I would be skipping Korean class today in order to go to an SBS 방송 (translates directly to a broadcast by the Korean company SBS). I did not really know what to expect but I ended up speaking with my Korean teacher about it and she allowed me to skip class to attend. (My host siblings also went to school and then got out early so that they could also come.) The morning was simply spent studying and relaxing. My host dad also brought me this really delicious red bean bun as a snack which helped give me the energy needed to get through my workbook pages.
With my host family, we drove about 45 minutes to an SBS building (not really sure which building or station (?) as there must be multiple in 서울). We hung around on the first floor for a while until our tour guide was ready which was a bit awkward because all the security guards were staring at us. I mean I know that is their job? But it still was weird and I felt pretty uncomfortable. In the building, there was a taping of a show happening. The two men that were hosting the show were popular comedians. I recognized one as having been a member of the Hello Counselor cast: 김태균. We got to listen to that for a bit before moving on. The tour guide showed us around some of the floors in order to see rooms where things are edited, monitored, planned, etc. We got to go into one of the broadcasting rooms and played around with the equipment for a bit. I think one of the coolest parts of the tour was that we got to out onto the floor of the SBS News Studio! Seeing all the cameras and the lighting still up and the fancy news table and chairs were really interesting. I have never been in a studio before or in any area where things are filmed so it was a very cool experience.
At the end of the tour, we got to watch videos of other things that SBS is in charge of like dramas and sports and such. They had these life-size posters of popular dramas like “My Love from Another Star,” ”Heirs,” as well as ”Secret Garden.” My host dad was so surprised to hear that I had seen Secret Garden. He exclaimed that it was one of Korea’s most famous dramas, but I guess because it is quite old (I think from 2008 or 2007?) he was shocked to know that I had seen it.
After our tour ended, we picked up some groceries from the Lotte Mall across the street before heading back home for our lunch/dinner. While we were eating dinner, I also found out that our plans for the day were not over–we would also be going to watch an end of the year concert by the local 고양시 orchestra and choir (including a youth choir, too). The performance was honestly really great. The youth choir sang a lot of Christmas songs like the classic “All I Want for Christmas is You” as well as the less loved but just as widely known “Let It Go” from the Disney movie Frozen while the orchestra played a lot of very popular songs. (I am not knowledgeable on the songs but I definitely recognized them from here and there. I think one has a title about some bumble bees possibly? Not too sure… but I enjoyed the performance a lot!)
At night (and I am talking past midnight), I ended up calling my mom back in America because I suddenly was hit with a wave of severe homesickness (probably because being with my host family for the whole day made me miss my own family). It started off being just a call to update each other but then my mom hit me with that “What do you miss the most from America?” which ultimately led to me crying. While I was on the phone with her–crying and sniffling–I heard noise from outside my bedroom door. I am assuming that one of my host parents woke up to use the bathroom and definitely heard me crying in my bedroom… awkward…but oh well.
I woke up Friday morning so happy to be on break~ I haven’t been going to school all week but today (perhaps because there was no Korean class and because the weekend was approaching–and the holidays) I just felt so good. After I woke up that morning, I filmed a quick house tour (mostly just of my room–explaining every small little knick-knack too. It was quite extra.)
I ended up going to a cafe in 고양시 with Katie to study Korean while she worked mostly on college applications. We were there for several several hours before we left to grab lunch at a convenience store. (We love giving our wallets a break with 2 dollar lunches!)
I had gone home quite early after saying goodbye to Katie as my host dad and host mom had plans to go out and see a musical late at night. I was going to stay with my host siblings and watch a movie with them. My host mom brought back popcorn from the movie theater and made us all hot chocolate–she went all out for us. After they left, we ended up just picking out a movie from Netflix. I believe it was a Netflix Original but the name is slipping from my mind right now. It was your basic cheesy Christmas movie but it was nice to be able to watch it with my siblings. After it was over, we continued the marathon with one of the best Christmas movies of all time: Polar Express. When the hot chocolate scene came on, you know I was singing along.
Also, my older host sister showed me this app she has been using recently to practice English which involves dubbing her voice over clips from movies, tv episodes, commercials, etc. I ended up giving it a try too and dubbed my voice over a clip of Secret Garden. It actually turned out really well! I can whine in Korean pretty well!
And that was my Friday night~ I hope you enjoyed reading this post. Follow my blog for more posts about my study abroad experience in South Korea with NSLI-Y! (As I am posting this… I have less than 3 weeks left in Korea… Oh, where has the time gone? It is feeling VERY bittersweet…)
- Emma 엠마