I did not have any big, exciting plans for Friday. I texted some of the students on NSLI-Y too see if anyone was free and wanted to hang out (I did not want to stay home on a Friday–at least not all day). Harmony invited me to come over to Gangnam so she could show me around but we ended up actually going to this really cute cafe nearby rather than roaming the streets. This cafe was called Emma & Lia which peaked my interests when she first told me about it because I mean… look at the name!
The cafe had a baked goods section so instead of ordering the overpriced drinks, we indulged in some overpriced food. Harmony bought a sandwich for lunch while we shared this croissant-like pastry that was shaped in a dome. I also had this chocolate pastry which was literally a chocolate cake that was filled with straight-up chocolate–like a lava cake I would say! It was all very delicious! We hurried and finished our food before actually starting our work. We stayed at the cafe for a couple hours working on our CEP research project as well as class homework (lots of grammar review!) This was the first time I had hung out with Harmony–just the two us. We have been together in other group activities before but hanging out at the cafe was good for us to just talk and get to know each other better.
Harmony had community service at the youth center this night so we ended up riding the subway up together which was nice seeing that it took me out about an hour and 20 minutes to get back to my home station. Because she came with me for half the journey, I only had to take the train by myself for 40 minutes. (Oh the struggles of living so far…)
I came home and ate dinner with my host sisters and we had some really fun and interesting conversations. I really enjoy just sitting at the kitchen table together and talking. We discussed our types for guys which were interesting. Once again, my older host sister brought up the Would You Rather question about dating a hot guy with some lacking personality or Edison with perfect traits except his looks… of course, I laughed enough to avoid answering this question.
On Saturday, my favorite person on the NSLI-Y Program (Katie <3) came to visit me at 탄현역 and she even came to my host family’s house! When she first came, I showed her a tour around the three-story mall type building connected to the station. (Again how do I describe this?? From now on, I will call it a mall!) We eventually decided to go to a bakery so that we could eat some delicious bread while studying. Besides the Twosome Cafe outside and the one travel-themed cafe I went to with Josh, I have not been to many of the cute cafes or bakeries in the mall, so I was happy to try a new one with Katie. (Mostly because I am too anxious to explore by myself all too much!) One of the small, sweet bread loaves that we ended up sharing was called “남편보다 더 달콤하다” (or sweeter than your husband). Fitting.
We studied at the bakery for a couple hours before heading back to the apartment. Katie met my host mom and younger sister and of course ANDY! We immediately headed into my room and just laid on my bed together and chatted for the rest of the afternoon. Andy is such a player (a play puppy if you will) and wanted to get close to Katie right away–never leaving her side.
It was nice hanging out with her in my room because it reminded me of just hanging out casually with my friends at my house back in the states– just chatting. I have not had that since coming to Korea so I really appreciated this moment with her~
After Katie left, I just worked on Korean homework for the rest of the night and ate dinner at home. It was a very chill and relaxing Saturday night.
Sunday is usually my do-all-your-Korean-homework-last-minute-and-also-relax-and-prepare-your-mind-for-classes-starting-back-up-on-Monday day but I actually had plans today at night! Today was Jenna’s 19th birthday, so she planned a little get together with all the NSLI-Y girls to go to an Indian restaurant. We almost got all of the girls to go but unfortunately, Shannon and Mckenzie ended up not coming.
Anyway, in the morning after breakfast, I got to try this new fruit called Hallabong (한라봉) which is a type of fruit under the umbrella that is mandarin oranges named after a mountain from 제주도 (Jeju-do). The fruit itself tasted just like a tangerine except for the fact that the size was bigger. (It also looks incredibly cute! I mean look at the shape and the cute little leaf~ I love it!)
After breakfast, I got ready for the day (or should I say for the night?) which included buying a gift for Jenna. I decided to finally visit the Artbox on the lower level of the mall connected to my subway station. I had avoided going in for so long because I love anything cute… and I especially love cute stationery so for me to go to Artbox with those traits in mind… it is always a bad idea. Some people cannot leave Target without buying things they do not need AKA leaving with their cart full although they only came with a shopping list of three items. I cannot leave Artbox without cute but insanely useless or unnecessary items.
This Artbox was the biggest one I have ever been to! It was definitely at least three times as big as the one in 홍대. There was even a space for taking photos with the characters that act as mascots for Artbox. I ended up buying a pack of colored pens, a couple of mechanical pencils, and a card and a bag for Jenna. I ended up reading the price of the pencils wrong so pencils that I thought cost less than 2 dollars… ended up being 4 dollars and 50 cents each! I love stationery but I am not crazy! I love Jenna but I was not planning to break the bank with her gift.
Eventually, I left my house and rode the train for about an hour to meet up with the rest of the girls to have a nice dinner. When we arrived at the Indian restaurant, there was literally no one there besides the family running the restaurant. We got to sit at this really long table all together while we ate which was nice since we were not separated into groups which usually happens when we hang in large numbers. I ended up getting Chicken Makhani (I think that is the spelling?) with some garlic naan which was delicious! After dinner, we went to Baskin Robbins to grab some dessert and talk more.
I was tired by the end of the night–especially knowing that I still had homework to complete once I arrived home; however, I had a lot of fun so I would not have changed anything about the night! I enjoyed being able to hang out with all the girls and although we all have our own busy schedules, it was nice to come together for one dinner like this. I hope we can do something like this again.
That is all for this blog post! I hope you enjoyed this combined post of my weekend! Thanks for reading and until next time~
- Emma 엠마