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I've been in Korea for 2 months and a day. Midterms are over. I really don't have anything in mind to
yap blabber talk about, so I'll talk about random stuff.
I just wanna take a moment to brag about my cell phone plan. Before coming I suspended call, messaging, and data service on my Samsung Galaxy S4 (gotta be up-to-date in Korea :3), leaving me with basic PDA functions, app usage, camera, mp3 playability, and wifi usage -- in other words, an iPod touch. I didn't wanna get an international data plan because expensive and I didn't wanna get a rental phone here because also expensive and they're usually super basic. You think "How do you live without messaging friends and calling the Karaoke rooms to ask if they're open?" And my response is "Remember the 90s." Actually, I use Skype credit for placing calls (impossible to receive calls unless you get a subscription =/) and apps like Facebook, Kakao Talk (Korean instant messaging app), and also Skype to keep in touch with local friends and pals/relatives in the States. Speaking of which, I just sent out Seoul postcards and cute letters ! =P
I only have access to the internet (and Google translate) in wifi places like cafés, and luckily, everywhere on campus. My point is that it's very possible to survive in Korea for a semester without our spoiled 24/7 access to the internet -- even in one of the highest-tech cities.
The only times I've had frustration about my access were in the first week outside of Seoul, where I relied on communication to my friends showing me around the country.
By the way, the employees at the post offices and banks here are super nice - even when dealing with foreigners, since the employees usually don't know English - nothing like the *cough cough* employees at the DMV and some post offices in State College. ㅜ_ㅜ
Another topic: Theft -- a topic asked from... [looks at previous post].. LISA. #shoutout
Thank you Lisa for bringing this up. =D
So at places where you take off your shoes before entering, I was at first worried and had the thoughts of anyone slipping on my shoes and walking about of the place. In Korea, I don't hafta worry about any theft ; I tell my relatives I always feel very safe -- and it's true ! Even with my stupid "I-don't-know-what-I'm-doing-or-where-I'm-going face, I don't feel strangers would pickpocket or anything to take advantage of me.
For example (and I really should take a photo of this) in the library, people leave their books and laptops and even phones at the tables when they get up and go around -- even my one friend left her stuff there for at least an hour when we went to hang out at a café (cafés are everywhere - Korea likes their caffeine xP). Also you'll see a lot of street vendors blatantly having spots in their stands where people can walk by and steal some cheap jewelry.
My opinion is that people here simply follow the Golden Rule: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Rule. I also think the constant threat of CCVT security cameras - or at least the warnings of security cameras - brainwashes the thought of stealing.
I have one exception. At Jjimjilbangs -- Spa/saunas - and I'll definitely blog my amazing stories about them -- there is a bad reputation for rotten teenagers stealing cell phones right out of your hand --- I was actually warned about it from the lady at the front desk. Walking around seeing people there sleeping, their phones were either in their hand, on top of their chest, or freakin' PLUGGED INTO THE WALL just begging to be stolen.
Okay, I'll talk about events now. ^-^ Starting with a snapshot at a jazz bar in Itaewon.
And the other is my trip to watch a Starcraft II pro-gamer match (Starcraft is ultimately the reason I discovered Korean culture, as crazy as it sounds). So amazing~ the Penn State Starcraft club said they saw me on the live stream =D xD xD. Plus I got free mementos and admission was free.
On the left is cafeteria food - 바게트 피자 "ba-ge-teu pi-ja" Baguette Pizza. There was corn and stuff on it, but it was pretty fantastic since I love hybrid food.
On the right is what I nom-nom'd today at lunch: Breaded chicken and shrimp with rice. Sitting on top is kimchi 김치 -- the vegetable served at like every meal - usually free and unlimited -- which was the best kimchi I've had. =P And I'm sure you all have seen the Kimchi Restaurant on Atherton Street ~ it's named after the stuff I eat every day here, folks. =3
And how about a picture of me being a cutie: m(^ u ^)m
...to attract viewers xP
This post's K-indie content: 버스커 버스커 Busker Busker
I'm a bit late on this discussion ; their new album came out last month and I'm constantly hearing it played at the convenience store - no complaints. Busker Busker (silly name, I know) is known for their romantic lyrics (not like I can understand them -_-) and raw indie sound. I'd say this trio is the most popular K-indie artist - also gaining some attention for having a caucasian drummer from Canada. Get yourself a guitar, learn some chords and Korean lyrics, and prepare to seduce
(not really) any Korean girl on the streets ! =O
Yeah - next post I'll teach some Korean swear words.
Hope y'all learned stuff !
This blog has been brought to you by the letter 트 "Teu"
닭다리 Bite-sized chicken leg-shaped snacks
** Also, the part about swear words was a lie ~~