Celebrating Katie’s Birthday with a “Surprise Party” {11/23-11/24/18} NSLI-Y Korea AY

11/23/18 Friday

Nothing too out of the ordinary happened at school today (When it came to the academic side of things)~ Nothing really worth mentioning at least. Economics was fun only because 세림 is there to talk to me. Philosophy was another class of not understanding anything but pretending to be alert. Luckily, our teacher gave us the last 40 minutes of class to do whatever our hearts’ desired sooo I slept. It was quite nice. Right after 철학 (philosophy), I ran to my locker and then to one of the lounge back rooms in the hallway with Katie’s birthday present. I left it there so that the other girls would know where to meet with all of theirs. I hung out with Katie a bit before lunch started and told her that we needed to go to that back room {it was on a different floor too} because I lost my workbook. I didn’t think it was an unbelievable lie but apparently, Katie knows me too well and knew that if I actually misplaced my workbook, I’d be WAY more emotional.



When we got to the room, everyone’s back was turned and then I jumped into the room, and we all screamed happy birthday. We then sang and handed Katie all of her gifts. To go along with tradition, the girls and I hit Katie on the back 19 times because she was turning 19. We had lunch afterward and hanging out with everyone was so fun~ I am always reminded, when I’m with these girls, how lucky I am!

After school, I went to Twosome Place with Katie. I bought her a milkshake and she got to eat the birthday cake I bought her~ When I ordered for the both of us, I asked her if there was an option for paying with card and the lady was shook. She told me “Wow, you are so good at Korean.” We laughed because we are literally so confused when this lady speaks half of the time. The compliment was really nice and appreciated, though.


Technically, we aren’t allowed to bring food into the cafe… but where else would Katie have eaten a fancy cake? In order to hide the fact that we didn’t buy it there… I might have stolen a dirty plate from the return pile near the trash bins and put it the cake on there!! {Sanitary? Not in the slightest bit…} We hung out and talked, studied a bit, and just had fun together~

Though, while Katie was taking photos of her birthday cake, she dropped her iPhone right on top of the cake slightly squishing it and getting icing on her phone screen. She quickly grabbed it out and cleaned her phone while I was absolutely no help trying to keep myself from laughing too loud and annoying the other customers in the cafe. I took the above picture at a certain angle so you could not see the dent in the cake from Katie’s phone.

11/24/18 Saturday

Today was going to be a jam-packed, busy day! First, I would be going to the Express Bus Terminal with Kaitlyn to do some cheap shopping and then hopping on over to the COEX Mall in 강남 to eat some REAL American pizza {so no 옥수수–corn} in order to celebrate Katie and Alix’s birthday.

Kaitlyn and I met up at around 2 pm. At first, I was worried that we would spend 5 years walking around trying to find the underground shopping {because that’s what Sofia and I did when we went there for the first time in 2016} but we just happened to go out the right exit. We literally spent more than 3 hours there. We first walked down one side of the long corridor of vendors before grabbing some lunch at the “food court” type thing. {I called it that but it really wasn’t similar to an American mall food court… there were just individual restaurants and convenience stores.}

Kaitlyn and I stopped at this one cafe looking place because we saw that they were advertising this grilled cheese sandwich. I was so excited to actually have grilled cheese in Korea {Though, I knew it wouldn’t be as good as my mom’s delicious, unhealthy grilled cheese with Tuna}. Kaitlyn ordered a bagel sandwich with egg and spam. We were both pretty disappointed… my sandwich literally had strawberry jam? Like what? Come Again? Kaitlyn’s bagel wasn’t really a bagel? Hard to explain fully. Short story short: we were disappointed but still ate everything because we were hungry and it was cheap.

After lunch, we got some ice cream from the convenience store and talked about our plan of attack for the shopping— we would be going around the aisles once fully and seeing what catches our eyes. Then we will return, and buy the things that really intrigue us/we can’t get out of our minds.

We ended up buying matching fake supreme sweatshirts— mine in pink and hers in white {Don’t worry… we are wearing it ironically!} and we bought lots of socks! 11 for $9! What a deal! That cannot be beaten! As for me, I went a bit crazy and bought a long cardigan, a black small cross body purse, and another cute sweater. I didn’t spend that much! And… I worked at a frozen yogurt shop for the entire summer… I think I can use some of my college savings on myself. {Evidence of me trying to give excuses for my bad decisions—shopping. Though honestly, I had not spent that much on just shopping for myself this whole time I’ve been here so I’ve been doing well. I know the value of a dollar!}

Kaitlyn bought a sweater and some shoes and I lent her money because quick tip: some places here only accept cash! Or there are fees for using your card.

Once we completed our shopping endeavors, we made our way over to 삼성역 to meet the others. I was totally ready for a truly American feast!

We ate at this pizza place that was honestly the real deal from the decorations to the parmesan cheese and pepper flake shakers on the table. Our big group of 11 {maybe 10… can’t remember} ordered 3 pies: pepperoni, margarita, and Hawaiian. We also all debated the validity of Hawaiian pizza… only three people liked it so I stood my case— pineapple does NOT belong on pizza. {Fight me!}

The pizza was so good. Incredibly greasy and heavy on the stomach– exceptional. No corn or sweet white sauce or potatoes— perfect. The bill was quite expensive and we ended up paying $10 per person but it was 100%… no 117% worth it.


After pizza, we walked around the mall for a bit which included visiting the famous StarField library {or is it a bookstore?}. I would love to go back and spend more time there. We got dessert at this place called Ben’s cookies which weren’t half bad. Although, if I’m being honest, the gelato was better than the very very very hard cookie. (Soft cookies are always number 1!)


After a few people left to go home early due to curfew, I hung out with Addie, Katie, Jacquelyn, Josh, and Liam for a bit longer. We walked to another subway station and found a Christmas tree on the way! It was so big and beautiful!


I came home kind of late and literally fell asleep right away. No studying was done this night. And so this marks the end of this blog post~ Stay tuned for the next one! I have not posted a blog in more than a week! School and Korean class workload (and my diminishing motivation) are really taking a toll on me… I have fallen behind on writing blog posts too (let alone editing them to post…) Once this monthly test is over, I will try to do a week of spammed posts!! Till then~ Bye!

  • Emma 엠마

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