I have only been in Seoul for a little over a week and it already feels like forever, in a GOOD way! I'm actually really worried that my four months here will fly by sooo fast and that I will be extremely sad to leave this place!
The first couple days, Kaki (like the great older sister she is, she came with from Tokyo to help me get situated) and I explored the Dongdaemun & Gangnam area. Dongdaemun has a super fun street market with cheap clothes and lots of fried foods to buy. Gangnam is near the more expensive area which has a street called Rodeo Drive (funny, huh?) and high-end stores. We went to Gangnam in search of Mexican food which we found at Dos Tacos! Yum! She treated me to a spa day because it is extremely popular here, especially for tourists, to enjoy good-quality, really cheap days at the spa! It was a little painful, but well worth it as my skin was the smoothest it has probably been since I was a newborn baby!
Orientation for Korea University is over and classes start Monday. We spent the week learning about CJ International House (my dorm), registration, and meeting our Korea University Buddy Assistants (KUBA). All the KUBA members are SOOO friendly & helpful, it's great! My buddy is really friendly and always trying to find out information for me if I have any questions. And all the international exchange students I've met so far from places like Japan, Germany, Italy, Singapore, China, Austria, etc. are great people, so I know this semester will be a lot of fun, I'm really stoked.
The campus area in Anam has a pretty good nightlife, as Korea University students are known for their drinking. You have to understand that Koreans in general really enjoy three things; Kimchi (a spicy, cold lettuce dish), Noribang (kareoke), and Soju (Korean alcohol). So meeting friends for drinks and food at bars at night is a very common past-time. Public drinking is allowed.. you can walk the streets with a drink in hand and it's no problem at all. Also, the drinking age here is 19, so it's legal for most of us to be drinking.
I have been using the few phrases I know in Korean to my advantage. When I run out of snacks on my plate at a restaurant, I call the waiter over saying "choo gay oh" (excuse me), and then I hold my empty bowl up and say "bay go pa yo" (I'm hungry, sir), and they smile and return with more food and I say "kumsamnidah, oppa!" (thank you, older brother!). I can't wait to learn more phrases, it's reallyyyy fun not knowing the language and trying to communicate!
I LOVE IT! <3