So my second week of classes is over. I have a long post for you all today – I am back to relying on the blog to get my thoughts out due to the different timezones and sometimes not wanting to bother people with my feelings. I’ve been telling people I am fine and settling in well, but sometimes I beg to differ.
I’m not gonna lie, everything terrifies me still. I remember back in my gap year I had to learn to go to events by myself and not be anxious but it wasn’t so hard in Birmingham where everything is familiar. In Seoul where I am still learning to be comfortable, it’s a whole different story.
There’s a strong independent vibe here. People do their own thing, and you can go out to eat by yourself without being judged. I am not quite there yet and will still ask around for company when I go out especially when going somewhere for the first time.
My first trip on the subway was an eye-opener! The subway system in Seoul is super reliable. They present their signs, directions and stop announcements in three languages, too. It can look intimidating but if you’re good at following signs, you shouldn’t get lost! I’ve never even been on the London subway so you can imagine I was feeling nervous!
On my first weekend, I got a horrific bruise on my calf from… wait for it… cheering orientation?? I know. Korea University and Yonsei University have rival sports games every year. With 21 rewritten and rearranged songs, all with their own cheer dances with hardcore swaying and headbanging, an orientation for it was certainly necessary! ‘Yonsei Chicken’, a song that compares our rivals to moist and juicy fried chicken, is my personal favourite. Through this orientation, we were given a glimpse into the energy, spirit and pride of KU, which I don’t feel as much back home.
Unfortunately, the football and rugby games were cancelled due to typhoon LingLing and it seems unlikely that they’ll be rescheduled which is a huge shame.
I got lost on my first day of classes. Not something that usually happens, mind you, but it can’t be helped especially considering the size of the university. For many of my classes I am moving between the main campus and the science campus 20 minutes away, uphill! I can imagine getting quite healthy this semester. Luckily the class that I have to rush to isn’t attendance-scored so I don’t have to worry about failing due to lateness.
So far, I have visited places in Myeongdong, Gwangjang Market, Namdaemun Market, and Everland Resort. There are still many places in Seoul I haven’t visited yet. I feel as if everyone is seeing everything already but I remember then that I need to take my time. I am here a whole year, after all, whereas many of my new friends are only here for a semester hence the rush. I might end up visiting a few places twice!
Myeongdong is truly a shopping haven of sorts. Every corner we turned, there were endless rows of beauty shops. In fact, you’ll spot multiple of the same shop. I counted five Innisfree shops while wandering around. Secondly, Aritaum doesn’t seem to display its products, but if you ask or show them a picture I’m sure they’ll take some out for you. Lastly, ending a shopping trip here with bingsoo and noraebang (shaved ice dessert and karaoke) is truly a way to end a night.
I didn’t actually go on any rides at Everland, as I can’t handle rides as well as I used to. Instead, I went with some like-minded friends to take a bunch of pretty photos in all the instagrammable spots around the park, of which there are many! You should check out my personal Instagram – it’s going to be well-fed from all the photos from then!
That’s all for now – I finally attempted to go grocery shopping with a friend (3 weeks in??) so I can actually cook limited dishes at home. I love using an oven, though, and I miss it a lot. I also miss pasta bakes, and jacket potato. Aw man.