Kakao Friends Cafe and Japanese Dinner with my Host Sister (04/29/19) NSLI-Y Korea AY

Author’s Note: Unfortunately, the last month of my NSLI-Y program was very very hectic. I was unable to dedicate time to write daily blog posts let alone upload already edited posts. Because of this, I am now writing these posts nearly a month later (already back at home in America). Many of these next few posts are going to be quite short and brief because I forgot a lot of what happened… I now only have photos to jog my memory of the days’ activities. It is unfortunate that posts cannot be as detailed as my previous ones but I will still continue to write them regardless! I do still want to document my exchange year via this blog. This is enough of a blurb from me! Let us get on with the actual blog post content:

4/29/19 Monday

My politics and law class was a total blur but my advanced English class was a lot of fun today. Throughout this semester, we have been analyzing different types of writing as well as good traits in writing that the students should try to follow within their own writings. In class today we were wrapping up the argumentative essay portion of the class by reading one final argumentative essay on punishing children physically (ie. spanking). Before reading that piece, we went around the room and talked about our unpopular opinions. It was really interesting to see what all the students had to say. Our teacher Andrew started the conversation off with the fact that he does not understand sweet and salty combinations like fries and milkshakes (Not a Korean thing but a combination that is legendary nonetheless!) or salted caramel, for example. Some of the students brought up their dislike towards fishing, dogs, cherry blossom hype (not over-hyped but I digress), superhero movies, chocolate, and so on. 서연 chose me to share my unpopular opinion and I talked about the fact that I believe that naps do not work. I always feel way more tired after taking naps and so I feel like they are honestly a waste. The 하나고 students (who are constantly sleeping during breaks–or during class for that matter) quickly came to attack me and told me that power naps (less than 20 minutes) were truly great. I will stick to my unpopular opinion!

After school, Katie and I went to 연서시장 (the market near the closest subway station to 하나고) to have some 떡볶이 (Ddeokbokki- spicy rice cakes) and 튀김 (assorted fried foods) for lunch. We did not know it then but it ended up being the last time we ever had lunch at that market. When we got there to order, the lady in charge of the front immediately smiled at us as she recognized us from the previous times we have visited. The employees are always the same. This time, she did not even explain the fact that the food would be brought out to us or that we could fill up cups with 오뎅국물–because she knew that we were already aware of what we are doing. We are market pros! 

Today’s Korean class was the final class before our April monthly test. We did not learn any new grammar points but instead tried to quickly finish up the reading and listening dialogues for the last chapter we were working on because recently, we have been going on too many tangents during class.

After class, I was not in the mood to go home right away so I decided to shop around with Kaitlyn as she wanted to get a head start on finishing a list of things she needed to buy before leaving Korea. Originally, we planned to just visit those roadshop beauty stores and then get bubble tea at Gongcha but then randomly I convinced Kaitlyn to go to the Kakao Friends Store Cafe with me because I had yet to visit it. Actually, it was my first time ever walking into the store. I had not gotten the chance to go in during the past 8 months. (And the last time I was in Korea, there was no store in 홍대. I had only been to the pop-up one in the 신촌 subway station!)

Anyways, I caved in and bought an overpriced chocolate cupcake just because it had Ryan–my favorite Kakao character–’s face on it while Kaitlyn ordered some milk ice cream, milk flavored ice cream… I know a bit strange because well isn’t ice cream usually made with milk?

Kaitlyn and I just chatted for a bit and I enjoyed catching up with her. We used to hang out a lot more and do more cafe dates in the past but for some reason those became lesser and lesser. I was happy to start hanging out with her more! I really do love Kaitlyn ❤ 

I came home to find out that my eldest host sister and host mom had plans for the night so I would just be having dinner with my younger host sister. We decided to go out to eat for the night (which took a while to decide because we are both very very indecisive) at some Japanese restaurant. The dinner was actually really great because we got the chance to talk more (just us) and it was definitely less awkward than the first few times we hung out when I first moved in with this family. The food was delicious too! I had a bowl of udon noodles (thick wheat flour noodles) with donkatsu (pork cutlet).

For the rest of the night, I just hardcore studied for my Korean test because I really wanted to show some improvement during this month. 

Also LOOK! I am on a flyer for host family outreach! (Upper left corner–my host sisters and me)

Well, that is all for this blog post! I love that I said that these upcoming posts would not be detailed and then I explain everything with the utmost detail. It is weird. I cannot remember the entire outline of the day but my brain tends to remember certain parts of my day very vividly–no matter how insignificant those moments are. Anyways, till next time~ Thanks for reading!

  • Emma 엠마

Korean Classmate’s Birthday and 편의점 아주씨 Makes My Day! {03/12/19} NSLI-Y Korean AY

03/12/19 Tuesday

Tuesday was 윤세’s birthday so Katie and I had to casually bring her giant gift into the school without looking too suspicious. While we were trying to accomplish this, we saw Jason쌤 arrive at the front gate of school right before us. We attempted to sneak past him and even walked up the stairs slower than usual so that he would get to his floor on the elevator before us. We saw him walking to his office and thought we made it but then while we were speed-walking to our lockers, we heard a loud voice say, “Hey, you two!” We stopped in our tracks. We turned around slowly to see Jason쌤 walking towards us. We told him that we were not purposely trying to avoid him but that we had some “illegal contraband” in our possession (aka ramen the most sought after outside food at 하나고). It was our little secret that he was now aware of our situation. We were trying to avoid any adult figures…Okay, spy game over. Jason쌤 was cool and laughed at us for trying to be so sneaky about it (“Like they would punish the American students” he said) but in the end, we WERE successful in getting the gift to our lockers without many head turns.

My first class of the day was my English mentorship class but students have still not been chosen yet so I spent the morning just writing a birthday card to 윤세. Second class of the day was music with Katie which ended up being a lot of fun liked I had hoped. During the part of class when the teacher gives instructions, I was completely lost since I cannot read music at all and could not relate the new Korean vocabulary to my existing knowledge of music since I literally have none. I guess the funny thing is now I will only be able to read music and describe it with Korean terms. When the teacher passed out a worksheet for us to fill out, I looked at Katie with such a pouty face because it felt terrible having to participate but not know what to do. Katie, being the doll that she is, helped teach me music intervals and the order of the notes with the letters of the alphabet. I felt such a sense of accomplishment when I was able to get questions right without Katie’s direct assistance. Look mom, not only am I learning Korean on this program, I will come back a music prodigy as well!! (This is major sarcasm for those that cannot tell I am joking).

한국사 was my third period and rather than pull out my Korean homework, I decided to try by best at understanding what was being taught in class. I have this class with third years and was inspired to actually give listening a shot. I really could not understand much but there were words here and there that I was able to pick up which helped me feel like I was somewhat following along. There was one part about education during the Joseon Dynasty that I understood which made me feel proud for the rest of the class–yup, just by understanding one sentence! Fourth period was another English mentorship class which was spent with me sitting on the ground on my knees (There were no free chairs in the discussion room and the librarian had trouble acquiring a chair for me for the longest time…)trying to finish my workbook as fast as humanly possible. I also went a bit crazy adding the words I did not know from the workbook into my Quizlets and ended up with two 100 word Quizlets to memorize for that class period since we were having a quiz in class that very same day! That fact totally slipped my mind until I started completing my workbook so I somehow {somewhat successfully} studied 200 words from lunch till arriving to 홍대. (Though I will say that I had studied both sets {back when they had like 70 words} earlier that week so it wasn’t like all 200 were new words to me.)

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Our 한국사 teacher also always gives each of his students a piece of hard candy halfway through the class period to boost motivation (and keep students from falling asleep…) Such a kind and sweet gesture!

When lunchtime rolled around, we found 윤세 and 혜지 and gave 윤세 her gift but we decided to skeet out of lunch then because the line was unbelievably long. Rather than eat at the cafeteria, we went to the convenience store in the 한옥마을 and ate some kimbap there {We also ate some 호떡 to add some more healthy food to our already nutritious meal…}. We HAD to stop by our favorite 호떡 stand and get some of that goodness! {Dude I’m not kidding… when winter ends and 호떡 is no more… what are Katie and I going to do???} 

Class today wasn’t the most productive… usually on these days, we would have studied three grammar points but last class we did not finish the book work so that bled onto this class. We also spent a lot of time talking about lots of different topics unrelated to what we are currently learning. Although I really enjoy these discussions, I do not participate as much as I should {which I know is my own fault} and so I end up just siting there quiet, shaking my head the whole time and taking notes. It’s not the most helpful to me. 

Our teacher came in late today so we had to start our quiz without her. She actually gave me a folder yesterday with the quizzes inside and told me to bring it to class. I guess this was why, she knew she would be late to class. Although my tactic of cramming 200 words the hour or two before class is definitely not a long term strategy of mine, I did do just fine on the vocab section! I only got .5 points off for not using past tense in one of my answers for a grammar point. Yes!!! I haven’t had a quiz grade this high in awhile… 

We also had a discussion on food combinations that we talked to our friends at school about. There were the expected popular ones like 치맥 {chicken and beer} and seaweed and rice but then there were rather interesting ones like pickles with pizza, jam on grilled cheese, and the worst one: 김치 and ice cream/cake. 

During one of the Korean class breaks, I went to the 편의점 with Shada to buy some snacks. The usual 아주씨 that works there greeted us when we came inside. For the first time since coming to Korea, he told me the price of my items in Korean rather than English! This may seem like the smallest thing ever but I was so happy. Also, after Shada bought her stuff, he gave us a free snack— vitamin (candy) gummies. He was so sweet! 

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Shada and our free gummies!

After class we had our OPIC orientation. The OPIC is basically an OPI but over the computer so there is no real person speaking with you {but it only measures speaking language abilities}. On Saturday, we will be taking it as a way to familiarize ourselves with the post program OPI and to see where we stand according to that measurement right now. 1반’s teacher held the orientation cause she is well informed about the program and explained how to do everything during the test as well as what we should answer for our answers. {Since it is a computer test, there is no person to gauge what things they should talk about with you from your previous answers so there is a survey with topics you choose and those become what you will get asked about during the test.} At one point we were practicing and on the second example question, Shada just throws the mic to me basically and says that Emma will answer. I was so nervous and mad that she did that to me because there was no part of me that wanted to speak Korean in front of everyone. The question was easy—it was was about your experience traveling and what you packed in your bag. I didn’t answer it badly… but I did use the wrong tense. (I answered in future tense when I should of conjugated it in the past tense.) 

Once the orientation was done, I was still figuring out whether or not to return to 하나고 to do a 면접 with my economics club from last year because 지현 had asked me to. However it was after 6 when we finished the orientation and I wouldn’t have been able to get to the school till 7:30 and the thought of having to make two 40 minute commutes overwhelmed me so I ended up going straight home {and having a convenience store dinner cause I told my host mom I would be eating at school.} 

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My new favorite drink! It is an apple and cherry blossom juice from Minute Maid ❤ It is everything!

Well, that’s all for this blog post! I did some work and then I definitely did NOT stay up till midnight (for no reason) to just watch the movie the Last Song on Netflix… yup… Till next time! 

  • Emma 엠마

 

자기 소개 Gone Right?? And Birthday Present Shopping! {03/11/19} NSLI-Y Korea AY

03/11/19 Monday

It was the start of a new week–my first full week at 하나고 {seeing that last week, we didn’t go to classes on Monday and I did not go to school in its entirety on Thursday}. Katie and I were as nervous as ever about the new day but we tried to keep those negative emotions out and focus on overcoming our worries. 

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My first class of the day was 정치와 법 {Politics & Law} which is the class I have with 서린, 혜지, and 윤세 so I was not worried about the seating situation for that class at all. I mean, I had three chances to sit next to a friend! I had this class on Wednesday as well but the class is taught by two teachers {One teacher for two hours on Mondays and the other one teaches for two hours on Wednesdays}. So today would be my first time being taught by this particular teacher. 

When she walked into the room, you could see the worry across her face once she caught a look at me. She walked over to 혜지 and 서린 next to me and asked them “Is she an Exchange Student? Does she speak Korean?” and other questions such as those. I was sitting there feeling like I might as well have been invisible since she wasn’t directing any of the questions about me TO ME even though I was able to understand everything. I know she was probably doing that so that I wouldn’t feel bad if I couldn’t understand her but it didn’t make me feel any more acknowledged… 

Once it was established that I could speak Korean, we moved on to the teacher explaining the class structure to all of us. She had certain students stand in front of the class and do some type of low-key {but very stressful!} interview like 자기 소개 (self-introduction) in front of the whole class. She started picking students randomly and they would just have to go up to the front of the class, stand behind the podium, and answer questions about why they chose to take this class, their interests in politics, etc. 

By the time break time rolled around, we still had not finished. I began to worry that she might actually call on me to do one! And my worries became reality as I was the first one to be called on at the start of the second period. She didn’t know my name so she just said from the back of the room “How about our exchange student now.” In my mind I was like “yeah, let’s hear from them” before I realized that that person was in fact… me. 

I was shaking when I went up to the podium. This class had a lot more students than most of my other classes and having them all stare at me was so nerve wracking. Maybe if I was 서린 and easy going enough to feel comfortable in front of people I would not have been so on edge, but I wanted to prove something to myself too—that I can actually speak Korean. 

I went up there and did my usual opening line that ended up resulting in literally everyone in the class clapping for me. To which the teacher exclaimed “Oh you must be popular.” This made me quietly laugh as I couldn’t possibly be any farther from popular at this school. I ended up explaining my future career goals and the fact that I took a politics class in high school in America. While I was explaining this, I was able to smoothly speak without many hesitations—besides natural pauses—and I even used some good new grammar {things that I definitely didn’t know last semester}. While I was speaking and said a particular part of one of my sentences, practically everyone gasped. At first this startled me but then it actually gave me the much needed confidence to keep on going. She asked me questions about how I got interested in Korean, how long I’ve been here, and if I’ve studied before coming.

After I told her my best friend in middle school was Korean, she asked me if we were close and everyone including me laughed because I literally said my best friend {in Korean it literally translates to close friend}. This was a nice moment because I was actually laughing along with my classmates for once. What a new development! 

 At one point, she asked me (more or less with this directly translated): Since coming here, how has it been? For a moment I froze, she used a grammar point I learned but she said it in the shortened more casual way which threw me for a loop for a second. However, I quickly calmed myself down and thought of the question again. I realized I did know what she asked so I just went with it. 

I told her that life in Korea is not only fun but also rewarding which led her to ask what about it was rewarding. This stopped me in my tracks cause I needed to think quickly on my feet to be able to answer. I started speaking, without really thinking too seriously about it, and talked about the fact that in America, as long as I studied hard, I would be able to understand everything but in Korea because I can’t speak Korean (well yet) there are a lot of difficulties. However, when I am able to overcome those things and get good results, I feel like everything is worth it. After I said this sentence, everyone clapped for me but I knew it was genuine. It was not the in-genuine way people act impressed or shocked when you say a simple sentence like “Hello my name is…” or something of that nature.

After that class, I had some advanced English writing class with Andrew쌤 which I was worried I would know no one in. It was a third year class but I only know a select group of second years (last year) since my homeroom and most of my classes were with first years. When I walked in, I double checked my room with one of the girls (because my schedule loves to be wrong as of late…) and she asked me if I knew anyone in the class to which I responded no, of course. She then, with some hesitation, told me I could sit next to her then. But right as I was sitting down, 서연 {from 영미문학} came in  and I was so happy to see such a familiar face. The girl saw that we knew each inter after we shrieked about missing each other which then caused the girl I had just met to tell 서연 to sit next to me instead. Actually, I often did not sit next to her in my English class last year because her desk was often in the back with no empty seat nearby so I would sit next to 지원 and her friends or with 예성. I was excited to be able to get closer with her now. 

Class was typical. We did some free write in the beginning about what core class should not be mandatory {I talked about my experience in high school so I went with physics}. We also went through steps of the writing process which was honestly a nice refresher since I haven’t written an essay in such a long time! 

Katie had a presentation in Korean class today and had yet to memorize the whole thing so we ended up skipping lunch at 하나고 and going to the 편의점 instead right by Better World for some delicious 김밥. 

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In Korean class today, we really didn’t get much stuff done… we finished the one grammar point we had started the previous class but besides that, we spent most of the the time talking. Today’s topics included age of consent, abortion, chastity, and age differences in relationships in Korea. It was an interesting discussion to listen to but since I didn’t really participate, it was kind of hard for me to feel like it was helping me improve in anyway… I do not know why I am like this… I can understand everything and yet I do not contribute my own thoughts or ideas.

After class, we had our first bi-weekly meeting since December at which we talked about the OPIC coming up and lots of due dates for our individual project. So many things are coming up! It’s quite overwhelming! Not only did I have the meeting, but I also had my monthly goal meeting with 주연쎔 afterward so I ended up staying with her and talking till almost 7 pm! Literally! We started our meeting at 5:30 but we didn’t end the meeting until 6:50-ish. 

This is not me complaining! I enjoyed our conversation so much! She asked me about basic things like host family life and school life and how I am feeling about Korean class. We also went over my OPI and she talked about the comments regarding me being really nervous about the fact that it was over the phone. I also told her about the fact that I was asked the most basic question about describing the area around my apartment complex but because I skipped around with textbooks (especially since I wasn’t taught with 이화 books) I didn’t know how to do it. Besides that, she said that I was good at sharing my opinion even when I don’t know the topic too well and that I didn’t make many simple mistakes… the latter one threw me for a loop because I felt like my teacher said the opposite? 

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Regardless, we talked a lot about language learning—plateau, setbacks, losing English, confidence, and those rewarding moments. 주연쌤 is such a nice person to talk to and she gives the best hugs! After our meeting ended, it was too late to go home for dinner with my host family, so I just spent the rest of the night with Katie figuring out a birthday gift for our friend 윤세! We got a text from 서린 while we were at the cafe letting us know that it was her birthday the following day, so we had to put something together really quick. We ended up buying her a cute little beige and pink hippo stuffed animal (So that she could have something tangible to remember us by~ She can put it on her bed in her dorm!) as well as some ramen (since they cannot buy it at school) and a real slice of cake! We figured that a birthday (at least to us) is not complete without some cake and we were not quite sure how birthdays work here… we wanted to be certain that she was getting something sweet to celebrate the day!

I took the giant present back home and literally came home and sprawled out on my bed wanting to do no work for the rest of the night. Somehow I found motivation, pushed through my urges to spend hours mindlessly scrolling on social media, and studied some vocab and worked on my workbook for a bit. I ended up being successful at getting to bed at 11 too! 6.5 hours of sleep! What a concept! Well anyways, that is all for this blog post. I hope you enjoyed reading. 

  • Emma 엠마

 

No School!! Pancake Brunch at Travel Maker in 홍대 (Hongdae) & Dinner with my Korean Teacher {03/07/19} NSLI-Y Korea AY

03/07/19 Thursday

Today I got to sleep in till 8!! I honestly took for granted all the sleep I was able to get during winter break… mornings that usually started anywhere from 8 to 9:30 in the morning. Now, I have to wake up before the sun is up; 5:45 am is too early to be awake! 

Why did I get to sleep in? Well, today was some national mock exam of some sort that I did not have to take since clearly I am not a student here {full-time student at least} so I, along with all other NSLI-Y students, did not have to come to school! In order to use our morning well, Katie and I went out for Brunch! We wanted to try something new {besides Flapjack Pantry mostly…} so we walked down these random alleys trying to see if we could find this brunch place that Katie very vaguely remembers seeing during one of our walks last week. After walking around for almost and hour, we did end up finding a brunch place but their idea of brunch seemed to focus on sandwiches? And not even good sandwiches either… it looked just like average homemade sandwiches on white bread with the crust cut off… not my thing. So we gave up and decided to go to Travel Maker! We had both been there previously but not with each other which made it feel kinda new? Plus, they recently moved locations since the last time I was there so it was like I was there for the first time ever. I ordered strawberry and banana pancakes and Katie got the same thing but in a French toast version. 

We enjoyed our time to chat together before Korean class {While we also did some last minute cramming— Katie memorizing words and me rehearsing my presentation for that day}. 

Class today was actually really good! I felt that I participated more than usual especially during the part of class when we discussed what we talked about with our host families. {Every week from now on, we will have a discussion in class about a conversation we have had with our host family and or school friends about a topic that was given to us beforehand.} Today’s discussion was on 미세 먼지 (Yellow Dust–air pollution) which I talked to my host sisters about last night at dinner and boy, did they have some strong opinions. 

Then this morning, I wrote down sentences that summarized all that they had said so when it was time for the discussion, I was able to use those sentences as an outline to talk about all that I did. I made mistakes here and there but because it was prepared, I felt confident in what I was saying!

We also went over the TOPIK tests that we took over the weekend… Luckily, my reading and listening scores went up {barely like I’m talking a couple points if that but hey… it is something}. 

The rest of the class periods were spent going over the reading passages in the chapter and we did start the grammar for today but only were able to get through 2 rather than the usual 3. Today was also presentation day but we only got through mine … I felt sorry for the others but I’m glad I got mine out of the way! 

After Korean class, I was supposed to have a little 상담 or (counseling) meeting of sorts with my teacher and so I figured we would just go to a cafe and chat but we both forgot that Thursday classes end at 6 pm meaning that we were both quite hungry. {I also wouldn’t make it home in time for dinner if I did the meeting with her}. Because of that, we decided to get dinner together instead!

I am not exactly sure where we ate but she drove me in her car and it didn’t seem to be too far of a drive from around 홍익역. At first, I thought the restaurant was a place serving Japanese food but they also had pasta and other western style foods there too–a little on the pricier side, though. My Korean teacher ended up ordering some type of Hamburg steak while I got 돈까스 (fried pork cutlet–One of my true love’s here in Korea!) But before we got our main meal, we got served soup and bread rolls! I was so surprised to see bread served like that.

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Dinner with my Korean teacher went really well. Before I warmed up, got over my nerves, and became comfortable, I felt really awkward speaking with her. Because class had just ended, I needed to try very hard to get out of the academic mindset. While eating with her, I had no reason to worry and mull over using advanced vocabulary and or grammar points. I just needed to speak and express the words that I wanted to say. 

She asked me how I was feeling in class and overall with my Korean abilities. I talked to her about the last TOPIK practice test that I took and how I kept putting it off until the last possible moment (particularly the reading and listening test). I explained that the huge amount of unknown vocab words and grammar in these sections makes me lose confidence and dislike the test taking project. However since the writing section depends only on what I know, I really enjoy completing that section. My Korean teacher reassured me that I should not be disappointed with not knowing what comes out on the TOPIK test seeing that we do not cater our current Korean class to the TOPIK exam. She said that I just need to continue studying vocabulary (like I have been doing since the beginning) to continue to raise my score.

We also talked about my bombed OPI… I told her that I was not like that when I took the OPI before starting this program. I was really nervous but there were no extreme silences or as much stuttering as there was when I did do the OPI with her over the phone. I also opened up and mentioned that when I do it in front of her, I have to stay strong because I am being watched but when I was in the break room alone, I almost started crying when I got overwhelmed with the questions being asked. 

In addition to that, I explained my issue with speaking to some students at 하나고. My issue being the fact that I will have things to say or I will feel the urge to say something but then I am too much of a chicken to act on the desire. However, during other moments, I have no problem just speaking my mind when I am surrounded with friends or in emergency situations. But also just random confidence boosts! My teacher gave me some advice after assessing that I think too much when I try to speak Korean (and she literally could not have been more right). Lastly, she suggested that I try to persuade the other students to talk to me by offering them candy. (I will be using that one…)

My teacher also talked to me about my personality and the type of a person I am. She said that out of everyone in the class, she sees herself–the most–in me. She also exposed Josh by telling me that he confessed to her that seeing me studying so hard motivates him to also put in more effort to study Korean. Whether it be because of my organized notes or my countless Quizlet sets, he honestly believes I am the hardest worker among the class. Josh is such a great friend and I am so lucky to have him in my life! She told me that she too is impressed with all that I do with my pretty notes (She asked me where I learned how to make them so nice! And why I do it. Apparently she wants to bullet journal which she thinks I would also enjoy.)

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My Lovely teacher!

We talked a lot and stuffed our faces with really good food~ She also paid for my meal which was really kind of her! I definitely could have paid for it. When we finished eating, she got up right away and booked it to the counter while I was putting on my coat. I could see what she was doing then! Overall, it was a really nice evening spent speaking with my teacher. I honestly could not ask for a better Korean language instructor. What would I do without her? I am a pretty difficult student to teach (I have some extreme lows and not so frequent highs…) but she somehow finds a way to help me through everything. I am grateful.

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Andy is such a mood

That is all for this blog post! I hope you enjoyed~ Till next time!

  • Emma 엠마

After Class Karaoke, Supporter Meeting, & Dinner with Yonsei Students (02/11-13/19) NSLI-Y Korea AY

02/11/19 Monday

I am so utterly behind on blog posts… so these combined blog posts are going to be quite all over the place because my mind can only patch together the days’ activities. Especially for the days when I barely took any photos… Well, enough of that, let us get on with this blog post!

On Monday, I went to a cafe in the morning by myself–just to do some studying before class because I was not being productive at home at all. I ended up going to a bakery with Kaitlyn for lunch rather than getting our usual 편의점 lunch… just to shake things up! I ate a Croque monsieur or something like that? Some fancy french sandwich of some kind which Kaitlyn made me feel bad for not knowing the name! 

After Korean class (look at me high key ignoring what happened during class since I cannot remember), I went to a 노래방 for about an hour with Liam, Kaitlyn, and Josh which was super fun. I will never truly learn to appreciate the amazing feeling it is to sing your heart out (good mood, bad mood, frustrations, worries, anything) with your favorite songs. I know I am probably the worst singer on this planet! Regardless, I still enjoy singing karaoke. After that, I went to some interesting language exchange group meeting… would not recommend. I am all for language exchange so maybe I will try again another time but right now, not for me.

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02/12/19 Tuesday

Tuesday was our second to last supporter meeting before the big Cultural Explorers Presentation on Friday! There was a lot to get done! We met up at Blanc (the OG meeting spot) and just focused on preparing for the presentation. I edited the video for the presentation (which included all the statistics and background information of the financial situation and government policies regarding single mothers.)

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The BEST Supporter Group!<3

Korean class was pretty chill today. The break times between classes were a lot of fun as the 1반 students kept coming into our classroom to hang out and chat with our teacher which was fun. At one point, Kaitlyn and June kept making fun of Josh for walking like the walking man emoji? Josh actually became worried after this–worried about his posture. It was also McKenzie’s birthday so I bought her some jelly beans with adorable pig wrapping because well, that is my brand. Our teacher had us sing to her when she entered our room after I made it known that it was, in fact, her birthday.

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Today we finally learned the rules for how to pronounce 의. There are situations in which you can pronounce it in three different ways: 의, 이, and 에.

I went home right after class today because I knew the rest of the week would be a lot of late nights–definitely fun nights but nights without a lot of interaction with my host family in turn. I had a delicious dinner with my host family and then I also went on a walk with my older host sister and Andy. We just walked around the mall connected to the subway station for a while and talked about a lot of things. One thing was going back to school… oh, how I am dreading that… Especially now that I have a longer commute! Oh well, that cannot be helped. I guess I will just have to become a normal person and develop healthy sleeping habits! What a concept!

02/13/19 Wednesday

Wednesday was a jam-packed day indeed! It felt like at every moment I was busy doing something or on my way to get to the next thing. I started off the morning visiting my old subway station 화정역 with Katie. We walked around and reminisced together and I realized how much I missed the area near the station! It is so lively~ We ate at our usual 편의점, bought some really cheap macaroons at my favorite place next to Daiso, and then just strolled around until it was time to meet Josh at the station. I, of course, took them to my favorite cafe near the station called Dodori Cafe! We ended up studying there for 4 hours together! And I will say that it was pretty much all productive work time with a few chatty distractions. Practically the whole time I was editing the video for our presentation on Friday rather than doing any actual Korean studying. I forgot how tedious video editing can be! And I am not even any good at it~ All my edits were beginner level (this-would-never-actually-look-professional-type edits) but hey, I was trying! 

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One of my favorite pictures I found about single mothers while editing the video. Translation: Going out into the world is scary. Clearly, it would be painful. However, for the child, (she) must face it (stand it).

Seeing the owner of the cafe was nice~ She seemed happy to see us and said that it had been a long time since we last came in and it definitely had! I believe the last time I was there was when I went by myself on a Friday. But that was back with my old family, I have now been moved in with this one for more than a month! Oh, how time flies! I ordered my usual green tea latte and we all split one of the delicious (and cheap) chocolate muffins too. 

After dropping off Katie at the train station (Josh and I decided to study a bit more) this group of male high school students stopped me and asked if I could take a survey. The survey was targeted to only foreigners living in 고양시. The boys were from the foreign language high school nearby. I answered the questions that just asked about the beauty of 고양, the people, and the smoking on the street. The last question asked about working conditions so I told them that I was a student. I also talked to them for a little bit about how many foreigners they were able to find for the survey. I was not surprised that I was their first one of the day. I’ve definitely seen foreigners around the train station but I can definitely count those experiences on just one of my hands. 

By 6 pm, I made my way to the youth community center in 마포 for 급식 봉사 활동 (Community service serving meals). As always, although I don’t feel that we are the most needed when we are there, it was still some good fun: interacting with the kids and of course, being a part of the best 급식 gang {Shada & Kaitlyn!} 

After finishing up community service a bit after 7 pm, I made my way over to 신촌 to meet up with Jessica! {Korea Summer 2016 alumna and current student at 연세대학교} We were originally just meeting to have dinner and spill some tea at a cafe but she ended up inviting me to hang out with all of her friends?!? First, while she found me on the road, she was like “My friends are here and they want to meet you.” I assumed they were foreigners as exchange students that come to Korea usually have bad luck with making actual Korean friends. But then a part of my mind had this -it-is-Jessica-so-these-friends-may-be-Korean feeling so I asked… if you could see the look on my face when she told me that they were indeed Korean and from her unification club at school. Once I greeted them and we all relished in the awkward atmosphere for a while, she asked me if we wanted to all go and have dinner together—and that is what we ended up doing! 

We went out to this Indian restaurant which made my second time having Indian food that week! {Which is crazy seeing that before Sunday, I had never eaten Indian food before!} Conversation with everyone was really awkward at first… they all expected me to just be confident and really good at Korean because of what Jessica told them. They had a lot of questions for me—mostly about the fact that I’m attending a Korean high school right now. I spoke Korean to all of them while Jessica and I would talk to the side in English. It was an interesting night … I was glad that I stepped out of my comfort zone to have dinner with strangers and use my Korean skills. {Also found out that Jessica and I were born in the same year! I was so shook! I always thought that she seemed so much older than me! Her friends made jokes about us not really being friends since we did not know we were born in the same year but in America, it’s not like that—age really isn’t important in relationships.}

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Once dinner was finished, Jessica took me to this cafe called Pie Hole which is a pretty trendy place in 신촌. We just hung out and shared a slice of pie {though I ate most of it} while updating each other on what has been happening. Jessica had just come back from her winter break in America and I was telling her about our research projects, any NSLI-Y tea I had to spill, and how I felt about the impending doom of returning to high school in March!! Looking back, I still had so much time left on this day. As I’m writing this now {… two weeks later… I only have 4 days left of freedom!!} 

That is all for this blog post! I hope you enjoyed~ I definitely did! It was such a jam-packed day! I did so much! This is the kind of day I really enjoy~ Everything is chill cause nothing is really mandatory or holding any weight (since it is winter break) but I am still busy doing fun things! Till next time!

  • Emma 엠마

Gyeongbokgung Palace & Biking Along the Han River (July 21st, 2016)

Today (July 21st, 2016) was the first cultural excursion I had with my supporter group and the two others that we usually share our meeting spot with. We would be going to Gyeongbokgung Palace (경복궁)! I was super excited to go since Gyeongbokgung is definitely a place everyone should visit when traveling around Seoul. Since we had to take travel time into consideration, we didn’t have too much time to have lunch. Therefore I had a quick convenience store lunch with Jodi, Casey, Sofia, and Yves. I definitely bought too much stuff but I shared my food with everyone so nothing was wasted.

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Triangle Kimbap (삼각김밥),  Choco Pie (초코 파이),  banana milk (바나나 우유), and Honey Butter Chips (허니버터칩).

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Have you seen the Korean Drama “Cheese in the Trap?” This Kimbap is a little parody of it.

After lunch we visited Gyeongbokgung! The architecture of old Korean palaces is truly beautiful. I walked around with my supporter group through the palace grounds and took lots of pictures especially of the detailed roof tiles. I loved them so much.

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Group Photo!~ ❤

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The roof details I was talking about

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Casey and a Korean photobomber

It is pretty difficult to explain what everything looked like and that is why I have plenty of pictures to share from the day. I have plenty more but this blog post would be way too long 🙂 I think that a lot of them turned out very well! Especially the ones with some of my favorite people (If you haven’t gotten the message yet… they are my supporter group).

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Casey and I

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This building is Gyeonghoeru (경회루) which was used to hold important events back during the Joseon Dynasty

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We know we are weird XD

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Jodi, Me, and Casey

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My RD Madeline and I

While we were walking around, JT and Madeline met up with us to spend the day with us as well. It was fun to hang out with them as they are such jokesters together! XD

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I remember when Sujin said “너같은데!” (It looks like you) to Jodi 😉

After visiting Gyeongbokgung , we walked around the surrounding streets to find some cafe to sit and eat at. Jun (준) was leading the way sticking his head into every cafe until he could find one that had enough seats. He accomplished this while simultaneously giving us information about everything we passed. I heard many childhood stories about him that afternoon and he isn’t even my supporter! XD

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I was very artistic with the taking of these photos

Eventually we found this cute cafe and we were actually the only ones in there which was good because we took up all the seats on the first floor. (There were 13 of us.) As this is a common trend throughout my summer in Korea, my supporter group ate Bingsu! We ordered a Green Tea Mango Bingsu (녹차망고빙수) and the original Red Bean Bingsu (팥빙수) because Casey does not like eating fruit. I don’t understand why… she is so weird!

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The best bingsu flavor I have had so far

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빙수야! 팥빙수야! 사랑해 사랑해~

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The back of the Cafe had some pretty cute wings. Reminds me a lot of the Korean Drama “To the Beautiful You”

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My supporter Sujin is the cutest in the world!~  🙂  😉

After eating at the cafe, I planned to do something after with Sofia and Tucker from my Korean class – 나무반. We ended up deciding to go to the Han river and rent bicycles to ride. I met up with them kinda late as Jun was having a bit of trouble finding the closest subway station that we could use. However, I made it eventually and they can both agree that the wait was worth it since bike riding with them was so much fun! We rented bikes for an hour and they were $3 each. I ended up paying for both of them since I am such a good friend! ㅎㅎㅎㅎ

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Us picking out our bikes

Biking was so much fun and the trails to ride on seemed neverending. There was a point in time where I thought we wouldn’t know how to get back before the hour was up and then have to pay a fee (I was not for that at all). Riding around the nature trail reminded me so much of the bike trail near my dad’s house back home. I only realized I was still in Seoul, South Korea when I would hear Tuckers old Kpop playlist (which consisted of T-ara for example) playing on his portable speakers and when I would catch glimpses of Korean modern architecture which is nothing like I see back home. It was honestly so fun and such a nice way to spend a day with friends. If we had more time, I would have loved to have had a picnic by the river with Fried Chicken and maybe a tent. (Something we saw everywhere when we were simply walking around.)

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Why was I laughing? Tucker made a joke about the building we could see in the distance that had the word “Trump” written on it

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Looks like a roller coaster!

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We bought chicken as a snack but unfortunately, it wasn’t all too great.

My first cultural excursion with my supporter group was loads of fun! This day made me even more excited to spend even more outside classroom time with my supporter group. And it made me hopeful that the different flavors of Bingsu I will try will only better in taste… I am only joking a little bit! 😉 The rest of the night was spent with my host family as we all went out for Korean Barbeque for my host moms birthday which was very nice. No one told me it was her birthday until I got a text about dinner plans so when I was walking to the apartment after the Han River, I bought a box of 12 doughnuts from Krispy Kreme. My host mom loves eating the original glazed with vanilla yogurt with blueberries. Even though I am pretty sure that my host brothers ate most of them by themselves. XD

Thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed~ Do not forget to subscribe if you would like to read more about my time and experiences in Seoul, South Korea on the Nsli-y Scholarship! 안녕!

  • 엠마 (Emma)

 

 

Namsangol Hanok Village (남산골한옥마을) July 18th, 2016

Monday (07/18/16) was another one of those days where the main goal was to check off something from the Korea Bucket List. Korean class was normal as usual. We got a lot of homework which is the usual part. We also had our Monday Meeting where JT and Madeline (our RDs) announced the top three winners for the Weekly Photo Challenge. And guess what! My supporter group won second place! haha So as a prize we recieved a whole box of 12 Banana Choco Pies (바나나 초코 파이). Choco Pies are a very popular Korean treat and recently they came out with a banana version. They became our snacks during Korean class for the following days.

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Stock Photo

So today, after school, the plan was to go to a traditional Korean village with Sofia and Anna-Kate after a nice quick lunch at the Hello Kitty themed restaurant I had eaten at with my Host mom during the first weekend in Seoul, South Korea. We ended up eating the same thing I had with my host mom which was a cheese ddukbokki set with fish cakes and mandu. The girls really loved the food and were really glad that I brought them to the restaurant.

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Photo Bomb by Sofia XD

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After eating we followed directions I had found online to 남산골한옥마을 (Namsan Hanok Village) and after a few missed turns, we ended up going down the right street to find the main entrance of the village.

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Village Entrance

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You can see Namsan Tower in the distance

The traditional village was a very fun experience. The girls and I probably spent almost three hours walking around the whole thing looking at the houses and some artifacts inside. All the houses and areas in the village had many signs explaining what everything was in detail (In Korean, Chinese, and English). I took so many pictures of everything that we saw since everything was honestly very pretty. It was so interesting taking photos of the traditional structures and having skyscrapers and modern buildings in the background of the photos. It is so cool to me to see traditional Korean culture mix with the modern culture so smoothly with pockets of traditional villages and temples in Seoul. Especially when you are simply exploring Seoul and you accidently run in to such pockets of tradition and history. We went into this one section of the village that showed you the inside of the houses and we were able to see traditional Korean furniture. You could also try on Hanboks at the village but we decided to save that for another day probably somewhere else.

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The inside of one of the rooms

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One of my favorite photos from the day

Besides the interesting architecture, the nature around the village was very beautiful as well. We even found some cute little waterfalls and ponds along the way. While we were walking around the grounds, we found an area with some old, traditional games. There was this arrow throwing game, some kind of checkers like game, and this game I have seen Korean pop idols play on some variety shows. Sofia tried it out and was actually pretty good with it. My knee wasn’t feeling too good that day so I refrained from trying it out. While Sofia was playing, there was this grandpa and possibly his son watching. They laughed along with us while Sofia struggled with playing the game and they clapped along with us while Sofia got better and better with playing the game as time went on.

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Tiny Waterfall 🙂

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Pretty similar to hacky sack

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When Sofia almost hit me! XD haha

We took a lot of photos together and what you cant see from  all of them, is how often we burst out laughing at all the fun we were having with our mini photoshoots. The scenery was just beautiful!!!~ ❤

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Okay this one kinda gives you an idea. We tried so hard to keep straight faces while bowing! XD

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Sofia & I ❤

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Anna-Kate & I

Eventually we all got a bit hungry and wanted a treat. So… we decided to get some Bingsu! What a surprise right? haha XD We could not find a Sulbing close by so we ended up going to Hollys cafe and trusting that they would not disappoint us with their bingsu. We ended up ordering a strawberry cheesecake bingsu which was so delicious!~

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So tasty!~

We hurried up and left the cafe after Anna-Kate spilled her barley tea all over the floor. Sofia and I wiped everything up with napkins and then left because we felt so embarrassed with all the stares. I ended up getting home just in time for dinner as usual and ate with my lovely host family. And that was my super fun Monday~ ^^

Thank you so much for reading and do not forget to follow my blog with your email! I hope you enjoyed and I will be back soon with another post~ 안녕!~

  • 엠마 (Emma)

 

 

Spending a Birthday In Edae (이대) & Making 잡채 (Japchae) July 15, 2016

So on Friday (July 15th, 2016) I woke up with a huge bruise on my forehead. (From running into the glass door of Cafe Areca yesterday.) It wasn’t too bump-like… just very pink. Even though I kept telling myself no one would notice, it couldn’t help but be very noticeable.

At breakfast my host mom pointed to my forehead and asked “Mosquito Bite?” So I then had to explain to her about my encounter with a glass door (and during that conversation, I learned how to say glass in Korean – 유리). One of the most memorable conversations I have had with my host mom to be honest XD

I ended up getting to school very early that day because I was able to make the 7:45am subway train which I like making since I can take my time walking to school and not have to run up that huge hill to get to Sookmyung. When I got to the school, I hung around in the lobby with some of the other Nsliyians. Then 10 minutes before our attendance check at 8:50am, I asked my RD Madeline if I could run to the convenience store to get something to put on my forehead because it was hurting. I grabbed Casey and we scurried over to the 7/11 near school to buy something. While we were rushing to the store, we ran into JT who was walking up the hill. He asked us what we were doing and I mentioned it real quick. He was confused at first and then he laughed at me once I took my baseball cap off and he could see my forehead. I was trying to rush and I couldn’t find the ice (and I didn’t want to ask the cashier because I didn’t know what the word ice is. I still don’t know it XD Actually, I just looked it up. It is 얼음) so I went to the frozen section and just bought a bag of chicken for four dollars. I actually rode the elevator back up to class with JT in which I showed him my convenience store haul. He proceeded to tell me “That chicken is actually really good.” and then in the mix of midwestern, British, and Korean accent that he has, he called me and I quote “Chicken Girl” XD

During attendance, I was holding the bag of chicken up to my forehead and he made the joke again by calling me chicken girl rather than Emma. But he also told me I should be careful and get better so he meant well.

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Me dramatizing my bruise with this sad selfie on snapchat

School was not bad at all. The writing/grammar test felt harder this time around. We didn’t get our grades back but I know I got at least two wrong since I know I conjugated 살다 (to live) wrong in one of the grammar points and I also spelled the verb 덥다 (to be hot) wrong in my sentence. The speaking test was actually very good. I was partnered with Sofia and we did super well together. After school I found out that I was going to do community service with my supporter group on Wednesday with some disabled teens and young adults. JT also put me in charge of leading a discussion about the end of the year ceremony at our Korean Cooking Class later today since he wouldn’t be there. (He was taking one of the kids to the hospital.)

For lunch, I went out with Rhea, Sofia, Teresa, and Mckenzie to the place where I had eaten cream ramen the week before. Unfortunately, the guy said that they were out of the ingredients to make the cream ramen. (Everyone except Mckenzie had ordered it.) I had to leave earlier than everyone else because JT had set the meeting time for our cooking class way earlier than usual (he wanted to make sure we would not get lost) which made me not eat most of my food. Which wasn’t a big deal since I ended up eating at cooking class.

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Instead of JT taking us to the class, Tatum showed up. She was the one who took me to Hongdae during Survival in Korea during our in country orientation. That cooking class, we made 잡채 which is definitely my favorite Korean food. Too bad it is usually only eaten for occasions that are more special than everyday. Even though I left my stove on and put the soy sauce in my egg rather than my meat, it still ended up tasting delicious and I ate the whole thing!

After cooking class, Abbey and I rode the subway to the Ehwa Womans University stop so we could shop around Edae (which was my first time there). It was also pouring rain while we were walking around so lots of shops closed up and it was very hard to maneuver the sidewalks with our huge umbrellas. There wasn’t as much street shopping as I had seen in Youtube videos but I’m assuming that we simply didn’t go down the right streets. Hopefully, we will have better luck next time. We mostly just found all the makeup/skin care stores. I did score some great finds though! I found these really cute shirts for only 5 dollars! I bought two of them in different colors since I loved them so much. I also scored some more socks because Korean socks are the best kind of socks.

Today was Rhea’s Birthday so we went to Edae to celebrate it! We ate dinner together, but since Abbey and I had eaten Japchae earlier, we just ordered an appetizer meal of croquettes.

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After dinner we went to Tony Moly which was having this huge 20-50% sale on almost all of their products so I bought some stuff. (I bought things off of recommendations from Jodi and the cute packaging…) After Tony Moly, Teresa, Rhea, and Mckenzie went home as they had longer commutes. Sofia and I lived close by and Abbey lived very far away (she lived a little outside of Seoul) so she knew that either way she would be getting home late (but still made curfew). We decided to go to Baskin Robbins to have some ice cream. After we got our ice cream (I got Lucky Caramel Turtle) we found a park near one of the subway exits and sat there while we got rained on. It was pretty nice.

I got home around 10:30 pm which was pretty late for me and I felt a bit bad but my host mom was glad that I spent time outside and did not come home early to just study and do homework. This Friday was super fun. It was great!~

Thank you! I hope you enjoyed this post. 안녕!

  • 엠마 (Emma)

Supporter Group Meeting & Bonding With My Host Brother (July 14, 2016)

Thursday (July 14th, 2016) started off very well! For breakfast I got to try a cool array of fruits that I have never eaten in the United States before.

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I got to try Golden Kiwi and Korean Melon with a side of Honey toast from Paris Baguette.

Class was pretty jam-packed as we would be having our second Korean test the following day. I was assigned two dialogues to read and an entire lesson in my workbook (as well as study for the grammar points that would be on the test). I was feeling kind of stressed so knowing that today was also my first real supporter meeting, was super exciting! I was excited to study Korean with Sujin as well as the other Nsliyians in my group Casey and Jodi.

After class ended, I went out to lunch with Maris, Grace, Teresa, Mckenzie, Rhea, and Sofia. We all went to Waffle House. I ordered a honey and cinnamon waffle for only $2. It was definitely the perfect size to fill me up until dinner.

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After lunch, I met up with Casey and we walked to the meeting place. The cafe where we would be having all of our meetings was Cafe Areca (카페 아레카). When we got there, Sujin hadn’t arrived yet but Jun, another supporter, was already there waiting for his group. Eventually Sujin got there and Jodi was like five minutes late XD This time Casey and I ordered vanilla milk shakes. (They were delicious by the way!) Every Time we had a meeting, there was always only one guy working there. I am assuming he was the owner. He took a long time to make all the drinks but it was worth it. They were very well made.

The meeting was very fun and I think I understood everything very well. But then again, I didn’t understand a lot either! I would always tell Sujin that I understood her and then I would whisper to Casey and ask her what had just happened. It soon became a running joke throughout the meeting. We went through some new vocabulary and grammar points and I even knew most of the grammar. Sujin was really impressed. (Especially because of the many times I couldn’t understand her XD)

Then at the end of the meeting… something stupid, bad, and embarrassing happened. While I was heading to the bathroom, (the bathroom of the cafe was next door on the second floor. You also needed a key to get inside) I ran into the glass door – hard. I literally ran into the door. It made such a loud noise and everyone stared at me at the time it happened. I went through the door and ran up to the bathroom and laughed my head off. I profusely rubbed it like crazy because I did not want a bump on my forehead. To this day, I have never heard the end of it from Casey and Jodi. I messaged them that night with a picture of my bump (which I will not be posting because of its grotesqueness).

After our meeting, we all took our icebreaker photo. (During our Monday meeting earlier that week, our RDs proposed a weekly photo challenge. This week’s theme was Icebreaker. That was the only guideline we recieved. The only rule we had to oblige by was the fact that everyone in our group had to be in the picture.) We bought cherry ice cream from Baskin Robbins for Sujin which is her favorite flavor. Basically, we just took the photo in front of the Baskin Robbins store (we made sure to get Song Joong Ki in the picture). It ended up looking very cute.

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Our Weekly Challenge Photo

I went home right away since I needed to do my homework and study for my tests tomorrow. I ended up getting home around 5:30pm. I got home a little bit later than usual because I took the long way walking home from school so I could look around my neighborhood for a bit. It really amuses me that walking down one street I was passing by very small, family owned restaurants and then one more turn and I was walking past lots of chains like Paris Baguette (Korean Bakery) and even foreign stores like Krispy Kreme.

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Look at all those clouds!

Then at around 8:30pm, I got a call from my host mom. She was telling me to go down to the basement level of the apartment building since I was going out for dinner with my host dad and my youngest host brother. We went out for 삼겹살 (Pork Belly – Korean Barbeque). It was also very tasty! Everyone was staring at me at the restaurant (for the reason that there aren’t many foreigners in the area) but after awhile everyone got used to me.

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The food was good and I had a few things for the first time too! This time I got to try eating the meat with radish. When I first saw it, I thought it was a thinly sliced melon and it tasted like it too. The radish was thin, cool, kinda sweet, and very juicy. It wasn’t till my host dad told me what I was eating when I learned otherwise (Luckily I knew what he said because the word for radish – 무 – is one of the first food vocab I learned. Thank you Korean travel phrasebook! XD haha)

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This is from Google, but the circular green vegetable is the Radish!

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But I mostly ate the meat with simply lettuce.

After eating, my host dad, my youngest host brother, and I walked along this river (maybe?) close to the restaurant. My host dad drove back home while my youngest host brother and I decided to walk back to the apartment (it wasn’t too far at all). It was actually really nice because the weather was cool and it was fun walking along the river. We didn’t talk too much because my Korean skills weren’t very good yet. I talked to him about his hobbies (which we had learned on the first day) and why he liked playing soccer. He asked me about my dream but I could not say what I wanted to do since I didn’t know the word for diplomat at the time even though Sujin told me what it was during our supporter meeting >~< (I know it now though! Diplomat – 외교관). I spend more time with my younger host brother (just because the older brother is never home and on the weekends he always goes to the PC 방 – Computer Room. You go in, pay for how long you will be there, and then play video games all day).

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Stock Photo of a PC 방

The only time I really spend with the older host brother is welcoming him home or waving goodbye when he leaves the house and vice versa. (He does the same for me)

After the walk with my youngest host brother, I rushed back to the desk in my room and continued to study for my test the next day. I ended up staying up till 1am that night. And that was my Thursday in Korea! My first supporter meeting, my first time opening up towards my host brother, and my first time eating 무 with 삼겹살 XD It was great!

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed reading this post. Check back soon for another~ Do not forget to follow my blog if you do not want to miss out on my future posts! 안녕!~

  • 엠마 (Emma)

 

 

 

Namdaemun Market (남대문 시장) July 13th, 2016

Wednesdays (July 13th, 2016) are always fun since we don’t have any schedules after school. This leaves us with all of wednesday to explore Seoul and all that it has to offer. So I spent this Wednesday with Sura, Cynthia, Abigail, Ashley, and Sofia. For lunch we went to Mom’s Touch (my second time) and I shared a family pack of fried chicken with Sura and Ashley. (we had so many leftovers!)

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After lunch, Sura and Ashley went to the Sookmyung library to pick up Cynthia and Abigail while Sofia and I went to Gongcha and bought bubble tea. (Once again I bought taro bubble tea- definitely my favorite flavor.) We actually ran into our resident director Madeline and fellow Nsliyian Peter at Gongcha. We talked to them while our drinks were being made and then we went on our way to meet up with the rest of the girls at the subway station.

We all made our way to Namdaemun Market (남대문 시장). Namdaemun translates to Great South Gate (남 is south, 대 is big or great, and 문 is door or gate). Basically it is this huge outdoor market filled with street vendors selling clothes (mostly for ahjummas), hats, shoes, souvenirs, and food! We actually came across this shop where everything in the store was only $5 which was a great price for the quality of the clothes inside. One of the funny things that happened today was that Sura went into this shoe store to buy these replica birkenstock shoes. The guy that worked there kept complimenting us on our Korean but kept making fun of Sura saying that she must not study hard. The teasing was really funny but he wasn’t being mean at all. He actually gave her a huge discount on her shoes.

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The coolest part of the Market

After we hung out around the market, we said goodbye to Sofia who was going home early and the rest of us decided to head to Hongdae. (Definitely one of my favorite places in Seoul.) We walked around everywhere and visited certain parts of the area that I had not previously been to. I even went into some real stores (instead of just shopping on the streets) like Forever 21 and Bershka. Luckily, I didn’t buy anything – got to budget more wisely 😉

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More snaps of the streets of Hongdae

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We even came across some street performers (bad quality screenshot from a Snapchat video I took).

Cynthia and Abigail went on to do their own thing while Sura, Ashley, and I went and ate some bingsu at Sulbing! We ordered Mango Cheese Bingsu (만고치즈빙수) and it was very delicious. And since we sat by the window, we decorated our receipt and hung it up.

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The receipt streamers on the wall

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Our Bingsoo

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Let us ignore the fact that I spelled Thank You wrong on the receipt…

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Ashley being all cute

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Our finished receipt! Maybe I will find it again one day? XD

That was my Wednesday! I hope you enjoyed reading my blog post. 감사합니다 (I know how to spell Thank You! XD haha I do not know what happened at the time!). 안녕

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  • 엠마 (Emma)