Text log 101621
It's the week before midterms which means only one thing: my job is halfway done -- hence the "mid-life crisis" ㅠㅠ
Lying in bed at night is my time to contemplate my life here. I still think I'm in the Honeymoon Phase of studying abroad. I'll explain according to my own theory- there're different stages of your time abroad: culture shock, honeymoon, recession, stabilization [puts on glasses]
Culture shock is when everything you find is different, good or bad. This includes taking stupid touristy photos of every Hyundai or Kia vehicle -- which is 90% of the vehicles (I seriously thought Japanese cars would be popular, too. Not so much) because it's fascinating to you, or tipping your waitress at a restaurant which is super awkward in Korea. Culture shock lasts from a few days to maybe 2 weeks.
Random tangent -- Topic: GOING TO A RESTAURANT
sit anywhere that's open
decide what everyone wants, no drink orders, they just bring a jug of water and cups
call the waiter over (this one's important because otherwise you'd be stuck sitting at the table with a grudge wondering why the waiter isn't caring for you like they do in American restaurants) (do this by saying 'juh-ki-yo,' meaning "here," or sometimes there's a magic button on the table)
have one person order for the table - if you want, you can tell the waiter to do it quickly
receive food and a buncha sides dishes, refillable at no charge
approach the register and pay at nice even prices like 7000KRW (no annoying $6.36)
don't tip. :3 thank the person and leave satisfied.
Back to my stages:
Honeymoon is when you get to enjoy being a tourist and make local and foreign friends at your school.
Recession is purely when you get sick of red-colored food and you miss burgers, pizza, and your mum =/ The Korean language annoys you.
Stabilization is when you give up on the food and eat at American bars every night. You accept more of the things around you. Maybe this doesn't apply to people studying abroad for only one semester.
Of course, I made this stuff up on the spot, and like I said, I haven't experienced other stages, and the order can change (or even repeat) for every person differently.
But these past few weeks, I've been having dreams 0.o Dreams where I'm back in the States doing stuff like shopping for groceries at Giant, realizing that I've already left Korea and I hafta go back to eating American food TT
I really don't look forward to resuming my previous life before I arrived. I feel so spoiled being in a big city being surrounded by everything I like ; State College just doesn't have that for me. Korea to me is a utopia. Follow my blog and I'll keep explaining why this place is illuded to me as a utopia.
And time for a recap of events:
These are from the fireworks show (on a warm night) above the Han River ---
A place called called SamChungDong (above)
(below) Exhibit from The National Museum. Bottom right photo is irrelevant.
A view of my campus at sunset after a storm ---
Pardon the bad panorama once again
Ta Daaaa ! Bulgogi Pizza (marinated beef) and Waffles with ice cream !
I missed out last week on KPOP discussion, so I'll introduce the 1000lb-gorilla this week - the group that gives KPOP a bad reputation: Girls Generation / So Nyeo Shi Dae / SNSD / 소녀시대
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7mPqycQ0tQ (warning: strange to watch the first time)
This 9-member girl group is Korea's most popular idol group. Their quirky overly-girly looks, dance movies, and voices make them super awkward to the foreign eye, not to mention unusual flirty phrases in English. I'd say their peek was 2009 when they released "Gee," but since they drifted away from the "cute" aspect these past few years of being idols and entered the "hot/sexy" realm, they started to lose popularity. I think most Koreans are sick of them. But I've had some pretty constructive conversations about this group with Southeast Asians and Asian Americans. xD With so many releases of songs and albums in Japanese, as wells as less and less tours in Korea, I think they're abandoning Korea and trying to appeal to Japan thesedays. Here's a recent song in Japanese -- notice the difference between this and 2009: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6FPJOgfCkc
Being the most popular idols, you see them EVERYWHERE as models in advertisements, pushing tremendous pressure onto Korean females to try to look like them. SNSD is arguably the reason I fell in love with the music, culture, and language. Ultimately, I thank SNSD and Starcraft for introducing me to South Korea.
Shoutout to Grace who's considering Sogang for studying abroad next year ^u^
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홈런볼 bite-sized pastries