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Reisverslag OMWT: my first Chuseok
11 september 2014
OMWT: my first Chuseok
Thus, my vacation started on Friday: I enjoyed a food festival together with some exchange students from both the Seoul and Suwon campus (if I didn't mention it earlier: Suwon is a city south of Seoul and the campus over there is Natural sciences. Seoul campus is Humanities and Social sciences). Around 5 I had my first soccer training, because yes, I'm joining the female soccer team over here. After all I want to experience a different lifestyle in Korea and doing a team sport, which I have never done, does influence my daily life over here. After training for almost 3 hours, my teammates and I went to have Korean BBQ (which in The Netherlands is most comparable to gourmet).
On Saturday there was a potluck party at the Han river which I was invited to by Andrea (the couchsurfer I met in Gyeongju). I'm definitely planning to visit the Han river and the park where we were hanging out more often. The park reminded me of Mauer park in Berlin because in both there is so much to see (people working out; especially cycling is very popular at the Han. People making music. etc.) and one can just sit there drinking, eating and fooling around all day. The nightview is admirable, too.
On Sunday I had soccer practice again. I am determined to work hard, because the first competition is already 27th of September. I played until bruises started to appear on my legs, but I was rewarded by eating dinner with some teammates again: jimdak, a delicious chicken dish in soy sauce.
On Monday Andrea invited me to Everland, which is a theme park. Even though we spent there more than 5 hours, we could enter only three attractions. That is, the shortest queue was 'just' 40 minutes waiting time. For the steepest wooden rollercoaster on the world we waited at least 1 hour. It was definitely worth waiting for and if I still had a voice to scream with, I would've screamed my lungs out for sure.
On Tuesday I went sightseeing, again with Andrea. The weather was so hot and Andrea didn't feel that good, but we still managed to move ourselves to two palaces: Gyeongbokgung and Changgyeongung. I figured that I already visited the latter one with Arianne in 2008, but it was still nice to see the palace again, which I thought was a temple back then. I went home early so that Andrea could take a rest. In the evening I had dinner with Lorraine, my French housemate, and our Belgian neighbour. Again, we ate Korean BBQ. I tried to finish all the kimchi (fermented cabbage) by myself, because they both didn't like it, and I'm just surprised that I like it so much now, while I didn't in 2008. I concluded the day by watching a funny Korean movie together with Audrey, my other French housemate, and our French neighbour.
On Wednesday it was soccer time again. I'm working hard, though I can't help but being annoyed by my lack of coordination. To compensate, I'll just reside to the Korean way of handling things like this: working hard.
So now the school life starts again and I'm attending three courses today, from 10.30 to 17.45 the following courses will hopefully interestingly educate me: Traditional Thoughts of East Asia, History and Culture of East Asia, and Korean Language Program. Subscribing for the first two courses, together with my two courses on Wednesday, was quite dramatic and stressful. All the courses I initially signed up for, weren't options to attend (they were thaught either at Suwon campus or in Korean language), so I had to find other courses. I had to ask the teachers of all the courses which seemed interesting, except for KLP, to approve my attendance of the course: if they didn't approve I wouldn't have any lectures to attend at all. I had to fill up so many papers last week. I had to register myself as a student, I had to get four course approvals, I had to do the alien registration, and I had to do an X-ray test.
After the first week, and some people here and there having a stress breakdown, some noices were being heard about SKKU being badly organized. True, they didn't inform us about the X-ray which was not expensive, but still cost 20.000 Korean Won (about 18 euro's), which I would normally spend for two or even three dinners at a restaurant. Neither did they inform us well on the alien registration. All the course approvals, which every exchange students had to fill up, wouldn't have been necessary if their course subscribing system on the internet worked well. Since most of the paperwork is done now, I hope life gets easier for all of us. I hope that people who didn't have the time yet to conform themselves to Korea get the time and space to do so now. I hope I can focus on 'working hard' for school and soccer. Fingers crossed!
11 september 2014 17:23 | Door: mama
It seems you have a good life overthere ;-)
The courses sound interesting to me and I hope you learn things you like to learn.
I think sport is good for you: not only for the teammates you join, but also for your health ... especially because of all the Korean food!
Good luck and enjoy all!
12 september 2014 15:01 | Door: Willie Tonini
It's fortunate to see that you've been adapting to a new environment in South Korea, including your new school life here.
Frankly speaking, I need to seek out some of english words when I read your journal, which means my english ability sucks! LOL
It's been over 5 years since I stopped saying in English after quiting my former job, English teacher (Yes, once I used to teach english to kids in Korea)
Anyway, Minhee, just feel free to ask me when you're curious to know Anything 'bout Korea and Korean people and you'll get a clear answer I swear :)
Hope you keep your health among the 'Workin' hard' spirit
14 september 2014 09:46 | Door: Joanne
Seems like you are experiencing loads of fun over there! and wow you do look like you can play soccer well! Missing you and the others :D