seriously at all, but I’m okay with that. So far it’s been pretty amusing because of that, so I’ll see if my view on it changes any as everyone settles in from vacation.