Thursday, August 31, 2017

Day 9: Preparing for the test II

Today had its interesting moments. Read on, please.

For once I woke up early!
And I spent the morning blogging until Celine woke up as well. That's how I managed to suddenly post so many blog posts these few days. I'm not a fast writer, I just had one very productive morning.

Since we didn't get to study as much as we'd hoped for yesterday, today was to be yet another study day.


Okay now we can continue the post.
Once again we went to Holly's Coffee but this time went aaaall the way up to the roof top! It was really hot today, around +30°C, and the sun was shining brightly. It was the perfect weather to enjoy Sinchon in.

I snapped some selfies while waiting for Celine to finish packing her bag for the day.

We'd brought these doughnut 'munchkins' on our way from the dorm. Now that I think about it, we completely forgot to buy anything there.
We were being very serious students.

For dinner we went looking for a Subway that Celine had seen one of the other days. After having acquired our sandwiches, we sat down at one of the places that people usually perform at here in Sinchon. Only today, at this time, there was no one performing. But we were quite a few people just sitting there.
We had only just sat down (as in I saw these people inching closer before my butt touched the seat) when we were interrupted the first time by 3 Koreans with a big camera. They were most likely filming for a campaign or something.
The first guy said hi in Korean, we answered in Korean, and tHEN LOADS OF KOREAN WORDS JUST FELL OUT OF HIS MOUTH AND WE UNDERSTOOD NOTHING.
We came to a common understanding that other guy would say something and then we'd say:
"안 떠요" (The verb has different meanings and I don't know which meaning they wanted)
and do a *no* motion with our hands.

They said thank you and walked on.
We got to eat maybe half of our sandwiches when suddenly Johanne and one of our juniors, Rebekka, appeared out of nowhere! We chit-chatted until *poof* we were disturbed a second time.
This time it was a lone Korean who, very eagerly, told us about this big peace event that was to be held at Jamsil stadium on the 18ᵗʰ. He could invite 20 people and really wanted foreigners to join. It did sound pretty exciting but it was at the same time as our Korean class so we gave him our Kakaotalks and told him we'd consider it later once we'd found out how many times we can miss class before getting in troubles.

We had a few more bites before a small group of girls came up to us and kept us from eating a third time. They told Celine something about doing an assignment for school or something and asked if they could take pictures with us because we were foreigners. Sure!

Some guys sitting across from us seemed to notice and smiled at the scene in front of them.
I waved for the girl to come sit between us for the picture and once it was done, they thanked us and hurried away. As they did, they giggled and let out exciting sounds like little fangirls. It was adorable really.

It's the group of girls gathered near the pole a little to the left in the picture.

We had only just finished freaking out over how adorable and funny that experience was when the same girls came back and asked for our names. When we told them, they thanked us once again and ran off in the same fashion as before.

Or so we thought
We had a moment to almost finish our sandwiches now before the guy, who'd sat down to my right, asked for the time and disturbed us a final fourth time. Yes yes, he acted all innocent but I had totally smelled it coming!

He seemed like the typical curious Korean, who wanted to know where we were from, what we were doing in Korea, etc.
He told us that he worked in the nearby department store (the big building behind Celine) and asked if we'd like to have lunch with him someday because we had to leave for work now.

Well, why not?
I suppose it's a good idea to make as many relations as possible while we are here.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Day 8: Preparing for the test

Today was a more relaxed day.
The placement test is nearing and we're worrying about it more and more. Thus, today we decided to be good students and actively study!

We packed our bags and went down to Sinchon and sat down in a café called Holly's Coffee. None of us had had breakfast before this (actually, I haven't had breakfast since we came here.. wooops?) so we each bought something to help us through the grammar.

Celine ordered some sort of cheese hotdog and some mint tea. I had a piece of oreo cake because I always eat chocolate when I have to endure a long study session.
She said it was weird because the bread was so sweet. Typical Korean bread.
My cake was really good though! Except the brownie thingie on top. That was kind of weird too.

After maybe 4 hours of studying we decided that enough was enough and to go down and listen to some performers to clear our minds. This guy charmed people by pointing at and waving to people. I caught it on video!
As we were sitting there, listening, a guy/man came over and asked if we'd participate in a survey that he was doing on foreigners. He worked as an international counselor at one of the universities here and wanted to conduct some research on foreigners' minds to better be able to help those people, who attend the school he is at. He asked me to not share the 'survery/test' anywhere so that's why I've blurred it. But through our answers, he/they would try to do some sort of personality analysis and would contact us later if we were interested in having done one of these tests for free as thanks for helping out with the project.
The tast was simple but somehow ended up throwing Celine into a smaller existential crisis. He thanked us and walked out into the world in search for more foreigners (he's the one in a white shirt and gray pants).

We'd told ourselves to study more in the evening after dinner but that didn't happen..

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Day 7: Orientation day

Orientation daaaaay!

Today was the day of the big orientation and welcome speeches to all of us new students. We were supposed to meet up with Isabella and had bought travel-kimbap and flavored milk - also one for Isabella! - but we missed the meeting time and ended up having to look for her in the queue and inside the hall once we got in. But nope, Isabella was nowhere to be found.
All of us got a folder with various guide books and also our student ID cards! We were maybe 800-900 foreign students this year.
We discussed whether they had retouched our photos seeing as some of the girls behind us complained that their pictures looked different than the ones they submitted and mine had been brightened a bit.

The orientation was pretty useful. They actually told us more about life in Sinchon than studying at Yonsei, I feel.
One of my favorite slides was this one with a safety notice about where to stay away from if possible. A wild boar had been spotted some time ago near campus but not caught yet and also some wild dogs. Below the picture of the place with the dogs it said:
"Please do not try to molest them"
So please. Don't touch the wild dogs.
This red tube kept appearing in the pictures about where to go in Sinchon and by the end of the orientation, it had become a thing for the guy to point out in almost every picture.
Several different people held smaller presentations.
These two students from Yonsei Global wore hanboks for theirs. They looked wonderful.
They told us about good places to eat, bars that you could find other foreigners in, events in Sinchon, food we could find on campus, the most important buildings on campus, etc.
One of the last things mentioned was the Mentors Club that Iohan, our classmate, had sort of warned us about.
He told us he'd heard that some of the mentors were there for other reasons than mentoring - more like dating purposes.
Well, we decided to give it a chance and sign up for it. If things turn weird we can always just stop showing up.

There was a 1-hour break before another, additional Mentors Club orientation. We decided to stand outside and hope for Isabella to come out. Soon almost everyone had gotten out and Isabella was nowhere to be seen. We later got a message from her that she'd gone home because she was feeling unwell. She'd pretty much been sick since coming to Korea a few days before us.

Right after the second orientation, we split into groups and went to different restaurants to have dinner together. We shared table with a Dutch girl, two Americans, and two Chinese girls.

Once we'd all finished eating, we went straight to a bar called Bar Fly. While waiting outside for the rest of the group, we'd chit-chatted with one of the Korean mentors, Wonjun, before heading to the bar. At the bar we sat down at a table and continued our talk with him until he went home.
After that, we spent the night dancing as ugly as we could (okay we could probably do worse but it was still ugly).
We also made friends with another Yonsei student, 'Oscar,' who invited us to see his music performance later this month.
At one point a guy from Hong Kong started dancing a bit too close to me but both Celine and Oscar were ready to help. Celine pulled me aside, like friends do, and Oscar asked him to move along.
Thanks Oscar, that was nice of you!
(Also thank you, Celine)
It was a fun night. The 'cells' with mentors and exchange students have still not been made yet but I hope we get to group up with the kind of people we met that night.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Day 6: Housing orientation

Today was housing orientation in the morning. In a mail we'd gotten it said 8am but on the paper we got when we moved in it said 9am. We woke up early only to have me run downstairs to the desk people and hear that the meeting time was 9am.
They told us the rules, where to find the trashcans, how to wash our clothes (I'm pretty sure I've forgotten already) etc.

On one of their slides it said "Disinfection" and they pretty elegantly skipped this great disinfection so a student raised her hand and asked what it was about.

The answer was something along the lines of:
"From 2pm we have people going around the dormitory. And then they open the doors to your rooms and put gas in. And you should not be in the room when they do it because it's not good for you."

Cue the laughter.

Afterwards we went to have lunch and then back to campus to find the statue that Isabella wanted to meet with us at the day after before the international student orientation.
Celine had a hard time walking around and once we found what we were looking for, she just gave up for a moment.
Going back to the dorms we tried going a different way to maybe find a quicker way home and suddenly Celine discovered a dinosaur hiding in the bushes on campus.
Can you spot it?

In the evening I was going to go to Hangang with my friend Changseob but it began raining and JUST NEVER STOPPED AND THERE WAS SO MUCH WATER AND EVERYTHING WAS IMPOSSIBLE so we found a place to eat and to wait out the rain. But the rain didn't stop.

I was pretty sad that we didn't get to see the lights at the river since I'd promised to send my sister pictures </3

Celine has been bothering me about it ever since because I was out for 5 hours and practiced my Korean while she was at home enjoying her foot masks.

We're both pretty worried about the placement test Friday and I don't think those 5 hours that I spoke Korean in did that much for me.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Day 5: Hangang picnic

Dear blog,

Right now Celine is working out on our floor and I'm being a good support by sitting in my bed while telling her encouraging words like 화아팅 (fighting) and 아자 (aja), eating marshmallows, and playing the Rocky theme for her.

Earlier today Celine and I went to Hongdae to buy some small plants that Celine had fallen in love with a few days ago and also buy shampoo. We have named them Steve #1 and Steve #2.

This is the entrance to where we bought the plants - it turned out to be a café!
We were already in love with the plants outside and then we came in and found these MICROSCOPIC MINI PLANTS!!

Celine liked the ceiling decorations and wanted pictures of it..

Before that, we made a stop here in Sinchon (where our dorm is) to get Celine some open shoes. Celine's feet were a little too wide for the shoes so we had a lot of time to talk to the guy working there while he used this fancy tool to expand the rims. He guessed our age to be 19 in Korean age (17 or 18-years-old), said that our noses were tall, and that we has very small faces - which are compliments in Korean culture.

After our super late lunch (donkotsu ramen), we sat down on the street in Hongdae and watched people dance while waiting for Johanne to come.
And the dancers~
The girl in the white shirt went over the this foreigner guy and pulled him from the crowd. She asked if they could use him for a dance and soon after he found himself surrounded by 3-4 very energetic Korean girls. He looked so suspicious of them the entire time while the danced against him and dragged him around. It was fantastic!

Together we went to meet my friends Camilla and John to have a Scandinavian reunion! John has been living here for a while now and Camilla came earlier this month. She's going to take her entire bachelor here in Korea and Kyunghee University!

We met up around 8pm at Express Bus Terminal exit 6 (this is near the Han river!) went to a nearby store and bought some alcoholic peach sodas and some outdoor blanket-thingie to sit on, and found a good space on the grass to have our nightly picnic. John ordered chicken and Camilla had brought oreos and popcorn with butter and garlic taste.
It was great meeting them again ♡

I forgot to take pictures during our picnic so here are some from our way home in the subway.

It's 2am now so I'm going to head to sleep!
We've got a mandatory orientation meeting tomorrow for those of us staying in the dorms ^^

Update: Celine is now throwing marshmallows at me

By the way, waking up in my bed in the dorm was amazing. It was just so great having a slightly permanent place to sleep. I felt so at home already and it's only become better the past few days.

Celine told me last time we went to Korea that she caught me sleeping with my legs up.. this morning she showed me this. Just wait, I have taken funny sleeping picture of her too!

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