Settling In

So it’s been a little over two weeks since I arrived in S. Korea. It’s taken a bit to settle into the tight school schedule that I have, and to figure out the best way to manage my time, but I’d say I’m about settled in by now.

Learning Korean is harder than I thought it would be. I know that learning languages (especially ones that have a completely different alphabet) is hard, but I’ve always been good with languages. Now that I think about it, all those languages I’m good at using the Roman alphabet. That would explain why it’s harder this time around.

Korea itself is a beautiful place. Sun Moon University is located in Asan, which is about 53 miles away from Seoul. So it’s pretty much in the rural countryside. The closest big city is Cheonan, which is actually a lot bigger and important than I originally thought it was. I can thank Wikipedia for informing me.

There are many things that differ between America and Korea, a big one being the food. In America, I usually ate cereal, Hawaiian bread soaked in Postum (that stuff is good). Either way, my breakfast always included milk. In Korea, usually they have kimchi, rice, seaweed soup, and perhaps some sort of meat. That’s if you made time to eat breakfast. A more common, quick breakfast is bread. There are so many different types of bread to choose from, too. Some have red bean paste in it, others cream, some both; there’s the typical French-styled pastries as well (which have become a favorite of mine, as it reminds me most of home), and then just plain bread.

One staple in my life back in the States was milk. I drank milk with every meal and for snacks in between. It was the thing I consumed the most. Here, however, I’ve only had milk once or twice in the two weeks I’ve been here. There are multiple reasons for this. First off, it’s expensive. One small carton of milk (about the size of the typical lunchroom cartons) is around 1500 won (roughly $1.50), which I consider expensive (considering how we usually got two gallons of milk at Costco for around $5 (unless the price has risen since I last remember). Another thing is that milk tastes different here. I’m not sure why, but it tastes weird. Okay, not necessarily weird, but different. I’m going to have to get used to it (assuming I buy milk more often).

Oh! Another thing that intrigues me. I’ve heard of it before, because of my Korean dramas and kpop, but I’d never actually tried it. It’s called banana milk. Now, I was told by my roommates that it exists in America, but I’d never heard of it outside my little Korean world, let alone tried it. When I first tried it, it weirded me out. It tasted like milk… and bananas. XD I wasn’t sure if I liked it, either. It’s grown on me since. Another is strawberry milk. I didn’t like it nearly as much as the banana milk when I first tried it (however much I liked it at the time), and I haven’t had it since.

I’ve mostly been talking about food, and I could go on and on, but I’ll save that for later.

The university is really a nice place. It has the highest amount of foreign students out of all the universities in Korea. So I’ve seen quite a lot of foreigners. I haven’t had much time to explore the campus, but I’ve already found a favorite spot of mine to hang out during breaks, a.k.a. the roof.

So I’m not an expert on roofs, and I didn’t go to public school, but it was a foreign idea to me that you could go onto a roof, and it would be just like another floor of the building. (Okay, I experienced roofs like that when I was in Malta, but that’s beside the point.) I’d always seen in manga, anime, and live action dramas, how the cool kids, the troublemakers, or the loners (depending on the story) would hang out. I always thought it was so cool. So when I found out we could go onto the roof, I was thrilled. The first time I went up there, I felt like I was in a drama. I would LOVE to film something up there, make it look epic, and never show it to anyone but myself because it would be so embarrassing. Heh. Granted, the first time I went up there, I was a bit hesitant, ‘cuz I wasn’t sure if we were even allowed up there (thanks to my preconceptions from dramas and anime). But man, it is my favorite place. And that’s only the roof of the building I have classes in. I can’t wait to explore the roofs of the other buildings.

Anyways, it’s been a bit of a long post, and with no pictures, but that’ll change soon. I do have pictures, but they’re all really bad quality. I’m planning on visiting Seoul to get a nice DSLR camera for myself, so when I do get that, I’ll be able to do nice quality photos that I’d be happy to share. But for now, it’ll just be a big chunk of words.

So until next time!