Saturday, 11 September 2010

Day 4 in Seoul

It is Day 4... and has been raining almost continuous for the past 2 days. Yesterday was DARN HEAVY... makes me feel like staying in and not going anywhere!

I checked out my school the day before and the bus journey was toturous!

No doubt the bus ride IS convenient, directly outside my place and stops about 10 mins walk from school, but it's way too long and took 1.5hrs to get to school (still not factoring in the possible peak hour jam - which i suspect is pretty close to the CTE jams in Singapore!)

The train option on the other hand takes only 32 mins, but walking distance in total adds up to 35 mins from my house to hongik station and from cheonyangi station to school... yes.... total time taken to walk is even longer than sitting train! But still, this option is more reliable, no jam + takes only slightly more than an hour to get to school... If i think positively, it means 1hr 10mins worth of walking (to & fro) - consider it exercise - afterall, i need to work off those kimchi, bibimbaps, tteopokki etc.

My test placement test was a diaster... i initially thought i had a pretty good foundation (since i have self-studied for a good 1 year in S'pore), but i guess that's not true. LOLs... i did however manage to make it directly to class 1B instead of starting all over from the bottom...

Reality is setting in and i AM going to have to start "mugging" to make this trip worth it!... "FIGHTING!"

Wonder if it is the weather or it is just me....but i have been feeling a little melancholy.... i guess it is a mix of missing home + not having many friends to hang out with here... Though i am living with very nice Korean housemates... they are kinda "workaholics"... start work in the morning say 10am and only return home after 12 mn... one of them only returns after 2am... it is like... HUH? And i thought those overtime workers in Singapore who work till 10 - 11pm daily were considered "lifeless"... it is worst here! Another one of them, does not work full time, but she sleeps really late and wakes up really late too.... so, out "meeting time" is really random...

By the time i sleep, they wont be home yet, but when i wake up, they have either already left for work / or are still sleeping.... well, i hope this is only seasonal...

Like i was saying... this weather just makes me so sleepy and lethargic, but i had to just push my butt out and go out to explore. What is the point of staying indoors in a foreign land, i can do that at home (as in Singapore!)...Therefore, despite the dislikeable rain... off i went!

Being on my own and having no plans in mind since i have settled my schooling stuff...First thing was to head to Myeongdong's M Plaza... I heard there are fun traditional arts and craft that you can get involved in...and that one could find out tourist information i thought, why not just kill time by going there... i thought it was just another place... but it is THE place! Especially for foreigners like me who have no plans and dunno where to go!

The customer service team was superb! They wore a smile throughout and had representative for each foreign language so language was not a barrier at all... it felt like home! :) They would "educate" you on the places you wish to go, how to get there and when is the best time to go there... They are almost like an agent, just that they are all-rounded, they will call the places you wish to visit on your behalf to make appointments, get the opening/closing hours, cost fee EVERYTHING... I should have called them when i was planing my accommodation earlier, that way, i wouldn't have worried so much! :P

The arts teacher was a fine and friendly lady who was just ready to teach anyone who came to class... the trip was well-worth it despite the wet shoes and bulky umbrella... hahaha

I am now so inspired to plan for my "self-tour" in Seoul after this visit to M plaza.... And i think big part of that reason is because i know now that i have a reliable "information counter" that will be able to help me check on things i am unsure about and even make bookings on my behalf...without charges and no strings attached... it's so cool! (Although i do have a pretty good Korean friend, i just didn't what to add pressure to her and make her feel obliged to help me as she has already helped alot so far!)

It is really unlike me to NOT make plans for my time in Seoul... but i do think it is pretty fun to just "take one step at a time"... Play when you feel like, sleep when you feel like, eat when you feel like and not have restrictions/control... of course, certain extent of discipline should be mantained - like, you dont sleep the whole day or eat the whole day, this will be called being aimless and that is losing control - everything should be in moderation...

So, after class, i just walked about Myeongdong, observing the people around... working class, dating, students etc... what they wore, who seemed to hang out with who... etc... this people-watching is fun! You begin to realise that people everywhere are the same... Whether in Seoul or Singapore... they are all making a living and trying to enjoy their life... hang out with their loved ones... have fun, eat and play... Some may have big dreams, or some may have small simple ones... but whatever they have, they just LIVE...

Walking to nowhere is really quite a fun thing... Although i do fear not being able to find my way back, i just wanted to trust my intuition and walk on without knowing where i am headed for... i bump into unkind restaurants who turned my down was i asked for a table for 1... and i bump into kind souls who help point me the right way to the right place... I guess, life is like that. its a bet... only if you venture into unknown, will you find valuable memories and experiences...staying too focused can actually blind you at times...

I should better turn in for the night... will post pictures soon!

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