Seoul

I’d like to take a minute to describe the city of Seoul in general. This description will be,I’m afraid, mediocre at best, since Seoul is simply way too large to be able to explore in 6 weeks. However my impression so far is that Seoul is a city thats turning into the next hot spot of the world. Everyday as I walk around Seoul, even near campus, buildings are being torn down and rebuilt, and new businesses are opening up. Still, Seoul is so large that one minute you can be walking down a part of the city that seems to replicate photos of downtown New York and then stumble into another part that may remind you of some old photos of Shanghai in the 1930s. Seoul has so much to do, no matter what kind of person you are. You could go to the ancient Gyeongbok Palace shop in the morning and then to Myeongdong in the afternoon, a sprawling section of Korea that is packed with people wanting to buy clothes, jewely, etc. Afterwards you could go to the fish market to try out all kinds of unique types of food, from shark to live octopus. After it gets dark, theres a place called Namsan Seoul Tower  that overlooks the city from the very center of Seoul. When it gets to be about 11 or 12 Gangnam and Hongdae are two of the most popular spots in Seoul. These two places are lit up at night from the lights on various restaurants, bars, or dakpogi stands (small stalls of streets food where you can sit and eat spicy rice cakes or corndogs.) In short, Seoul has so much that after my six weeks here, I hope to be able to come here again to study to explore the rest of this place.          -Warren

Arrival in Seoul,Korea (Yonsei University)

      Alright so this is my first time writing a blog so if I do something thats not right or is not the blog norm, please don’t blame me. This first week as been 5 days of blissful chaos. I arrived in the afternoon from Bejing and decided that Id try to take the subway to the place I was staying( P.S. the bus is better but I didn’t know about.) Anyways I arrived at my hotel, and decided to walk around a bit before I realized how bad my Korean really was. It’s something to get used to for sure, but I was able to buy myself some convenince store sushi and ramen. It was the next day when we were to set out on a 3 days field trip across Korea. I woke up and as I went to checkout I found 6 or so other foreign students floating around in the lobby trying to figure out how to get to the university. See their wide eyes in confusion, I decided to confront them and together we set off to try to find Yonsei. I had thankfully scoped out the ways before, and erroneously thought that walking with our luggage would be as easy as when I strolled to the place myself. Unfortunately as we took the underground tunnels the escalators had stopped and everyone had packed enough stuff for a year. And it was really bloody hot……Anyways we got there, went to orientation, and got onto four respective buses to set off to wherever they told us to go. Our tour guide started off with a story that made us all question her sexuality. She gave us all a story about some indonesian girl she met that gave her a gold ring to wear. I would confront her about this later but for now I was simply confused. Our first destination was a Korean folk village which mixed old Korean culture with modern vehicles and shops. Here we got to experience a masked dance, an ancient  wedding ceremony,ancient Korean drumming, and create Hanji(the create of special paper). all of this was fun but Im going to try to keep this blog entry relatively short since its my first one, so if you want details you can ask. Also, Im supposed to keep this blog clean so Ill leave out some of the inappropriate parts of this trip which you can also ask about it you want. So far though, everyone has gotten along with almost no problems, and it seems like everyone just wants to be friends. the atmospheres been great and I havent anyone up to this point I particuraly dislike. I know this blog is dry too but I really dont know what I should be doing to spice it up. Maybe Ill cut out some parts. Anyways Ill guess I should finish up now. After two days at the folk village, we went on to Magoska temple, a small buddhist shrine hidden within the backwoods of Korea. Although, simple and small it had a nice atmosphere of a place not seen by a large majority of eyes. Stream quietly crisscrossed between the temple building, only being able to be crossed by carefully placed stepping stones. It was after this temple, that I went up to our tour guide to ask if she was gay. I was direct with it, which caught her off guard, and she laughed into a no. Still I wasnt convinced but I guess I will never know. The next days we when to some palace in Seoul( I dont remember what it was called) that reminded me of a smaller, dirtier Forbidden City. Those have been my first days, I know its been boring so far, but my follow-up blogs should get better.   -Warren