Mayville Cafe. This one was in Gangnam and I really enjoyed the various places to sit.
Pobu Cafe. This one is super close to my university and I think I'll stick with this one because it was much cheaper.
After all that studying, you'd think I would ace the exams but no, no, no. I had a tough time with three of my exams because the teachers told us what to study and then they put other stuff on the tests. Not cool. I actually don't know my scores yet because they have until midnight tomorrow to upload them. So here's hoping~ Honestly, most people were pretty stressed but it's not like there was anything we could do about it so I don't worry about things like that. Why invite stress into your life? But when Friday came, a couple of the Americans decided to celebrate by going to a noraebang (karaoke room) and I was really looking forward to it. We drank a bit (the drinking age here is 19, and the 19 is in Korean age) and then went to karaoke and drank some more. I didn't get drunk but everyone else did so I tried to get everyone home in time for curfew but three of them really wanted tteokbeokki so I just let them go. They're adults, they can take care of themselves. Honestly, noraebang wasn't that fun because a couple people hogged the book and kept playing songs only they knew. Whatever. Saturday, my roommate was supposed to go to Everland with a big group but she got too drunk the night before and accidentally slept it. I almost cried. I had looked forward to that Saturday for weeks because I could just have a me day and write if I wanted to (it's my hobby) but then she was in the room and it messed with my concentration. Oh, and I didn't go to Everland because it was a Halloween special and we have Valleyscare like twenty minutes from my house.
Sunday, I was supposed to go hiking with a group of four but then one of them got sick and the other two had gone to Everland the day before so they said they were too tired to go hiking for three hours. So I went by myself. It was such a beautiful day, I couldn't give up the opportunity. It was absolutely amazing. I went to Bugaksan, which is actually a military zone because of it's proximity to the Blue House. Because it's a military zone, you have to register to be allowed in and in the fall, registration ends at 15:00. So I gave myself two hours and fifteen minutes to get there and still almost didn't make it. Why? Because the tourist information lady gave me incorrect directions and I ended up on the wrong mountain! Instead of Bugaksan, I hiked the mountain next to it, in Samcheong Park, for an hour and a half before I finally made it to Bugaksan at 14:57. The registration people almost didn't let me because I didn't have a Korean phone number but I think I looked pretty pathetic (I was drenched in sweat and desperate to get in) so they let it pass. The soldiers laughed at me as I skipped up the stairs but I didn't care; I made it. Again, because it is a military zone, there are soldiers in look-outs along the Seoul Fortress Wall and then there are even more soldiers to make sure you don't take any pictures facing the direction of the Blue House. It's super funny though because the soldiers that watch for cameras don't wear uniforms. They all wear the same sweatpants, Columbia orange and purple jacket, purple hat, and goggles. It's kind of hilarious. Because they're all dressed the same and look similar with their goggles covering half of their face, I actually thought the first three soldiers were the same guy. 'I must look suspicious or something' I thought to myself while I tried to figure out how he always got ahead of me. I felt so stupid when I finally figured it out that I burst out laughing. Now, most people take between two and threes hours to hike Bugaksan (and it is NOT an easy hike) but I did it in an hour exactly. This is because I was so excited from finally making it that I pretty much jogged up the mountain, which turned out to be a terrible idea from my sweat. I looked so terrible but I was smiling the whole time. By the end, my knees were actually shaking when I stopped moving because the stairs going down (and the whole way down is stairs) were steep and uneven so I literally had to jump from stair to stair and then stop myself from falling forward. And there was no railing. Honestly, it was just awesome, even though I looked nasty and I couldn't take many pictures. There's so much history in the location; from the 1.21 Incident Pine Tree, to the North Gate that goes back to Joseon times, to the Seoul Fortress Wall. It was amazing to take it all in and I can't wait for my next hiking adventure.
One of the few areas I could take pictures in,
Here's my pass! "I Made It" was pretty much my theme song for the day.
Here's part of the Seoul Fortress Wall!
After Sunday, my first week of classes after mid-terms started, although I did actually have my last mid-term yesterday. Today's Thursday and the day before Halloween and I can't wait for the weekend. I'm moving out of the dorms this weekend into a goshiwon. My roommate and I have been having a lot of problems lately and I just don't want to deal with it anymore. So I'm out. Of course, this means I can't live in the dorms next semester and I lose a lot of money but I'm alright with that. Packing didn't actually take that long and I'm ready. My goshiwon is pretty cheap because I lost so much money from moving mid-semester but I can deal with it for two months. Next semester I'll get a more expensive one that will be bigger. :)
I got TVXQ tickets! I'm so excited it's ridiculous. I still haven't won any Inkigayo tickets but I'm going to so many concerts, it should make up for it. TVXQ is one of my two favorite Korean groups so I'm pretty much dancing with happiness every time I think about it.
The international house also hasn't told us when our field trip will be or where to but I really hope it's to the DMZ. I'm going to the DMZ no matter what but it would be nice if someone else organized it since it might have to be an overnight trip.
Korean McDonald's taste almost exactly the same as American McDonald's. It's great. I've been missing food from home lately (not that I eat McDonald's that much at home anyway) and McDonald's is the cheapest option out there. Keep in mind that I can't cook in the dorms and the ingredients would be incredibly expensive here anyway. The biggest difference I noticed wasn't in the way the food tasted but in the service. In Korea, you can't get your own refills, ketchup, or napkins: you have to ask for everything, which is kind of annoying. But hey, McDonald's delivers here so that's something.