Can I just start off by saying I love my host family?
June 24th-25th: First Weekend w/ Host Family
In the morning, I went to barista training with my host mom, and I really enjoyed it! I don’t like coffee myself, but it was actually really interesting to see how they made it. My mom kept asking if it was boring, but it wasn’t!! I just like spending time with her even if I can’t talk much Korean.
Afterwards, I went to McDonalds with my host mom, brother, and sister! I got a bulgogi burger there, and it was good!
Then, we went to this awards ceremony for their volunteer group, and there was an intense cheerleading (?) team! It was cool because I saw them in vaseeka’s NSLI-Y vlogs 2 years ago, and now I got to see it for myself!
There, I finally met my host dad! He was so nice and funny, and he brought me flowers! We all went to get Korean BBQ after that, and it was so good. I was stuffed and in love with pork.
They accommodate so much for me, and I am eternally appreciative. They give me the only room with a fan, and they bought me so many extra mini fans to bring to school! They keep feeding me so much, and they always wait for me to eat before they start (which I know I should wait for the oldest, but they really insist I eat first). Whenever I eat something new, they always watch me take my first bite and ask me “Is it delicious?” They’re just so cute, and they make me feel so welcome in their home.
On Sunday, I was really confused because my host dad told me to go, and I thought he was going to show me the way to the convenience store so I didn’t bring anything, but TURNS OUT, WE WERE GOING TO CHINA TOWN. It was so nice though (even though I didn’t have my camera to prove that ;__;).
It was so cute; they recreated a picture of my host mom by a statue from 12 years ago. Then, we went to the culture center with my host mom and brother, and we met up with almost all the other NSLI-Yians.
We painted fans and made these bowl-like things, and we watched this show. I was really tired by then and falling asleep, but it was really fun meeting up with everyone!
Afterwards, I ate fried chicken with Miguel and Caleb’s family, and it was so good. I love Korean fried chicken. It’s nice not to be in a big group sometimes because I got to know them a little more through this!
June 26th: Seoul Tour
Seoul consisted a lot of cancelled plans, but, nevertheless, it was super fun!
We first went to the U.S. embassy, so they could go over what to do if anything happened to us in Korea and things like that. It was a short presentation, but it was refreshing to see other “foreigners.”
Then, we went to eat some spicy pork and more, and we’re all shocked at how it was only $9 and fed 5 people! Then, we got some bingsu!
We were supposed to go to the Hangul Museum, but we found it was closed on Mondays, so we went to the National Museum of Contemporary History. It was actually pretty interesting, and this is coming from a person who doesn’t like history (hehe).
After, we went to Gyeongbokgung Palace, and we took a buncha pictures! It was so pretty, and it’s cool seeing how preserved this place is.
We were allowed to roam around for awhile, so I went with Anand and Jenny to wander. We ended up eating ramen and taking even more pictures.
It started raining, so the TA’s and our RD decided it would be best if we stayed indoors, so we went to a noraebang (karaoke), and it was so fun! The TA’s are so energetic, and everyone was so lively.
I love the nightlife in Seoul (esp the cute street performers).
June 27th: Homeplus + Convenience Store Adventures
Homeplus is like, home to everything. I was finally able to get a straightener, and I bought so many snacks!
Afterwards, Ellie and I thought it would be cool to just have a kdrama-type experience, so we headed to the convenience store! I’m pretty sure the cashier was lowkey judging us because we bought ramen, kimbap, and milk then went back for some more ice cream. I was so stuffed, but it was so fun!
June 30th: Hongdae
After school on Friday, a group of us decided to go to Hongdae to explore! It’s such a nice place, and it’s overwhelmed with so many restaurants and stores.
We first ate KBBQ, which was really little but it was good. And then, we went to the Meerkat Cafe!! Can I just say that I’ve never been more happy?? The meerkats are in this little pen, and a group of 5 is allowed at a time. At first, we were sitting, and they didn’t go up to us that much. Like if anything, one would come up then leave. But then, one just went into my lap, and it stayed there for a really long time. Then, all of them just kept coming on my lap, and then I had like 8 of them, and they were all sleeping. I was just petting them and trying not to scream out of happiness. I love meerkats.
We then just wandered for awhile, and some people got mandu (dumplings) and ice cream.
Then, home we went!