Tonight as I was walking home from the bus stop after HDS, I spotted my host parents through the fogged-up windows of our usual bar (I always wave to the proprietors when I walk by, so I was looking in the windows anyway). I went in to say hello, and they were so surprised and happy that I kind of felt bad for my recent refusals to go out with them (I hadn't been to the bar in a few weeks). I was quickly given a glass of beer the size of my head, strips of dried squid (my host dad dug these out of his pocket, blackened them a little on the bar's heater, and handed them to me individually as a special treat to show his happiness at my presence), and scorchingly hot chicken wings. Everyone in the bar crowded around me and cheered and toasted to my presence, and the owner lady immediately set about cooking me little treats. Once my host parents were good and drunk, they called (and woke up) the boys to get them to come down to the bar and amuse us. They stumbled in in their pajamas and beloved hats and ate with us and said funny things that made all the grown-ups laugh. It was a really fun night...I understood/talked way more than I expected to be able to, and I got to spend quality time with the entire host family, which hasn't happened in a while...although I'm a little opposed to the idea of forcing elementary school kids to wake up on a school night and come to a bar.
I took the drooping boys home a little after 12 and have no idea when my host parents got home. This morning, though, I had to wake my host mom up to start the day (I agonized over whether or not to do it, but finally figured it would be worse for her to wake up really late and see that I was up and ready for school but had done nothing to save the family from being late), at which point she panicked and started yelling to the boys that it was 8:00 to get them to hurry(it was 7:30).
At breakfast, she gave me a class of what looked like chunky milk and tasted like paint...it kind of freaked me out. She said it was 인삼, a word that I thought means ginseng...but since ginseng tastes earthy and spicy and delicious rather than like paint, maybe I've been wrong about that.