Today I tried out the food plan. What you need to do is to go to a building right by the frontier house. On the outside it says male dormitory, then you go through the hallway and down to the basement level. There you will see the cafeteria, which is where you eat if you paid for the food plan with the dorm in the Frontier House. If you don't have a student ID you will need to go the third floor to the office and get a card for the cafeteria. It costs 10,000 won but you'll get your deposit back when you get a student card.
The cafeteria serves 3 meals a day, 7-9:30 for breakfast, 12-1:30 for lunch, and 5:30-7:30 for dinner. If you can't make one of those times, it kind of sucks, but since we only get 45 meals a month, I will probably only eat there once a day on average. Maybe for dinner or lunch, I'll explain why.
Today I got there at 9 am and this was on the menu: kimchi, rice, fried cabbage and mushrooms, shredded cabbage noodle things, soup with rice paste balls, and beef pieces and boiled egg yolk, and water to drink. So it is sort of different if you are used to a Western style breakfast, but not really because some people eat eggs, bacon, cheese, and potatoes for breakfast. It was pretty hearty stuff.
I also went there for dinner and the menu was:
Kimchi style cabbage squares, soup with spam/sausage, sprouts, and rice, potatoes with sausages, acorn jelly, and Korean pancakes with ham pieces. It was a good solid dinner. One thing that would have made it even better would be a little fruit or something sweet. I guess I 'll just buy those types of things for my room. There is also a menu and information about the meal (i.e. calories, fyi this meal was about 900 kcals), but it is all in Korean. I am slowly trying to learn Hangul, which I hear is not too hard to learn but being able to read it and being able to understand it is very different.
Later today, I also went to Myeongdong with a friend today. The shopping there is great! They have street style vendors, little shops, brand names, and lotte world. It is also a financial center.This place is always crowded, so be ready to mingle! At night it gets even busier. It is a fun place to go if you want to buy presents for people or to just window shop. I had to remind myself that I have only been in Seoul for 6 days, so I should probably resist buying all the cute things I saw.
I went to this store called ArtBox, it had very cute stationery and accessories. Loved it. Most of the Korean stores are really adorable, you just want to buy everything, they also have tons of variety and many different types of things. It is sort of like francesca's or anthropologie, but larger and with more variety and different prices. Some of the stores were expensive and others were cheap.
I saw a handbag seller on the street, and the sign said 10,000 won, so I thought that was cheap. I didn't like the bags displayed in the front of the store, so I went to the back. I found a beautiful, soft, amazing bag, and when I asked if it was also 10,000 won the shopkeeper informed me it was 'real leather' so the price was 90,000. I was quite disappointed…I guess I have expensive taste.
Tomorrow classes start. I am curious about the professors, fellow students, how many textbooks people usually buy and at what price, and the workload. I signed up for 18 credits, but depending on how difficult they are, I may drop one 3 credit class. I'll let you know after a few weeks about how classes are in KU.
In Korea there is also a Harvest Festival in the middle of September, we will have 2 or 3 days off, it's nice, but also strange because we will be having a mini vacation two weeks into the semester. I'll take what I can get though. Then later in September, the Korea vs Yonsei Games will be held. That I am very much looking forward to.