When some of my friends found out that I would be coming to Korea for a year, I had several reactions that may be summarised through the following:
Envy: OMG. I want to go! I’m so jealous~~
Pride + Second-hand Happiness: This is going to be a great opportunity for you. I’m sure you’ll learn a lot!
Sadness: I’ll miss you!!!!! >.< …DON’T GOOOO!!!!!!!!!
Worry: What if you’re there and North Korea decides to bomb South Korea????
Confusion/Incredulity: …wait. What’s in Korea, anyway? Why Korea??
This past weekend took up four days. It was a good three holidays and I got Monday and Tuesday off and a couple of friends and I decided to head up to Seoul and spend it there from the 7th to the 10th. Many things were done and even though we traveled together, we also went our own separate ways – perhaps me more than the others. I had two friends who lived in the area: one who’s studying Korean in Seoul and another who’s also teaching English, but in Ansan, both of whom I met up with. The former one is pretty big into k-pop and though I’m not the biggest fan out there, I do have my celebrity biases and my ultimate favorite within that group. If you don’t make it into there, I probably only know of the song when I hear it and nothing else.
I used to be pretty obsessed with Super Junior and though it’s toned down, I still have my moments here and there. As a result, I was sad to find out that all of Super Junior would be gone on Saturday for a concert in Vietnam – not that I’m against it, but the one weekend I’m in town… – and even then, a number of them would head back to Taiwan and/or China to continue promoting (SJ-M) and filming (Donghae and Siwon). Even so, we made the most of it…
Yes - it's actually what you think it is.
I’ve been saying that I was more in-tune with Korean entertainment news in the States – and it was true. I came here to Korea and things soon settled into a routine: I woke up, got ready, went to work, came back, cooked/found sustenance, and otherwise preoccupied myself until Korean class and/or taekwondo. Then I get home, procrastinate, take a shower, perhaps finished up some things for the next day’s class, and the entire cycle repeats. I don’t keep up with my friends’ list on livejournal as much and twitter is more of an afterthought. That’s not to say that I’ve fallen out of it, it’s just that there are other things that get in the way of my fangirl spazzing and take up my thought space.
That is, until this weekend, when I had several celebrity encounters in a period of just two days… and it was surreal.
It’s been a long while since I’ve written a substantial post of what’s been going on. As a result, I’m going to try to condense the last two weeks into this one post without making it tl;dr. >.> It will be split up into three main parts:
The Coworker | When my Orientation Roomie Came to Visit | The Busiest Weekend Ever
I remember telling people I needed to take some time Friday night and clean up my apartment because it seems like for the past two weeks, I’ve pretty much been heading home only to sleep and it’s the truth. All of the three aforementioned categories contribute to this most beautifully.
It’s been a crazy past couple of days. People were frantic because of the practical of making your own lesson plan and following it in front of your peers and a ‘grader’ within 15 minutes. Then they also felt the need to go out and party (aka drink). My roommate and I wanted to explore but we didn’t know where to go, so I asked my EPIK staff member who told me he wasn’t from there but he did know a good place to drink. haha… Instead, I went to Lotte Mart two nights in a row. I also joined in on an event at a pizza-and-chicken place that included alcohol (big surprise). Then, of course, there was the cultural outing where we all experienced traditional Korean things like the mask dance as well as Jeonju’s famous bibimbap. It really was delicious. ^^
Delicious foooood. Veggie, of course! :
The amazing 3-D, realistic menu at Lotte Mart's food court. ❤
All mandatory things have their downsides. They usually consist of schedules and some sort of structured format that includes doing things you would rather not do, if given the chance. However, there is a bright side (there’s always a bright side – you just need to look hard enough).
As an EPIK teacher, we’re pretty much employed by the Korean (Provincial/Metropolitan) Ministry of Education, depending on where you’re headed. Basically: you’re employed by the government and will be teaching in a public school. Now, when we think of the Korean education system, we automatically think of Asian students; they’re pretty much do nothing else but study, probably first encountered calculus in middle school, and their system is based on memorising and spitting out information (almost) word-for-word. In order to get a good picture, I’m going to embed some pretty amusing (and sad but true) videos about Korean school life that was shared in one of my lectures yesterday…
Life in a Day of a Korean Middle School Student
Today was the day where we all had to wake up for the medical exams and I was in the group that went in the morning so afterwards, there was quite a bit of free time. My roommate and I met up together and decided to do some exploring around the area. We browsed a small shop that sold seemingly random things; stationary, hair clips, household items, candy, socks. Then we decided to play pool…