Before Typhoon Noru sweeps in this coming Monday, my host family and I decided to make a quick beach trip to 율포해수욕장 which is a beach on the southern coast of South Korea. Two years ago I visited Busan’s famous beach,  해운대, with my NSLI-Y cohort but we went during May and it was too cold to swim. I also visited Jeju’s beaches six years ago with my 하니 and 하지 (nickname I have for grandparents), but that was in April and it was also too cold to swim. This was my first summer beach visit where we splashed around in the water, rode banana boats and made 팥빙수 (red bean bing soo) sand castles. It truly felt like a day in summer vacation.

Friday after my test my host dad came and picked me up at school. Usually I would take the bus home, but driving takes about 1/3 the time. I then came home to a house in chaos as everyone was running around trying to get ready. I had not eaten lunch yet so as I was eating my 초밥 (rice inside of fish cakes) my host sisters were playing hide and go seek. It was really nice to see them play together and not on their phones for once. My host mom was packing up snacks and getting hats and sunscreen, etc., ready. I have no idea where my host dad went during this time. The dog was just running in circles.

About thirty mins later we were out the door. My host mom looked at my and was like “정신 없다” which is sort of like to be out of your own mind. People use that phrase when you are really tired or really stressed. For us it was because we have been go-go-go since this morning.

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H, S, and me in the car. Their hats are adorable and H was saying that she looked like an 아줌마. Koreans do not joke around with their hats. On the car ride we played word games together.
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At the beach. Everyone wears these full body suits to protect their skin from the sun. Some people even wear face masks so that only their eyes, nose holes and mouth are showing. In Korea everyone wants paler skin… my host mom even bought me this product called “whitening” when I first got to Korea which took me a back a little…
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The water was incredibly warm and the sea floor was made of this clay like mud. I really liked playing with it — you could mold it into any shape — but my sisters wanted none of that.
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My host family and I took a Banana boat (the thing to the left), a speed boat, and a giant four person raft. On the banana boat the speed boat that towed us made a quick turn purposefully at the end to fling us into the water. This made S cry, so she then refused to take the next raft ride with us. On the speed boat the ahjushi who drove us would make incredibly steep banks that I felt like the boat could tip over, but it never did. He was clearly very skilled at his job. S and H were screaming in the back “제발!!! 살려줘!!” “Please!!! Save me!!!!!”.  
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A raft that is able to get air.
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After the rides I then made sand castles with the two girls while the host parents went to relax in the tent. I thought it was funny that they wanted to make 팥빙수, red bean shaved ice, with the sand.
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As the sun began to set people left the beach. 
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Last photo I took before we left to get Chinese food on the way home.

 

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