Home stay : Day Two

Showed host dad and sister my houses on google street view, showed them Oberlin on google maps, and used google translate to point out buildings with words I didn’t know, like psychology and physics.

Showed host sister my family and friends by looking through pictures on my iTunes. Also showed her videos of some friends singing and a video of an Obertones performance. She asked if I had any Korean friends so I showed her pictures of the Korean class luncheon and the OKSA banquet. She told me the names of all the foods that we ate and write the names in Korean.

My host sister is going to be valuable to me in learning Korean. I’ll just ask her what a word is in Korean, she’ll say it, and then I’ll hand her my phone and she’ll write it in Korean. Hopefully I’ll start to remember useful words that way.

Oo-ree ka-chee means us together. It’s going to be a very useful phrase. You can say it before the verb “to eat” to mean “we’ll eat together” or before the verb “to go” to mean “we go together.”

As we were driving back from the grocery store I started thinking about how hard it was going to be to live here. Just street signs and names o shops. I can’t read them. I can’t have conversations with my host parents. How easy it was to live in Argentina in comparison! I complained about the difficulty in understanding what they were saying in the Argentinian accent, and there were some words that I didn’t know, but at least I know 75% probably of what people were saying, which was enough to follow the conversation. Here, I have absolutely no idea. I would’ve had to study for years to get to the understanding level. There’s also a complete difference in food, addressing people, bowing all the time, and no forks or knives at meals! I remember what someone told is at orientation, to “be comfortable with being uncomfortable.” It looks like it’ll be that way for a while. I don’t think uncomfortable is the right word, but basically, be comfortable with a whole lot of differences. Overall though, I’m really glad I took the plunge and decided to go for a country so different from the U.S. I’ll only be young once, and I want to experience something different before I grow too accustomed to a daily routine in the U.S. YOLO! So I’ll study Korean, and maybe be able to learn a little more Jorean this year than if my host family spoke and understood English better.

Played a game called Blue Marble with my host sister. It’s exactly like monopoly except the places you buy are all cities from around the world. I couldn’t remember how someone wins monopoly, so I was given several chances to get back in the game even though I was out of money (I sold Tokyo to my host sister).

Went to bakery with host mom and sister. They asked me to choose what pastries I wanted, but I didn’t know how many to choose and if they liked the things I chose. I wanted to choose things that they would also enjoy. I chose a chocolate chip pastry roll, and when they asked me what else, I said “you choose” and pointed to my host sister. She chose a cake that I think was made with rice (surprise!). Then we had patbingsu. It was the normal red bean variety, but also came with kiwis, rice cakes, blueberries (that surprisingly had seeds), and baby tomatoes. I remarked to myself how funny it was that the summer treat people love is made with shaved ice, beans, and fruit. Definitely different from the ice cream that we all eat in the U.S.

Sunday: Went to the gym with host dad.  We live in a big apartment complex, so the gym membership is included.  I used the treadmill while he went to the indoor golf course.  It was so nice to be in air conditioning, though of course, exercising makes you hot which reduces the effectiveness of the air conditioning.   A little while after we got back to the apartment, my host father said “we go mountain” and pointed to the mountain out the window. “One hour.”  I wasn’t sure if he meant we were going to look at the mountain or climb the mountain, and if the hike was going to be an hour, or we were leaving in an hour.  The hike turned out to be about an hour.  My suitcases still hadn’t come to the house yet so I didn’t have any sneakers.  Solution: Fit perfectly into the dad’s sneakers.  The hike was up a steep mountain.  Although I couldn’t really communicate to the host parents with sentences, I think they understand me when I said the word for hard (though I got it wrong, because there’s too words for hard, and one means something more like tired or exhausted or difficult?).   Anyway, it was a great hike in that fact that I got to bond with my host family.  I’m definitely on my way to becoming part of the family!

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