Unlimited Shabu Shabu, Buskers, Dairy Queen, & Costco! {09/28/18} NSLI-Y AY

09/28/18

I heard rustling in the kitchen: utensils clattering and bowls being scraped. I heard muffled tired groans and the front door being closed several times. I decided to sleep in this morning because I really wanted the extra hour, so I didn’t eat breakfast with my host family. Though, I did hear them doing their daily routine. Once everyone left the house, I stirred awake and jumped out of my bed. {I mean literally though since my bed is lofted. I literally jumped off rather than using the built-in stairs.}

I prepared my breakfast quickly from what was left out on the table. I grabbed a bowl and filled it up with the soup sitting on the stove and some rice from the rice cooker— I figured out how to open it once again. While eating, I FaceTimed one of my best friends back home for about 1.5 hours. We hadn’t really talked in two weeks since I arrived in Korea {This does not include talking through Snapchat videos and text messages}. I caught her up with my life while she did the same. She was coming back to our hometown for our high school homecoming football game and reuniting with other friends in our friend group. My heart hurt a bit while hearing this; I would have loved to go as well— not to watch the game or anything… but to be with them.

After our conversation, I got ready for the day. I was really taking in the last weekday morning I would have to wake up at a decent hour and relax. Starting next week, it was back to school for me!

On the agenda today was a birthday celebration for Jacquelyn and Hunter. We planned to meet at this unlimited Shabu Shabu place at 1 pm. It was located under one of the 홍대 subway exits. Luckily, we were able to get 15 of us to come! Unfortunately, McKenzie wasn’t feeling well so she didn’t come with. I hope that we can somewhat continue to get the majority of us out to do things at least once or twice month… I would really like that.

At the Shabu Shabu place, I sat with Kaitlyn and Katie. I know I know.. I should be sitting with new people so I can get close to other people on the program. I will try that from now on~ It is just so easy to stick with what you know, right?

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I have never really eaten Shabu Shabu before so I was like “Kaitlyn, take the reins of this operation!” It was an all you can eat lunch, so we piled on the food. We had 소고기 (beef), 칼국수 (a type of noodles), 콩나물 (bean sprouts), 두부 (tofu), 떡 (rice cake), and a variety of other things. They even had this 포섯건장 (fried mushrooms) thing that was delicious! I ate way too many…

After we finished filling up on the savory meal, we went straight to dessert all though our full bellies were begging us not to try to stuff them more. The restaurant had its own self-serve 빙수 (Korean style shaved ice)!!! We had to take advantage of that.

Kaitlyn and I collaborated to make a 빙수 masterpiece! We loaded on condensed milk, chocolate chips, 인절미 ice cream, and a chocolate cookie to top it all off.

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Once we all stuffed our stomachs to near explosion, we split off to do different things. One group of us decided to go to 이대 and study/ work on college applications in a cafe while the other half of us decided to walk around 홍대 {shopping/window shopping}. We planned to get some kind of dessert for the birthday girls.

Jacquelyn took us to this building with lots of these photo sticker booths inside. I have always wanted to try them! I didn’t get a chance to last time I was in Korea! So Kaitlyn and I & Liam and Jacquelyn took some photos and they turned out so cute! And it was also very crazy because although we didn’t see what each other were doing, we ended up picking the same photo background and doing the same poses in three out of the four photos!

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While we were walking around the main streets of 홍대 near exit 9, we ran into this Kpop band called The Rose busking. Though I am not up to date with everything that is Kpop, I have listened to The Rose in the past because they are an actual band and play the style of music I really like. We got there pretty late, so there was already a circular wall of fangirls surrounding the group. I couldn’t see anything. Luckily, Liam is very tall so his arm extended was higher than anyone’s heads or phones— so I could see a bit from his phone camera.

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Then a handful of us got bored so we left to watch these dancing buskers. There was this one guy that came up to Liam and was like “Hey Pink Brother! 핑크형!” I couldn’t help but laugh! Liam was all like “Bruh I’m definitely younger why is he calling me that?” Jacquelyn goes, “because you are white.”

We watched them perform and try to pull Liam from the audience to dance. Oh, I could have stayed there and watched him try to convince Liam all day. They were successful with one foreign girl; she danced to Twice’s TT. She did a pretty good job!

After our busker watching session, we left to try to find Dairy Queen. Many of us thought this was a myth— that there was no Dairy Queen in 홍대. We even asked one of the tourist guides wearing all red; he had no idea. However, Liam was adamant about going to DQ so we went on an excursion to find it!

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And we actually did! I was so surprised, to be honest. It was called DQ: Grill & Chill. We originally planned to get an ice cream cake but everyone was pretty full from lunch still so we instead just got individual ice creams. I paid for Hunter’s because the birthday girl should never pay!

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I ordered a Green Tea Oreo Blizzard because I wanted to get something I wouldn’t be able to find in America. And it was very delicious— Oreo and green tea are an excellent combination. I was too excited to eat it; therefore, I don’t have a picture… but I bet I’ll be back. The prices were really good~

After Dairy Queen, I decided to head home so that I could come home somewhat early? Because of Korean classes, I haven’t been able to get home earlier than 7pm!

When I made it home, one of my host sisters immediately ran up to me and told me to put down my bag. She said that we’re going to blah blah and eating dinner there. I was so confused by what she said and didn’t understand where we were going until I watched my host dad put it into the car GPS: we were going to Costco! In Korea!

When I walked into the huge building I realized that looked pretty similar to the ones in America. I felt a sense of “home” if you will when I did walk in because I saw Christmas decorations everywhere. At Costco, half of the products are American or foreign while the other half are Korean products. They also had the Costco general brand Kirkland! But the best similarity {I bet most can agree with me on this one} was that there were free samples being given out.

My host family and I just walked around to each table getting free samples: chocolate coins, fish, bacon, cheese, etc.

We mostly came to Costco, I later found out, to buy Halloween candy and gifts for a 집들이 {house warming party}. I was excited to see the Halloween candy but when we got to that tiny aisle, I realized that none of the candy was American or would be given out for American Halloween. The closest were bags of Halloween shaped pretzels but that is just a fake treat. Where were the Twix bars? The Kit Kats? The Jolly Ranchers? It was a cute display, though. I guess the thought was there and to people who never experienced Halloween before, it was probably up to their expectations.

We ate dinner at Costco. My host fam bought a huge pizza and these 불고기 and cheese filled bread baguette looking things? I think they were called Bakes? They were so good though! I would eat it again.

At home, I just hung out with my host family and did some of my homework. I worked on a new Quizlet and started the workbook pages. I also edited some blog posts and scheduled them to be posted next month. I am happy to say that I’ve been really good at being up to date on my blog posts~ I’ve been trying really hard to write one every single day. {or catching up on a second one when I’ve had a busy day}

That’s all for this blog post~ I hope you enjoyed! I’m so happy it’s the weekend now~ I can relax and have some final fun before school starts on Monday!!! AHHHH Actually, I am really excited while also simultaneously wanting to scream 24/7. This is going to be fun~

  • Emma 엠마
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