Last weekend, my friend, Danielle invited me to her house in Hoboken, New Jersey. It was my first visit to an American household. I took a train from Mercy to Grand Central, and then, I took a bus to Hoboken. The bus took about 10 minutes and my friend’s house was not far from the bus stop. The houses in Hoboken looked individual for me because there are a lot of apartments in Korea. Her house had three floors and a basement. Every part of the house was adorable, but my favorite part was the basement. There was a big couch and a big TV in the basement. The big couch was so big that three of us slept there together. Also, the TV had a lot of movies and series so I felt like I could have stayed there more than 1 week without going outside. It was adorable, comfortable and cozy. It was really hard for us to get out of this couch, so we slept until noon for three days. We watched movies, and it did not even matter if they were stupid movies. The coldness outside was so crazy last weekend that we all wanted to stay there all day. I like my dorm room, but it is not warm enough and importantly I don’t like the mattress of my bed. However, the couch was so soft that I felt like I was in my house in Korea and it definitely reminded me my family, friends and home in Korea.
On my first day in Hoboken, my friend’s dad made us dinner. He went to a grocery store for us and made chicken pasta and balsamic salad. The food was great and filling and I loved the conversation we had during dinner. Living in dorm, I have meals in my room alone or I have sandwiches or salads that I can eat quickly, so I just don’t savor my meals. However, I had good friends to have dinner together and good food that I can savor that night. It was a long dinner but happy dinner. It was the first time meeting my friend’s family, but we talked about various things. They asked about my family and my Mercy life and I told them about my classes, dorm life and new friends. Also, we shared some funny stories and episodes. My friend wants to go to Korea but her dad thinks it is dangerous, so we persuaded him together that Korea is safe enough. I also recommended some great places in Korea like Je-ju Island, Seoul and Busan. Talking about my own country was fun and I was happy that I could give them some information. After dinner, we had ice cream and coffee, talking endlessly.
We also did a game, Candyland. My friend’s mom joined us too. Candyland is a simple racing board game. This child game requires minimum counting skills and there is no strategy in this game. Players can’t make choices and they just follow the card directions. This game is dependent on only luck. This is why we had so much fun with this game. My friend Danielle showed her happiness whenever her mom got bad cards and her mom said smiling, “You are happy because your friends did not get bad cards.” We did Candyland over and over until her mom needed to go to bed. It is one of Danielle’s favorite games and I heard that she and her mom once played Candyland over 4 hours when there was a blackout. It was a good experience since in Korea, we do not do something with parents when we go to a friend’s house. I thought I should try playing some games with my friends and my parents. I believe it will be fun.
In the morning on my last day, my friend’s father tried a really spicy Korean Ra-men. There were two kinds of Ra-men, one was a normal spicy “Shin Ra men” and the other was a extraordinary spicy “Buldak Bokkummyean.” Preparing for the trial, he brought a big bottle of water and sodas and Danielle and her mother held their phones out for recording. I was also excited to see him eat spicy ra-men, because I wondered what foreign people would think about the spicy ra-men. After a few seconds of his trial, his face started to get red and he started drinking water. It took a while for him to finish the spicy ra-men, however, he loved it. He said “It is delicious spicy and makes my nose fresh!” I told him that even I, a Korean, cry when I eat that ra-men. Also, I recommended him that it is better to eat without stopping since it gets more and more spicy as time goes on.
I experienced a lot last week. I went shopping and I saw the Empire State Building turned into red for Valentine’s day from the opposite part of the river. I did a lot, but the conversations I had are the most impressive thing I did. I felt the warmth and happiness of a family. The last weekend reminded me of my family, friends and home. My friend’s family made me forget my willingness and determination to study hard abroad alone and made me miss my family, friends and boyfriend. I know I will get over it, but right now, I really want to see my family.