A mural outside.
While we were inside, I spotted a girl sitting by herself and decided to be my nosy self and walked over to make friends. She was from Brazil and we hit it off pretty quickly. After we left the cafe, we decided to just walk around Hongdae a bit, which is where the cafe is located. As we were casually shopping, we happened to pass a lady selling Bobbki. Now, this is ridiculously exciting because I was literally just reading about how difficult these were to find nowadays. Bobbki, which is just made up of burnt starch, used to be incredibly popular but they've been dying out as old-fashioned lately. There was no lady there, just the Bobbki and a box to leave your 1,000 won for one cookie in. I thought that was incredibly trusting. I bought one with a ducky on it and went home that night happy. The taste was very similar to that of a burnt s'more, which I like, so that was a pleasant surprise.
Bobbki! (Oh, by the way, I do write and read Korean but it's a huge hassle to switch my keyboard every time I want to write a Korean word, so I've just been romanizing it.)
The Chuseok holiday ended that Wednesday and Thursday we had to go back to school. The two days quickly passed, though, and then it was the weekend. That Saturday, I went to the Brave Concert, which had Jay Park, MBLAQ, Nu'Est, Halo, Crispy Crunch, Dynamic Duo, Orange Caramel, Teen Top, 4Minute, AOA, Topp Dogg, San E, Girls' Day, BTS, IU, MC the Max, Baechigi, Dick Punks, Geeks, DJ Chunja, DJ Hanmin, and the Brave Concert people. It was possibly one of the best nights of my life because I absolutely adore Jay Park, MBLAQ, and BTS, and I'm a casual fan of most of the rest of them. Getting to the concert venue, Yonsei University, was a fiasco however. First, one of our friends was 45 minutes late, then we got off at the wrong Shinchon station (why are there two in the first place?!), and lastly, we were almost killed by the subway doors. It was pretty funny, both then and now. After the subway doors, the three of us just stood there hugging each other for about two minutes while all the Koreans laughed at our silliness. As for the concert, a lot of the people were surprise guests (including Jay Park and MBLAQ) so every time someone's music started that we didn't know, we screamed like banshees. Oh, and Mir and Thunder of MBLAQ waved at me and Jay Park was less than ten feet from me, But whatever. No big deal.
None of the pictures of the artists on stage turned out well but I really like this picture of the audience during a slow song by MC the Max.
Sunday was a pretty chill day but we did go get bingsu at night. Bingsu is a Korean desert that has cream or ice cream on bottom, then a ton of shaved ice, then whatever topping your order had, which you then mix together with condensed milk. It's absolutely delicious. Expensive, but delicious. The most popular/common bingsu is pat bingsu, which means red bean bingsu. Korea loves their red bean. I finally broke down yesterday and went to buy some super expensive Korean chocolate to fulfill my craving but when I opened the package, it was literally bars of red bean jelly. It ruined my whole life. So be careful because the package didn't even say red bean on it!
Berry yogurt bingsu. Ridiculously delicious. No regrets.
The next week had the Konkuk Fall Festival on Wednesday and Thursday. Honestly, most of it was eating and drinking but there were some really fun parts. I had my face painted, eat cotton candy, a waffle, and a chicken shish kebab, and watched a ton of performances. I saw a historical reenactment fight mixed with modern movie references, an amateur rock band competition, a concert by Wamma Family (the Konkuk hip hop dance group), and stages by Park Myung Soo, Nine Muses, and NS Yoon Ji. Of all of those, Wamma Family was my absolute favorite because each number was different and all the dance crews were very impressive. It made me miss dancing.
A green tea waffle with apple honey and whipped cream inside.
Both Friday and Saturday I just hung out with my friends here and we ate out, shopped, and played card games. Saturday, though, Sonnet and I tried to go out on eat and ended up wondering around for an hour and a half. It's amazing the things you'll find when you have no place to go.
The Norunsan Market. No one knew this was here and yet it was less than a fifteen minute walk from campus.
A store that makes homemade Hanbok, tailored for each customer. If I had the money, I so would have bought one.
Our first market purchase completely in Korean! Now, of course we've bought things before but the vendors always try to use their limited English. This one didn't so we can finally say we spoke entirely in Korean. Yay for songpyeon~ I wanted to buy some delicious bread too but we decided to actually eat supper first.
Today is Sunday and I just got back from a dog cafe. Korea has this interesting cafe culture where many of their cafes are themed and both cat and dog cafes exist where you can play with the animals. Admission is usually free but you have to buy an over priced drink. Totally worth it. The one we went to was only 10 minutes from campus and there were about 20 dogs there the whole time. Now, these cafes often double as doggy day care, so there was some changing of pets. I really enjoyed it though and I can totally see myself going back in the future.
View of the cafe.
This little guy just climbed up unto our table and fell asleep on top of it.
The one behind me was my baby the whole night :)
There was a special section for the little dogs only because some Koreans have a fear of big dogs.
I've actually been sick the past three days and it totally sucks. I have a cold here and it's still 80 degrees outside. How is this even possible?
I haven't actually decided yet if I'm going to stay for a semester or a year yet and I only have until October 8th to decide. I can't believe I've been here for four weeks already but now I have about two weeks left to choose. On one hand, Korea is amazing but on the other, study abroad is super expensive and I do get pretty homesick. I don't know what to do but by my next blog, I should make a decision.
The college books are much cheaper. Like super cheap. I'm used to spending about five hundred a semester on books and I haven't even hit a hundred dollars yet. It's amazing.