Last Day in South Korea & Flying Home (August 13th, 2016)

Saturday (08/13/16) was the last day of my NSLI-Y Korea Summer (Seoul edition) 2016. The day started out bright and early with me waking up to take a shower before all my roommates (and the extra people in the bedroom) woke up. I finished packing all my belongings and sorting through all the thank you letters I had written before any of the girls woke up (which is crazy because if it was any other day of the summer, I would have slept in as long as possible). Room check this morning was hectic as I forgot to put away the gifts so when Maris opened the door for our resident directors, I dashed to the shelves to hide them with my body. They didn’t notice, luckily, though we did get in trouble for allowing Joy, Casey, and Sofia to sleep in our room. Our RDs told us that breakfast was in another room on the floor above us and that we had to bring our bags down to the lobby soon. I got the breakfast for everyone and we were having muffins from Paris Baguette again as well as apple and grape juice.

After we ate breakfast and brought all our suitcases to the lobby, we were given two hours to leave the premises and do whatever we wanted to do before lunch would be served in the hostel. I went off with Sofia, Angie, and Jodi to Myeongdong and explore some more. I was able to get us there quickly as I had just done the same trip the day before.

We stopped at a convenience store (for duh banana milk) and then walked the main shopping streets of Myeongdong. Sofia and I wanted bingsu for the last time but we had no memory of ever seeing a Sulbing in Myeongdong and we were not quite sure what other cafes sold good ones. We then saw Gongcha and decided to get Bingsu from there as we had it before and it was quite unique… like silk bingsu… if that makes any sense (it probably doesn’t). We ordered a Taro Bingsu and I also got the matching bubble tea drink (the last time I would be having both of these lovely foods that summer). Jodi and Angie bought some KFC chicken and brought it on over to us at Gongcha and we all ate together.

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We were all alone on the second floor

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Taro (silk) bingsu with boba and cheese cake cubes

We also stood and watched some street performances as well. There was a group of three girls and a guy as well as this trio of little girls with their “lead” being a bit older. I want to insert the video footage but my blog, unfortunately, doesn’t support videos.

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They were really cute!

When we got back to the hostel we got to have lunch. I was really hungry as only having bingsu did not fill me up. I packed a lot of things on my tray but when I sat down to finally eat, I had no appetite whatsoever. I tried eating but I couldn’t. I ended up giving most of my food to my friends and I was only able to stomach the soup and some rice.

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Ham and veggies, sweet potatoes (고구마), kimchi (김치), rice(밥), and fried tofu soup

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Cafeteria

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After lunch, we turned in our program phones, phone chargers, and T-Money Cards and then started grabbing our suitcases and getting into one of the two shuttle buses that were waiting outside for us. I didn’t want to sit down in the shuttle so I left my group and my seatmate Sofia and just left to hang out in the lobby with Ari 쌤 until all the NSLI-Y8 kids had retrieved their bags and made their way to their own shuttle bus. Then, it was realized that there were too many bags and they wouldn’t all fit underneath the shuttle bus in the bag compartment. So I helped JT and our program photographer put the extra baggage onto the bus in empty seats. Then, we were on our way.

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Our shuttle bus

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Our Bus~

The shuttle bus ride was sad but also happy as we never failed to make each other laugh even at the grimmest of times. I mostly talked to 나무 (Yves) and Jesse during the ride. We (plus Sofia) started singing our talent show song that even JT sang along and swayed his arms too. One funny conversation from the shuttle ride was when two of the suitcases fell out from the seat and into the aisle. JT exclaims “Where did these come from?” and Sofia (oh the dear friend she is) replies, “You see JT… When two bags love each other very much…” JT laughs and quickly declares “That is against program rules!” And 나무 completely puts us in a laughing fit when he interjects with “It is an extreme sport!” This was so funny to us because, in the many hours of orientation, we learned that any extreme sport (skateboarding, skydiving, rock climbing, etc) were wrong. Inside NSLI-Y joke. One day, I hope you can have the chance to understand 😉

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Yves being Yves

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View out the shuttle bus window

We got to the airport and Sofia and I helped unload the suitcases from the shuttle bus. We ended up standing around in the airport for so long while everyone checked their bags and did all the “fun” (HAH) airport stuff. Finally, when everyone’s bags got taken care of, we started moving along. JT came with us all the way to the security line (He would not be going back to Seattle with us; he was going to stay in Seoul.) and read us this long letter from him to us about how thankful he was for this summer.

His letter was a TEAR JERKER! I cried so much as it was very cute and really sweet of him to do. (Especially when he said his usual “See You Later” in his British/American/Korean English accent. JT started crying at the end of the letter and Madeline started crying too. They must have gotten so close in Korea… I was last in the security line and I hugged JT and gave him my thank you letter I had written to him. I was crying and so he told me “엠마 울지 말고!” (Emma Don’t Cry) which only made me cry even more. JT continued to tear up and said: “My tears are spicy.” Madeline laughs at this and replies “You mean salty.” JT took off his glasses, wiped his eyes and goes “No, they burn my eyes!”

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Waiting to get on the plane to Seattle

The plane ride (as well) was very difficult and sad. The minute the plane took off, I was holding hands with Sofia and we both cried together (as I assume most Nsliyians were doing at that point in time).

But, we made the most of our plane ride (and the last hours I had with my new best friend Sofia). One funny thing that happened was that the flight attendants were speaking Korean and then they heard us speak in Korean as well. One of the flight attendants said, “They understand Korean, better be careful of what we say, ladies.” The plane ride was also spent having a jam session with Sofia and 나무 behind us. We were listening to kidzbop. We whipped and we nae nae’d so hard that we got stares from Koreans (and fellow Nsliyians). Casey judged me A LOT. But if I am being honest, most of the plane ride was sad and mopey. I slept most of the time. When dinner time rolled around, Sofia and I both got 비빔밥. I started crying again when I started eating the bibimbap as It was my first Korean meal and it would be the last (of this trip).

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I got the window seat this time around

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30 minutes till Seattle :,(

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Airplane food (dinner)

 

We finally got to Seattle and we actually had gone back in time (It was still August 13th but at the time of arrival, it was around 1pm. Getting through the Seattle airport was pretty messy as our RD had to go back on the plane with a student and everyone was confused, dazed, and feeling down. At one point in time, all the kids flying on Delta were separated from the group and because of this, we were not able to say goodbye fully. No one knew that they would be going somewhere else to get their bags and so it was a very abrupt ending with those Nsliyians (though I did sneak past the security guard and gave a few final hugs especially to Sofia.) However, some of us were able to meet back up at the gates. Once we made past the check in, all the Nsliyians met up in a fast food joint and just hung out together as individuals or groups would leave one by one as their flights took off. I was waiting in the airport with the other Chicago airport Nsliyians for around 4 hours but I valued the extra time with all my friends. I also got to hang out and say goodbye to Madeline one last time (and give her my thank you card). She was also thinking of me as she asked me if I had said goodbye to Sofia properly (as she was a part of the Delta crew) and she looked reassured to know that we got to say goodbye.

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Saha and I

I ended up arriving in Chicago a little bit before midnight. I walked with all the other Chicago/Wisconsin (Angie :P) Nsliyians (Angie, Kyle, and Arjun) to baggage claim. I stood around with Angie and met her parents. We all talked until I saw my mom walk through the doors. I did that thing they do in the movies (basic) and ran to her with tears streaming down my cheek. The ride home was awkward. I sat in the back and everything was completely dark. I tried to stay straight faced and stoic in the back seat but I couldn’t help but tear up when certain memories came into my mind. I arrived home after midnight and my mom gave me some chicken noodle soup. I had trouble eating it because it was so salty. I then went to bed because I needed to get back on a good sleep schedule. I only had the Sunday and Monday to do so because my junior year of high school was starting on Tuesday.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed reading this sappy, emotional post. Do not forget to subscribe to my blog. I will not be posting any more days in Korea (as I have written about all of them) but I will still be making posts about other opportunities I come across as well as other travel things. I will also still be posting Korea content such as lists, help for future applicants and other sentimental things… You will have to subscribe to see!

  • Emma (엠마)

 

Night at The Seoul International Youth Hostel (August 12th, 2016)

Friday Afternoon (08/12/16) was a time for all the NSLI-Y scholars to spend the last couple of hours with their host families. Most went on their last cultural excursions or simply had lunch with their families one last time; however, not everyone’s host family could make time to do this. Both of my host parents had to get to work and so my last meal with them was yesterday night. Therefore they brought my luggage to the university and I was told I would make my way to the hostel with the help of one of the supporters. I wasn’t the only one, though. I was traveling with Nicole and there were about three other students who were hanging out with their supporters because their host families were busy. It was around lunch time when the ceremony ended so I went along with some supporters and our program photographer to get some lunch at one of the restaurants close to the university. It was such a hassle heading to the restaurant because we couldn’t leave our bags at the school; therefore, we had to carry them to the restaurant which was not easy. Not even that, but the restaurant they chose was on the second floor of a building so we had to carry all of our bags up the stairs (I am really surprised no one got hurt…) The lunch was nice even though I was really quiet in the beginning. (I didn’t know any of the supporters before this lunch and I was also still pretty sad about all the goodbyes and not being able to spend the rest of the day with my host family.) We went to Bbalbong. I ordered this dish of Ddeokbokki (떡볶이) and Donkatsu (돈까스) which also came with french fries, a salad, a small chicken leg, and white rice (staple). It was all very filling and delicious too! I was also able to handle the heat brought by the 떡볶이 (Spicy rice cakes). Once we got some food, I found some energy and started engaging in conversation with the other supporters and my fellow classmate Nicole. We talked about our favorite memories from Korea and even some “gossip” like who we think had feelings for each other.

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Afterward, we continued to walk down the main street and we went into a couple of stores to pass the time. We also had to stop at a glasses store as Trudi (one of the girls whose host family also had to work) needed to pick up new contacts. That store though… was so aesthetically pleasing. The shelves were so organized!

 

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띵똥와플 (Ding Dong Waffle) sprang up out of nowhere. It only started to be built a week ago and it already looked like this. Unfortunately, it wasn’t done in time for us to try out the waffles… and they look so good!~

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The famed egg blow up (I loved seeing it this summer!)

I took a taxi with one supporter (I forget whose supporter she was… but she was in my group back at the HanMi Camp as well.) to the Hostel we were staying at again. It was my first time in a taxi in Korea and it was a very nice experience. My Korean was the best it has ever been and I was able to have a good conversation with the driver about my skills and my time in Korea. He was very surprised to hear that I was only a high school student. When we got back to the hostel, we were one of the first ones there and our rooms were not even ready yet so we had to drop off our luggage in the lobby. I hung out in the lobby with the supporters and Nicole until a couple other NSLI-Y kids came back from lunch with their host fam. I believe the time everyone was supposed to back was 5pm. Abby showed up after her host mom and sister came and one of our program coordinators told us that we were allowed to leave the hostel, as long as we came back home by 5pm. I went with Abby, Nicole, Trudi, and a few of the supporters to Myeongdong which was a close walk and subway ride away from the hostel (well the main shopping area). We spent the next two hours walking around, talking, and hanging out around the area. It was great because I thought I had already made my last visit to Myeongdong but it looked like it really wasn’t the last (for the summer). We came home just in time for our rooms to be ready and we got to carry our luggage up once the room keys were administered (there was only one per room… it was weird having all the power haha). We were not in the same rooms from the beginning of the summer but we had the same room mates (so in my room there was Me, Angie, Jodi, Jane, Rhea, Grace, Maris, and Jessica). For dinner, our program totally spoiled us! They ordered each room a box of Korean fried chicken and a box of pizza (we got the plain cheese pizza but they also were giving out sweet potato pizza). It was a lot of fun to pig out on all this food while spending some of the last moments in Korea with the same people who I started out the summer with (Read about those nights here and here).

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Sofia taking candids XD

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Me writing a thank you letter to Madeline while Jodi is cooling down (Our room was very WARM!~)

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Hostel Dinner (Photo Creds: Nicole)

That night was also very hectic as I was running around the whole hostel (with Sofia at times) to finish up our group presents to our resident directors Madeline and JT. So earlier in the week Sofia and I visited the Morning Glory (A Korean Stationery Store) in Hongdae trying to find a group gift for our RDs. We were able to find these really pretty jars filled with these tiny messages/scrolls. We thought it would be a very fun idea to have every student in the program write a message for our RDs and put it in the bottle. And that is what we planned to do.

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One of the Jars we bought~

The night before the graduation ceremony, Sofia and I fixed up the bottles by putting in mostly “masculine ” colors in one jar for JT and we put all the other pastel-colored scrolls into a jar for Madeline. We also had to count out 50 scrolls for each jar to make sure it would be ready (but we kept the access in a baggie just in case some accidents were made… and there were PLENTY). Then, at night at the hostel, Sofia and I went around to every room and placed scrolls on the vanity to have all kids fill them out with short messages. You would probably think the rest of it would be easy… but it was not! I had to follow and stalk so many people trying to get them to write their message before the curfew. I literally had a list of people that didn’t hand in their scrolls yet and I had to track them down. Not only that, but getting the scrolls from the boys rooms was even more difficult because every time I would head up to their floor… JT was there. One time Kenwoo told me the coast was clear and when I came up to collect their scrolls, JT opened the door (I quickly and quietly rolled the jar down the hall… I do not think he saw me.) But he did notice that I was acting funny since he told me not to worry. He promised that everyone in the room was decent XD Eventually, however, I was able to collect all 50 and fill up the jars to look all pretty.

That night was spent mostly switching between hanging out in the lobby with my resident directors and Ari 쌤, talking with my roommates, collecting scrolls for our group presents, and hanging out in the “lounge” area of our floor. We all stayed up until past midnight just chatting. We had a curfew but we were allowed to go to other rooms even if it was past curfew (which is why Joy, Casey, and Sofia hung out with my roommates). The last night in Korea was spent well and I am glad I got to spend it with so many people that influenced me and made this summer one of the bests. (Actually… I think it earns the title of the BEST SUMMER EVER!) The next morning we would be waking up in Korea for the last time leaving for the states in the afternoon.

Thanks for reading~ And I hope you enjoyed~ 안녕 친구들!

  • Emma (엠마)

Visiting a Cat Cafe in Myeongdong and Meeting Up With a HelloTalk Friend in Edae (July 27th, 2016)

On Wednesday (July 27th, 2016) I went with a bunch of my classmates to this restaurant close to the university for some lunch. It was a big group made up of Sofia, Tucker, Nicole, Casey, Jodi and I. It was a very traditional restaurant that served us plenty of side dishes and the menu was only in Korean — no English translations whatsoever. I had ordered a dish of cold water noodles (물냉면) since I had it the night before with my host mom for dinner and it was very very delicious. My host mom finished up work a little before 8pm so she called me on my Korean flip phone telling me to walk outside of the apartment complex and find her car and then we would go out to dinner near the house. We went to this  restaurant and I ordered the cold water noodles while she ordered spicy cold noodles (비빔 냉면). I loved it so much the night before, I ordered it again!

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물냉면

Cold Water Noodles (mul-naengmyeon — 물냉면) are predominantly buckwheat noodles that are very thin and chewy. The broth of the noodles is cold and icy. It vaguely resembles slushy snow water if that makes any sense. The broth is very tangy and a bit savory. It is mostly eaten in Korea during the summer since it is a perfect dish to eat during a hot day. It is one of the dishes I know I will miss the most when I come back home from Korea.

After eating lunch, Sofia and I headed off to Myeongdong (명동) to go to a cat cafe. We had already been to a dog cafe but Sofia and I also really like cats as well, so we wanted to experience a cat cafe. We didn’t really have any specific one in mind or one that we researched. We just knew that myungdong had one since whenever we went there in the past, there was always a guy in a cat suit walking around holding a sign. We decided to just find him and ask him where we should go. We eventually found the guy walking around and I asked him in Korean “Left or Right?” but he just motioned towards us with his hands to follow him and he brought us to the building where the cafe was in. He told us to press level 3 on the elevator and then left us from there.

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Dude in the Cat Suit

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Sign Outside

When we arrived to the right floor we were in a small lobby type thing outside of the doors to get inside of the cafe. We took our shoes off and put them in this little shoe cubby and switched out footwear for indoor slippers. The girls had pink ones while the guys slippers were blue. When we got inside, we went to the counter to pay for admission that came with one free drink. (They advertise admission with one free drink but basically the admission is the drink.) The admission was $8 and both of us ordered green tea lattes.

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녹차라떼

We were ordering and talking to the manager or guy behind the counter (we later found out he was the manager from how he was talking to the other employees) in Korean and he was very impressed. He continued to talk to us in Korean and though we missed a lot of things he said, we understood the main important things.

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He showed us this laminated paper with all the rules of the cafe in English while he explained the rules to us in Korean rather than English. (which was really great since he had really good English skills. It was nice that he was helping us with our Korean listening skills.) The rules were pretty obvious but one rule that was pretty important is if a cat was wearing a blue scarf around its neck, don’t play with it or bother it. Most of the cats were wearing random colored scarves but some weren’t wearing any at all. The scarves/neck pieces (I can not explain it well enough) were super cute.

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 We sat at the back of the store and got a pretty big table to ourselves. We were able to see the whole cafe from our view point. We spent the first hour at the cafe in our seats enjoying our drinks and petting cats. I honestly prefer cats over dogs so this was heaven to me.

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The Cafe

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The cat sat next to me on the bench basically the whole time we were there.

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Sofia and a Cat!

I honestly prefer Korean cat cafes over Korean dog cafes and not just because I like cats better to begin with. Cat cafes are so much more relaxed and calm. There is no barking or screaming or any loud noises at all. The cats are also a lot easier to pet. The dogs (at least at the cafe I went to) were so hyper that they wouldn’t stay still for you to pet them. The only ones you could really pet were the ones that were sleeping. Plus, it smelled really bad at times since they would just take bathroom breaks in the middle of the floor. In the cat cafe, the cats would go through these little cat doors to a separate room in case they were not feeling human interaction and I am guessing their litter boxes were back there also since it didn’t smell bad in the actual cafe. To play with dogs you need toys and or treats or they aren’t into you. Cats are fine with just sitting on your lap and being petted. At the cat cafe, I was able to sit at a table with Sofia and do our Korean Homework while petting my favorite cat right next to me.

After the cat cafe, Sofia and I took the subway to Edae because later that afternoon we were going to meet up with one of my friends on HelloTalk that I have been talking to for awhile now. I help him practice English. HelloTalk is this app that is a community of language learners and by joining the app, you can talk to people that are native in the language you are wanting to learn while they want to learn the language you are native in. It is actually pretty great since not only do you message back and forth, but you can also correct their sentences and translate certain parts if you can’t understand it.

But first, Sofia and I walked around some of the streets surrounding Ewha womans University. We went into Artbox and even discovered that the location we were at had another level (and we have been there several times already). Right next to Artbox there was a set of stairs leading to the other levels of the building. We went up the stairs and found a cafe on the second level called “백설공주 The World Dessert Cafe.” 백설공주 means Snow White so the Cafe is named after the princess I presume. Visiting the cafe was pretty much an impulse decision but I am glad we both did since we both really liked it and there were so many things that we could order from the cafe that seemed so delicious.

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Sofia and I split an Oreo Bingsu (오레오 빙수) which was delicious! It was my first time having that flavor in Korea and it was really good. They had a lot of other things to order as well. Different flavors of bingsu, toasts, ice cream, and lots of different types of drinks.

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Menu From Google

After our bingsu it was around 5pm which was the time we were meeting up with my HelloTalk friend at the exit closest to the cafe. When we met up with him at first, it was really awkward as messaging is a lot different than real life conversation. But eventually we got over the awkward silence and soon enough Sofia was feeling chill with him too. He wanted to go get dinner but Sofia and I didn’t plan this meeting very well as we did just finish eating Bingsu. My HelloTalk friend wasn’t so familiar with the Edae area so we walked around for awhile until he finally picked a place that was appetizing to him. Sofia and I ended up sharing a dinner since we were definitely not hungry enough to eat something by ourselves. We shared a plate of mild donkatsu. Even though we both shared, we still didn’t finish it since it was A LOT of food. And when I ordered, my friend was surprised to hear me read the Korean on the menu. I guess he thought I could only speak it. It was hilarious when I explained to him that I could read, write, and speak. From then on we promised to message each other more in Korean. He felt bad for always communicating in English.

For the rest of the night we ate dinner and talked about a lot of random things. He told us what it was like going to an international school and church and explained the differences he noticed from living in the states. He actually lived not too far from where I live back in the states. It was fun meeting a Korean friend in real life since we don’t have much of a chance to meet Korean teens on program besides going up to random strangers which is dangerous and not to mention very very very weird in Korea. Since it was so fun, when I came home I started talking to another friend about meeting up and we planned to do something together with Sofia and Yves (one of my 나무반 classmates) who also talks to the same friend on HelloTalk.

That was my jam-packed Wednesday in Seoul. We did so much in only one day which explains why this post is so long. Reading it over and editing it will be a hassle! XD haha Thanks so much for reading and I hope you enjoyed~ Do not forget to follow my blog!~ 안녕!

  • 엠마 (Emma)

First Korean Language Test, Korean Cooking Class, and Myungdong!! (07/08/16)

Friday (July 8th, 2016) was a really fun day. I finally got a taste of the late curfew (on weekends our curfew was 11pm and on week days it was 9pm). I mean I got home around 9:30pm so it wasn’t too late but I felt very independent controlling what time I would get home. Friday was also my first Korean class that involved taking my first set of tests/quizzes. From now on I would have a grammar/writing test and a dialogue test every Friday.

Author’s note: Korean class was 3 hours and 30 minutes every day. The class was split into two different sections (with separate teachers teaching each class). We had a Grammar and Speaking class with one teacher, and a Listening and Speaking class with another teacher. This will help add to my test explanation. I will make a separate post solely about Korean language class in the future.

First we had our written test for the Grammar and Speaking Class. The test just went over all the different grammar points we had learned in the last week and we had to apply them to different sentences. There was also a section where we had to write full sentences using the given vocab words or grammar point. I did very well on the test actually (it was due to all of that studying). I only got 2 wrong out of 20 or so questions. The ones I got wrong were the two questions I doubted myself on (they were irregular). Either way, I was proud of myself!

Then we did a speaking test for our listening and Speaking Class. In order to pass our speaking test, we had to memorize three Korean dialogues from our textbook. We had to memorize the lines of both characters (the teacher would pick one conversation to test us for our grade). I was never told my exact grade but I do know I passed so that is good!

After our tests, our Listening and Speaking Korean Teacher showed us this video on youtube that was a song about 팥빙수 (Patbingsu – Red Bean Bingsu). It was a lot of fun! It was like a mini karaoke jam session because the lyrics were on the screen. Everyone else in the other classes came into ours during the break time because we wanted to keep on singing through break. Everyone said they were jealous of our cool teacher 😉 We also got no homework for the weekend so that was pretty awesome!~

Take a listen! Patbingsu Song by Yoon Jong-shin (윤종신)

After class, I went to this egg bread place with Sofia, Maris, and Grace. The English translation of the shop was “Older Brothers Egg Bread”. I ordered one with ketchup inside and for only $2, it was very tasty!

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The Storefront

Then we headed off to Starbucks to grab something to drink with our egg bread. We couldn’t eat too much because we had cultural activities soon (and I had cooking class so I would be eating whatever I made!).

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My chocolate banana smoothie and my egg bread

After lunch, I had a 30 minute subway ride to the cooking classes that were being held at the Food & Culture Academy (the president and lots of famous Korean actors/actresses have visited there!). When I arrived at the correct exit, I was the first one. I was afraid that I simply got the meeting place mixed up so I went back down underground but while I was doing that, I ran into this Korean guy. Right after we collided I immediately apologized in Korean and he immediately apologized in English. We both laughed after it happened and went our separate ways (I just thought I would mention it because I find it funny). I went back up to the exit and I ran into Joy who assured me that we were at the right exit. Eventually JT showed up with Vinzent. We ended up waiting a long time at the exit because Arjun and Ava were both late.

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View From the Walk to the Academy

The cooking class was a lot of fun!~ The main chef in charge was super nice and she explained everything really well. She also would tell us the Korean name for every ingredient we used in our recipe. This class we made 해물파전 (Haemul Pajeon- Korean seafood pancake). Mine didn’t end up looking too good but it was still very delicious.

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제 해물파전 (My Seafood Pancake)

After cooking class ended, Sofia and I went to MyungDong (명동) for the first time on the trip. At the Myungdong station there is a lot of underground shopping. The clothes are a pretty good price and there are kpop stores selling albums and merchandise cheaper than I could ever find on a website (and there is no shipping- SCORE!). At the subway store, I bought Jonghyun’s latest solo album as well as Taemin’s latest album. Lastly, I bought the newest BTS album for a friend back home. When I said thank you and bye to the guys running the store, they were very surprised. It was funny seeing the looks on their faces.

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Fingerprints courtesy of my little brother

Looking for socks for $1? Check Myungdong station. It is the jackpot!

Right when we got to the most popular street in Myungdong, Sofia spotted a street vendor selling Carp Bread filled with Red Bean! (Something I have been wanting to try for forever). We each bought our own and they were $3 each.

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Our Carp Bread!

Myungdong is mostly known for all the roadshop Korean makeup and skincare stores (two things I really don’t know much about since I usually never wear makeup). And you can’t go to Korea without buying something from the most famous stores. While Sofia and I were walking around, I spotted The Saem which is the Korean cosmetics store SHINee endorses (If this wasn’t known already, SHINee is my favorite Korean pop group).

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This Sign was Truly Glorious

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yes I made Sofia stand in a crowded doorway so I could take a selfie with Key! He is my favorite kpop idol!~

I ended up buying a face wash for under $4 dollars  which resulted in me getting a free SHINee face mask. I went back to The Saem (still in Myungdong, but a different location from the first one) and bought some blush thing for a friend (hoping I would get another face mask) but unfortunately, I didn’t get another one 😦

When Sofia and I were walking by this makeup store called Holika Holika, this lady standing outside shouting the deals at us literally grabbed us by our wrists and forcefully pulled us in. I was very shocked when it happened and after I was inside the store, I was too busy laughing to really care about the intrusion of my personal bubble. I ended up buying a product so I guess their sale tactic worked.

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Sofia and I Minutes Before Being Pulled into Holika Holika by our Wrists

The rest of the night was spent walking around the many streets and taking note of all the different street food that was up for grabs. Eventually we caved in once again and shared a cup of spicy chicken with rice cakes (we ended up not finishing it because our tastebuds had still not adapted to the Korean Spice). We also ended up stopping at a cafe for a little bit so Sofia could charge her phone.

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I made sure that we stopped in a Cafe that served bubble tea. This time I ordered Taro bubble tea!

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Our Chicken and The Streets of Myungdong

I ended up going to bed really late that night since I stayed up eating watermelon with my host mom after she got back from Hagwon (Korean Tutoring Academy – AKA her job). Late that night I also got a text from my supporter!

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From hearing lots of fun stories from previous years alumni about supporters, I was so excited to meet mine the following week!

And that was my night! My first time in Myungdong. My first Korean language test. My first Korean cooking class. My first text from my supporter. And Finally, my first experience with the weekend curfew. It was a very fun day and it definitely set the bar high for the rest of the summer 😉 Thanks for Reading! Please subscribe to my blog if you haven’t already! 안녕!~

  • 엠마 (Emma)

What I Bought That Day

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I will never use my SHINee Face Mask

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More Socks!~ XD