Passport {Forgetting}, Pancakes, and Pizza in Korea {10/18/18} NSLI-Y Korea AY

10/18/18 Thursday

Today was a very interesting day. The plan was to head over to 고양시’s Immigration Office (which happens to be very close to 화정역) with 민정쌤 in order to process the application for my Alien Registration Card; however, that plan was sorta delayed at first because my lovely RD left my passport at the Better World Office!!!

We had gotten to the Immigration Office just fine and on time (early even). I used the photo booth to take a cover picture for my application and 민정쌤 helped me get all the documents together. A couple days before today, my homeroom teacher gave me my (and Katie’s) 재학 증명서 (Certificate of Student Registration/enrollment) and I was supposed to bring it to Better World on Tuesday but I forgot. 민정쌤 scolded me during break time and warned me to make sure I bring it. The night before our scheduled meetup, she assaulted me with texts about not forgetting it and asking me if I had put it in my bag yet. But she goes and forgets my passport! Though, to be honest, I did not really mind. I understood that it was just a mistake. But when the employee at the window asked for my passport and I could visibly see the change of emotions on 민정쌤’s face, I could not help but laugh. I tried to cover my mouth to muffle the sounds of laughter but I couldn’t help it.

I ended up waiting for her on the first floor while she went back to Better World for the passport. There was this cafe on the first floor with some seating (that I think was a part of the cafe) and free wifi! This cafe was honestly the best because there were so many drink options on the menu and the drinks were so cheap! I ended up ordering a green tea latte and it was only 2,000 won (about two dollars). Most big-name chain stores sell lattes for around 5-6,000 won (about 5 to 6 dollars). Additionally, they had fruit smoothies and milkshakes for cheap, too. I wonder if it is open to the public? Or if it is just for the workers in the building (as the immigration office took up one of the floors of the building–it was not its own building).

passport 9

View from my seat at the cafe. Like I said, it is definitely not a traditional cafe. There are not even any walls!

By the time 민정쌤 came back (about 1 hour later), I had practiced my presentation more and studied some vocab that would be on my test later. We rushed back up to the office, waited a bit more, and were able to finish getting everything in order. At one point, the employee that was helping me asked if I could speak Korean and I responded with “Not really” and 민정쌤 playfully slapped me on the arm and said “Liessss.”

passport 1

Working on my powerpoint and looking over my workbook (이화 2-2 워크북)

After we successfully filed everything and paid for it to be delivered to my host family’s home, we left to go back to 홍대. We decided to get some American food for lunch because we figured we would get something usually expensive/something I’ve been missing. We ended up going to this place called Travel maker that serves up American style breakfasts {for reasonable prices too like pricy diners/brunch places back home would have cost a bit more.} It’s also the place that all the NSLI-Y kids went to get brunch at when they were off of school on Friday {while Katie and I were at 하나고}.

I ordered strawberry and banana pancakes and the pancakes themselves were so delicious~ but the strawberries were not very fresh and they drenched the stacks with this sugary strawberry sauce that I was not a fan of. I still enjoyed them though~ 민정쌤 got blueberry waffles which were very good, too!! Over lunch, we talked about so many things. 민정쌤’s past work experience, how I’m doing in Korean class, our favorite seasons, and my dog Biscotti back home. It was really nice to sit and chat with her and I’m so thankful to have such a great RD like her~ Although she forgot my passport, I wouldn’t have changed a thing about that morning/afternoon with her.

passport 4

우리 사랑하는 RD

After our brunch {I guess it was Brunch!}, we walked along the park pathway to school which was super nice because some trees were already changing colors so the scenery was just beautiful!

During Korean class, I struggled a lot as per usual. This one grammar point wasn’t coming easily to me and I was really confused on how to correctly utilize it. There were also parts of the class where I was having trouble following along but it wasn’t just not understanding vocabulary but the fact that I keep my attention and focus on the teacher. I have to concentrate more on listening in Korean than English {as I would assume is the same way for many people learning another language} and for some reason, that day, I was having trouble concentrating. Additionally, I just got frustrated so many times. My teacher asked me to explain a one-way trip and while I was looking at the image and creating a sentence in my head, she then asks Jacquelyn to define it—which she did perfectly fine. I was just a bit discouraged because I knew I could have done it but I needed some time to just create the sentence in my mind. But I understand with the pace of this class… I need to keep up…

Our presentations went really well—all of my classmates included {if that wasn’t clear by the usage of the word “our”}. I think my actual presentation wasn’t too bad though I wish I practiced it more. I was proud of all that I wrote, though. I wrote 4 minutes of content rather than 3 minutes and I think I did a good job at comparing my home town to 고양시 using interesting aspects and things we learned in class {like public transportation}.

After class, I waited for 민정쌤 to help me complete my new daily goal for this month. While we were riding the subway and at breakfast, we discussed my goals for this month; I ended up making two goals. My first one was to have a conversation with my host siblings {just one or all three it didn’t matter} every night. I could ask them questions about themselves or simply talk about their day—anything to get a conversation flowing.

My second goal was about language learning and more specifically retention of vocabulary studied. I told her that after a day of class, I could have up to 80 words that we talked about in class that aren’t in our textbook in my notes. (AN: this number has DEFINITELY decreased as the class has gone on– and as I have improved.)

I explained that it’s honestly impossible for me to study 30+ textbook vocabulary and 80 other words after every class. I could not retain it all. Especially, when certain words we use are very unusual in normal conversation and I probably won’t use them for a while like to cremate or carbon dioxide. {Don’t ask what we talk about in class! XD} So from now, I will be going to 민정쌤 after class for her to choose the words she thinks I should focus on learning. We agreed to do 10 on the goal sheet… but after this class, she marked 22! While this was going on, my teacher was waiting by the door. I assumed it was to talk to 민정쌤 but it turned out she was waiting for me; therefore, I made the 15 min walk from Better World to the subway station with my Korean teacher—and we spoke all in Korean. It was difficult and extremely awkward but rewarding nonetheless. I got to practice speaking to a person who would be patient with me and not resort to English when I didn’t understand. I also got to ask her a question about the new grammar point which cleared up much of my confusion. I enjoyed our conversation thoroughly~ One funny part about the convo was that she asked me what I was doing after class and I told her I was eating dinner and going to a 노래방 with a friend. I felt like I might have been judged for not going home right away so I explained that my host sister has piano lessons on Thursdays and since it’s loud, I like to stay out later than normal. And then she asked me with what friend and before I was able to finish saying Kaitlyn, she assumed I was about to say Katie and goes “Katie, of course.” We laughed for a bit before I explained that I do indeed have other friends! And that Katie is probably sick of me after spending an entire week together literally (Thursday was the first day of the week where I did not see her.)

After parting ways with my Korean teacher, I found Kaitlyn, Alix, Liam, and Jacquelyn in front of a cafe and we all went to Morning Glory together and walked around for a bit. I ended up buying a daily planner there so I could keep track of our activities, Korean class homework, tests, etc. We always have so many meeting locations and meeting times to keep in our head so I think my planner will help me keep track of those.

Alix, Kaitlyn, and I originally planned to find this one place selling grilled cheese; however, the place was quite small with no indoor seating (or bathroom which was a necessity for me at the time…) so we kept walking to find something else. We came across this one restaurant that was advertising pizza in the window which looked like normal pizza you would find in America (not sweet or with corn or potatoes as toppings). And that was what we ordered: pizza! And it was so delicious! It was a thin pizza with mostly cheese and no tomato sauce but it felt familiar and the pizza taste I have been searching for! Also, we were served pickles and honey with the pizza (do not knock it till you try it…the pickles were great and the pizza dipped in the honey was weirdly delicious.). My host dad, earlier during the month, asked me if Americans eat pickles with pizza and we really do not (or at least in my area). Though I think Koreans got this part of pizza right. Pickles should be a side dish with pizza!

We were originally planned to go to a 노래방 but it was pretty late so we all decided to just go home and get some rest. Though, while walking to our respective platforms, Kaitlyn and I tried these mini pastries called 서울파이 (Seoul Pie) that we have been eyeing for a while but never bought any to try. We did tonight though! A bougie dessert!

passport 10

I came home and hung out with my host sisters for a bit asking them questions and just talking about their day at school. I made my quizlet for the class, adding the words 민정쌤 marked for me. Looking at the words again, I remembered when 민정쌤 circled the verb for to eat a lot/overeat and she looked at the word to drink too much and said, “You do not need to know that.”

That is all for this really long blog post! This has probably been one of the longest blog posts in a while. It was such a busy, hectic day but nonetheless one of the most fun! Thanks for reading~

  • Emma 엠마

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