Riding Bikes around Chuncheon (춘천) with my Host Family {09/26/18} NSLI-Y AY

09/26/18

I woke up this morning naturally– no alarm clock or loud noise jolting me awake. It was so nice to sleep in once again. My eldest host sister and I were the first ones to wake up so we hung out together in the living room area until everyone stirred awake.

chuncheon 17

Early in the morning~ Looking like an egg ❤

After breakfast, my host mom wanted my eldest host sister and me to hang out around the resort and spend 30 minutes speaking only in English. We went outside to an open field and played badminton for a while (The wind was so strong, so we kept missing so often). Then we walked down this path which had such beautiful trees that were already changing colors. Seeing the red, yellow, orange leaves on the trees made me so excited for fall! (It is my favorite season~) There were also these nice lakes (with huge fish in them!) that also had fountains. I walked around my host sister and we chatted (mostly in Korean at first) and took lots of photos. While walking back to the building, I started asking my host sister questions in English as she got more comfortable speaking it around me. I learned a lot of things about her (which I noted in my mind in case I need to know them later) and I shared things about myself too.

When we got back to the room, we checked out of our room and proceeded to hang out around the resort. My host dad and brother wanted to hike some trails and catch bugs, but all the girls were tired so we walked back to the lake I walked to earlier with my host sister to relax on the benches and feed the fish. I am pretty sure that what we were doing was wrong but there was no sign? I feel like in America there would definitely be a sign. We fed them chocolate chip cookies… yup perfect for their diet!

chuncheon 10

chuncheon 9

While we were waiting for my host dad and brother to return, my host sisters proceeded to interview me with super formal Korean and I am proud to say that I did pretty well in understanding them and answering. I talked to them about my high school in America and the differences I have observed already between my school and Korean school life. It was a fun conversation and I ended up laughing so much as they shoved candy containers near my face to act as microphones and pretended to take photos of me like paparazzi.

When the guys returned, we left the resort to get some lunch. We ordered a hefty lunch of 콩나물국밥 (Bean Sprout Porridge), 비빔밥 (Bibimbap – mixed rice and vegetables), and 막국수 (buckwheat noodles). The noodles were buckwheat noodles that were cold and spicy once you added 고추장 to it. To me, it was like 물냉면 (Cold Water Noodles) without all the water and mustardy/vinegary taste. The 쿵나물국밥 was delicious. It had the texture of porridge but it was like porridge mixed with rice? I feel like that would be the best thing to eat when you are sick. I think the 비빔밥 was the best dish even though sometimes I find it boring. At this restaurant, it was delicious! 10/10 would recommend~

After lunch, we planned to rent bikes and ATVs to ride around the river and mountain trails with. My host mom took my host brother on the ATV trails while I rode a tandem bicycle with my eldest host sister. {And my host dad rode on a tandem bicycle with my younger host sister.}

chuncheon 3

Riding the bikes was honestly very tiring—especially when going up a hill. I was in the front so I had to steer and pull most of the weight. Though my legs definitely hurt afterward and when I got off the bike I wobbled at first, it was so much fun. I love riding bikes and going around the park near my host family’s apartment complex just wasn’t giving it total justice. These were real trails surrounded by nature: water, trees, mountains! It was so relaxing to take everything in and to ride till my legs wanted to fall off. I also had a blast chatting with my host sister. I felt really comfortable at that moment so my Korean just came out naturally— I wasn’t overthinking or preplanning what I wanted to say. It was a lot of fun, lots of laughs included.

After riding our vehicles, we walked over to the river because my host brother wanted to catch some fish. I was too tired to participate so I just laid down on the rocks in the middle of the river and chatted with my host sisters. They continued the interview questions from earlier.

chuncheon 4

Once the fish was caught and we were all tuckered out, we began the 1.5-hour drive back home. I slept during most of it because I was so physically exhausted.

At home, my host mom quickly prepared dinner and we devoured that. We had 잡채 (Japchae — stir-fried glass noodles), 갈비 (ribs), 미역국 (seaweed soup), 밥 (rice), and of course various other 반찬 (side dishes)

After dinner, I retreated back to my room to start my homework because I refused to do it over the 추석 Break. I did study a bit from my textbook and go over vocab words, but I refrained from completing any actual assigned homework.

I had to write a diary entry about what I did during the 추석 break. We used the special grid paper and were required to write one page or one-page front and back. I only ended up writing about my Monday because took up an entire page and a quarter. I also liked that I wrote too much for that day because I had learned vocab to describe what we did but the other two days would have required a lot of Naver Dictionary…

I finished my writing pretty early and then studied vocab on Quizlet for a bit. After all my academic priorities were taken care of, I just relaxed in bed catching up on YouTube subscriptions.

And that was the final day of my 추석 break! These three days have been action packed and I have enjoyed all these moments. If I haven’t mentioned already, I am so very grateful to my host family {and NSLI-Y might I add} for giving me all these amazing memories. Thanks for reading!~

  • Emma 엠마
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