Sunday, September 10, 2017

Day 19: Interview in Gangnam

Today I had an interview in Gangnam!

Some time someone posted in one of the Facebook groups for students coming to Korea this semester that he was starting a new project to help underprivileged children in Korea learn English and that he was looking for volunteers, who wanted to be part of it.
Now that was something I wanted to be a part of for sure! I also imagined it'd be a good way for me to get in touch with people, who could be useful to know in the future in case I decided to apply for a job in Korea.

The guy behind it, Junhaeng (준행), had arranged interviews with all of us this weekend to make sure that we were good people, hear about our intentions of joining the project, and also check our qualifications - mine was today at 13.30!

I dressed to impress and soon found myself in Gangnam.
The place I went to was in the 3rd basement of a taaaaall building. There were different companies on each floor and the one I went to was this place with loads of small meeting rooms. It was really clean and neat. This was the first thing I met when the elevator opened.

The interview only took about half an hour. They, Junhaeng and a friend/colleague of his, asked me to do a self-introduction. I told them I was a Yonsei student, they told me they'd graduated from there, and then we high-fived. I also got Junhaeng's business card.

When I ran out of things to say during my introduction, I finished off saying that I liked cats.
I should not have done that. I should not.
Because now they'd found out that I was studying Korean and wanted to do part of the interview IN KOREAN to hear how good my Korean was.
no please have mercy
So the friend, whose name I forgot, asked me to brag about my cats.
hnnnnnnng (゚д゚;)
They would not let me escape it! I have never talked about my cats like that so I didn't really know any useful words and I totally failed when I tried to talk about them about this..
And those two important-looking guys just sat there listening with smiles on their faces ㅜㅠ ohmygod

But other than that it went well. Junhaeng said he knew that I'd come to study and told me that he wouldn't want me to miss any big parties or important events because of the volunteer work. He'd been an exchange student himself and knew how important those things could be. It's nice to have a 'boss' that can relate to you.

Before taking the subway back, I asked Celine if we should go out for lunch once I returned.
Since I went to Gangnam, I crossed the river. The surroundings seemed to strange today. The weather has been really foggy these past days and I feel like it's been getting more humid as well. Yet it's still really really warm outside!

I had to wait a couple of minutes for Celine when I got back to Sinchon and while I was standing there, a person came up to me and started chit-chatting, which was fine until he tried convincing me that he should show us around. When Celine came he first joked that he was my boyfriend (we didn't see the funny part of this. Especially since he was 33) and afterwards suggested that we all went 'on a date' (his choice of words were hopefully a result of bad English).
No thank you, strange Korean person.

We went out own way down the street and looked at the stands.
Today was the day of the 'Sinchon Cultural Market' and the main street was lined up with small stands selling everything from dolls to tree work to flowers to cork to hair accessories. You name it!
Near the red tube were bigger tents with workshops for kids.

We spent maybe a good 20 minutes before finally finding a restaurant with less-expensive food that we felt like eating at the moment. Most restaurants were closed today. I don't know if it was because it was Sunday or due to the market.

I had cold vegetable bibimbap. That's not something I'd like again. The choice of salad was weird and I missed my meat, carrots, squash, and mushrooms.

After eating we went down to the basement of the Hyundai department store where Isabella had told us was where she went grocery shopping. We've been looking for supermarkets and Celine, especially, hoped they would have cheap fruit here since we're currently paying 1500₩ for two bananas.
The Korean supermarket was .. so different from any other supermarket I have ever seen.
Aaaaaall over the place there were 50+ year-old ladies, who helped the costumers. I saw one grab a package of meat that a costumer pointed out and when we picked our bananas, a lady weighed and packed them into a little plastic bag for us.
This only reinforced my stereotype about Koreans being super soft, cute people that need to be taken care of by others. I mean this is no negative way it's just that in my country, you must do things yourself. We don't have teenagers putting our groceries in bags at the supermarket like in America either.

For some reason one of the ladies asked me not to take pictures in there. I just really wanted pictures of their GIGANTIC FRUITS. LIKE REALLY, THEIR PEACHES AND GRAPES WERE HUUUUGE!

Hyundai department store is connected to the subway and instead of going out the front door, we made our way out through the subway opening near the redtube. On our way out, we stopped to look at a bunch of students, who'd sat down and were playing with a little bird. There was a girl, who poured water into the lid of her water bottle and let the bird, sitting on another girl's hand, drink from it. It was adorable.

We spent a little more time in Sinchon watching a yoyo performer -
the guy sitting beside the little boy, who came over to ask for a picture -
and also in Artbox, which is this store that sell everything cute!

On our way back to the dorm, Celine and I were taking a new, shorter way home that Johanne 씨 had showed us the other day when suddenly someone called out my name.

It was Emilie Devriese! A Belgian girl, who was on exchange to California under the same program as me back in 2012-13!
Risako, Emilie, Prim, and I - April 2013

We both knew that the other was here but seriously. What are the odds of walking into each other like that?! I was so surprised that I almost dropped our fruit.
We talked shortly and Emilie told me that her university, Sogang, was super close to Yonsei and that Sinchon was pretty much their neighborhood as well. Wauw.
The world is small. We decided to grab something to eat together one day and then went each our own ways again.

In the evening we did homework.
I got work that I, along with 7 others, had been accepted as the first official members of the 'teach-kids-English' project! Great! The interview must have gone well! ^^

While Celine was taking a shower after finishing homework, Wonjun messaged me, saying he was near our dorm and asking if I wanted to eat chocolate. Wonjun, please, I always want to eat chocolate!

I put on clothes and went down to meet him and soon Celine joined. We spent maybe an hour or so with him in the light rain.
I like these nightly visits from Wonjun. He's such a nice person and I'm not just saying this because I know he'll read my blog posts.
He told us that it had impressed the other Mentors Club members that I'd tried helping out with the flyers the other day and that he would most likely become our mentor, which I really hope! I don't think we could get a better mentor than Wonjun. The other day he and Celine were talking about food and he sent us both this long, throughout list with names of good restaurant and the kind of food you could buy there. And he's always telling us what to try now that we're in Korea and how we should go out and explore.

Before splitting up, he bought us all a drink from the convenience store. Celine had a strawberry soda(?), me a lychee aloe vera drink, and himself a honey-lemon drink if I remember correctly?
Korea has so many cool drinks. I want to try them all! 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Back To Top