Saturday, July 2, 2011

Last Days at the University of Incheon

The last 3 days have been amazing and a little sad because we had to leave. On Thursday, we went to Seoul to the Korean National Museum. The parts I saw reminded me of Native American history from the tools, jewelry, and pottery. We stayed about 2 hours and didn't see everything because there was so much to see and we decided to move to something else after awhile. We went to an Italian restaraunt for lunch. I ordered spaghetti with sausage expecting spagghetti with the ground up sausage in the sauce. Nope. I hvae spaghetti with a sausage like a hotdog on top. It was the most random way I've seen but it was so delicious and it was the first time I ate everything since I've been here.

Then we went to this park where we took pictures with a few statues and went to a little river that ran through it and stuck our feet in the water. It was in the middle of a city so we sat on concrete but it felt wonderful after walking around for so long. We went walking down several famous shopping streets and I bought a blue shoulder purse. I didn't bring one with me because I wanted to buy one when I got here. I was about as excited as Corbin or Rachel because I had been giving them my wallet to keep with them in their bag for the last few days. We went to Smoothie King for smoothies for awhile when it started to rain.

Then yestersday (Friday I think) we went to Lotte World, a amusement park that was like Carowinds.  A lot of it was inside so we rode a lot of roller coasters and other rides. On the roller coasters, we could take our purses and we kept our sunglasses on. On one of the amusement rides, my head was above the headrest so my neck hurt from banging back and forth on it. Another of the rides didn't have a headrest but it would have if we'd been in the US. The lines weren't as long. The most we waited was an hour. During that hour, I walked with TaeEun and JiHyun to get smoothies from Smoothie King. That might end up being my favorite place, two days in a row.

Today, we got up and rode on the KTX train from Incheon to Busan, in the southern part of Korea. We are going to be here for 4 weeks. We are in dorm rooms. I'm rooming with Corbin, and Rachel and Allie are rooming together. The rooms are small but we have the best view ever!! Busan is on a mountain and we are on the top and we can see the city and the ocean from our window. The flip side to that was that we are going to have to walk up 93 steps to get to our dorm room every day. We rode a bus into town to get some food: cokes, snacks, toilet paper, etc. Our Korean buddies are awesome. Mine is SuJin, and her English is excellent, and I think we are going to get along great. They met us at the bus station and rode the taxi with us to the dorm room.

I am a very unobservant person, so I am trying to notice things so I can answer questions when I get back to the US. Here are some:
1. Liscense plates are three colors: white, green and yellow. White liscense plates are two numbers, a Korean letter then 3 more numbers. The green and yellow plates are a Korean letter then 3 numbers and these are normally trucks and taxis and other commercial vehicles.
2. It is really hot in Busan. And humid!
3. When I tried to get on the computer in the computer lab, it took me a while to get it turned on and then more time to get on facebook because everything is written in Korean. (stopsigns are written in English and Korean, though)
4. Like Spanglish is Spanish and English, Korenglish is Korean and English. :)
5. People here aren't as assertive or demanding as Americans.
6. This is the meaning behind the Korean flag: The blue and red is the yin/yan and the blue is for the south, the red is for the north, and the white background is for purity. The 4 corners made of black lines are for heaven, earth, air, and fire.
7. Gas is $7 a gallon.
8. Men are required to be in the military service for 2 years. Wanseo was in the navy and most join after graduating high school.
9. You are 1 years old when you are born. I am 21 in the US but 22 here.
10. You start school at 8. Government provides childcare and healthcare and a lot of stuff. Kindergarten is optional for kids 5-7. All kids wear school uniforms.

I think that's enough for now. I like asking questions and there are questions that I want to ask but they might be considered rude, so I am going to ask those when I get to know someone well enough so they will know that it is not me being rude, just curious. My sociology major makes me look at certain things in a very different way and I want to learn how Korea and the US are similar and different.

The other people in the program are coming late tonight. There are 5 Americans, 10 English, and 1 Irish. It's 8 male and 8 female and we each have a buddy. It's going to be a huge group!! I'm excited about meeting so many people from so many different places and backgrounds. Hope I'm not boring you by writing all this. You're welcome to stop reading at any time :)

Well I think that's enough for one day, so I'll write again soon.

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