Last Orientation, Korean Fried Chicken, and a Night Out in Hongdae {09/20/18}

09/20/18

On Thursday, I woke up a little bit before 7 to get ready for the day. We would be having our last Better World Orientation at their office around 9:45 in the morning. This meant waking up earlier to be able to take a shower and get there on time.

I ate breakfast with my host sisters and we both left the house at the same time— them for school and me to talk about culture, communication, and “How my week is going.” For breakfast that morning, we had chicken soup, rice, and more side dishes including 돈까스 {fried pork cutlet}, 오징어 {squid}, 김치 (Kimchi) and 오이김치 {cucumber kimchi}.

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Breakfast! (Already started eating before snapping the picture, sorry!)

When I got to 홍대 station, Liam was waiting there for someone to walk with him, so we ended up walking to the office together. We talked about Korean class and other awkward small talk topics.

We were like the 3rd and 4th NSLIYian to arrive so we had to sit and chat for a while. 9:45 came around and someone was missing… Josh!

민정쌤 told us that in Korean {friend} culture, when someone shows up to a plan late, the other people in the group often clap when they arrive and force them to do a punishment. We decided on dancing or singing along to a song!

When Josh walked in, we all stood up and clapped while he huffed and puffed from what I presume was him being out of breath because of running to the office.

He went to the front, onto the stage, and 민정쌤 played a Black Pink song. Josh starts dancing but it looks more like Jazzercise. It seems like he was doing jumping jacks and getting his steps in for the day! Everyone had their phone pulled out, Snapchat open, to write this moment down in history.

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Our orientation consisted of talking about how different Koreans and Americans communicate. We learned about the term high and low context cultures. High context cultures depend a lot on already established context like things done, none verbal communication like facial expressions and gestures. This can cause someone to often beat around the bush and come off to be passive aggressive.

On the other hand, low context cultures say everything directly with verbal communication. These people are usually very blunt and can come off as rude. They may not be able to pick up on hidden context.

We established that Korea {as are most Asian countries} is a country that follows high context culture, while Americans {often} follow low context culture.

After that lesson, we went on to look at some host school case studies—commonly had problems— and how to solve them. They revolve around feeling lonely in class, getting yelled at for doing Korean homework, and such.

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We were supposed to have a cultural activity on Saturday together, but the rain made Better World Reschedule. They decided to show this to us through pictures on their slide show! XD

Once that was over, we were free for lunch! Better World wouldn’t be taking us out for lunch but this day was covered by the lunch stipend we received last week.

I sat by Kaitlyn during the orientation and kept telling her that I was craving fried chicken, in particular… Kyochon Fried Chicken. I told her that we should eat lunch together. At the end of the orientation, everyone was asking where others were going for lunch and Kaitlyn just said, “Emma wants Chicken.” And then it was decided. We would ALL {yup, all 16 of us} eat fried chicken. I kind of remember where the building was {but I was not gonna trust my two-year-old, rusty memory map}, so I used Kakao maps to guide our way.

It was farther than I remembered and I soon found out why; they had changed location. Everyone was complaining about being hungry or “lost” but I was like just wait, guys! I know what I am doing~

Eventually, we made it! 5 minutes till opening which was perfect because the whole restaurant was empty. We were able to sit all 16 of us at three tables in the back on the second floor.

I sat with Kaitlyn, Katie, Liam, Jacquelyn, and McKenzie. We ended up getting an order of the red original chicken {spicy} and the honey original chicken {my favorite}. It was delicious! Even more than what I remembered {probably cause I was so hungry}. I ate so much and was totally stuffed after.

After we finished eating, Katie and I tried to exchange money at the bank (Keyword: TRIED). We walked into a 신한은행 {Shinhan Bank} but realized we had no idea how to say anything relating to exchanging money in Korean. With no source of WiFi, we left real quick.

{Luckily, I learned the word to exchange in class today! I am currently writing this on the subway on my way home from class. 환전하다 means to exchange (money)}

I think Katie and I will try our luck again next week Thursday or Friday {After the 추석 holidays are over}. These two days are the last weekdays before high school starts so we will have to wait for the weekend if we don’t get it done then!

Class today wasn’t terribly bad. Yes, there were moments where I was completely lost. Yes, I filled three pages of my notebook with words I didn’t know. However, I talked more than I usually do! I gave extra information in my example sentences just for the heck of it! And, I tried my best to add to the conversation as much as possible.

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The Better World Staff gifted us some traditional Korean candy and snacks they received as 추석 presents. Here is Josh trying to eat one of them! 

After class, I decided to get dinner with some of the NSLI-Y students. It was the first time I wasn’t having dinner with my host family since the start of the program, but I texted my host mom during lunch to let her know. Jacquelyn really wanted 짜장면 (Black Bean Noodles), so she found a highly recommended place and we TRIED finding it. She pulled it up on Naver Maps, but it was still a lost cause– we trekked all over and could not find it. We then gave up and sat down at a Meat restaurant but left as soon as we sat down. We found out that each person had to order a serving of meat but a lot of people were not feeling too hungry or up for meat. We kept walking and decided to just grab some dinner at a convenience store. Honestly, I was happy; I was kind of craving 김밥 lately. We got our food and sat outside along the walkway, eating our dinner and chatting. It was actually really nice~

After eating Hunter, Harmony, June, and Alix left cause their commutes were pretty far. That left Kaitlyn, Addie, Jacquelyn, and me to hunt for some dessert. We all wanted 빙수 (Korean shaved ice dessert) originally but the place we tried first only had personal bowls— no sharing permitted. Then, the second place we went to… their story was their machine was broken! After that, our 빙수 dreams were shattered. We kept on walking, trying to get our sweet tooth craving in, and eventually discovered a tiramisu place. I wasn’t feeling cake, and I don’t think I like Tiramisu very much, so I didn’t get anything. But the cafe was really cute inside and the cakes were not on plates but in cups, instead! It was quite unique! Jacquelyn got the original flavor while Addie got earl gray. I definitely would have eaten one but I didn’t want to spend $6 on it. #savingthatstipend

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Me, Jacquelyn, Addie, and Kaitlyn!

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The fun part of my night ended like that, the rest was spent agonizing over workbook sheets, my presentation on 추석, and studying for a grammar quiz.

I went to bed at 1:30 am that night working on my presentation. I broke out my American snacks for the late night study session. I’ll have to ask my mom to send more!

Thanks for reading! Follow my blog for more like this~

  • Emma 엠마

 

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