... and you turn 20

Monday, 5 January 2015

It was the end of the Korean Intermediate Book 4, which meant I was to move on to Advanced Book 1. It all seemed so fast, and so surreal to me still, as I recall the day I first stepped into Korea, knowing that I was to spend the next 5 years of my life in this country that I would now call home. I only knew how to read words (without understanding) and would take at least a few minutes to read a short sentence. The only few phrases I knew were 'hello', 'thank you' and 'where is this?' and the only one sentence I learned (for the fun of it) was '저는 박지연의 남자친구입니다'. And bam, here I am, almost a year down the road, I can speak (though of course not as fluently) but I can at least understand 60% of what Koreans say most of the time. I can converse however it takes time for me to remember my vocabulary, enough to construct my sentences.

Anyway, we took the weekend to go to Seoul; to visit Seoul National University, since we heard that it's humungous and she wanted to check out her school, know the different locations of the buildings (especially the dormitory and her faculty). Took the bus down to Seoul and then the metro. Made a pit stop at Ewha and Sinchon to get something from Yonsei before heading down to Seoul National University.

The school can be pretty confusing to get to when you're going there for the first time, because apart from the fact that there's another station with (almost) the same name, you might already get off at the wrong station. Then after which, you need to get out at the correct exit, then take certain shuttle buses that goes to certain parts of the school. Just by that, you can imagine how vast the school is.

Well, we didn't know better, and there were 3 different bus stops for the SNU shuttle buses, so we just queued and took the one that came the earliest. We got off where the majority got off, found the campus guide map and then just made our way towards the Engineering faculty (by foot)

Might I say, it was immensely tiring and walking upslope is no joke. After like an hour of walking, we couldn't find the Computer Science faculty building so we started asking some students that we saw walking around. A lot of them said they weren't sure and pointed us toward the tallest building in SNU. When I say TALLEST, it doesn't just mean the building was TALL, but it was situated on a TALL HILL, which made it the tallest in the school. The slope was steep and the sky was darkening on us.

Don't look that steep here but trust me D:

After which, we went into the building, looked around and found out that her course, is actually in that building, on the 16th floor (only). Then after which, we looked around somemore and found out that many people were actually still there studying or doing projects (at 8pm, on a Saturday) and then we left and headed back to Cheonan. Quite an eye-opener trip. Had to take a bus from the building to the main entrance of the school, then change buses to another one that brought us to the train station.

Though, I have to say, for an old school (specifically the oldest university in Korea), it's really beautifully situated together with nature, and there're a lot of nice scenery that you can see along the way. Though, in exchange for beauty, you often pay the price of solidarity. It's isolated from the city, and you have to take the bus to get out of the school for some nice food.


In preparation for the birthday, I decided to do a video as a present. With the help of the talented Kiyo, we took a video together with Nicole and Keila, lip-syncing to the song "Count On Me" by Bruno Mars. We also added in birthday messages by the ones closest to her and her favourite teachers too. The following are the photos we took along the way while making the video.

If you want to see the video.... it's at the bottom of the post, but please read through the rest of the post because it's not that boring :P Over the other weekend, we made a plan to go to Seoul to watch the Pikachu March. If you don't know what this is, you can read more here: http://www.seoulsync.com/event/seoul-pikachu-parade-comes-dongdaemun-design-plaza

It started in Japan, and upon hearing that it was coming to Seoul, we made plans to go to Seoul, watch it and take some photos and then finally go have some good dinner at Itaewon (이태원), the girls went to have Thai food while Kiyo and I went to satiate our beef craving with some glorious all-you-can-eat buffet at Copacabana Grill (Brazilian Grilled Beef)

Something disappointing, we tried to watch the 2pm show, but got cancelled because of the huge crowd (or maybe some technical problems) and then waited for the 3pm show, but was told that all the shows on that day were to be cancelled (because there were too many people and they weren't prepared enough to have the Pikachus coming out again) And thus, the disheveled and disgruntled us just left Dongdaemun (동대문) and went over to Itaewon (이태원) to have our dinner.

Though we had buffet, Kiyo and I ended our dinner much faster than the girls, and took some time going around Itaewon (이태원) taking street photos (of ourselves and of others). It's pretty fun doing photo walks and such with other photographers because as much as you're taking photos of them and other people, at least you have some photos taken of you.

One thing that I've realized having photographer friends and having picked up photography, is that when you're the one providing photos of others, you usually don't have much nice photos of yourself to upload on Facebook, let alone profile pictures. Or even if you do, it's usually group pictures or selfies. So I'm deeply grateful to Kiyo and Pimon, for taking such nice photos or me that I can use as profile pictures ^_^


Finally, you're almost at the end of the post so you can view the video hahaha. Anyway, it was the day of her birthday so we went to eat ice cream cake at Baskin Robbins. Since the beginning, she's been talking about having a cake for her birthday. I went over to BR to make an early reservation, but they mentioned that they do not do reservations and promised me that there would definitely be that cake available on the day itself. To my dismay, when we went there, the cake WASN'T there. (Talk about crappy customer service and empty promises).

However, we just settled for this one instead, it doesn't have as much flavors as the other one, and looks more like a Christmas cake than a birthday one at that. But anyway, it had a lot of chocolate flavor and on top of that fudge, so I guess as long as she's happy, I'm happy.

Believe this, we sat in the shop and finished half the cake in one sitting -_- What a fattening day. Then after that we packed the rest and went back to the dormitory. The video was released to her via Facebook the night before and I was able to Skype and observe her expression as she uncovered the video, and then realized that her roommate (Nicole) was also in the video!

The happy birthday girl with her cake

And without further ado...



Till next time~

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