Friday, July 25

Days 16 and 17

Ah!  It's been a really busy three days with so many tests and studying.  On one hand, I feel like I'm really understanding so much and am really proud when I actually understand or speak in Korean with a local, but then I also feel terribly unsuccessful just as much.  Many of the Korean people speak really fast, and I can't process as quickly.  I also love when they try to speak English to me, but I'm never sure if they want to practice and I should speak English back or if I should just answer in Korean.

I think that's about as much as I am going to update on studying right now!  Instead, I will start off with my day on Wednesday.  It began pretty well because I had studied really well the night before and really understood what was going on in class.  I memorized about 30 verbs in a night as well as the weekdays and a few other random words.  ^_^  After language class, some of the girls and I went to the convenience store attached to Arrupe Hall and I had a cheese bread and chicken on a stick (everything is better on a stick).  I didn't think to take a picture until after I had finished most of my meal.

After we ate, we had to take the subway which included a transfer to another station line.  When we got to our location for culture class, we ended up at a mall!  I would like to mention that in Korea, almost every subway station has cheap shopping in the station and many of the stations lead into some sort of shopping building.  Sincheon ends in Hyundai Department Store and the U-Plex for example.

Once in the mall, we met up with other students and our teachers to complete a Sogang style "Running Man" competition for culture class.  If you have no idea what that is, you should look up "Running Man" on youtube.  It is a competition show in Korea.  The basic rules of this competition for us was that we wear a tag that said our name and team name.  My team consisted of Nicola, Valeria, and Vanessa.  If another team or teacher saw us, they could rip off our tags and that would deduct 100 points from our end score.  We could also tear off their tags in order to make them lose points.  We were given a sheet of directions.  Mostly, we had to find certain stores or objects.  If we needed to ask someone for help, we had to only speak in Korean.  We were allowed to write in English, though!  Once we completed a task, we ran back to get another task.  We had to do this several times until we were complete.  Well...we did not have points taken away, and we came in 2nd place!  

After the competition, we walked around a bit, but most of the stores were chains that you can find in America, so we went back to the dorm to sleep.

A picture of the mall.

A piece of art work.

Many of the subway stations have moving floors like in the airports!

The winning team!

After I finished my nap, I chose to go downstairs to the dorm to eat dinner.  This was the first time that I chose the Korean option over the Western option.  It was some odd pork with rice.  I was nervous that I would not like it, but it was delicious!  I seem to love any type of meat here.

I chose to stay up a bit and study with some friends, but I tried to get to bed at a decent time.  In the morning, I went to language class and had a great first two hours.  The second two hours with my second language teacher always seems so much harder.  I don't know if it's just because my brain is done or if it's the teaching style.  I just have a harder time.  At lunchtime, the girls and I chose to go back to Jummie's Kitchen for pizza again.  It is so amazingly good.  I took some pictures of the menu and food descriptions for you to see.  

After we ate, it was time to head out to culture class.  We had to ride the subway three stops over to get to Samgakji.  There, we went to the Korean War Museum.  It was so interesting and kind of touching.  I had to meet with my exchange partner at 4:00, so I could not stay long, though.

SOS--just in case you didn't know this was for an emergency.

I was so proud of myself after I finished at the museum because I finally was able to take the subway by myself!  When I got back to Gonzaga Hall, I met up with Sunhyoung (my exchange partner) and we started off for Gangnam (Oppa Gangnam Style!).  I really liked it there, but I will say that I did not like it as much as Hongdae.  Gangnam seemed much more expensive...but it's really known for it's plastic surgery and shopping!  I can't believe that I did not get any pictures of the area!  :(  I really liked shopping in the subway with Sunhyoung, though!  She bought a really pretty dress.  I can't wait to meet with her again because I think we're going to sit down with our books to help each other study.  I feel like I have a lot in common with her and she's always willing to answer all of my questions!  

While in Gangnam, she took me to a Naengmyeon restaurant.  Naengmyeon is a chilled broth with buckwheat noodles.  In the broth was also strips of cucumber, pieces of radish, and a boiled egg.  Along with the noodles was a plate of meat which was amazingly tasty.  

After shopping a bit and eating dinner, we also decided to share a cheesecake bing-su.  I've already shown you my orea bing-su that I ate, but this was way better!  The base is made from shaved ice.  There was also pecans and cheesecake pieces on top of that.  Then, they put a scoop of icecream and cranberries on top.  Off to the side of the picture, you can see a cup of liquid--that is some sort of sweet cream that you pour on top.  It was just delicious and really refreshing.

At about 10:00 PM, we went back down to the subway station.  She had to get off a few stops in so I got to make the rest of the trip myself.  Once at the Sincheon station, I just walked back to campus.  It was a long night because I stayed up until 4:00 AM studying for my test.  Overall, it was a great two days!  ^_^

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