On Thursday I woke up early again and ate breakfast alone as my host family tends to wake up after I leave the house for my daily activities. Like every morning, I woke up and was greeted by my host dog 앤디 who immediately started wagging his tail when he saw me and turned onto his stomach in order to be petted by me. Honestly, getting up in the morning is hard but seeing him always brightens my day.
During the supporter/project meeting today (My instinct keeps wanting me to call our meetings supporter meetings because that is what we called them during the summer program but because of the project… that name does not seem right.), we got down to business. We assigned each member of the group a part of the research to do (For example, I was supposed to focus on statistics and policies implemented by the government.) and we fixed the project proposal to fit the suggestions that 민정쌤 made to us. It was a very productive meeting indeed!
After the meeting, I joined a large group of NSLI-Y students and supporters to go out for lunch. We decided to go eat some baked fried chicken (Confusing… yes. But there were signs all over the place with information on how the chicken was healthier than normal fried chicken.) but when we first got to the restaurant, it had just opened and the worker did not want a large group coming in because he was working by himself. Everyone complained about it for a bit but eventually, one group left to go to a coin 노래방 while the rest of us went inside to order first. We got two orders of chicken: one spicy and one original style. However, the spicy chicken was literally the spiciest thing I have eaten in a long time! I have had 김치 less spicy than that chicken. Because of the taste, a lot of people refused to eat it so Jaquelyn and I teamed up (with plenty of water) to take on the chicken so it would not be wasted. Lunch was fun because I was able to talk with more of the NSLI-Yians I have not seen in a while (since we have not been in class) as well as the supporters I have yet to have an interaction with. Hopefully, between our supporter meetings and classes, we can have more opportunities to go out for lunch together!
Again, like the last post (I am writing this post quite a few days after this day happened), I do not remember much of the rest of the day since I have no pictures from after lunch. However, one thing that did happen was that we were emailed our feedback and grades from our December unit test. I was really nervous to look at it but I didn’t really have any expectations because I assumed I would see my lower grades on both the writing and reading test (in comparison to my previous tests) as well as the same OPI Score: Intermediate Mid 1. However, I was wrong!!! (Well, the lower scores were high key spot on…) But… I actually moved up in my OPI level! My teacher said that both my way of speaking/expressing myself (verbally and in my writing too actually) and my vocabulary has greatly expanded which made me deserving of the level change. So now, your girl is at Mid 2! I could not be any happier. This really came at a good time because I think that it was the confidence boost that I really needed. I know from now on, it is going to be extremely difficult for me to move up to Intermediate Mid 3 and these months till then will be hard but I will study hard to get there. I am not sure if I said this on here (or if I should because if I fail… I will be depressed…) but my goal by the end of the program is Advanced Low. That is 3 levels above where I am right now. Getting there in 4.5 months. Possible? Hopefully!
There were no program activities scheduled on Friday, so I decided to plan a fun day hanging out around Seoul with Kaitlyn. We really wanted to go and get some good pasta at Olive Garden (I thought I found one near 경복궁 when I visited there with 수진언니) but I could not find the original one where I thought it was located, so we tried following Kakao maps. This Olive Garden–although it showed up on Kakao Maps–did not exist! We walked around the right building and even checked the address but it was not there. As we started walking back to the subway station, we spotted an Outback Steakhouse. I have never been to one of these restaurants in America but I really wanted pasta–American style food in general.
Everything there was so expensive! I am talking $22 meal expensive but I guess the portion size of pasta was huge and we got a side of really delicious mushroom cheese soup and some bread. And I am assuming the prices are the same back home in America too, right? The lunch with Kaitlyn was fun but also very embarrassing because I made a fool out of myself in front of the waiters. I told them we could speak Korean so that they would not speak to us in English but then this prompted the waiter to speak so quickly with us and wow, it was difficult to understand him explaining the different parts of the meal.
At the end of the meal, a different waiter came up to ask us if we wanted a take-home box or refills and it took me a good long minute to figure out what he said, which led me to stare at him blankly for a bit. And then (to continue the mess that was my Korean abilities this day) when we got up to pay at the counter, the host asked if we were ready to pay or something along the lines of that and I literally replied with “no.” I misheard him and assumed he asked me if we were paying separately so I replied with no while handing him cash to pay for the meal. He looked at me so strangely but accepted the money and we were on our way. As soon as the doors closed and we had left the restaurant, I could not help but laugh and low key scream at myself for being so stupid.
We also went to a Tous Les Jours Cafe for a bit and just chatted. We talked about the CEP projects, getting back into the swing of Korean classes, as well as the recent OPI scores. I have never been to one of the cafes that are built into a Tous Les Jours or a Paris Baguette and I have to say it was nice. Like a normal cafe, you can get drinks but then there is a large variety of sweet and savory pastries and food to munch on while there. After spending some time near 서대문역 for a bit, we returned to 홍대 in order to pick up a package for Kaitlyn at Better World. We walked around the main streets for a bit and watched some busking, did some shopping, etc.
I came home early to eat dinner with my host family and I also hung out with our host dog for a bit. I started some of my homework but only got a few workbook pages done. I was tired from walking around the whole day and just wanted to relax for the rest of the night.
That is all for this blog post! I hope you enjoyed reading~ I feel that this winter break is going to be really great~ I find that doing this project is the kind of academic activity I have been missing and I hope that I can truly make more strides in my Korean language learning journey during these two months. Additionally, with more free time, I hope I can do more fun things! Subscribe to my blog for more!
- Emma 엠마