August 31, 2009

Something I forgot to say about yesterday, Elina told me her uncle would be happy to have me when they do their annual Kimchi making thing in November!!! Very exciting.

Ok today, I woke up and had to go switch one of my classes that was at the same time as the other and I switched into Chinese Politics EXCEPT I JUST LOOKED AT MY SCHEDULE AGAIN AND THEY PUT ME IN A DIFFERENT CLASS WHICH IS A COMPLETE FAIL BECAUSE THEY KEEP SCHEDULING ME FOR STUPID CLASSES THAT ARE THE SAME TIME AS MY OTHER CLASSES AND THIS CLASS ISNT EVEN IN ENGLISH!! AHHHHH SO ANNOYING. so I have to change that AGAIN before my classes tomorrow.

My classes today were very good. After I switched into Chinese Politics I ran to the class because I would have made it just in time except that it was cancelled and until Wednesday which is fine since I wasn't even OFFICIALLY IN THE CLASS AT THE TIME ANYWAY BECAUSE EVEN THOUGH I SPECIFICALLY WROTE THE CLASS NUMBER NAME AND SECTION THEY STILL FAILED TO BE ABLE TO SWITCH ME but anyway. Then I went to starbucks because it was close and my back hurt from all the walking and I sat and read Mr. Darcy, Vampyre. Which is very good so far. Then I went and got an agenda for my classes then I got lunch which was not very good because it was pizza and garlic bread on a pastry/sugar coated piece of bread. ew. I ate the garlic bread but I just couldn't eat the pizza. Then Fredrico saw me at the corner that I was crossing and said that he had to walk to change his classes and if I knew where Korean 1 was so I walked him to the building where it was and there was a large group of us who couldn't find the class we were supposed to be in so I stood around with a bunch of people and met a boy from Canada named Kirk who goes to Queens and I told him about how I know people in Canada north of Toronto and he says he lives close to where they do which is cool. Then we sat down in a huge auditorium where they split us up into 4 different classes and I'm in the same class as Milda, Caitlyn and Barbara (Barbara is studying in Holland and is Caitlyn from Ohio State's roommate). We only had a little bit of class but the teacher told us everything will be in Korean so that is going to be very very funny.

Barbara is in my International Organizations class so we walked there together and the teacher reminds me a lot of my International Politics teacher, who was the one who wrote me a recommendation for here. The teacher is strict but funny and also I think very smart. I'm excited to learn more. He talks about the United States a lot and he kept calling on the few International Students in the class I believe looking for someone from America but he didn't find anyone and he never called on me so he can find out that Im American later.

I walked back to my room and did laundry then Milda and I went to some Korean resturant or maybe it was Japanese they all taste weird I just point to a picture and eat whatever and I don't even know what it is (but I DO know it isn't dog because I actually know the korean word for dog) then we went to Baskin Robins for ice cream and walked back where I found out that I HAVE TO GO SWITCH MY CLASSES AGAIN. but really its fine im totally cool with that.


August 30, 2009

Today was AMAZING. woke up and had a muffin and some coffee that I had bought the night before for breakfast and read until 1:15 then got ready to go out with Elina. She and I met at Anam subway station where we then went to Gyeongbokgun the biggest palace in Seoul, right next to a beautiful mountain (they always build their main government buildings next to a mountain because it represents power). The palace was right next to the Korean Folk Museum and it was very nice to walk around the grounds, we saw some really big fishsome the size of my arm in one of the ponds. Then we went for a walk to get lunch at a place called Kraze Burger (They call it Kraze burger because apparently it is a mix of the word Korean and Crazy.) It was very nice to have a burger and fries after a week of Korean food. Then we walked to a river that they just restored because it had been so populated and there is a great path right next to it that we walked along and saw some Korean mimes doing dancing and fooling around. We sat by the river and talked then kept walking to go to a department store so Elina could buy new shoes so we walked up to the street and heard some traditional Korean music and followed it to watch a band for a while. Then we got on a subway and went to myeongdong a shopping center. We went into a really nice department store and it was great to look around. Something I realised this week was that when they play American songs they dont play the censured version so it is really weird to be walking around a nice department store and hearing the f bomb drop and looking around to see if anyone else noticed. nope just me. We were tired of all the walking so we decided to go home, I met Milda for dinner at Italian Plates which was nice then we walked back.

School starts tomorrow ah! I have to change one of my classes because it conflicts with another one, so before class tomorrow I think I will do that. My first class starts at 2pm. very very exciting!

August 29, 2009

Ok, yesterday was fun. I made it food day, that ment that I ate whatever I wanted that I saw and it was great. First we went to the Uni-store and I got school supplies and I also got a towel because I was tired of using one of my dresses as a towel. It's kind of nice taking a shower with a towel after not having one for a while but anyway it's maroon and it says Korea University in english and Korean in gold and there is a gold tiger head. baller. Then I decided I wanted to try some food at one of the little food places and it was fried stuff and you point to what you want and I had some fried patatos and a fried rice dumpling. Milda got soem fried vegetable thing that I had some of and all of it was very good and only for 2000won!!! (less than $2!) Then we went to a bakery and it was great I had two cookies for 1000 won and they had lots and lots of really good looking stuff *cough mom cough* Then Milda got a strawberry smoothie for 1000 won and then we went on the subway to go to the movie theatre where we went the wrong way down the street to it and so we walked into a mac store to get directions and they were playing IN YOUR ATMOSPHERE BY JOHN MAYER. everyone I've asked here doesn'tknow who he is and in your atmosphere isnt even a popular song. it was great. Then we went to the movie theater and met with a boy named Frederico from Italy and he had a girl named Sophia with him but she didn't stay for the movie but seemed very nice. We saw Public Enemy. Going to the movies in Korea is interesting because they assign you a seat in the theatre and also there isn't any coming attractions which is kind of sad for me because I like those. It was funny when I was giving the lady my ticket to show that I bought one for the show because I accidentally gave her my ticket to the Jason Mraz concert that I went to before Korea that was in my purse. I was the only one who thought that was funny. THEN we watched Public Enemies which was really really good and long but I didn't mind it. the movie started at 6:40 and we got out at like 9. THEN we went back to the room and went clubbing with Irina and her friend Sam from Ghana he was nice. We took a taxi there and it took like an hour but was only 14,800 won which I didn't think was so bad. We stayed out until like 3 then took a taxi back. It was funny watching all those Koreans going crazy over all these american songs. On the way back we passed by a lot of clubs and this building that when I looked at looked like a doll house because it showed all the different rooms in a house with a glass sheet over it and I thought it was some kind of perverted strip club because I saw bunk beds and young looking girls sitting around and I thought they were just on display but when I got closer I saw that they were all holding microphones and staring at a tv then I realized that it was a karaoke bar. Crazy koreans.

This morning I woke up at like 12 and read for a while then took a shower and walked down to "Tout les Jours" which sells like bread stuff and I really wanted a bagel but so far I haven't food any place that looks like it would sell a good bagel so I had a DONUT. crazy. and a strawberry smoothie. On my way back I bought a Korea Times because the headline was "Anti-Racism Law Proposed" and found out that the bill is the first legal attempt to to fight racism in South Korea which was interesting.

My plans for today include: Cleaning my room, setting up school supplies and reading. I also might go to a karaoke bar with a girl named Caitlyn from Ohio State and her friends.

August 27, 2009

Ah, my feet hurt! Milda and I went all around today and now I am exhausted. We went to some of the places that the woman from the Seoul Workshop said we should go to, the best by far was the last stop but it was also the most touristy but I got a really nice leather bag there and they were selling nice leather jackets for only 150000 won, less than $150 I'm really tempted to go back but for now I will try to stay content with the bag. I have been looking for boots but they all have such high heels and there is no way I can walk up and down that hill in teh snow in heels! Today was very busy so hopefully I will finally get a good nights rest!
woah did not know that there were comments this whole time, sorry! Korean beer is fine, I actually dont even know if it's korean I sort of dont think so but it is everywhere and is called Cass? I had never seen it before so I just bought it. No I'm not shorter than everyone I'm really very much in the middle all the girls are around my height so that's cool.

Milda and I are going sight seeing today! if it ever stops raining... and if she ever wakes up.

August 26, 2009

The Seoul city tour was so fun! first we went to the museum which was kind of boring but nice I guess it's kind of hard to pay attention when there are so many people around but it was really pretty and there were mountains in the background so that was cool. Then we ate yet another traditional Korean meal, we were at tables and sitting cross legged on the floor. A group of brittish boys were seated at the same table as us and listening to them talk was funny because they kept saying mate and brittish things and it was just amusing. Then we got to go outsite on the streets of Insadong which is a lot of vendors with nice cheap little things you can buy as gifts but also there were nice scarfs and jewelry, a lot of paper fans. We then went to the show Jump which was really good the martial arts were excellent and also the show was very funny. We had a great time but as we left it started pouring rain and that was a bummer so we had to walk far to the buses in pouring rain. Then we got off the buses back and Korea Uniersity and Milda went to go buy her phone so I walked back then it REALLY started pouring and I ducked into a shop to buy an umbrella and I also got a bag of chips then I also got a beer just because I felt like it so I bought my first legal beer in Korea today. Then I read on the balcony for a while it was nice because it was cooler since it was raining.

Some things I think everyone should know about Seoul so far:
1) Women where high heels all the time. and not just casual ones like evening wear ones with just plane tee shirts and jorts, very bizzare.
2) it is extremely hilly so I don't know how these girls can walk all over the place because I'm having problems and I consider myself to be in good shape and I am only wearing flip floops.
3) Cop cars have their lights on all the time so if you see flashing lights in your rear view mirror its not because youre getting pulled over its just that there is a cop behind you
4) Motorcycles can go anywhere. If you think you are safe on the sidewalk, you are wrong.

ok that's all!

August 25, 2009

Started the day off with registering for our student ID card which will also act as a bank card for Hana Bank, the process of getting it is 4-5 weeks which is a long time but it will be nice to finally get one!
After that we had lunch and we asked many questions about traveling and different things about Seoul to Elina who was very nice and answered all the questions
Then we went to the starbucks in Tiger Plaza where I learned that Korea has the 1st or 2nd most expensive starbucks in the world (5,800 won for a tall mocha! which is about $5.80). After starbucks we went to the "Life in Seoul Workshop" where a young woman who grew up in Korea but has studied/lived in United States, Germany and Italy answered a lot of questions from us about good places to visit, shop and eat.
Then Milda and I registered for our classes and learned more about our Alien Registration card. After that we walked around the campus waiting for 4:30 to meet our buddies to go shopping and so we found that there were shops underneath central plaza where we had gone earlier and just saw a lawn of grass (it was really interesting underneath the school store was there and a phone company some resturants and an entrance to the business building and underground parking). We met with our buddies at around 4:15 then we split up and I got an adapter ! :-) then we went and I got a cell phone for about 60$ and an hour and a half of minutes for $30 (incoming calls are free, even from abroad). While waiting in the cell phone store I was educated a little bit in Korean pop music because it was playing over the speakers and there is a popular boy band called 2pm which I will have to check out. Hyungjung had to go home but then Elina and I went out and had some very good Japanese food then she walked back with me to CJ International House because she had never seen it before, she lives with her family in Seoul and we hung out with Milda for a while then I walked Elina to the door and got myself a coke from a vending machine.
I am really excited for tomorrow's trip into Seoul should be very busy and fun. Hopefully I can sleep tonight without waking up in the morning at 4:30 am...

August 24, 2009

Today we met at Inchon Memorial Hall and I walked with Milda where they split us into 9 different groups we happened to be in the same one (group 9) where we met our KUBA buddies. My Buddy is named Hyungjung and she is very nice but does not speak English amazingly so it is fun to talk to her. I also met girls from Denmark, Germany, Italy, Spain and a bunch from Korea. One of the girls who lived in Seoul was studying at the University of Michigan-Elina so that was nice to talk to her. She and I made plans to go hiking soon so I am excited to go out and see some parks. We went through an introduction orientation speach and then we made our student email accounts and looked at classes that we could register for. We had lunch and that was ok there were dumplings which were nice I had a dish that was basically just potatoes and carrots covered in like a soy sauce type thing there were many different sides like kimchi and bean sprouts and salad with a yougurt sauce (litteraly just strawberry yougurt on a salad). Lunch went well except that there were 3 different places to get cups from and me being the smart one choose the one place that there were dirty cups which I found out because when I was trying to put the cup away Elina said you can just put it here and she pointed to where I had gotten the cup. I tried not to vomit but that did put my stomach a bit on the edge. I'm not very worried about getting sick though because they are paranoid about h1n1 already and im sure they've already quarantined the students that have a fever.

After lunch we took a campus tour and I impressed Elina and Hyoungjung with my fluency (not) in Korean. We parted when it was time to take the Korean proficency test and then Milda and I talked to a boy who was part of KUBA (Korea University Buddy Assistance) and he walked into a mobile phone store where he talked to the man about getting us a phone and we learned the same information that we had at the meeting but we decided not to get a phone yet.

Milda and I then decided to go for a walk into Seoul where we found a resturant that had a menu in english (it was Chinese though not Korean) and we got chicken with garlic andd chicken with peanuts and red peppers. They were both spicy but it was nice because with dinner they gave us white tea which was cool and refreshing. They gave us fruit for dessert and it tasted weird the first was white and almost pineapple like then we had grapes that made me realize where candy products got their grape flavoring idea. They had pits in them and they were very gooey I tried hard not to think about the scene in willy wonka when he eats the green bug juice.

Tomorrow we register for classes and have a seoul city workshop.

Wendesday we are going for the Seoul city tour which includes visiting a museum, shopping and getting lunch then seeing a show called "Jump" which is based on traditional Korean martial art.

Thursday Milda and her KUBA and I are going to go shopping for the everyday things that we need living here like a phone and a hamper for laundry (most of all for me a towel and an adapter).

So far I have really enjoyed everyone that I have met I really like the people in my group and also I met a girl who goes to Ohio State named Caitlyn and I caught up with one of the boys who goes to the University of Dayton named Dawson (he was wearing a dayton shirt ha..)

August 23, 2009

Ok seriously I should not be allowed to travel alone. Not only did I get on the wrong bus because I was misled but also because when I finally got to Korea University I was at the main entrance and the whole campus is UP HILL. im not even joking you. I don't even know how to describe my abilities to survive because I walked up so many hills and got lost so many times and finally these koreans had seen me pass them like a billion times and started helping me except none of us could communicate then this lovely woman came and called a friend who thankfully worked with international students and they got a car and drove me the rest of the hill. Did I mention by this time that it was dark? I finally got there and I saw this girl on my flight who I should have gone to FIRST but I saw 2 boys and i SWORE one of them was holding the application but apparently not because they told me they were in the MILITARY (air force) so then I walked with them to Gate F got on a bus that said it went to Korea University but it was not the free one and I had to pay 13,000 won (not even 10 bucks) and talked to an old australian man then got dropped off in the middle of Seoul across the street from the University and EVERYONE was looking at me like I was crazy. I felt like I was in a movie. Finally anyways I got there and the girl was like "oh yeah we were announcing your name" but I had already gotten on that other bus. geez louise. OK so also I am rooming with the RA which kind of sucks but oh well and we share a bathroom/little hallway with a girl from Matild and I couldn't actually catch what country she is from but we are going shopping when she wakes up. My roommate's name is Irina and she is from Russia, which I flew over in the plane and their landscape is sweettt. I took a picture.

This morning I got up at like 5:30 then dozed in and out of sleep until 7:30 then got up and read then Irina woke up to work downstairs greeting people. By the way this country is wayyyy paranoid about H1N1 and they take our temperature like every 100ft ok well that's an exaggeration but I got it checked at the airport then also at here. Anyway and then I decided I was really hungry and I asked how far away Tiger Plaza was from here (one of the many places I got lost at yesterday and I saw that they had a starbucks and other stores) and she said like a 10 minute walk so I get dressed and I start walking, I don't know why but there was like a nature path and a sign in Korean that I definitely could not read and so then I followed it and that went to absolutely no where. but then I got on a road and to get to Tiger plaza you have to walk down this street where everything is stores and people's houses and so I started walking and I got to a street like that but it seemed so different from the university that I figured I was lost but I didn't want to admit it so I kept walking and went into one of the little stores looking for a bagel or something and some coffee even though it's already like 80 degrees here and so I went it then I saw coffee and a bagel but I was too overwhelmed by the choices so I just got a bottle of water then I kept walking. I decided I didn't want to be lost anymore so right before I turned around I went into another store and got a starbucks little chilled coffee thing that had way too much sugar and I saw some bananas and got those too ( they served bananas on the plane for breakfast along with these rolls that I thought was just bread but then I bit into it and there was something meaty or something in there and I just ate it but my stomach was NOT happy with me) so I decided to go with those instead of a foreign roll. I ate one banana and gave another to Irina and I think I'll ask Matild if she wants one too when she wakes up.

THEN I spent seriously like 2 straight hours trying to figure out how to connect to the flipping internet because we have to use IP addresses and I changed the IP address liek 10,000 times then I just was really mad and decided to have a positive attitude about it and then it changed! (I think a positive attitude changes a lot especially since I've known all along something bad was going to happen to me between the airport and the university) anyway so basically I'm sorry I didn't email you sooner but I seriously tried everything. also I stole Irina's cord from her battery to the outlet because I don't have a korean adapter yet so I hope her computer stays charged...

That's all.

August 17, 2009