Well that went so much better than I had expected. I got picked up by Yae-An’s (I’m almost convinced I’m not spelling that properly) parents at the school at 9-ish and from there we went to Incheon to see some war memorials and a traditional Korean village. I’m not really sure why we went to the war memorials since they’re all American memorials. I assume it has something to do with Yae-An’s military father, either that or they assumed Canadian and American history are interchangeable.
After that, we went to her grandparent’s house for a family Chuseok celebration. I got to meet all her relatives and though most couldn’t speak any English, we got along well. I had lunch at the kid’s table for the first time in many moons, but it was for the best since most kids could speak English. In the picture on the left, you can see a little girl with a traditional Korean dress called hanbok. I should have taken a full length picture of her, it’s a really nice dress and she was such a cute little kid. After a traditional lunch, the kids (we) all went to a park to play. When I got dressed for this day, I was worried that it was a semi formal affair so I rocked some dress pants, dress shoes and a polo shirt. Not only was this a bad idea due to the unearthly heat we’re having in Korea, but wearing dress clothes in a playground serious limits your opportunities for fun. Once we tired from the park, the whole family went to a bowling alley. I feel like bowling is a very Korean activity. It has that “crappy American culture” aspect to it that Koreans are so fond of, same way there are Outback Steakhouses and so many “Western Bars” with neon cowboys here. So bowling was fun and turns out a few of kids had never bowled before. After bowling we went back to her grandparent’s apartment for supper, which was essentially the same as lunch. Still delicious though. I got called out for my lacking chopstick skills by one of Yae-An’s cousins when I took longer to eat than everyone else. Whatever. Give me a knife and fork and I’d have that finished like two hours before the meal was even served! My commitment to cultural integration is amazing, right? Around 7pm, people started leaving. It was a very cool days and I think I’m really lucky to have experienced life in a Korean family so early in my trip. I hope to have many other experiences like this this year.