So obviously I kinda sucked at the updating every day : ( However, I did experience a lot and I would like to share with you! I’ll be posting little snipets of tips and tutorials of how to get around and where to go in Korea.
Subjects I’m brainstorming at the moment are
Anything else, just message me and I’ll write on it : )
Recently, I also took a visit to Namsan Tower!! Although I was really excited to go, it turns out, there isn’t much to do ><
There are many, Many, MANY couples and the view is beautiful… But that’s about it… However, I was very happy to be up there and I had a good time :D
I don’t want to discourage anyone from going though! I would still say its definitely a place worth visiting!
Today I went to my favorite cupcake shop (again) and tried 4 new cupcakes :D
I actually bought a Red Velvet mini with Cream Cheese frosting to eat in the store and then 2 more to go. However, in addition to the Vanilla and the Tiramisu mini I bought, she gave me an Oreo mini for free~!
Anyways, the red velvet (not pictured) was good. The cake was a bit dry but the frosting was ON POINT. The perfect balance of cream cheese, vanilla, and a bit of lemon. Just like I remember it back home. (7/10)
The ones to-go came in the usual cute box! Possibly one of my favorite things is the cute way they box the cupcakes. The cupcakes stay perfectly inside; no sliding or smushing.
The vanilla cupcake was good and tasted slightly like a corn muffin. Interesting, but good. The frosting was very sweet and buttery, almost like an ice cream taste. Together, very very good combination. 8/10
The orea cupcake was amazing. One bite and it was just WOW. The frosting literally tastes like oreos. Again the frosting was sweet but balanced well with the cupcake. I only wish the frosting didn’t kill the chocolate taste so much. But still good The cupcake was good and moist. :D 9/10
Tiramisu cupcake was on point although the taste wasn’t really tiramisu. It was a cream cheese frosting with cocoa powder on top. The cupcake was a pleasant surprise, vanilla with a coffee soaked center. I’m not sure how they got it to be so perfectly balanced but really good! 8/10
The next time I go back to try the fruity cupcakes, I’ll take a picture of the interior too! It’s very simple and rustic (simple wooden tables and chairs painted in pale pink or white) and matches the simplicity of the cupcakes. I, personally, really like it there. The giant bookshelf is also a big plus in my book.
Baker’s Tip!! Make sure buttercream frosting is room temperature before you eat the cupcake. Because of the butter in the frosting, it will be solid when cold, and taste not as good as it should. When room temperature, the frosting fluffs up and is really perfect. Whipped cream, however, is highly unstable and should be cold or it will essentially melt.
Choco-Almond Waffle and Mixed Fruit (Banana and Kiwi) with Apple Jam Waffle ^^
My new prized possession!! It’s one of my favorite musicals~ I was literally dancing in the streets, I was so happy~!!
Day 15 - 9/16/2012
Today was the second day of the add-drop deadline and I went to the two classes I added, ‘Colloquium on Nationalism & East Asian Security’ and ‘Comparative Study of East Asian Cinemas’. I really enjoyed the Cinema class and the teacher was happy to have me ni the class. The Security class was apparently like a senior seminar and half the class fails on default. So I walked home, sucked up my pride and dropped it. I then added ‘Beginning Korean Writing’ and ‘Taekwondo’. I already know how to write Korean well but I’m hoping the class can also help me learn how to write more academic papers.
I stopped by the combini and grabbed this liter of tea to drink. I’ve been addicted to this barley/wheat tea and I thought to try a different brand. NO. I opened it and it had a familiar smell that I couldn’t place. And so I tasted it, different but good. Then I noticed it advertised giving the drinker a “V-line” and I was like omg what am I drinking. A little Google translating later, its Corn Silk Tea. That why! It tastes a bit like hominy and smells a bit like corn flakes. xD The taste is not to my liking as much as the barley/wheat tea but it’s still good.
Korean class was enjoyable today. I’m catching on and its not as intense as I originally thought. The teacher is really fun and understanding. The class atmosphere is also really chill. A lot of times I’m tired before class and the thought of a 2-hour Korean class is really defeating. BUT, once you get to class, you get super energized ^^
After Korean class was YonKo Games Cheering Orientation. The YonKo Games are an annual sports competition between Yonsei and our rival school, Korea Uni (boooooo). So we got together with the cheering team and learned cheers and dances for a little over2 hours. It was super tiring and fun! I’m totally psyched for the games ^^ We also learned some of Gangnam style. Korea is totally addicted to Gangnam style… And also Twinkle! They play everywhere.
I went to Cheering with my roommate but as I went to but my bag down, Jun Oh (my group leader) found me based off my hijab alone and then the event started so I couldn’t get back to her >< However, I made a new friend from Australia, Miranda, who was really great to hang out with ^^ Always glad to make a new friend. And tomorrow, all three of us (my roommate and Miranda) are going hour for breakfast bingsu ^^
After we got out of Cheering, we decided to get some munchies. We stopped by a food cart and got dukbbokki and kimbap. Then we stopped for bubble tea. I read the menu and my mind basically ditched me and I asked for “big apple” instead of “green apple”. The guy was totally cracking up and yea… sigh… But, he looked a lot like Kim Jong Kook, he was a good looking ajusshi ^^
Then we left and stopped at another food stand. We got some tempura and dukbbokki. My favorite was the yam and chili pepper tempura but we also has squid and shrimp. The chili pepper tempura was stuffed with veggies and tofu and so good~! It was a bit spicy but very light and not overpowering.
Then we continued on our trek and got waffles for the second time that day! The first time was on the way to cheering and I got a chocolate ice cream waffle with chocolate sauce. This time I got a kiwi-banana and whipped cream waffle with apple jam sauce. REALLY GOOD.
Finally, last stop of the day, I stopped at the CVS (which is really the same as a GS Mart or Family Mart, not anything big like in the US) and got my 2+1 Melona. Normally, the convinience store guy who works there bows to me and strikes up conversation. This time, he just waved and was like hey, whats up! YAY :D I made a friend ^^
Then with a full stomach, I walked home happily ^^ Today was a really great day! I hope I can have more days like this. \^^/
Day 13 - 9/4/2012
Today was relatively uneventful. I didn’t have any classes other than Korean and so I spent most of the day lazing around x.x It rained a ton today and it was on and off.
There was a Japanese class that I wanted to add and so I walked to class but I was in the wrong building. So as I went to move to the right building, outside was pouring. I stared at the rain for a moment like ‘huh… should i just run?” But then I felt a tap on my backpack and turned to see the security guard who gave me an umbrella ^^ I later tried to return it but he wouldn’t have any of it >< It’s a pretty umbrella too. Clear with pink rain drops~
Late at night, for some reason, we decide to head to the combini. BAD IDEA. I wore my pajama pants and they were totally soaked up the leg TT At least I was smart and didn’t wear my slippers.
Day 14 - 9/5/2012
Today was the beginning of the 3-day long Add-Drop Period. I desperately needed to get into classes because I was below the minimum amount of credits. I actually overslept till about 11am and the registration opened at 8am so I was a bit nervous.
But, I logged in and almost every class had a spot in it. Some classes had up to 17 spots!! All this time I was worrying about not getting into any classes but the Add-Drop really saved me!
So with that done, I headed to my first class, Kumdo! Kumdo is the Korean word for Kendo, Japanese sword-fighting. I was a bit nervous because I wasn’t sure where the classroom was and such. It took me about 30 minutes to find the sports complex, thank goodness I left early ^^
The class is in a small gym, almost looking like a dance studio with a mirror wall. The only thing is that the walls are lined with swords, spears, a giant drum, and at least 50 to 70 small trophies.
We removed our shoes before walking in. I honestly wasn’t sure of the protocol but I followed how this guy in front of me. Studying abroad is a lot of just observing and reenacting. I placed my sneakers on the shelf and sat cross-legged at the back, again better for observing.
The teacher started talking to me, beginning with asking if I knew Korean. I heard that and answered that I could speak a little. However, because of the echo in the gym, the other questions I had a hard time hearing and so another foreigner girl would turn around and repeat them for me. Normally in America, that would have been totally embarrassing, but when studying abroad, embarrassment fails to exist.
Anyways, class was very informal and fun. The teacher promised to work us hard and give us blisters. TT My baby soft hands will be no more, he’ll make sure of that… We do need to buy a shinai from a sports store.. I’ll have to find one this weekend..
After that, I grabbed lunch, udong and gunmandu, and we met with our friend Changhan. It was for a short time but was a nice break. I took a quick nap before Korean class, I’m totally tired now a days… But I still don’t sleep early ><
The Korean class was two hours long and it was INTENSE. We started off with reading a passage and we basically had to listen to the teacher read the passage and just repeat based off our memory.
We had a 10 minute break and then she went into explaining the new vocabulary in Korea. And she talks really really quickly. I mean, I guess its good for us in the long run but we literally just jumped off a cliff and into Korean class. The isn’t a lot of hw but that’s probably going to change soon. I can see it’s really intensive…
At night, we went out with my roommate’s CIEE group to get dinner. We walked for maybe 15-30 minutes before finding this place. One word, disappointing. We ordered tuna kimchi jjigae and they placed bowls of rice in front of us before bringing the pot of soup later.
The soup was relatively bland.. Even the kimchi jjigae in the states had more flavor. The tuna was small and not very abundant but the tofu was good. It came to about 4,000 won (4$) a person, which may not look bad. But for 4,000 won, we could have had a really satisfying meal, easily. Additionally, we had to pay extra for the rice. I still can’t figure out if that was because we were a group of foreigners or what, but I’ve never paid for rice in Korea. Ever.
There was one Korean girl who dominated most of the ordering and such which I really disliked. I mean, I came to Korea to learn and speak and live, not to have some pretentious Korean do it for me. Even if it was to be helpful, I didn’t like that at all. Like let me try to experience something please. That would be really helpful. That dinner experience really solidified my feelings that I don’t like being around large groups of foreigners. I think on my own or with 2 other people, we’ve found lovely places with great service and delicious food. Nothing that I saw here.
Dinner had me (and a couple other girls) feeling a bit annoyed so we went to get waffles~~!! Those waffles really do the trick and I had mine down before we even left the stand >< We stopped at the combini for some soft serve ice cream too. Only 1,000 won (1$) and the chocolate ice cream is amazing~! It tastes like real chocolate… Almost like it was made from a chocolate bar! No artificial bleh.
Over all, the day was nice with the exception of dinner. Also, I finally found out where there is this all you can eat bbq, so I hope to take my friend who is visiting from Suwon there ^^ But first, I want to go just to be sure of the quality and atmosphere and such.
Day 12 Photos