Tuesday, July 22

Days 14 and 15

Because I have not done anything real exciting the past two days, I am combining my update and including Monday and Tuesday.  Hopefully I can explain a little more of how things work here in Korea.  First, I am adding a picture of the candy bar I bought for 400 won...which is the same as $0.40!  It is called a Kicker--but actually, it's just a Kit Kat.  ^_^  I have not had too much chocolate here, so it was nice!

Monday, I started the day really positive!  I was on a bit of a high because I felt so successful about class from Thursday.  That went down the drain by the third hour of language class on Monday.  This is definitely a challenge for me academically.  My brain does not compartmentalize as well as some other students and it's a lot of information in a small amount of time.  We started class out with a review on the Sino Korean numbers which is REALLY easy for me.  I can already count to 100 pretty quickly.  Then, my teacher (I will try not to use Korean...I'm sorry to those that I confused in my previous posts) introduced about 20 new verbs.  We also learned how to say what time things are, which is a bit confusing, but I got the hang of it pretty quickly.  In Korea, they have two sets of numbers and you use one set in certain situations and the other in other situations...so you may use one to count and say amounts, but the other to tell time...etc.  Time, though uses both.  You use Pure Korean numbers to say the hour and Sino Korean for the minutes.  I felt like I was getting the hang of things until after the third hour of class--by then my brain cannot process anymore.  >.<  

Anyways, Nicola and I decided to go to the 7-11 to eat some lunch.  I LOVE convenience stores here.  There are very few gas stations near this area, but a TON of convenience stores.  They always have places to sit and eat inside and outside of the store as well as microwaves to cook any food that you buy.  I chose to buy a Garlic Cream Spaghetti and microwave it.  We decided to eat inside and just chill out a bit before culture class.  I also had my favorite--Chilsung Cider (which is similar to Sprite...but better haha).  The noodles tasted very strongly of garlic, but it was good.

After eating, we went back to Arrupe Hall to wait for everyone else.  We didn't have to wait long because our teacher came and had us move to another room because we were joining with another class to play a Konglish game.  Konglish is what they call Korean words that sound English...like the word banana that I showed you in an earlier post.  Camera, computer, McGyver knife (haha), etc. are some Konglish words.  I mention McGyver knife because one team was able to figure it out and our teacher said they were the first time in two years to figure it out.  ^_^

I also took some pictures of the computer set up that each room has.  It's like a huge docking station.  

After culture class, Valeria, Nicola, and I chose to go to the small soccer field to study.  Our studying went on for about three hours.  During that time, some of the guys in our class and from other classes decided to come play soccer, so we stayed and just watched them play for a bit.  It was neat because eventually a Korean dancing club (I think) came over to the field and practiced for a bit.

After awhile, we got really hungry, so we went to Jummie's on campus.  Jummies has mostly pizza and it was AMAZING!  Ariel, Nicola, Valeria and I were the only ones there, and the owner was SO nice--he gave us 떡볶이 (Dukbokki) which is rice cakes in a spicy sauce.  I did not eat them, but he was awesome--we will definitely be going back!  I want to mention how cheap food and basically almost everything is here.  I usually eat a whole meal for $1.00-$5.00.  Every restaurant has a sanitizing machine that holds cups which you take one.  Then, you fill it up with free water from a water machine--because you can't drink water from the tap here.  I just carry a water bottle around with me most of the time.  Then when you order, they bring you a huge array of side dishes to eat with your meal.  Unfortunately, I usually don't like most of the side dishes, but many of my friends eat them.  Also, there is a ton of sharing here in Korea.  Usually everyone orders several things and you just use your chopsticks to take what you want and then at the end, you split the price between everyone.  For example, when my exchange partner took me to the pizza/pasta restaurant, we ordered a pizza and a pasta...plus we got 2 side dishes for free.  We then just split both pizza and pasta.

It was kind of late by the time we were done, and I spent the rest of my night studying again in my floors lounge.

On Tuesday, I got up early again and went for a run.  We had two tests in language class, so I also studied a bit more in the morning before breakfast.  I chose to buy a muffin from the GS (convenience store by my dorm) because breakfast was stir fried rice and weird sausages that looked like hot dogs.  When we take tests, we are given review sheets and are allowed to ask the teacher questions during the first hour.  We then take the first test during the second hour.  During the third hour we do review sheets and ask questions, and then we take the second test during the fourth hour.  We were being tested on chapters 1 and 2.  To help you understand, we learned everything from chapters 1 and 2 on Thursday and Monday--then we took the tests on Tuesday.  That is a lot of information for two days.  I think I did really well, though.  It's the listening that I'm having a hard time with.  

After language class, Dong Eun met us downstairs and took us to another authentic Korean restaurant that we would not know it was there.  We had to go through what looked like a mechanics shop and then downstairs.  We order two different types of Bulgogi which was delicious.  I wish I knew what kind of mushrooms they put in the Bulgogi stew, but they are amazing.  They also offered this frozen rice drink that was good--it was just really sweet.  And to make it better, it was all $5.00.

The rice drink that we got for free.

All of the side dishes that came with our meal.

My bulgogi.

After lunch, we parted ways with Dong Eun and met our culture class teacher (who is hilarious!) at Mary Hall.  Today's culture class event was to complete a mask dance.  It was terrible, but I got the hang of it by the end of class.  Matt, Valeria, and I were 3 of 5 people who made up the "all star" group at the end of class haha.  I took some pictures of a mask dance we watched on the big screen and some of my friends before we started the dancing.  Our instructor was hilarious.

After class, Nicola and I decided to go to Hongdae again for a little bit just to get out, but unfortunately, no one should listen to me when it comes to directions haha.  We found some neat shops, but not Hongdae.  We had to go the long way, but finally made it just in time for it to pour down the rain so we walked back to campus.  I took some pictures during my brief visit, I took a few pictures.

It is now 1:30 AM (한시삼십분이에요) and I am going to study the next chapter so that I can be a bit ahead tomorrow.  I'm really excited because we will be doing a "Running Man" style mission for culture class tomorrow.  If you have no idea what that is, just look up "Running Man" on youtube--it's a show in Korea.  ^_^  

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