Following our trend of not having any luck with meeting celebrities, we missed seeing Krystal this week right outside school because we had an even greater mission…shopping and eating. Just kidding, it was actually our split second decisions that made us miss first Krystal, and then some indie artists at COEX. That’s alright because this week was really fun-and cold.
Classes went on as usual, but with midterms looming near (all midterms are in one week unlike the UC system where teachers set the date themselves), I’m definitely feeling a little nervous. We watched a really strange, but intriguing, and really outrageous to the point where you kind of crack a smile and want to say…are you serious kind of movie called The Isle in film class this week.
My friend and I met up with our LE (Language Exchange) buddy for dinner on Wednesday and had really yummy okonomiyaki which really got me missing Japan. We had some good conversation and we’re definitely getting closer with him so I’m excited to see what we will be doing next! I feel bad that my Korean is so bad so my entire group has to speak English for me, although we do fall back on Korean when words really can’t be remembered. We also finally went to this really, really good ramen place near the U-Plex Mall in Sinchon. The wait was shorter than we thought it would be so persevere for good food! At the restaurant, you get to choose all the ingredients you want in your ramen so look thoroughly before you call the waiter (or suffer from embarrassment like us as we were forced to make split-second decisions, something we are terrible at).
Friday night, my friends and I went to a galbitang place (beef rib soup) where they only had one item on their menu: galbitang (duh) for ₩10000. The meat was super good and seeing us struggle with picking it off the bones, the owner came over and gave us tongs and scissors (silly kids haha). We also learned that you should tilt your bowl with the wooden bowl stand so you can scoop out all the soup. The more you learn in life, the less you lose.
Saturday, we headed out for some good ol’ American-styled brunch at The Beastro in Hongdae. Food was so, so good and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’ve missed Western food. I ordered a smoked salmon with eggs benedict and a pineapple (PINEAPPLE PEN P-P-A-P) ginger ale drink. We got seated on the rooftop patio which was extremely aesthetic and the weather was super nice.
When we were heading out of the Sinchon area, there were hoards of people everywhere, and our bus came ten minutes late because of traffic. Cause of crowd= the writing test for entrance into Yonsei and Krystal.
Anyways! Back to our day on Saturday. After brunch, we went across the street to the weekly artists’ fair right outside Hongik University. We got lots of postcards and trinkets there. There was this one artist whose work we were squealing over and my friend said,”This is so cute,” and she replied,”You’re cute too!” and we proceeded to more mutual squealing. We then headed over to Times Square in Yeouido for some hardcore shopping. We bought lots of clothes, cosmetics (finally found a cushion at Innisfree that fits my complexion!), and stationary. We made the mistake of drinking Gongcha before actually getting dinner and ended having Lotteria to go for dinner since we had to rush to Yeouido Park for the Seoul International Fireworks Festival that night.
Seoul International Fireworks Festival is an annual fireworks festival where some countries come together to showcase a wonderful and amazing fireworks show along the Han River. Literally the entire city comes out to watch. You can watch it along any parks on the river. This year, they had Japan, Spain, and Korea. I though Japan’s was the best one, probably because they had Chibi Maruko-chan shaped fireworks. It was an amazing experience even though there was a tree blocking us…try to get there early to grab a spot. You will be fighting with the entire city of Seoul and more. After the show ended, it was crazy, with people climbing over walls and railings to get out of the park. The buses were completely full, and the metro stations completely stuffed. We walked on the road for a good two miles alongside cars before we decided to sit down at a coffee shop to wait out the crowd. Even after an hour, we were still squished up in the metro getting home-but so worth. It was truly ‘people mountain, people sea.’
On Sunday, we headed back into the Hongdae/Hapjeong area to do some studying because that’s where all the cute cafes are. We went to a really well hidden cafe called 홍대 36.5°c 여름 which my friends had found last time after happening upon one couple cafe after another (the single life man). The cafe has three really cute cats, one which fell asleep on our backpacks, another on my lap, and another picking fights with everyone and everything. The temperature had dropped rapidly over the last two days to 50F (10C) which is literally Californian winter so we were all kind of dying inside as we walked around Hapjeong looking for food. We wanted to get ramen but the restaurant was packed so ended up going to a shabu shabu place which was the best decision ever because ALL YOU CAN EAT VEGETABLES AND NOODLES ANYONE? We stuffed ourselves with one month’s worth of vegetables. The soup, the meat, the everything was amazing. Will go back again.
The weather has finally turned cold in Korea and even though we were warned by previous UCEAP study abroad(ers?) about the sudden drop, we were still unprepared for it which means its time to go shopping-haha is this not a good excuse?