Oh my gosh, sorry I’m not updating every week but there has been tons of work to do for classes here in Yonsei. Anyway! I’m back to talk about the last two weeks, which have been extremely exiting. History is being made in front of us everyday, both positively and negatively. We are at an high risk moment in time in regards to the future of the world and to have the opportunity to be studying abroad at this time has given me many perspectives on the events happening around us.
I’ve been so busy, I don’t even remember much of what I did during the weekdays, but I’ll try my best. Classes continued as always, but since end of the semester projects were piling up, so were stress levels. I also got to meet with my cinema professor about my writing style (which she said was too professional haha) but I didn’t really grasp how she wanted me to change my writings. I was super exhausted in most of my classes as well, not due to my professors, but because for some reason, especially in Korea, I find myself browsing Twitter and Google News late into the night, and next thing you know it’s already 5AM and I haven’t slept a wink. Gotta catch up on that Western society ya know what I mean. KLI has been getting progressively harder and our teacher has been unrelenting with his teasing: 정말 정말 열심히. Okay, you don’t have to repeat it five hundred times every time we start a new chapter HAHA. The other day he crashed into our class (he’s our Monday, Wednesday, Friday teacher. A different teacher who is just as funny teaches Tuesday and Thursday) and went on a dramatic rampage about my friend going to the clubs in Hongdae on weekdays. It was hilarious because she kept on denying it and he was yelling ‘LIAR’ at the top of his lungs. Now everytime 맥주 or 술 is mentioned in class for the lessons he gives us a glare. Our other teacher keeps on telling me to answer Times Square in Yeouido everytime I answer questions too since I’m always over there, but that’s not as fun.
So exiting things that happened these past weeks…there were many. First of all, I went to my first club in Korea. I went with a couple of my friends to NB2 in Hongdae. People had been telling us that clubs in Korea were hella crazy but I thought it was fine. Have friends with you if you’re not down to party with strangers, but all in all, it’s what you expect of clubbing. If you enter before 10pm, it’s 10,000won and the price rises after that according to time. Make sure to bring your driver’s license or passport with you. I recommend bringing a backpack to put everyone’s things in because even though you get a giant bag to put everything into a locker, it’s safer and neater that way! At NB2 you get a free drink but their drinks are not too alcoholic. The music was really nice although sometimes they played really, really old songs that you couldn’t really jam to. I’m not much of a club person but it was nice to experience one in Korea.
We also tried out a nearby Indian restaurant in Sinchon called Jyoti and it was super good. The portions appear small but you will for sure get super full from them. None of us could finish everything. 10/10 recommend if you’re looking for more variation!
Saturday of week 10, we decided, against UCEAP’s warnings (heed warnings kids! they are there for a reason and if you choose to ignore it, prepare to take responsibility for them!!) to head towards the Gwanghwamun area to visit MMCA which is the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. We grabbed pizza near the Kyobo bookstore around 12pm and protesters were already gathering around the area. We got lost finding the museum and ended up walking around the back of Deoksugung Palace where we found the cutest and prettiest trees ever. They were all dressed up in hand knitted yarn sweaters and all along the sidewalk were buskers playing all kinds of music. We ended up at the back gate of Deoksugung where some professors told us that we were in the wrong place and so we U-turned and ended up going into the palace. It’s free for students so take advantage of that! Deoksugung was the home of the royal family during the colonial period under Japan and features both traditional and Western architecture. Most of the palace was destroyed but it is still breathtaking. We took lots of pictures and managed to see some of Yoo Youngkuk’s works inside the MMCA branch located within the palace.
Afterwards we headed towards Cheongyecheon for dinner where we happened upon the Lantern Festival. We had originally planned to go on a later date, but since we didn’t even check the location yet, we didn’t know it was so close. We grabbed some delicious dinner at a fusion spot and decided to head to Kyobo to buy stationary and books. Stupidly of us, we forgot that the mass rallies were happening that night. We got to experience democracy in action quite literally as we walked alongside the protesters heading towards Gwanghwamun as we made our way to the subway station to cross the street. It was really amazing to see the people so organized, so peaceful, and so together. We had been learning about the past protests in Korea in our media class but we never thought we would witness one on such a large scale – it was the largest one to date in Korea. We made our way to Kyobo and hung out there until the rally died down and attempted to ride the bus home, but it U-turned HAHA so we ended up having to take the subway home.
The next day, we headed to the Gangnam area where we got to try Mr. Holmes Bakehouse and Shake Shack, both of which are available in America, but you know, California traffic and all…you don’t really want to go anywhere. Shake Shack was super good, but I still prefer In-n-Out, BUT having a burger after such a long time made me think of home especially since it was freezing outside and the meat was all warm and yummy. Mr. Holmes Bakehouse was super aesthetic as promised but I got a chocolate croissant (why? I don’t know…I’m basic) so it didn’t really wow me but my friends got better pastries that tasted a lot more special.
So, back to school, we went to Cafe Pastel in the Edae/Sinchon area and seriously, if I ever get a super modern apartment or something with floor to ceiling windows, that’s how I’m going to decorate it. Wednesday, some of my friends and I went to Hapjeong to enjoy some peaceful time at La Douce which is a really cute cafe with cat latte art, but it ended being a stressful event because we kept on streaming the U.S. election results. The cake was super good and so were the drinks but all that was on our minds was who was going to win. Even the cafe workers were shaking their heads as they streamed on their phones too. America’s decision affects the entire world guys. Anyhow, as everyone knows, Trump got the required electoral votes, people cried (some people left class), and everyone was in shock. We are all nervous right now, that’s all I can say.
We also tried out a new Italian restaurant right outside Edae whic was super good. There was free bread which is rare here.
Weekend of week 11, I went to Guangzhou to visit my dad and celebrate an early birthday for him and guess what everyone and their neighbors were talking about? If you guessed Trump, you hit it on the nail (is that the saying…I’m so bad with sayings, they’re always vaguely there but not really). I got to eat lots of good food while at home but the weather literally went from dark and freezing to hot, humid, and welcome to summer within two days.
And so that was my week 10-11 at Yonsei!