Tuesday was productive! I might have slept in a little too late… but besides that, I was able to do laundry which was desperately needed for a while now. However, due to my productivity mixed with not managing my time well, I was late meeting up with Katie to study at a cafe before class. I did end up getting there eventually! We just hung out at TwoSome Place for around an hour trying to cram study for our quizzes and I attempted to finish my workbook. (Attempted… did not finish, unfortunately).
We both got lunch from the 편의점 and hung out at the youth center while eating. I felt like I had not seen everyone in so long even though we were all together for activities on Saturday. One highlight from then was the moment Kaitlyn told us her ridiculous dream about program dismissal after she walked off the elevator shaking around a cup of yogurt and granola yelling program dismissal in a booming voice. She told us she had a dream that 민정쌤 came up to her while she was eating yogurt and granola and told her to pack up her bags because she was being dismissed from the program and being sent back to America. Kaitlyn was shocked and asked why and 민정쌤 pulled out the contract that we all signed stating that we would abide by all NSLI-Y rules and pointed to a clause in really really really fine print that read “participants shall not eat yogurt and granola.” Everyone in the room erupted in laughter at her story. It was fun and I will never be able to forget it (especially whenever I eat yogurt).
Korean class today was pretty good as well. We actually learned a grammar point that I studied (partly) the week before. I have been wanting to know how to express hypothetical situations (ㄴ/는다면), so I self-studied it. Because of this, I found the class a bit easier as I was able to follow along. I also studied the new chapter’s vocab which helped immensely, too. Besides that, nothing about the class was too memorable. We did have some fun conversations about winning the lottery, becoming invisible, and such. We talked about pollution and the melting ice glaciers in the North and South Pole which made me feel like I was somewhat good at Korean seeing that I could understand that conversation and add my two cents. Positive Vibes.
During one of the breaks, I went with Josh to this cafe (I think it is called Starlight–별빛) and the barista talked to us and asked us about Korean class–it was really cute. Josh goes there every Monday and Tuesday to buy coffee and I can see why. The prices were pretty good and the atmosphere was super adorable! They also had rainbow cake! I definitely want to try that sometime~ I will have to bring Katie.
I went home right away after class but as soon as I sat down in front of my desk at home, my host mom calls me to tell me that we will be eating Chinese food out. She sent me the address and told me to use the internet to find it. I was confident that I could do it once I realized how close it was (A big thanks to Kakao Maps), and I eventually figured out that we had been there once prior around the time of my younger host sister’s birthday. I waited outside the restaurant for a bit because my host family was coming back from getting photos taken. When I saw my host dad and eldest host sister from the corner of my eye, I was so relieved. Finally, I could escape the cold (and the stares from the other passersby). We all shared some 짜장면, 짬뽕, and 탕수육. Everything was very delicious.
While we were eating, I goofed around with my host sisters. They kept mimicking my movements and what I said in order to annoy me (glad to know that children all around the world have the same annoying tactics). I also taught them how to drink tea like British royalty (pinky up!).
(Song – Back in Time (Lyn))
Today I met up with Addie after she had her 연세 interview (She is trying to get admitted there for university! If things work out well, she will be in Korea for the next 4 years! UPDATE: She got in! Full scholarship and everything!) to hang out at a cafe and get some work done. I have finally downloaded Mango Plate (I believe it is comparable to Yelp? If that is even used in America?) which shows you the best-reviewed cafes and restaurants in the area. Using that app, Addie found this tiny cafe on the second floor of this building which served pretty expensive drinks but the atmosphere and cookies were worth it. Actually, when we were trying to find the cafe, the stairs up to it were pretty sketchy, to be honest. The cafe interior reminded me of the basement of a British bar (not that I actually have experience in that type of location). All the tables had red plaid tablecloths and the music that was playing was strictly classical. It was really nice though~ Addie and I sat at the windowsill and enjoyed the good desserts and drinks while people watching in between studying.
Addie and I studied and were mostly productive for around 5 hours! Yeah, I am not kidding. We truly grinded~ I finished so many workbook pages, edited some blog posts, and memorized lots and lots of vocabulary. When 6:00 pm rolled around, we made our way to the 연세 university campus to meet up with NSLI-Y Summer 2016 Alumna Adilene. We got there about 15 minutes early (and she ended up being a little bit late) so Addie walked with me through campus. She showed me some of the buildings and this one statue. Previous to today, I had never been on the campus and it felt really cool being able to walk around even if it was only for a few minutes. I have not had the opportunity to visit many college campuses (less than a handful) so I still feel in awe whenever I walk on a huge campus. Seeing busy students walk by–the hustle and bustle of everything–makes me excited and terrifies me at the same time!
Eventually, Adilene showed up and we went and had dinner at Kyochon Chicken. While we were studying, Addie and I realized that that restaurant was right in front of the cafe and once we spotted it, we could not help but crave chicken. After eating some delicious chicken (Honey & Soy Garlic), we updated each other on our own lives and reminisced on our pasts–just like my meeting with Madeline. Wow, so many meetings with old friends this week! I am so grateful to have met so many amazing people these past few years~ Adilene goes to school in the states but attended 연세 for this semester to complete her year of study abroad. (For her next semester, she will be attending a university in Tokyo, Japan!) Catching up was very nice~ I hope we can meet up very soon (Either again in Korea if she comes back while she is in Japan, or in NYC during the summer/school year~)
That is all for this blog post! I hope you enjoyed~ Subscribe to my blog for more posts about my travels in South Korea as a part of my gap year before university! Thanks for reading!
- Emma 엠마