Sofia's family and the foreigners eating our feast. :)
The next day was Saturday and also the day I moved out! It took me a couple hours to completely pack everything and transport it to the goshiwon but I did it all myself. A ton of couple offered their help but I didn't want to make it a big thing so I could carried everything. My room is super tiny but I kind of love it. Like, it's so tiny it can't help but be adorable. My dad said it would be a good exercise to see just how little room I truly need and I like to think of it in that positive way. I get my own room and then we all share one kitchen, one bathroom, and one shower. But if the bathroom is full, then there are two more right outside the goshiwon doors. So it's actually pretty good. I got to know some of the girls here and we cook together sometimes so it's really fun. I don't regret my decision. :)
My little room. Isn't it just the cutest?
After that came the school week and that just sucked. Let me say that we're all working hard here. College is just as challenging as always. However, on Thursday my Korean Culture Club went out on a cruise on the Han River. It was actually super boring because after about ten minutes of excitement you realize that you're on a really slow boat on a river for another hour and a half. But the KCC has members from all over Seoul so I got to meet some brand new people and we went out for dinner afterwards which was wonderful. We're actually going out this weekend too (with those new people) so I can't regret the boring, and freezing, cruise road.
Then, on Friday, Soojung and I went to My Chi Chi, Hong Seok Cheon's Italian restaurant. Hong Seok Cheon is pretty much the only gay celebrity out in Korea right now and he has done so much in the past ten years to change Korea's opinion of homosexuality. Most celebrities trust him with their deepest secrets and he hasn't done anything to betray that trust. He's just a man to admire and he also happens to own like eight restaurants all in the same strip of Itaewon. The food was rather expensive, as it always is with celebrity restaurants, but it was really good too and we now have a map of his restaurants if we want to try them all. If I have the money, I'd like to go to all of them but we'll see. Twelve dollars for a cone from his ice cream shop (his newest addition) just seems like a bit much to me. Still, the Margarita pizza and Bacon Gorgonzola Pasta was amazing. I definitely recommend trying it out. In fact, just go to Itaewon to eat. They have so many unique, delicious restaurants there, it makes you want to eat there for hours.
That Saturday, I left on a trip to Pyeongchang with the UNESCO branch in Seoul, called Heritage in Korea. I didn't think I would make the application process because I was only a student (and their goal group is ambassadors and teachers) but I did and I'm so happy about it. Forty foreigners total went on the trip and I made a ton of new friends. The goal of this program is to provide foreigners with a FREE opportunity to experience Korean culture and at the same time, add to their network of people. I love it and I'm so glad they're continuing it next year (and one of the destinations for 2015 is Jeju Island! For free! I can't even hold in my excitement and now I have more of an opportunity to get in because I'll be returning as an invitee). Anyway, the goal of this trip was to participate in kimjang, which is making enough kimchi for the winter. We went all the way to Pyeongchang for this trip, which took about five hours by bus. Pyeongchang is supposed to host the Olympics in 2018 but I'm worried about them. The whole area is just little country towns and there isn't any construction going on. But who knows, if anyone can get it done that fast, it's Korea. The first day, we went to a temple in Pyeongchang, made our own kimchi under the guidance of a strict ajumma in hanbok, and had a bonfire. The second day we went to a market that's been on that street since the Joseon Era and also explored a nearby park before returning to Seoul. It was all very amazing and the food was delicious. I can honestly say I look forward to all the programs after this and I'm so glad to have met so many new and amazing people.
This pagoda was in the temple we visited and is the only thing there that wasn't burnt down during the Korean War and then rebuilt. It's actually rather amazing because the pagoda is from the Goryeo Kingdom during the Three Kingdoms Era, making it almost a thousand years old. The temple was actually built around the pagoda and the pagoda was the only thing left standing.
We also stayed in a traditional Korean house, called a Hanok. It was awesome! The whole resort was absolutely stunning. The hanoks didn't have Western style beds, only Korean mats and blankets, but it was so comfortable, I slept the best I had in like two weeks.
The whole group together. I couldn't tell you everyone's name (I'm terrible with foreign names unless they're Korean or Japanese) but I could tell you their nationality and I also talked to each and every one of them.
Look at my awesome kimchi! Our teacher came over to yell at me multiple times about me making my kimchi so spicy but in the end, mine was the prettiest and best shaped. So there! It's in the fridge in my goshiwon right now and I hope the others help me eat it because I can't possibly finish all that by myself.
Today's Wednesday and I actually finally went on my culture trip with the International House here but I think I'll talk about that next time. My friend had a better camera so I let her take all the pictures and she hasn't uploaded them online yet. And I'll like to have pictures to illustrate, especially so we went to the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Arts. Til next time~
Autumn on campus is absolutely lovely. However, the reason it's lovely is because of these stupid ginkgo trees. Apparently, there are two different types of ginkgo tree and one if going extinct so Konkuk University is trying to save them by planting them everywhere on campus. I honestly couldn't care less if these trees died out. The reason they're endangered is because the two kinds look exactly the same but one kind has these horrible stinky berries. You might think I'm exaggerating but these berries literally smell like dog poop and they fall from the trees for almost eight weeks straight. It's absolutely horrid. I'd just prefer the other kind please.
The pretty yellow trees are the ginkgo trees. Unfortunately, their pretty autumn colors aren't enough to make me forgive them for their berries. Dreadful things, I tell you.