Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Seoul Livin

There has been a lot going on since my last post. On Friday, there was a party for the Seoul EPIK teachers in Gangnam (yep, like Oppa Gangnam style!) which was great because I got to see some of my friends that have been scattered across the vastness that is the city of Seoul. I'm hoping once we all have cell phones that communication will be easier and we will get to see each other more often. It's incredibly difficult to make plans when you can't contact someone via phone, text or facebook because you don't have any of those things. We can't even write letters because the addresses are so weird here they'd probably never get there!!!

Saturday, I ventured out on my own for a bit. I wanted to head to the Kyobo bookstore, which is just a giant bookstore in Seoul, because I wanted to get some Korean language textbooks. I'm tired of not understanding anything that's going on, and I sometimes feel awkward or like I'm a burden to my coteachers, who have to coddle me and explain everything. And I mean Every. Single. Thing.  Learning Korean is going to be hard, but any new phrase I utter, no matter how terrible, tends to get cheers and applause. If that's not encouragement, I don't know what is!

Back to Saturday. I successfully navigated to the bookstore, and I wanted to check out the area. So I walk outside to find that I'm actually in a really famous location. I clearly wasn't paying attention when mapping my route (someone told me which stop to get off and I just looked on a subway map), so I had no idea that this was also where some famous, often-featured-in-k-drama landmarks were:

Admiral Yi Sun Shin- a navy commander
famous for his victories against Japan
during the Imjin War

At the battle of Myeongnyang, he was outnumbered
333 ships to 13. And he still won

Yi Sun Shin was well known and praised for his conduct,
even by the Japanese

I also ran into the statue of King Sejong, which is in the same plaza

more on him later

Having wandered around for a bit, I met up with another EPIKer, Janelle, to go to a cat cafe. We just couldn't resist!

how to tell if there is a cat cafe nearby?
There's probably a guy in one of these
advertising it

ugh. so cute it hurts

I went and hung out at a regular cafe later in the evening to mooch of wifi and catch up on some TV and emails that I hadn't gotten around to. Ironically, my school blocks gmail at work, but facebook isn't blocked. So if you want to contact me, FB is the way to go apparently (though most of the time I'm at school you guys are all asleep!)

Anywho, Sunday, I spent the day with Sarah and my roommate from orientation, Lauren. We met for a late lunch and then wandered around Hongdae, where there are many awesome things to be found, such as a Hello Kitty cafe, cat cafes, dog cafes, a Taco Bell, H&M, numerous inexpensive shops, lots of street food, and KEBABS. Yes, I had my first kebab in a year and a half and it was glorious. I really need to avoid this area until payday or I am going to be in trouble.

After wandering, shopping and chatting over coffee, we headed to the same plaza I had stumbled upon Saturday. We checked out the statues and then got on a bus for a night tour of Seoul's bridges. There are 23 bridges, and each has something that it represents. Unfortunately, the tour was more of a scenic drive rather than informative, but it was still cool to see Seoul at night. I had a major emotional "I can't believe I am here what is my life omg omg OMG" moment on the bus, and thankfully I had Sarah and Lauren to share it with. Sometimes I can't believe I'm doing what I'm doing.

11st Monday
Lovely Baby
Not sure what's going on here...

Waffle with whipped cream and
Tiramisu ice cream AKA HEAVEN

Sarah's Tiramisu had hearts on it.

his fountain lights up at night and children
frolic in it during the summer. It's awesome

getting our night tour on

we plan to do many more touristy things together,
especially after that first paycheck!

this is like the best picture I got. Night pics are hard
on a moving bus. I'll have to walk the river
sometime to take better pictures, but believe me, it was pretty!
I did manage to get some cool pics of the evening

I just love this- Admiral Yi Sun Shin from the Josen
Dynasty watching over the city that has exploded around
^Photos like this are truly representative of Seoul being a mix of ancient tradition and history surrounded by modernity. It's quite amazing to see, and if you ever get the chance to come to Korea, I think you should definitely make it a priority. I am already very impressed with the city and am having a great time!

Don't forget to check out my previous post about Kpop. There's much more than Gangnam Style out there!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment