Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Day 29: Videocall from Sinchon

Let me start out by apologizing if this post seems less detailed than usual.
For once, I wrote the entry of the day on the actual day it happened. But I used the blogger app on my phone and forgot to manually save it before going to sleep. Then this morning, you guessed it, the post was gone. I stayed up until 3am for nothing ㅠㅠ

Okay the post!

연고전 (the Yonsei-Korea Sports Festival) is coming up this Friday and Saturday and today, by the end of class, our professor announced that there would be no class this Friday, but that we would still get attendance if we took pictures during the fights and sent them to her. That's a kind of bribery I can support.

Out of the five sports matches, the ice hockey game is the only one that requires us to get tickets since the venue is smaller. The tickets are free though and had to be picked up personally today from 14.30. Since Mentors Club could only give out 70 tickets (and we were maybe 8-900 exchange students this year), Wonjun told us that we should be there in good time - like around 14.00.
And after some quick shopping for a concealer for Celine and food in Sinchon, that's what we did.

 When we showed up, there were already so many people ahead of us in a looooong line that went around several corners inside the building.
We spent a good 40 minutes there before a girl announced that the last tickets had been given away.

Disappointed, we walked back to our dorm to do homework before class.
As all the other days, I dreaded going to Korean class today but I actually ended up 'learning' something!
Waaaay back during one of our first semesters, we learned how to make a verb passive. At the same time, we learned to do something else with verbs and I kept mixing them up and never fully understood how to do it.
But today I finally understood! If you asked me now, I couldn't tell you the exact rules of how it works but every time our teacher gave us a new verb to make passive, I knew what it would be. It came naturally to me! Probably from hearing it being used once in a while and subconsciously picking it up. I was so happy!!

For example:

보다 = to see becomes 보이다 = to be seen
잡다 = to catch becomes 잡히다 = to be caught
물다 = to bite becomes 물리다 = to be bitten

Speaking of, I got a HUGE 모기 물림 (mogi mullim = mosquito bite) on my arm yesterday!
I wonder if I am slightly allergic or if the mosquitos here are just really hardcore. It's so big that I'm almost embarrassed. Big and super red (which you can't see in the picture because I'd tried not to scratch it for a couple of hours).


We talked with Isabella about making it a weekly thing to eat together (on Wednesdays) but today she was going to eat with her friend Megan. I told her to say hi from us (we shared table with her on orientation day) and somehow the conversation led to Isabella mentioning how Celine and I had become sort of famous here - because people always saw us together.
We joked about it but... maybe we should get some more friends hahah (^‧̫ ^;)

After class, we went back to the dorm to continue our lazy day.
I wrapped Celine like a happy burrito and balanced water bottles on her. She laughed so much that the third bottle on her stomach fell down before I got a picture but I totally succeeded!

In the evening I got hungry and decided to go look for some bananas and snacks. We've walked past a super market that I wanted to buy some from so we wouldn't have to buy them at the Hyundai department store and pay half a fortune.
Now that I was already on adventures, I decided to try to video call my mom and show her a bit of Sinchon. I think she enjoyed seeing where I live. I have to try to call my friends as well like this.

While out, I also bought some odeng (오뎅 = fish cake) and tried to explain what it was to my mom.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Day 28: Met our Mentors Club group

Since we went to the concert on Saturday, there was no Korean Wave class today.

I'm writing this post almost a week from 'today' to I can't really remember what we did.
This picture that I took of Celine, however, reminds me that Tuesday was another very lazy day for us.
I remember that today's weather was noticeably misty (yet still warm) and that we talked about how great it would be if we could have a big thunderstorm and hide under our blankets the entire day.

We still had Korean class, as always, and in the evening we met up for dinner with our Mentors Club group for the first time! All of our members were there except Sandra, our junior from Denmark, who had already made plans for the entire week.
Wonjun and Johannes were already waiting for us at the main gate where we'd decided to meet up. Once we'd greeted each other, Wonjun handed me a big bag. I looked down and.... it was potatoes.
Wonjun had just handed me a big bag of sweet potatoes.

We decided on an eat-all-you-want barbecue place!

When making the groups, Wonjun requested 'Danish speaking people' so he could be our mentor. What we'd all forgotten, though, was that we weren't the only Danes, who had signed up for Mentors Club. We thought it'd be an international group with people from around the world but we ended up being Wonjun, Johannes (German), and 4 Danes: me and Celine, Sandra (our junior from the University of Copenhagen), and Frederik (a business student).

Here's Johannes and Wonjun!
And Frederik!
And fooooood
We were eating and having a good time discussing things like differences between our countries and Korean politics and suddenly it started raining. It started raining a LOT and we even got the thunder we'd wished for! 
While waiting for the rain to pass, we ate a bit more and also took some bad group photos for the memories ㅋㅋㅋ

The air had cleared up after the rain but it was still misty. Celine took this picture when we walked through to park towards our dorm. I love how mysterious it looks.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Day 27: Lazy Monday

I generally try to do and see as much as possible while I'm here in Korea but once in a while it's good with a lazy day off.
Today was one of those days.

We went to class, of course, but did nothing exceptional today.

In the morning I went to buy bread to bring back home since I didn't get to do that yesterday.
We spent almost the entire day being lazy on our beds. I caught up on some blog posts and bugged Celine as she was taking pictures to use as her new profile picture on Facebook.

Aaaaw look at her so pretty and all

Then we went to class in the afternoon. It was like any other day so there isn't much to say about it.

For dinner, we gave in to Celine's pizza craving, that she's had since I told her about the pizza I ate with Jake, and found a Chicago pizza plane in Sinchon.

The pizza was placed over a flame on this metal tripod so it would keep warm. Nice idea!

Water and side dishes were self-served here. I'd decided I wanted to try to eat the strawberry jam with my pizza today and Celine grabbed a pouch with garlic sauce. The strawberry jam was surprisingly good!! I'm totally doing that again! Celine wasn't a huge fan of it and seemed to like the garlic sauce better - that felt too much like garlic butter to me.
Observe this beauty.
The cheese put up a fight when we grabbed our pieces and as we ate, it tried to escape the rest of the pizza. But no cheese. You were too slow. We ate it all.
Celine pointed out that the white part of the crust wasn't flour but in fact powdered sugar. Koreans and their sweet foods..

Before going home, we made a quick stop in Daiso to buy toothpaste as we had finally run out of the two half-full tubes I'd brought from home.
Let me just tell you something that Wonjun told us. Daiso is the name of this store that has pretty much everything, like Artbox but with more every day life stuff too, and their name is a word play of "다 있어" (da isseo = has everything). We were amazed.
There was a flamingo section!!!
I NEED to host a flamingo themed party at some point. It will happen.
We got our tooth paste. It pink and supposedly taste like ginger and mint. It just tastes sweet and the mint is almost nonexistent.

Going back home, Celine showed me a tunnel we could walk through to get to our dorm that Johanne had showed her the two nights earlier.
It was filled with graffiti that was, interestingly, almost all in English or roman letters.
We spent some time down there, pointing out funny things to each other.

In the night, I decided that it was time to make my Instagram more happy again since some of the last pictures I posted was from some time ago when I was generally feeling unwell, which made me almost abandon it because I didn't want to be reminded of it.
From now on, my goal is to upload at least one picture a day from the day that had passed so that I have something to look back at later (and so that those people, who are interested in our adventures but not following my blog can catch up).

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Day 26: if2017 with Wonjun

I stayed up too late yesterday (it's becoming the rule rather than the exception now) and just wanted a lazy day at home but around noon I started feeling hungry and decided to go down and buy some bread to take back to the dorm. I didn't do my hair or make-up or anything and just threw on the dress that I wore the day before.

As I was about to leave, Wonjun messaged me, asking if we'd eaten yet or if we wanted to go for lunch together. Celine didn't want to join me on my bread adventures at first but changed her mind and came along.

We walked to a few places but a lot of the restaurants were closed today. Probably because it was Sunday. Finally we found a place that served cold noodles (냉면), bibimbap, and a hybrid between those two.
I've come to realize that if my first meal of the day is too spicy, I'll end up with either a stomach ache or nausea. I didn't feel like cold noodles and haven't really had troubles with bibimbap being too spicy before. But of course today was the day that that should happen. There was much less rice than I feel like I usually get and so the spicy part was too spicy and I ended up with stomach pain ㅠㅠ
When Wonjun first asked me if we wanted to go for lunch, he said he'd pay. And he did before Celine and I could stop him or even realize it. 정말 고마워 원준이야 :)
We are still trying to explain to him how it's uncommon to pay for your friends when you go out in Denmark.

Since we'd already walked down to Sinchon, Celine wanted to look for a setting spray. She didn't find what she was looking for but right beside that store was an international market that had aaaaaall sorts of candy and snacks from around the world.
Wonjun asked us to look for something from Denmark and bam! Butter cookies!
We'd never seen this brand before, though, and ended up not buying them. Instead, I spotted some Rittersport chocolate and told Wonjun about all the different flavours and how it used to be my favorite chocolate.
While Celine was deciding on some Japanese candy, I spotted these tiny chocolate balls, wrapped to look like soccerballs and baseballs, that I remember my parents getting my siblings and I in Germany when our family used to drive to Italy for vacation. I felt so happy and nostalgic to see them again! Wonjun spotted it and bought some for all of us.

That day, some sort of festival for already established smaller companies/sellers was going on in Sinchon. What started out as simply checking out a few stands turned into a touring of the festival and stopping at almost every booth to take pictures, turn their wheels of fortune, and getting free stuff. According to Wonjun, it sounded like an abundance of free stuff is pretty common for this kind of event.
Wonjun insisted we took pictures in front of the giant sign. He held the button down for too long, taking a bunch of pictures only a few seconds apart, allowing me to make this gif.
It amazes me how Sinchon managed to change so drastically in just a couple of hours. The people setting up all this are so efficient! The other day I walked past a big hole in the ground and when I returned to the same spot in the evening, it was completely gone !
We came to a booth with Lego!! These three people were absolutely wonderful. Especially the woman is the middle was so joyful and talkative. It really made my day.
Here you could get a free coffee (iced americano I think) and a lego postcard if you took a picture of you holding their sign and posting it on social medias. This was a thing for a lot of stands; spread the word and get something in return. Celine got some cool Indiana Jones and Starwars themed cards from here.
There was also an area with what looked like indie game developer stands. We didn't get to look at those, sadly.
There was a stand that gave you candyfloss if you filled out an online survey for them! Wonjun helped us since it was all in Korean.
The festival spanned the entire main street from one end to the other.
Wonjun usually tried to hide his face when I take pictures but I totally caught him. Ha!
We came to a stand that had those fake tattoos that you apply with water. They're highly popular in Korea. Wonjun spoke to the guy there, pulled me over, and before I knew it, I had a leaf off-centered on my forehead.
I hadn't put make-up on that day or prepared myself mentally to go out and socialize (I'd done the opposite that day, actually) and now I felt that everyone was staring at me.
He and Celine laughed about it once in a while if we locked eyes and Wonjun thought I was angry at him. In reality, the reason why my face was red was pure embarrassment. Once they got busy looking at one of the stands, I took my chance to scratch if off and instead walk around with a slightly red spot on my forehead.
I don't know why that giant inflatable head was there. But I needed a picture.
Oh yea!! The palm trees we'd seen the other night were put used for this lounge area at the end of the road.

Wonjun had planned to study for a couple of hours before staying up at midnight to watch Manchester United play. On our way back through campus, he showed us two of the libraries here.

When we finally reached our dorm, I felt exhausted. I was happy that we got to spend time at the festival but all I'd told myself this morning was that it was going to be a lazy day and that I'd get to go back to my bed after buying bread. The adventures today exceeded my plans so much. I was not ready.

I'll finish this post with a picture of today's freebies and the two chocolate balls that Wonjun got me. We joked that the lip balm we all won from spinning a wheel of fortune was probably of really low quality but here, days later, I prefer this one over the one I brought with me to Korea. It's got a great cherry smell as well ^^
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