Monday, June 29, 2015

Day 122: Leaving Korea/Back home

Sunday, June 21

My roomie woke up around 4am to shower and get her shuttle to the airport, so we barely got a few hours of sleep.  I repacked when she left, showered, and then checked us out of the hotel.  They shuttled me to the airport a bit before 7.  It took about 45 minutes to get through baggage and have that checked, but then I still had a bit over 2 hours before my flight.

I got some doughnuts and then walked to where the subway line goes to the airport.  My friend was taking the subway in so we had decided to meet up and chat a bit before our flights.  Met him, and then I ditched him once he was in baggage to go through security because I get anxious about that.  Sat at my gate for a bit, rearranged my carry on baggage (and I lost something at the airport because of that :/), met up with my friend again, and finally got on the flight to Toronto!

Honestly, the flight was pretty terrible.  I was exhausted, I can't sleep on planes, and for about 2 hours there was turbulence so bad even the flight attendants couldn't stand up, meaning you also couldn't use the bathroom.  But we landed safely in Toronto, so whatever.  We had left Seoul at 10am local time on Sunday, and gotten to Toronto around 1030am local time so that was really funny to me.  There, had to get my bags, recheck them, change terminals, and go through US security (which was convoluted and a pain and everyone was confused).  But made it through, ate a bit, and then went to my gate.  I tried to sleep there and it didn't work, of course.  It was a gate for the smaller flights, so like 4 different flights were in this little area, very small planes.

Well, when it was time to get on the plane, my ticket didn't work, and I just stood off to the side when the ticket agent checked everyone else on the plane because even if I was the type of a person to kick up a fuss, I was just too tired.  Apparently they had double booked my seat, but the guy who was sitting in it actually had gotten kicked off the flight a few hours before - I think he had a standby ticket or something.  They offered to let me take the next flight 4 hours later and get a flight voucher, but since I had someone waiting for me at the airport I decided against it.

This flight went better, seeing as how it was around 2 hours instead of 13.  Got off the flight and ran to the gate where I met my boyfriend.  It was really nice to see him again after 4 months, especially when he had some gifts for me to make the day better (read: caffeine and chocolate and roses), so that was really sweet.  We picked up my bags, and drove to our hotel in the city I lived in most of my life.  I felt disgusting from the flight so I tried to take a bath since it was a jacuzzi but I almost fell asleep so I decided to just shower, which was a bummer.  Had enough pizza to stop my stomach from grumbling and just passed out in bed.

121: Last Full Day!

Saturday, June 20

Pretty exciting day.  Woke up, grabbed some triangle kimbap from the GS25 (last one ever), and went to the PC cafe.  Spent a few hours there talking with people back home and playing games, just relaxing.  I went out after and did "scratching" in my hair - where they shave a design into the hair.  They wouldn't do it at the first haircut place I went to, but luckily the second one did.  I've wanted to do it for a long time now and figured may as well when I'm in Korea!  It didn't turn out too well - he didn't really know what to do - but I enjoyed it.

Afterwards, met my friend at Hansot for our last meal there - we're both such regulars there they know our order before we even say it.  Just sat outside and chatted and ate.  It was pretty chilly actually and rainy, so we both decided to go back to the dorms.  I finished up my packing, and helped my roommate carry some of her stuff into a different dorm for storage over the summer.  We said goodbye to my roommate, she was crying when she had to leave, it was so sweet.  Just relaxed for a long time honestly and waited for my roomie to get ready.

Finally, we got a taxi to a bus stop to get a bus to the airport!  There, we called our hotel and they picked us up, and we got some food and settled in around 1am to go to bed.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Day 120: Jongmyo Shrine

Friday, June 19

Slept in again, skyped, and then off I went.  Grabbed some breakfast and went to Itaewon for my last acupuncture session.  I didn't actually do my shoulder this time - it actually hasn't been hurting me for a while which is WONDERFUL - but I decided to do it on my lower back to fix it up and make it not so tight for the airplane ride home.  I went there a bit late, so I was rushing on my way to the shrine.

I got to the station, saw it was 3:55 and decided to just grab a snack and take my time walking there, seeing as how online it says it's a 10 minute walk from the station.  Well, even after getting my snacks I was there at 4:03 so I hurried and bought my ticket (English tour was at 4, I was just going to take the 4:20 Korean tour as you HAVE to go with a tour group during the week).

And then, the best thing ever happened.  I'm giving the ticket guy my ticket to get in so I can hurry and catch up to the tour group, when I heard someone saying "Where can you buy tickets?", like the type of rhetorical question you say out loud with friends when you're confused.  I decided to be a nice person and just pointed to the ticket office (it's hard to see) and said that it's over there.  The guy said thanks, and then a split second later asked "You speak Dutch?"  Then I realized that both the first question and the last question were actually spoken in Dutch, but I just comprehended it right away.  I just responded saying "a little" in Dutch back, but it just made my day.  Like, I could just understand it.  I didn't answer his first question in Dutch since I wasn't really paying attention, but just the fact I instantly understood what he meant and could respond is huge to me.  August 2nd will be the 3 year anniversary of me coming back from Belgium (as you can see by my entries from then!) - I never would have thought the language would stick with me this long.

Anyway, back to the boring recap of my day to day life.  Toured the shrine, chatted with people in the tour group (though none of the people from Holland - I know they were from Holland and not Belgium from the accent or I would have tried to strike up conversation) and took the train back to Anam.

Probably my favorite picture from the day

Back in Anam, I met my English speaking dance partner at the subway station.  He had insisted on treating me to dinner for helping him do his final early, so we met up today.  We ended up going for Korean BBQ (YESSSSS) and just chatting.  Afterwards we went to a PC cafe and gamed a bit, which was just really fun.  Learned some of the differences between Korean and North American servers for the game I play.

Went back to the dorm, showered, edited my pictures, and just relaxed.  I'm starting to charge up all of my electronics for the flight, packing things, etc.  I have a bit to do tomorrow yet (after my plans), but I should be able to get done with more than enough time.  It's so unreal that it's here - I've been waiting to go home for a long time now because I'm just so tired of traveling - but now I'm starting to get a bit sad about the prospect.  I know I'm ready but it's still sad to leave a place that you don't think you'll ever come back to.  Hopefully sometime long in the future I can come back with travel companions, that's really what I've been missing on this trip.

Anyway, time for bed.  I'm sure a few days after I get back I'll get a nice rambling post about everything, but tonight it's time to sleep.

Day 119: Gyeongbokgung Palace

Thursday, June 18

Slept in, no alarm, which was GLORIOUS.  My roommate did the same so neither of us got out of bed/disturbed each other until past noon.  It felt great to sleep in that much.  I was super hungry when I got up so I went to Dos Mas (the Chipotle ripoff that's not near as good) and ate a burrito.  So soon I can have Chiptole again!

Then, took the subway and went back to Gyeongbokgung Palace, the first palace I visited when I was here.  It was nice to see it when it was green and warm and just nice.  Got a fresh strawberry juice there which was really good.  Afterwards, walked around for a while, shopped a bit, and just relaxed.  Tried to buy souvenirs in Insa-dong but then I just felt sick.  I think it was a combination of heat, not enough food, not enough water, and just my body letting out all my stress from the semester.  It was super hard to make it back to Anam without getting sick.

Got a juice back at Anam station since I needed to sit before going up the hill.  Had fresh watermelon juice.  I really love the juice culture here - just throw some ice and fresh fruit in a blender and get a wonderfully refreshing glass of any sort of fruit or veggie.  Went to the dorm, laid down for a while, ate, and then started my laundry.  Luckily I just beat the rush, though someone did open my dryer when it was running so I had to pay for it again since it didn't finish drying.  Then, packed up all my stuff.  Figured out what outfits I'm wearing on the plane and these last few days, what I'm wearing my first few days home, and just packed it all up.  My main suitcase (aka the one with wheels) is  juuust under the weight limit, and my duffel bag is much, much lighter.

Then, just skyped a bit, relaxed a bit, and went to bed.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


Wednesday, June 17

Woke up, studied a bit, went to Dunkin' to get some more substantial breakfast than a poptart, and went to the game theory classroom.  Googled some stuff I figured might be on the exam (hint: nothing I studied was).  The exam itself went... okay?  Definitely didn't know how to do everything correctly, but I made an honest effort, wrote about 3 pages, and explained a lot more of what I was thinking than on the midterm.

Walking out after turning it in was so refreshing, especially after I realized I'm done with my undergraduate.  Sure, I'll have to do some paperwork to get this all figured out, but I don't have to take anymore classes.  I never have to take a college class again if I so choose.  I've already got a job lined up that starts in a month and a half, so I'm basically going to have to become a real adult now :P  But knowing that there's no more meaningless busy work or things of that nature is so nice.  Everything I learn now will be related to my career.  And even better, if I decide to take classes I can take whatever I want.  I can finally study the things I want to study, and I'll honestly have more free time than I've ever had before.

Plus, I'm moving to Madison, which is, of course, where UW-Madison is located.  And what's so special about that?  Well, it's a great language school, that offers both Dutch and Korean.  So, I can find out of school study groups for both languages, and possibly find some great resources to keep up my skills in each language (and improve them because they both definitely need that).

Anyway, after the exam I took the subway to Wangsimni, bought tickets to Jurassic World, and then just shopped for a bit to kill time.  My friend met me at the theater and we watched the movie in 4D, which is watching it in 3D but the chairs move and there's wind and things like that.  I was a bit disappointed because they advertise saying there's water (didn't feel any :<), lightning (no lightning in the movie :<) and such as well, but oh well.  It was just a fun way to end the day.

Back to the dorm, played some games, relaxed a bit, and now getting ready for a sleep where I have absolutely no reason for having to get up.

Day 117: Korean Final

Tuesday, June 16

Woke up, studied, went out to eat, and then went to the school and studied more away from any temptations to slack off.  Napped a bit on the couch, studied more, chatted with friends who were also studying.  More studying.

And then, it was time for the Korean Final!  It felt like it went okay - definitely glad I studied what I did before the exam.  My friend and I went out for dinner after, talked about what we're planning on doing the next few days, etc.  Went back to the dorm and then started studying for game theory.  This was harder because I really had no idea what would be on the exam, or really what would even be relevant, seeing as how the midterm covered things he didn't emphasize and the things the emphasized didn't turn up as much as one would think.

It was so hot during the night too it was impossible to sleep.  And some mosquitoes got indoors - you couldn't hear them, but I got like 5 or 6 bites that were super itchy.  Combine that with being too sweaty and you get a pretty bad night of sleep.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Day 116: Last Korean Class

Monday, June 15

Slept in a bit, skyped a bit, and studied.  Pretty normal day, just did some studying and relaxing and goofing off.  Went to my Korean class and we talked grammar and just did some last review before the final.  Afterwards, we got a picture as a whole class - I'm really glad someone thought to do that!

Class~! Of course I made myself front and center...
Back to the dorm, studied Korean, ate, studied more Korean.  Nothing too much of note.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Day 115: Studying (on and off)

Sunday, June 14

Woke up, skyped a bit, played some games, got some food, and then studied.  Got most of my Korean stuff written in my study notebook, took a nap, skyped a bit more, ate more, studied more Korean.  Pretty boring day, but hey, all done putting stuff in my Korean study notebook now!  Just gonna study out of that tomorrow and write more in my game theory study notebook and I'm almost done!

It really doesn't feel real, especially with how lax this semester is compared to last.  I have 6 credits of finals this next week, and I'm not terribly worried about either.  Last semester I had 16 credits of senior level classes and my thesis due and I was just freaking out.  That feels so far away now; I'm glad I doubled up that semester so I could just slide during this one.  It's a nice break before my little 3 week summer vacation before I start up a real job with a fixed schedule and benefits :P

Day 114: Last Game Theory lecture!

Saturday, June 13

Slept in (sooooooo nice!), got ready, and went to the last game theory lecture!  Technically it was a study session held by one of the TA's, but it was still about 1.5 hours long so I'm calling it a lecture.  They actually spoke in English this time!- I was afraid I'd get kicked out again because the TA the first time didn't speak English.  But luckily this TA could, so I was able to learn what the correct answers were for the last homework set.  And man, I needed that help.

Got some food, went back to the dorm.  Studied a bit, napped a bit, studied some more.  More Korean than game theory which is probably good since Korean is a lot of rules and the game theory teacher said he'd pass me, but I still don't want to rely on the game theory teacher unless I have to.  It'd be 
such a bummer if I did badly and he decided to fail me (and probably half the class along with me since half of us failed the midterm anyway...)

But yeah, lots of studying with a liberal amount of breaks thrown in and staying up too late talking to people.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Day 113: Studying

Friday, June 12

Slept in a bit which was nice, and was going to study when I realized how hungry I was.  Met a friend and ate at a traditional Korean restaurant - the type where you sit on the ground.  It was really fun, we had no idea what we ordered or how to eat it, so we had to keep asking the waitress to help us out :P  It ended up being really good though, and it was nice to just relax and talk.

Went back to the dorm, studied game theory, napped, studied Korean, played some games, studied more.  Didn't get as far into game theory as I would have liked, but I was pretty tired.  But definitely planning on studying all weekend - just a few days and I'll be done with all my undergraduate classes*!

* Assuming I pass all of the classes

Day 112: Goofing off

Thursday, June 11

Woke up, gamed a bit, and tried to study.  That didn't really work out as planned because I was lazy, so I just basically goofed off until Korean class.  Full day of lecture, hit the last grammar point that will be on the exam.  We still have class next Monday, but I think it'll be good to have that.  Nothing too much else, just started my studying, planned out my last week, and went to bed.

Day 111: Lectures

Wednesday, June 10

Didn't get much sleep after staying up late at the PC cafe.

Went to Finance, which wasn't needed, but I wanted to see my grade.  Well, the teacher said he won't be posting grades from the final until next week, so it wasn't worth showing up.  I only get the 3 extra credit points if I show up the next two class periods too and I'm not planning on that, so I basically sat around and listened to the student presentations until I could leave.  One was in English and was interesting, but the other was in Korean and just didn't have much info in English on the powerpoint, so I didn't learn anything.

Went back to the dorm, relaxed, napped a bit.  I set my alarm for 1pm so I could eat, woke up then and promptly turned off the alarm and fell asleep again.  Somehow I woke up at 1.30, which was weird because it was pitch black in my room and my roommate was also asleep, but totally needed because class was at 2.  Went to my game theory lecture - it was actually the last real lecture!  I thought we'd have it again on Monday but we don't!  So that was a nice surprise.

Ate quick (since I skipped lunch to nap those extra 30 minutes) and went to Korean.  Last day of student presentations there!  Just listened to those and did a bit of grammar in class, nothing too much.

Went home, studied a bit and napped a bit before finally going to bed.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Day 110: PC Cafe and Dance Final!

Tuesday, June 9

Interesting day!

Woke up, skyped a bit, and got ready.  Dressed in some nicer clothes and then went to my dance final!  It was really fun - two couples at a time danced, and each couple had a "group name" for fun.  My partner and I were "body language" since he spoke no English and I spoke little Korean :P  It went great!  There was only one part where we got confused ,but we fixed it right away.  I got some guys in my class to record it for me, so I can prove that at one point in my life I was able to dance :P

Some partners were really unprepared - just stopping, not knowing what to do, etc.  One time one couple started and the other started 4 beats after and it was just hilarious, they kept looking at the first couple to see what moves to do next.  The teacher was having a great time with it.  Then, at the end, there was a guy who's partner didn't show up.  The teacher called on me to dance with him, so technically my third time doing the final.  It was hilarious.  He had absolutely no idea what to do, so I told him every step right before we did it and like, man handled him around the dance floor.  I'd spin him when we had to move, pull his hand the right way to do things, etc.  He just offered no resistance and let me do that, he seemed really grateful :)

Afterwards, got a burrito and ran into some guys from the class who were also getting food.  We all said hi and just did the little kind of bow to each other when we walked away, it was fun.  Then, went to Korean, endured more speeches and grammar practice, and then met my friend and his friend at the PC cafe.  We actually stayed there for like 6 hours playing games, with a little break for food.  Also, one of the part time workers was having her last day.  She speaks really good English and always talks to us, so my friend and his friend got her a little cake and drinks to celebrate.  We ate with her at the cafe (cake with chopsticks - it was an experience) and just chatted.  It was really nice!  We're hoping to meet up for drinks after finals and before we all leave the country.

Anyway, then it was like midnight so I hurried home because I actually had class the next day.

Day 109: Class and such

Monday, June 8

Nothing too much to note again.  Slept in a bit, skyped, attempted some studying, and went to Game Theory.  It's so close to being over but that doesn't curb the urge to skip it.  I can't wait to be done with the class.  Ate a bit and then went to Korean.  The speeches were pretty bad today as well.  It's so hard to pay attention to them when you can't understand what the other person is saying :/  Like I know it's hard, I had to do it too, but I practiced quite a bit so I could be understood.  Same when I had to give my speech in Dutch to Rotary.  I just think even if not for the grade, you should practice for the people you're presenting to.

Anyway, nothing too much else.  Just some games and studying and going to bed too late after doing too much of nothing during the day.

Day 108: Movie!

Sunday, June 7

Nothing too much of note in the morning, just slept in, relaxed, did some studying, did some skyping - the usual.  Made plans to meet my friend around 6 at the PC cafe, and took a nap until then.  We met up and took the subway to a different station, where we went to the movie theater!  Since you can bring in your own food, we stopped at a candy stall in the mall and got a bunch of snacks and sweet things to bring in.

We got our tickets and got soda, which was really funny.  It's SO cheap for concessions here compared to the US, and the soda was the size of probably a US medium for a movie theater, but the cover has two slots for straws, showing they think it's a sharing size here :P  We watched Mad Max, which was super fun.  Just a good action movie.

Took the subway back to Anam, and then wen to the PC cafe for games until midnight.  Well, I left then, my friend stayed :P  Did a few quick things online and then went to bed.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Day 107: In which Kelsey doesn't leave the dorm

Saturday, June 6

Slept in, which was really nice.  Played some games and tried to get in contact with my friend.  We were planning on going to a movie, but decided to put it off a day just because.  Really just spent the whole day napping and gaming and not being productive at all.  I should probably start studying game theory and Korean for finals, but I just wasn't in the mood.

Had room check to make sure I get my deposit back, so that's nice.  Cleaned up a bit, and just skyped and gamed more.  It was really uneventful but really great to just not do anything.

Day 106: Finance final!

Friday, June 5

Woke up, studied a bit, and then went to my Finance final!  The first two questions, I had absolutely NO idea how to do them.  Like, they were on the part of the homework I didn't get, and it was pretty bad.  I put things down for them, but I doubt I'll get many (if any) points from those.  But, the last two questions, I think I did super well on.  I did basically a full page of writing for each.  And seeing as how I only need 3 points out of the 100 to pass, I'm pretty sure I will.

Left the final, and went to the PC cafe for a bit (this is how I'm getting into the culture).  Played games with some people for an hour or two and then left.  I took the subway to go visit a shrine, and I got lost on the way there.  I found the outside wall of the shrine and walked the wrong way around it for like 30 minutes, and then hit construction and they made me turn around and backtrack, so that was annoying.  I found the front after debating if it was worth it to stay, and then saw that as it was Friday I had to get a guided tour, and the next one was in 45 minutes.

I just left and went back to school because I was hungry and just not in the mood to wait that long in light rain with no umbrella to look at another shrine.  Maybe another day, but I'm not going to be crushed if I don't.  Honestly, I've seen more than I thought I would during my exchange, and I just don't want to force myself to see things if I'm not feeling it.  I know some people would chastise me for not "making the most of my time" and seeing every little temple and shrine and palace, but honestly, if you're not feeling it it's just a chore.

So, I went back to the dorm, slept for quite a while, and just watched things online and chatted with friends.  Very relaxing and just what I needed.

Day 105: Nothing much of note

Thursday, June 4

Honestly, really nothing happened.  Woke up, played some games, watched stupid things online.  It was too hot to really want to go outside, so besides going to Korean I basically just stayed in, relaxed, and napped.  I'm definitely one of the exchange students who cares more about relaxing than running on fumes to see another temple or palace that looks the same as the others.  Did some basic studying for finance before bed, but nothing too intense.

Day 104: Lots of school

Wednesday, June 3

UUGH I FELL BEHIND AGAIN, it's so hard to get back into this habit...

Anyway, woke up tired, and turned in my Finance homework at 10 (no class!).  Played some games, ate, and then went to the dance class to do the final with my first dance partner.  We practiced quite a bit before, and we did really well during it!  I'm hoping to get a video of the next time I perform it.  The teacher said we did really well and complimented me for it too :)

Went back to the dorm, showered, and went to game theory.  Same stuff, not fun.  I'm just waiting for that class to be over.  It makes no sense.  But students are asking a lot of questions and he's getting frustrated, so 1) that means I'm not the only person who doesn't understand and 2) it makes me feel validated that he's not teaching well if people don't understand and he gets kinda mad about having to reiterate concepts.  Ate again and went to Korean.  More speeches and some grammar practice.  It's so weird it's winding down!

Back to the dorm, basically just relaxed, gamed, and watched stupid things online.  It was a good day.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Day 103: Dance!

Tuesday, June 2

Slept in as much as I could, played some games, and went to dance!  We did a bit of a new dance, but mostly practiced the cha-cha-cha for our final.  We were assigned random partners - my partner doesn't speak English, which makes it hard because we need to discuss wardrobe and a team name :P  The guy who speaks English in the class actually can't make the final next Tuesday, so he needed a partner to perform it tomorrow.  I volunteered, and since I'm doing the dance twice I don't need to write the one page paper in Korean!  Yay!

Went back, showered, and went to Korean.  We heard more speeches today - some were really bad.  Like, really bad.  Did some more grammar practice and then the class was done.  I stopped to eat a burrito and then went home and worked on Finance homework until 1am, when I finally finished it.  Almost done with that class!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Day 102: Korean Speech!

Monday, June 1

I'M FINALLY CAUGHT UP!  Sorry to anyone reading about how far behind I got - it just snowballed and I couldn't get myself to catch up for some reason.

Anyway, woke up before my alarm (whoo!) and practiced my speech gave.  Skyped, gave my speech to Joe even though he doesn't know Korean, and then gamed.  After a game or two, worked on my speech more.  There were just a few words I was having trouble memorizing.  Went to game theory, almost fell asleep like usual.  SO CLOSE to being done with that class.  I can't wait.

Worked on my speech more and then went to Korean.  The girl who went before me was really quiet, so I tried to be loud enough for mine.  I felt like I was stuttering and shaking a bit (it's hard to memorize things! if we looked at a notecard we got docked points), but it went well.  I got a few laughs during it, especially when I said I didn't study Korean :P

Besides that, class was good.  Went and got some food after, relaxed, played games, and got a little bit of work done on my finance homework.  Should have done more but I was tired, so I just went to bed.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Day 101: Pizza, Youtube and Memorization

Sunday, May 31

Well, it was another pizza Sunday.  Spent a majority of the morning on skype, playing games, and eating pizza.  Eventually finished up my Korean speech (including texting my teacher to double check on some grammar).  Watched trashy shows on youtube because it was too hot to go outside, worked on memorizing the speech more, and then just switched between those two actions for the rest of the night.

Day 100! Naps and Walks

Saturday, May 30

100 days already!

Woke up early with the intention of doing things.  Packed my bag and went to the PC bang for a bit to game/chat with people, and make it a bit later since a lot of places don't open till 10, so I figured I could play for a while.  Well, after a few fun games, it was around 11 aaaaand it was raining.  Just gloomy and rainy and gross.  I didn't want to walk around in that, especially with my camera, so I went back to my room.

Ended up watching things on youtube, working on my Korean speech a bit, and then finally taking a nap.  I woke up around 430, and it wasn't raining, buuuut most of the things I wanted to see closed at 6 and would take a bit to get to, so I couldn't do that.  I still wanted to make myself get out of the dorm (since I'm not here for that much longer), so I went to Dongdaemun.  Just ate some stall food (one was like a corndog with french fries on it) and of course my crepe (I'm pretty sure he recognizes me now...) and then walked around.

I found a really nice area with the old city wall and some other things, so I just walked around there.  Some really beautiful scenery, which was cool to see in the city.  I ended up walking back to Anam along the stream.  However, at one point, there was a break - another stream joined up.  I honestly had no idea which one I had to take.  I ended up asking an older man in Korean where the school was, and he pointed me in the right direction.

The city wall

The city
Well, walked that way for another 15 or 20 minutes, before I felt like I was getting closer.  I was about to stop to look at signs when I saw the old man in front of me - he got in front because I kept stopping to take pictures.  He waved me over and pointed up the steps, so that was super sweet of him.  I went up, and then kind of looked around the intersection trying to figure out where to go.  I hesitantly started walking one direction, when I heard a shout.  He came up the steps too on the other side of the intersection and had googled the directions!  He pointed at the road I need, so that was super nice.

Ended up back at the dorm, which was great.  Just showered, relaxed, and went to bed.

Also, this is my post from my 100th day in Belgium.  I forgot that that was my first day of Dutch lessons!  I remember how upset I was that it took that long for Rotary to finally let me enroll.  Oh, and this is my post from this day 3 years ago.  It's crazy to think about!  I can't believe how motivated I was with my online class too - I wish I had that much energy towards school now.  But now, as this is actually my fifth year of college, I'm just done.  Just barely over 2 weeks and I'm DONE with undergrad (baring any tragedies with grades).  I'M SO EXCITED TO BE DONE WITH ALL THIS.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Day 99: Acupuncture and Naps

Friday, May 29

Went to Finance, had like 20 minutes of class, and then we had a guest speaker.  The speaker was educated in the US and England but wanted to give his speech in Korean, so I got to leave early, score!  Mailed my letter, and then went to the PC cafe for a bit.  Went to acupuncture for the first time in a while, which felt really nice, but I almost fell asleep during it so I decided to not sight see like I was planning and just go back to the dorm and study/do homework.

That... ended up not happening.  Couldn't get myself to focus - I'm SO close to being done, I've went hard before, but it seems like every ounce of my motivation is just gone.  I still need to pass these three classes (all minus dance) to graduate, so I can't be done just yet but getting the motivation is pretty hard right now.

Day 98: Relaxation Day

Thursday, May 28

Woke up, played some video games and skyped, which was really nice.  It was super hot out, so I ended up showering before class just because I had already been outside.  The teacher said my presentation was too short, which I knew, but it's still not fun to hear.  Gotta try to memorize so much :/

Not too much else, just gamed and relaxed and studied most of the night.

Day 97: Long day

Wednesday, May 27

Woke up early, and went to Finance class.  The topic was actually pretty interesting, so that was nice.  Spent more time working on my Korean presentation - if I turned it in today, I would be able to get feedback on it/have grammar corrected and I knew I'd need it.  Went to game theory, tried to pay attention.  He announced that we have a make up class on a Saturday, so that'll be fun -_-

Went to the dorm, napped for an hour, and then went to Korean.  Turned in my presentation, had her check my homework, and then just studied in class.  I had spent a few days not getting enough sleep so I went to bed pretty early.

Day 96: Lots of Korean

Tuesday, May 26

Woke up, relaxed a bit, and went to dance.  Oh boy, that was fun!  We did a lot with the cha cha cha, which is going to be our final (!!!), so tons of practice with that.  We also have a paper assigned to talk about how our major and sports dance are related, but it needs to be in Korean, and it's due in 2 weeks.

Showered quick, and then Korean class.  Learned some more grammar, and then was told we had homework due (announced Thursday when I was gone), so I had to go home and work on that for a few hours.  It was also announced that part of our final was giving a 3 minute speech in Korean, and of course I'm going first next Monday (some people give there speech in over 2 weeks!) Had to just do some general studying too, so yeah, lots of Korean.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Day 95: Buddha's Birthday!

Monday, May 25

Buddha's birthday so it was a school holiday!  My friend and I had plans to meet up to go to a temple for it, but we both slept in :P  Instead, we just went to the temple close by the dorm.  We walked up and were immediately ushered over to some long stem roses, each given one, and then pushed towards a Buddha statue.  We had to put the flower in front and then pour water onto Buddha's head.  I have no idea what it signified because no one there spoke to us, but it was nice to be included :)

It was nifty
Afterwards, we walked to the jimjilbang, which is a public bathhouse.  We both paid, and go sent to separate floors (gender segregated).  Inside, you had to take off all of your clothes (ALL), and put them in a locker.  Then, you went into the actual bathhouse area, where you washed in a shower for a bit before being able to go into pools of different temperatures.  I think there was a sauna in the back too, but I didn't know if I was allowed :P  There were also people you buy a massage from, but there were too many people before me so I didn't ask.

It was really nice - after the first 30 seconds or so you get over the fact everyone is naked and just relax.  I kept going from the hottest jacuzzi to the coolest pool, which felt really nice.  After about half an hour I changed into the clothes they give you at the front office (just some shorts and a shirt, very thick and pink for girls), and then went to the non gender segregated floor to meet my friend.  There, you can get a mat and sleep/nap/relax on the floor (some people spend the night instead of getting hotels), and go into saunas.  They had four different temperature rooms (apparently some places are bigger and can have like 12), so we went in each of those for a while and just chatted.

After a bit of that we went back to our gendered floors and washed up again (so much sweating in the sauna...) and met up outside.  Had lunch where we both overestimated and said we'd have the medium spicy curry which was a horrible horrible idea.  Went to the PC cafe after and played games for a few hours and just relaxed.  He met up with another friend and went out to eat with her (it had been a few hours by now) and I went back to my dorm to skype and do a bit of studying.

Day 94: Mom and Kyle leave :c

Sunday, May 24

Last day of Mom and Kyle in Korea :c

We decided to not get Dunkin and instead just walked around and ate elsewhere.  Kyle and I had seen a cat cafe before when we had walked around for a few hours.  It was getting hot and we were thinking about turning back, but we finally found it!  But, of course, it was closed until 1pm :(

We went back to the hotel (we already had checked out), grabbed our bags, and a worker showed us to where the airport shuttle bus/limo was going to pick them up.  And lucky for us, the bus showed up a minute after we got there; barely made it!  So, of course though, that meant our goodbyes were really short, just a quick hug and they were on their way.

I took the subway back to Anam, uploaded pictures, and just messed around.  Played some videogames for the first time in a while, caught up on some studying, and did my game theory homework that was due the next day.  Pretty productive actually!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Day 93: Royal Tombs

Saturday, May 23

Woke up, got Dunkin and ate it back at the hotel.  We all lazed around for quite some time, before we decided we should actually do something their last full day here.  So, we went for a walk down to the royal tombs!  It was only about a 10 minute walk away (or one subway stop, but we walked since they zero'd out their transit cards), but then we went the wrong direction and walked the whoooole way around the park.  Mom was not happy with us.

But finally, we got in (just about $1 each!).  It was really nice - lots of nature and benches, and of course the tombs.  Walked around inside for a bit, got some pictures, and then went to get something to drink.  It was pretty refreshing, so we stopped and did some more window shopping on our way back to the hotel.  We split up - Kyle bought his own room for the night in a different hotel, so we all would have our own beds for one night.  So he moved there, and mom and I each took a turn in the jacuzzi (that's a luxury I can't wait to have), napped, and met up with Kyle for dinner.  We decided to have Korean BBQ one last time.

Royal Tomb
It. Was. So. Bad.  The food was horrible and overpriced, and the lady running it was just rude.  She wouldn't let us cook our own food, kept putting things on and kinda yelling at us to eat, and giving us the stink eye the whole time.  And honestly the food was horrible, it just was such a bad way to end it.  It did give us a story, but I would have rather had good food :P  Though 1/5 isn't bad, and that's really only the second time we had anything bad happen on the trip (besides the taxi driver).

Everyone went back to their rooms for the night.  Mom and I watched the "Dark Knight Rises" on TV and some baseball, and then just went to bed.

Day 92: Coex Mall

Friday, May 22

Slept in and it was glorious - I don't think any of us were up before 11am.  Got Dunkin (all day every day in my life), and then decided we wanted to go to the COEX mall which was only two stops away.  It's a bit like MoA - lots of shops, an aquarium and movie theater, places to eat, etc, but the feel was really different.  The halls were spacious, the shops had some space between them, and there were very few kiosk vendors (maybe only like 2 phone ones in the middle).  But, it was fun.

We went to a few shops together before deciding to go see the movie "Spy" together.  We could buy beer in bring it in the theater (like in Belgium!) so that was super fun.  And just the waiting area before we could go into the theater was nice - huge wooden steps with these bunny chairs to sit on, music playing - just nice.  The movie was really good, though a bit loud.  And just watching all the Korean commercials beforehand was funny too.

Afterwards, we were pretty hungry again, so we went to a fancy Italian place to eat.  It wasn't that spendy, but the food was well plated and sized, and we got little chips to turn in for a dessert (and there was a variety).  I got tiramisu, which also reminded me of Belgium because the first time I had it was there.  Then we split up for a few hours to just walk around and shop.  None of us really bought anything, but it was fun to look.  I found Kyle, and we couldn't find mom for a while.  We ended up getting a drink so we could be refreshed when we were looking around for her, and it ended up she texted me so we found her right away.

Went back to the hotel, we all took our turns using the jacuzzi and sauna, and just watched baseball and got pizza to munch on.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Day 91: Insa-Dong and REAL HOTEL

Thursday, May 21

Woke up, met the fam at Dunkin', and we went to Insa-dong!  Got a lot of shopping done and most of our souvenirs bought.  I spent too much money on myself (bought a nice tea cup and a paper lamp that was gorgeous), but it was fun.  Went back to the hostel, mom and Kyle packed up everything and I went and packed a few days worth of clothes, and off we went to our REAL HOTEL.

I don't think I've mentioned here the horrid size of the hostel.  Barely big enough for the bed, apparently the beds themselves were super lumpy and hard to sleep on, and it just wasn't a good time.  Kyle said if he was an inch taller he couldn't fit on the bed, because he'd be too long and it was too think to even curl up.

So, we took all our luggage and took a subway to Gangnam where our hotel was.  We got a bit lost walking with all our luggage, so we had to ask for directions.  The guy was so nice - probably a business man, he was in a nice suit and was getting into a really nice car when I asked - and he googled it and then asked people down the street to help us too.  We found it and realized we accidentally booked a one-bed room.  Apparently "double" meant size of the bed and not that there were 2 beds.  We just bit the bullet and and upgraded to a two bed deluxe room and IT'S SO NICE.  Sauna/shower, jacuzzi, toilet with a bidet, two great beds, computer in room (what I'm catching up on), and a huge TV.  The jacuzzi is honestly the size of their hostel rooms.

We got KFC for dinner (SURPRISE!) and then Kyle and I went out drinking so mom could use the jacuzzi (it's all one room; the TV wall kind of blocks the jacuzzi but if you move a foot to the side you can see who's in there).  That was fun, had some beers and nachos and just chatted.  Bought a beer to drink at the hotel so mom could sleep (she had to let us back in the room) and drank part of it in the sauna.  Then just laid down and slept.

Day 90: Class and Walking

Wednesday, May 20

I had three classes (Finance, Game Theory, and Korean), so after the day of doing that and napping between classes, I met up with Mom and Kyle.  They had went to the war museum during the day (the one I went to a few weeks ago), so they had a good time.  We met up and just walked the stream in the area - lots of greenery there and it felt pretty isolated from the rest of the city above us, which was nice.  Just a great walk.

No pictures since I met them straight after class and didn't bring my camera since I didn't assume we were going to do anything.  Afterwards, of course, we had Korean BBQ for dinner.  Went out for drinks and went to bed.

Day 89: Changdeokgung Palace

Tuesday, May 19

Woke up and met Ma and Kyle at Dunkin.  We had huuge plans for the day, that essentially ended up being we went to Changdeokgung Palace and walked around the Palace and the secret garden.  We were there for HOURS, even when the rain started.  It was just a lot of fun, lots of pretty areas and good ideas for gardening.

We found a fancy western style restaurant to eat at, which was really nice.  Like super fancy - I think we all felt a little out of place there.  Afterwards, we went back to Anam to shower and rest, and met up for Korean BBQ (again) at the first place we ate it at.  The best part was when we were about to eat, the guy who gave mom a fork the first time (two nights ago) was just in the building but not working, came over and gave her a fork :P

Really tired after the day, but we met up at a coffee shop to book a good hotel for the end of the trip.

Secret Garden

At the Palace

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Day 88: Namsan Tower

Monday, May 18

We met up for breakfast (Dunkin'), but basically took a much needed sleep in on Monday morning.  I went to my game theory lesson, and met mom and Kyle on campus after it.  It's the school festival this weekend so a bunch of activities are going on around campus so we checked those out, and then went for a lunch that none of us were hungry enough for.  Kyle walked me to Korean, I did that, and then he picked me up.  Then, we got my camera, met mom, and went off to Namsan tower.  We didn't exactly know the way there, so we ended up detouring a bit, going through a little traditional village, etc.

Lots of walking basically.  Walked up and basically back down a hill to find the cable car up the mountain, and then walked up more steps to get to the tower itself, where we had to pay for tickets to go to the top.  It was worth it; just a great view and a traditional touristy thing.  Had Coldstone icecream there too which was fun.  We took the cable car back down and decided to get a taxi instead of walking back to the subway (it took us probably over an hour of walking to get to the cable car the way we went).  Well, he totally ripped us off (foreigners + tourist area + the three of us not communicating about how to counteract that), but it was worth it to get back to Anam and for them to see how crazy people drive in Korea.  We went to a different Korean BBQ place, which was nice, and then bedtime.

Locks at the tower

View from the top

Day 87: Baseball Game!

Sunday, May 17

So I'm kinda far behind because it's been a tiring week, so quick recaps~

Woke up, met at Dunkin Donuts (this will be a theme), and planned the day.  Kyle felt sick so he went back to his room.  I went back to the dorm and we planned to meet up again a bit before the game to get the subway there.  Met mom there (she was across the street - I tried yelling at her to get her attention, no dice.  But, the guy next to her heard me and my friends yelling, so he tentatively tapped her on the shoulder to show her we were waiting), and ended up waiting an extra 10 minutes since Kyle felt up to joining us.

Went to the baseball stadium, and it was GREAT.  Bought some KFC to bring into the game, had nice seats, and just enjoyed it.  A player on the Twins is "Jack Hannahan", who bounced around the majors and minors before coming to Korea this last December.  And wouldn't you know it, he's from St. Paul!  So we bought jersey's with his name on it because a) they're a great quality, b) they're cheap, and c) great memory.

We decided we felt up to doing more, so we went to Seoul Forest to walk around.  That was really fun, it was just beautiful there and we got some nice pictures.  Came back to Anam and had Korean BBQ for the first time - Mom was so bad with chopsticks one of the servers just brought her out a fork :P  The food was great, Kyle and I went out for a beer after, and then we went to our respective places.

Seoul Forest

With our new jersey's

Day 86: Mom and Kyle arrive!

Saturday, May 16

So, around 440 am Mom and Kyle's flight landed, and then around 530 they made it through security and baggage!  I bought myself some breakfast quick (they weren't hungry) and off we went on the subway back to Anam.  We got to the hostel and honestly it was pretty bad - I had to call two different cell phones for someone to even let us in, they didn't seem to have us on the schedule, and we had to pay up front (in cash), which wasn't advertised for us before.

But, we dropped their stuff off, mom showered, and then went to look around campus.  We walked up the big hill to my dorm, walked around the main campus by me.  It was still super early and they had energy, so we decided to go to Dongdaemun since it's so close by.  Well, the malls didn't open until after we got there, so that was interesting.  Most of the stalls were closed still, but they got to see what it was like.

Everyone started crashing around then, so we went back to Anam, had some lunch, and everyone went to nap.  We ended up crashing for a long time.  I met up with the head of my KUBA group because I couldn't understand the website to buy baseball tickets (in Korean) - I felt better when HE had trouble with it too.  By then it was 10pm, Kyle and Mom just woke up so we went to get chicken and beer before getting some more sleep.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Day 85: Naps and Waiting

Got up for Finance, mailed my letter, and just relaxed for a while.  Had some lunch, studied some Korean, and then tried to nap till around 9pm.  Why?  Because I was going to the airport!  The last subway of the night that'd get me to the airport let Anam at a bit after 11, so I got the 1045 one just in case.  Got to the airport around 1230 or so, and then just sat there playing DS, texting, and snapchatting people until 4 in the morning.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Day 84: Relaxation

Like any Thursday, I slept in, gamed, skyped, and studied before my first class of the day (at 5pm).  Korean was okay, but everyone was super sleepy and things were getting confusing so it wasn't the best learning day.  I stopped and got some laundry detergent, got a kebab from the nice street vendor, and then back to the dorm.  Then just studied and chatted with people - my mom and brother leave the US in less than 12 hours to come here!  I'm super excited, and I'm trying to finish setting everything up for their trip.

Day 83: Sogang Uni Mask Dance!

Long day - woke up early for Finance class, did some studying and relaxing, and then game theory.  Both classes went pretty well actually, so that was nice, but tiring from how much we learned.  Went to Korean class, we learned some confusing things so I definitely need to start studying more.  Then, went to the drum club since it was Wednesday.  Got there and they asked if I could go to Sogang Uni (another school) to watch their mask dance performance.  I said sure since I thought it was close.

It was probably around half an hour, which I was not expecting.  Had to walk a bit to get to the school, but it was really fun!  They had a nice outdoor setup (but the sound levels were horrendous and I wish I would have brought my earplugs with), and they did a really good performance.  At one point the person who I assume was playing a court jester left the stage and interacted with the audience (while mic'd, he was the main focus).  And, just my luck, he came to me.  I had to have the other club members translate for me so I could answer his questions :P

Afterwards, we went and talked with their club (for good relations?  I have no idea, I just followed) and some of them seemed really surprised I was part of the club.  And then the best part - one of the guys in their club RECOGNIZED ME!  He saw our performance a few weekends back and remembered my face - he said he saw me when he was on stage and was trying to remember why he recognized me.  So that was really cool :)

There were some girls from a woman's university close by (I assume also traditional dance members from there, but honestly I had no idea what was going on) and we all went out drinking around 9 or so.  It was so much fun!  Most of the members from Sogang showed up, and we mixed up so we weren't sitting by members of our own club (or as much as we could) so I just got to talk to new people all night (which I really love doing with musicians, it's just so easy for me to talk to them).  I had a blast, we drank too much, and by around 1215 only two other members of my club were still there.  We decided to leave to try to get the last subway, which didn't work, so the three of us pooled and got a taxi back to school.

Got a giant gatorade and then just fell straight asleep.  A bed never felt so nice.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Day 82: Dance again!

Got to sleep in a bit, which was nice.  Definitely don't regret the decision to not go to yoga anymore - the extra 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep is so nice.  Spent the morning doing laundry and then went back to dance class!  It was all on the cha cha cha again.  We learned another part to the dance so it's almost a full song length now, and practiced with different partners.  We even had to switch who did guys and girls parts (there were like, 4 girls who showed up and like 12 guys) so all the guys could try the guy part, but man it was hard for me!

I managed to let the teacher know in Korean I wasn't coming next week because my mom and brother would be here - it was mangled but I did it!  It's nice that we're finally learning enough vocab and grammar where that's possible, beginning a language is hard for speaking practice because all you can say is like "I am eating.  I slept." and that's about the variety you get.

Showered and then went to Korean class.  More fun today, learned more grammar which was confusing (looks the same as something else we've learned, but it means something different), so that'll take some studying to wrap my head around.  Went and played a game with my friend, got some dinner, and went back home.  Ate, chatted with people, and then studied a bit.  Now time for bed, early morning (well, for me) tomorrow.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Day 81: Hanging out

Had a pretty bad night of sleeping, so I wasn't in that good of a mood all morning.  Went to game theory and he spoke in English (yes!) but his handwriting was horrendous and basically the whole class was math-y but I couldn't understand what he was writing.  Gonna have to look up that stuff on my own... Went back to the dorm for a bit, studied, and then went to Korean.  Hard to concentrate - I think the rain and just amount of people who skipped today made it hard.  Just chatted with people.

Afterwards, a friend from class and I went to get Korean BBQ, played some games and then parted ways.  Back at the dorm, it was pretty late by then so just went online for a bit, did a bit of studying, and now time for bed.  I definitely need to do laundry tomorrow...

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Day 80: Staying in

Had the ultimate lazy day.  Slept in, had pizza delivered and ate it for every meal so I wouldn't have to leave the house.  Skyped for hours, played games, and did a few hours of studying.  And after such an eventful day, it's time for bed.  I actually enjoy days where nothing happens, it's just relaxing.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Day 79: Shopping!

Slept in, which was super nice.  I love the feeling of not waking up to an alarm.  Called people and played games most of the morning, just took it slow.  It was really nice weather out, so I decided to go to Dongdaemun and do some shopping.  I've been meaning to start updating my wardrobe when I'm here but I never was in the mood to shop.  But today it was nice!  I got a sweater I saw over a month ago and wanted to think about spending the money on, got a few other shirts - I don't even attempt to buy jeans here because I feel like there would be none in my size in any way.

It was a great day; nice weather outside, saw song live singers around the shopping area, ate at vendors in the area, and just got outside.  Came back to the dorm, cleaned up my closet (it's been pretty bad...), starting packing stuff I want my mom to take home for me (one week till her and my brother come!!), and then cleaned my desk.  Pretty productive night.  Now to shower and sleep so I can get some studying done tomorrow!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Day 78: Finally caught back up!

Oh man, finally posting it on the night of again!  Crazy that I got that far behind...

Anyway, got up at 730, studied in bed for an hour, got dressed, bought a milk and breakfast, and went to the exam.  Aaaand then I remembered that they start the exam 20 minutes after class is scheduled to start so people can study -_-  I studied a bit - googled things on my phone - but really I felt as prepared as I was going to be and I didn't want to confuse myself, so I mostly just chatted with people online.

Got the exam and IT WAS SO EASY.  Like, he chose some of the easiest questions for the 4 that were on the exam.  Like, one was about something I learned about last semester (though I don't know how well I explained it; he asked about a segment that is always glossed over as you usually only examine what countries choose instead of what each thing means), a question that could be answered in one sentence, a "make up an interesting question relating to international finance and say why it's interesting" (didn't even have to explain the answer like we did in the homework!) and then another one sentence answer question.  I wrote a lot of all of them because it just seemed too easy, but even after doing that I was done in 20 minutes (we're given 50).  The TA seemed confused when I turned it in - I've been told that usually here people take the entire time given for exams, which seems silly to me.

Anyway, went to mail my letters, and then decided to get a haircut since it was getting long on the sides.  Not exactly what I wanted, but for the lack of understanding each other, it went way better than last time.  The wash they give you with the haircut is divine too, my hair was so light and fluffy after.  And the scalp/neck massage.  So good!  It made me realize I hadn't done acupuncture in a while since my neck was so tight.

Back home, talked with people a bit, napped a bit, and then went to get my acupuncture.  Instead of getting it in my back/shoulder, I got it directly on the neck this time.  Oh. My. Goodness.  It was amazing.  I've seriously never had my neck feel this relaxed before, it's just wonderful.  It'll probably go back to how it was in a week, but man it feels so nice now.  I really just went home and slept because I was so relaxed after that.  Woke up, bought some things online, messed around on the internet, played some DS games, and napped more.  Now gonna shower and go to bed before 1130 and sleep without an alarm!

Day 77: Studying

Day 77: Thursday, May 7

Didn't game today! which is a first for Thursday's in a long while.  Just got up, skyped, and studied all day.  Met up with a classmate to compare answers for finance (what I studied all morning), and then I shifted gears and switched to studying Korean.  In Korean class, oh boy, I'm glad I didn't miss.  We learned more grammar that was super confusing, and none of us could figure out the difference between subject and topic and half the class is explaining it to friends in English or Spanish or Chinese and then the teacher is speaking Korean and some people tried asking questions in Korean or just resorted to English, and honestly that was the whole 75 minutes.  I feel bad for everyone that missed.

Went shopping quick, got some food, and then back home and studied until like 2am.  Finance is so confusing :< Especially when the variables for curves and things are different here than at home simply because of different notation standards, but ugh.  Probably 10 different letters as variables in curves and no numbers :< So glad I never need to do Econ after I get, you know, a degree in it :P

Day 76: Classes again :(

Day 76: Wednesday, May 6

After a long weekend, back to the life that is being a university student.  Woke up early for Finance, turned in my homework and sat in the study session for the exam.  It didn't really help (which I didn't expect it to, after what it was like last time), but I figured that it was better to be safe than sorry.  Studied a bit and then game theory.  Guess what?  HE ANSWERED QUESTIONS IN ENGLISH!!  And even better, it helped me understand a concept he taught in class I was iffy on!  This is so neat!

Pretty tired, ended up taking a nap and missing Korean.  Whoops~  Still went to my drum club though, since I woke up in time for that (yayy roommates waking you up).  It was fun - we talked about (I think?) our performance - it was in Korean and when I was asked to speak, I just pointed to a guy who said a lot before me and said "I agree with him".  They thought it was pretty funny.  But then afterwards we went out to barbecue!  It was so nice, it felt so comfortable and fun.  I couldn't understand a lot but I didn't feel left out because of it, I felt like part of the group.  It was so nice :)  I asked for a tissue in Korean and the person I asked was so excited I was speaking some Korean with them, it was fun :P
Sooo good, we have 6 trays of meat

Look.  Look at how delicious that is.

It was pretty late when I got home, and after drinking for the first time in forever I decided to skip studying and just shower and go to bed.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Day 75: Exploring!

Day 75: Tuesday, May 5

Children's day holiday, which meant no school!

Met up with my friend around 12:30 to go exploring for the day! We decided to start the day with lunch and went to the famous Tosokchon (토속촌) restaurant.  I had never heard of it but apparently it's pretty famous so he wanted to try it.  In line (which wrapped around basically the whole building) we were talking about everything, and it came up that I lived in Minnesota and was moving to Madison in July.  Well, this Korean lady in front of us turned around and said "Oh, I lived in Minneapolis 35 years ago!"

So we kept talking to her and it was just fun.  Her friend didn't really speak English, but my friend's Korean is pretty good so he just talked to her a bit too.  When we finally got to the front of the line, the guy asked the size of the groups to determine where we could sit.  The lady just told him "oh 2 or 4, whichever gets in faster".  He was confused and she just called us her friends and said we could sit together or apart.  So, we ended up sitting together :P  It was just fun, we didn't talk much at the table, but we did a bit.  Nice to meet nice people everywhere in the world.

After lunch we went to Insa-dong; I thought I had never been there before but apparently I have, I just didn't know the name of it!  It was fun, just seeing street vendors and exploring the area.  There were a lot of lanterns everywhere, which was just nice to see.  We tried a type of icecream which is in like an inverted candy cane shape made of probably some sort of corn meal?  Whatever it was, it was good.  I had blueberry and it was delicious.

Lanterns on the roadside

The icecream

We walked around more, explore some sights, went to a large building that only sold musical instruments (I was going to buy a pocket trumpet but they were all too expensive :< ), and just relaxed.  When walking around, we say a temple with THOUSANDS of lanterns, it was just amazing.  We spent quite a while walking around in there, just admiring it.  You could pay like $30 to get your wish written on a slip and hung on a lantern, but we didn't do that, just took pictures.  It was so pretty~

Just a small, small part of it
It was so great to see.  We went walking by a little man made stream that I think ends up going into a real stream?  I don't know what it is, but it was a beautiful place to walk, and one in the city too!  So cool.  Apparently you can use it to walk the whole way back to Anam, which I may try one day if it's nice and I don't have plans.  We went to a few shops after that - I bought a few lanterns because they were cheap and I thought they'd be great decorations at home.  I ended up buying lights for 3 of them which were a bit more expensive and I still need a battery for them, but now if I ever put them up in a place where I could reach to turn the light on and off I'll be able to :)

Walking down there was so relaxing

We got more icecream and had two separate incidences where students interviewed us on camera for an English class; I bet they needed to practice speaking with a native English speaker and prove it.  I bought another house decoration from a street vendor, which was pretty nice.  We took the subway back to Anam and got Japanese curry for dinner and just talked for another few hours sitting there.  It was just a great day.  Ended up getting home around 9pm, so I just showered, worked on homework more, and went to bed.