Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Day 14: Lloyd's English meeting

Hey there,

Today was another day with invisible gray clouds hovering over heads due to our troubles with the KLI class. But one thing I was excited for today was that we were going to have one of our other classes for the first time! The Korean popular culture and Korean wave class!

Class began and I was not disappointed.
Our teacher was a +60-something lady, Kim Bohi (김보히), who was the the sweetest grandmother-type ever. Sometimes she'd go off on a tangent and her English wasn't perfect, as she told us herself, which resulted in some rather funny phrases.

"So what? Everybody has a butt"

"In America, there are many psycho" (she meant psychologists)

"I am very generous! You will get the best grade in the world!"

"Actually he's not handsome" (she played the entire Gangnam Style song and suddenly pointed that out about PSY).

I am a fan of hers from now on.

After class Celine and I sat down to wait in front of the Underwood statue on campus. We'd made plans to eat lunch with a new friend of mine, Lloyd, and a friend of his.
I completely forgot to take pictures of the place because I was so overwhelmed. The whole place was like one big restaurant and it looked super fancy! There was so much noise and so many people though!
I ordered spaghetti carbonara and Celine had something with seafood. I was surprised to discover that there were shrimps in my food though so I had Celine eat those for me.
While we ate, Celine took a picture of me and Lloyd and it's the best picture in the world. I'm not going to post it because it's that bad but once in a while we'll find it, show it to each other, and laugh until we get teary-eyed.
Look how adorable she is. Aaw.
The guy beside her is Lloyd's engineer student friend! (I forgot his name)
After eating, Celine and I went back to our dorm. We took a shortcut through the park-looking-area.
And we found a squirrel! That was the first time I had gotten so close to one before. I stood maybe 1m away from it when it finally ran into the bushes.

We had our Korean class in the afternoon. Today we were going to have our second teacher, our reading teacher. It's almost time for class to start and in walks this tall, pretty, and young girl. Her name was Park Jihyeon (박지현) and she was the sweetest teacher ever ohmygosh! I wish we could have kept her as our teacher ㅠㅜ but ahhh, level 3 truly was too easy for us.
We told her this during the 5-10 minutes break she gave us and, with a smile, she told us to follow her to the office once class was over.
She told the office lady what we had told her and had soon fixed everything. She told us that we had to sign a paper saying that we were fully aware that we, when we changed level, wouldn't be 100% sure we passed the class, which is something all students seem to have to do if they wish to go up a level. And then she added that we should just work hard, again with a smile ㅜㅜ
They were going to move us up a level and the day after we just had to go to our teacher and ask her to show us to the new level 3 classroom. Finally!

We had about an hour to relax in in our room before heading to Sinchon. Even before going to Korea, Lloyd had told me about these English meetings he held for, mainly, Koreans to practice English while discussing current events in Korea or just expressing their opinions about different topics. He'd asked me to come and today was finally the day that we had time for it!

He picked us up and showed us to a café, Coi Café if I remember correctly, and told us to go to the fifth floor after ordering a free tea. Inside were a bunch of tables and a couple of Koreans sitting around.
The whole thing was a lot more organized than I'd thought! I thought we were just going to sit and talk but Lloyd had prepared audio clips to listen to, commercials to watch, topics to discuss, texts to read, etc.

Celine and I sat down at the same table near two Korean women. After a couple of minutes of talking, he told us which tables to switch to so that we all got to meet new, different people.
Lloyd also brought snacks for all of us so Celine and I got to taste a bunch of interesting things. A 'partner' of mine had brought a whole bunch of things for me once I returned to my spot after the 5-minute break.
It was a very interesting experience and I can definitely see myself going back!
The Koreans seemed to like hearing our opinions, which differed from the typical Korean's, and we got to get some first hand and honest opinions from them. Reading about the general opinions is one thing but getting to meet people, who think like this, is something else. I got to ask my 'partners' about their views on plastic surgery (like directly asking a person if she'd considered surgery and why) and also heard about the general opinion on couples, who lived together before marriage, which is apparently not as common in Korea compared to our part of the world.

Lloyd had told me how they, after the meetings, often went out for a drink or food afterwards and then switched back to Korean. Since today was a normal weekday we just went for one beer in a bar very close by the café. It was this really cool underground bar with all sorts of games that you could play like air hockey, billiard, clawing machines, etc.

I hope we can join another meeting again soon!
Lloyd told us that the Saturday meetings were most interesting ones but we will be celebrating Celine's birthday this Saturday so .. maybe next week ^^ 

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