The Brave, Little Ninja Goes to School in South Korea Week 18 & 19

This week I go to Coin Noraebang for the first time and paint a fan!

6/21: On this day I went to a special kind of noraebang (karaoke) called coin noraebang. While normal noraebang is tailored more toward groups, coin noraebang is more for one or two people only. The biggest difference between the two is that at regular noraebang you buy time, and at coin noraebang you buy songs. It’s almost like playing your own personal noraebang arcade game. You sit in the little room and then feed 1,000won bills into the machine for however many songs you want to sing. It’s super fun and there’s a really nice one that’s pretty close to where we live.

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Coin noraebang!

That Thursday, I had lunch at a nearby restaurant with most of my classmates. This is the first time we’ve done something like this. It was fun to see them outside of class.

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That restaurant had good food and was good to us bunch of bumbling foreigners.

Friday, we had a field trip! Instead of going to class, we met at the National Museum of Korea. There we got to paint fans with watercolors! The teacher there was amazing, and made everything look so easy. We were all laughing when she was trying to show us something ‘simple’ because we all knew none of us were going to be able to do that as well as she was. It was super fun, and I wish I could do it again.

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I painted this with my own two hands!

I also switched phone plans. (Look at me being such an adult!) Everything is going smoothly with this new plan, and I’m really proud of myself for being able to handle all the red tape associate with cancelling my other plan and starting up this new plan. I’m adulting!

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It’s the rainy season now. It lasts only a few weeks instead of a whole season though.

That Saturday, one of the other guides from last summer’s AIE, Grace, came back again early for this year’s AIE. So Sydney and I hung out with her that Saturday. We met up in Gangnam and ate sushi at one of those sushi places where it’s on a conveyor belt.

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The color of the plate determines the price, and so at the end of the meal you add up the stack of plates to know how much your meal was.

After that we went to the Goto Mall underneath the Express Bus Terminal. The Goto Mall is one of the biggest underground shopping places in Seoul. We had a lot of fun, and I was able to take lots of pictures of interesting English that was on shirts and stuff.

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This is my favorite gem I’ve found so far.

On Tuesday, one of the girls in my class gave me a girl kpop group CD. For those of you who don’t know, to get into certain events such as fan signs for kpop groups, you don’t buy tickets. You get in by having your name drawn from a lottery, and you get your name in the lottery by buying the group’s CDs at the event. I’ve never been to one, but my friend says that she buys on average 10-15 CDs when she goes to these kinds of events, which is the minimum to get in. So, long story short: she had a lot of CDs she didn’t need, so she gave a few of them away to people in the class. So I now have my first physical kpop CD! And it’s never just the CD, mind you. It usually includes a photo book of the band too.

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The band is called Mamamoo.

Thursday, I met up with Grace in Sinchon, which is near my school, and we went shopping a little in that area. Then we went to Hongdae to eat before going to another AIE friend’s concert. This guy was one of the staff of AIE meaning that he was attending the university the camp was held at as an English major. His English name is Joseph, and he’s graduated now, but when he’s not working, he plays drums in his rock band called Aikido. So Grace and I went to watch. Joseph’s band was the third in the line up of four. Each band was a rock band though each had a very different sound. The first group was soft rock, the second was sort of hiphop with guitars, Joseph’s was hard rock, and the last group was alternative. It was fun, and I’m glad I got to go.

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Monica and I have been cooking at the apartment lots lately.

That Saturday, Sydney and I went back to the Korean War Museum. Last summer we went to that museum with the staff and guides before AIE. Last time we took the Korean War history tour, but the museum has much more stuff about Korea’s history than the stuff about the Korean war. So Sydney and I went to the early history section. It was still focused on Korea’s military and battles and wars, but it was very interesting to look at.

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This was the uniform of a special kind of warriors called the Hwarang.

While we were there, we were cornered by two Koreans who we assumed were masters students studying English. They were there to interview English-speakers as an assignment. So we did that.

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At the apartment, we made the best ddeok mandu guk I’ve ever had too!

After we got back to where Sydney’s apartment is, we ate at this place that serves juk, which is Korean porridge. It’s basically the best thing ever though not usually eaten during the summer months. The lady there working was really nice to us, and even offered to let us use her umbrella to walk back because it was pouring outside. Because this juk place is literally underneath Sydney’s apartment we didn’t need the umbrella, but we appreciated the offer. I want to go back soon.

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This is basically heaven. I could eat this everyday.

On Tuesday, we had another lesson about cooking vocabulary. So we made food in class for some hands-on practice. It was really yummy.

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It doesn’t look super appetizing, but it tasted good.

On Saturday, the usual crew and I met up with Grace along with Grace’s friend who she knew from back home who was just stationed at the US Air Force base in Osan. We met up at Gangnam and went to noraebang because you can’t come to Korea and not go to noraebang.

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The rainy season is extremely humid, but it makes for beautiful scenery especially with the clouds against the mountains.

I found out that I was losing track a little of the weeks for my blog post titles because I wasn’t posting consistently. I went back and fixed them so it’s a little more accurate now.

So I have midterms this week. I’ve been studying a lot harder, and I think that’s really going to help. I think I’ve figured out how to study now, so hopefully the next half of the session, I can start off right.

AIE4UK is starting up again this coming week with AIE the following weeks after that. While I am unable to participate because of classes, please pray that everything goes smoothly for those that worked really hard to put it together.

Thanks again for reading.

Next: Week 20&21
Previous: Week 15, 16 & 17

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