Thursday, December 29, 2011

June 27, 2011 I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane!! Goodbye Korea!!

The dreaded day has finally come. :-(  Yes I've missed the internet, my cell phone, friends, and family but not yet!!! I can't leave already!  지현 Jihyeon took me and 할아버지 to a 갈비 kalbi/super good Korean beef restaurant.

Another sad part was since 할아버지 grandpa had to go to work back down south west, he pretty much left without saying goodbye.  :-(  I think it's because he knows he'll see me again for Jeanie's wedding but still!  I was sad.  지현 Jihyeon dropped me off and I went to go park.  She told me to wait but I had to go since my flight was leaving in an hour!  We got there a little late and I was nervous.  As much as I love Korea, I couldn't be stuck here.  I had to go home.  I wasn't able to contact her where I was in the airport since I didn't have the cell phone anymore.  When you don't have a cell phone, it's super scary and add a foreign country....ah!!  I was able to find where I needed to check in and 지현 Jihyeon found me.

Can I just say I love Korea's airport?  It really is the best.  They're so fast, know English with a smile, and are respectful.  It's also nice here too.  It's no wonder it's ranked #1 in the world.  After I checked in, I went to go through security and they said that my carry on was too heavy.  This freaked me out because I'm running late and I need to bring everything back.  I went back to check in and they just put it with my other suitcase and I was off to go.  Wow, they're smart.  I said goodbye to 지현 Jihyeon and I was on my way to home.

I think they had better food on the plane ride to Korea but it was still good.  I felt more tired on the plane ride home since it was always dark outside.  Since I'm flying west, it's like that.  The passenger next to me was very nice and he went to Korea on a backpacking trip with some friends and we ended up talking for many hours.

Ok, I hate the San Francisco airport service.  It's terrible.  They're employees are rude.  I had a hard time putting my suitcase on the conveyor belt for security and the security guard just stared at me, wouldn't help me, and said, "Use gravity to push it up."  What's that supposed to mean?  I'm trying to do my job and you're not helping me out.  You're holding up the line because you won't help me.  You have to check my bag anyways so why won't you do your job properly?  Grrr...... And oh domestic tiny you are......

I got home safely in one piece as well as my luggage.  At first I couldn't find it but I guess it came before our flight and they put it in lost and found so I got it.  It was so good to see the family.  Minus Jeanie though since she's still in Fiji.  Wow, America or at least Utah, is soo different than Korea.  There's not as many lights compared to Korea or high buildings.  Wow, how did my mother survive all these years?  How did I?

When I got home, this awaited for me.  Awww....I just love my family.  I miss Korea and it's good to be home.  Wow, what an incredible journey this has been!

June 24-26, 2011 Back to 할아버지!!

As much as I was excited to go back to 할아버지 grandpa, I was sad to leave Shawn's.  Even though I couldn't do much there for being sick, I have loved everyone I have stayed with.  지현 Jihyeon picked me up and we drove for a while to 남양주 Namyangju where I stayed the first time.  It was so good to see 할아버지 grandpa again!

Sadly, I haven't been able to do much with him.  He can't speak English and so it's still hard to communicate what we could do.  지현 Jihyeon can't take us anywhere since she's busy with work.  He really wanted me to meet my cousin 채연 Chaeyeon but she lives in 서울 Seoul and we're both not sure how to get there.  So 할아버지 grandpa has been frustrated lately.

We all went to 포천 Pocheon where my 할머니 grandmother's grave is.  This place is beautiful and so green!

It's my last day here in Korea!! :-(  I got to do so much and it's been life changing.  Every stress, tear, worry, anxiety has been worth it.  I could spend a few more months here honestly.  I'm really sad to go back.  I do miss my family and friends but Korea, you will always be in my heart.  I can never truly express how grateful I am for the experience.  My heart is overflowing with joy and happiness for everything.

June 21-23, 2011 Shawn's House

I feel so bad for Shawn's mother.  Here you are hosting someone from America and they show up to your house sick the whole time.  I couldn't sleep very well for a couple reasons:

1. I'm sick and so I'm running from my bedroom to the bathroom.
2. It's the beginning of the rainy season and so it's very damp and humid. It's so humid you can feel it inside.  Yuck.

I sat in my bed all day and studied and watched dramas.  I couldn't do much.  I couldn't even eat or I would feel sick.  Even the smell of food made me nauseous.  It's not the food but when you're sick, everything is sensitive.  I guess I got sick at the right time because when it's the rainy season, it's hard to do anything.  Could you imagine summer where you're supposed to be playing outside, enjoying the weather, and instead it's raining the whole time. Bummer. There wasn't any good dramas uploaded or being shown right now so that was another bummer.

I felt a little better the next day but I couldn't stand or walk for a long time or I would get nauseous.  They took me shopping at a department store but it was difficult since I would get nauseous.  Wow, I guess it takes some strength to go shopping haha.  Then Shawn and I went to see "Green Lantern" at the movie theater. I felt better during the movie.  I think it's because I got to sit down, relax, and just watch a movie where it doesn't take much thinking.  But somehow shopping does.....?  Beats me!  But wow, "Green Lantern" was awesome!  I love Ryan Reynolds!  While we were waiting for the movie to start, I saw the funniest commercial!  I couldn't stop laughing.  I love Korea and their commercials.

Here's a better quality version

It's still raining and it feels really humid.  I love the rain but wow, it feels like you will never dry up.  I feel like I can a bit more now.  I can eat anything that has a strong smell.  So x-ay on Korean food.  :-(  I did more or less the same thing as two days ago.  Study, sleep, watch dramas, repeat.  Way to celebrate or soak up the last week here in Korea huh?

Friday, December 9, 2011

June 20, 2011 청와대, 북한산, 남대문시장, 멀리

Only one more week left!  :-(  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today started out as a good day and then it went downhill.  You're thinking how could things go wrong in a wonderful place like Korea?  Today was the day.  It was extremely hot.  You wait outside for 3 minutes and you're sweating.  I'm not from a humid place so it was harder for me.  재원 Jaewon was so nice to take me around today again out of her busy schedule.  She doesn't get days off and so for her to take time out of her schedule is a huge blessing.  Benjamin was still in town so we met up and Jonathan Wright from Korean class came to visit for a few weeks and so we all met up.  재원 Jaewon kindly bought us lunch and then we wanted to see 청와대 Cheongwadae/The Blue House which is Korea's version of the White House and it's where the President of Korea lives.  We saw the outside briefly because it's heavily guarded by security and so we couldn't get close.

File:Korea-Seoul-Blue House (Cheongwadae) Reception Center 0688&9-07 cropped.jpg

It's called 청와대 Cheongwadae/The Blue House because the roof tiles are blue.  Go figure!  It literally means "pavillion of blue tiles."  We hiked this place called 북한산 Bukhansan (boo-kahn-sahn) Bukhan Mountain but not all the way since it was really hot.  It's a major landmark for hiking, bird watcing, and rock climbing.  It was so hot outside that our cold water bottles were boiling.  Ugh..... As we were walking around and enjoying the scenery, I wasn't feeling too well but I thought that it was just the heat and that I was uncomfortable. 






I wanted to check out 남대문시장 Namdaemunsijang/South Gate market.  Man, I love street shopping.  You don't see a lot back home so it was refreshing.  I loved the fruit on sticks they would sell.  Big chunks of watermelon and pineapple along with other fruits looked even more amazing because of the heat. 

Cute little 한복!!

What on earth does that mean??  I think they're trying to say "FITS ALL 16" KIDS" but do you know of any 16" kids?? 

I said goodbye to Benjamin and Jonathan since I was leaving tonight to go to Shawn's house (he was a neighbor of mine back home and he's in Korea now).  I loved 재원 Jaewon and her family so much.  They've treated me so well here.  Already, I've built wonderful memories with them.  Just last night, we were all eating dinner together and 재원 Jaewon's youngest child can speak with an American accent really well and I mean really well.  I was so surprised.  He would say English words that most Koreans would have trouble pronouncing correctly.  So 재원 Jaewon's husband would say an English word with his best American accent and then the son would say it.  Of course, because he's younger, the son was better. As they kept trying it out, they asked me, "Julianne, who's better?"  I didn't want to make 재원 Jaewon's husband lose face so I just said, "I need to eat my dinner" and that set it off.  They were laughing HYSTERICALLY at that.  They couldn't stop laughing and thought that was so witty and clever.  I'm going to miss them so much.  It's with every family I've been with here, including the study abroad family.  I grow attached to them and love them so much.  Each of them have sacrificed so much for me to be here.  Especially 재원 Jaewon, it was so great.  Getting to be your mom's best friend is really neat. 

재원의 가족 Jaewon's family!

Now it's time to go to 성남시 Seongnam!  But then trouble hit.  As we were driving, I felt really sick and my stomach was killing me.  We pulled over and man explaining what's wrong with you when you're sick really sucks if you can't explain it properly in another language.  재원 Jaewon and her husband thought I needed to go to the hospital but it wasn't that bad to go to the hospital.  Sure, I felt like dying but not to the extent of going to the hosptial.  If you know how I deal with sickness or pain, you know I'm telling the truth.  I got some fresh air as we pulled over and they made me do some stretching exercises.....Haha interesting but it helped a bit.  We finally reached Shawn's house.  It's a good thing it's the closest city to 서울 Seoul or I would have been miserable.  When I got to his house, it hit me again.  I sat by the toilet for hours and during the middle of the night I made frequent trips.....Way to put a damper on the last week in Korea.  I feel bad for Shawn's mom.  She's so generous to let me in her home and now she's taking care of a sick person.  :-(

Thursday, November 17, 2011

June 19, 2011 교회

For Sunday, I went to 재원 Jaewon's church.  They're not LDS and attend a Christian church.  However, they don't all go to the same meetings or church.  해경 Hye Kyung told me that as long as they go to a Christian church it's ok.  Inside I thought that was sad.  That's a big part of church back home is attending church with your family.  Because the rest of the family left to go sing in the choir, I went to church with 해경 Hae Kyung.  We took a bus to downtown and attended Jesus Christ Family church.  I've never been to another church but you've seen church services in movies before. 

Well, it seemed to me like a Catholic service just from what I've seen in movies but maybe I don't know enough.  They sing a lot of hymns, hymns I've never heard of in my life.  I couldn't understand the Bible they had either because I don't know religious vocabulary.  I thought church meetings were hard already when we went to the LDS services but another religion is even harder.  You hardly know the language to understand the religion.  The minister talked for hours.  Yes, hours.  Usually we have speakers and sometimes that can be hard to sit through but because I've never been to a service like this before, it was extremely difficult to sit through.  I can relate to foreigners when they come to church now. 

After the first service, they served everyone lunch at the meeting.  I met some of 해경 Hae Kyung's church friends and it was a little scary at first because they looked at me like I knew what was going on and knew how to communicate well.  It intimidated me that I kept very quiet and only talked if they asked me a simple question.  I tried to answer the best I could with the Korean language skill I've acquired but man it would be so much better if I knew more.  해경 Hae Kyung said people can attend as many or little services as they want.  If you want to attend all, it finishes at 7:00.  Wow.....if we thought 3 hour church was something, going to church services until 7:00 is  And that's what we did!  해경 Hae Kyung helps out with the primary and little children.  They sing songs and teach the children Bible lessons.  Holy cow, can those kids sing.....scream!  I wondered if I would be able to hear afterwords but because they're so cute I didn't care. 

I met the minister of the children and the lesson today was about stealing and how it breaks the 10 commandments.  I got to talk to the minister a little bit and he asked about my religion (this is all in Korean so it felt pretty cool) and I told him but I didn't stop there.  When Dr. Peterson talked to us about different religions and missionary work, I shared with him that I've never attended a different church than my own but I could find many similarities between our religions (which there were) and that they have treated me so well and made me feel welcome.  I told him I was especially grateful because that is what our church does or strives to do.  I think they were surprised by my response because I don't think they've ever heard anyone share something like that with them.  I knew "someone" was with me the whole time because I could feel the Spirit at times and I felt safe.  No I didn't feel that complete peace but a little portion was there. 

Haha you know how foreigners are when they have to introduce themselves in front of everyone and it's always a bit awkward?  Well, been there and done that today.  It's uncomfortable a bit and I can see why they feel lonely.  Even though I know I'm going home soon, imagine what it would be like for an immigrant?  I felt scared and confused if 해경 Hae Kyung wasn't in the same room or building because when you're new, you need a friend.  There's something about it that it's always better to have a friend in everything.  I prefer to be alone and work alone on many things but even I recognize that there are situations and moments you need someone else by your side.  I'm so grateful for 해경 Hae Kyung and letting me accompany her everywhere.

June 18, 2011 전쟁기념관, Gallery Chezart, Dinner with the Family

재원 Jaewon took me to the 전쟁기념관 War Memorial of Korea which was great because I haven't visited it yet and many of the others on the study abroad visited it already.  I don't know if it's just me but I swear, all of the 할머니들(grandmas) and 할아버지들 (grandpas) hang out here and anything historic.  It was an incredible memorial.  Even the outside architecture was beautiful.

They saved many things so they could display anything war-related in the museum. 


The quote in the next 3 pictures I found to be very interesting.  I think it adds something more to the museum.  Whatever your political opinions are of war, I thought this was interesting.


North Korean torpedo that killed over 150 South Koreans last year on 전안 Cheonan.

I thought this was sweet.  This is a big rope and it represents the struggles and twists Korea has faced but the light above is a beacon of hope.

Turtle ship

재원 Jaewon took me to lunch at this cafe restaurant called Chezart by the memorial.  It was very metropolitan.  They had pieces of artwork hanging and waiting to be hung.  They had a baby grand piano with a live musician (you know what I mean, I don't mean to sound dumb with a "live musician".  Of course, they're living but not a CD).  It was so darling and I'm so grateful for her time and work in making me have a good time here.

We went back inside the museum to look around and found the funniest thing.  These kids were drawing "팥빙수" but it looked like, and yes I just went there, poo.  재원 Jaewon and I couldn't stop laughing.

Here's some more parts of the museum:

Isn't this suit sweet?

Someone wanted to get married the traditional Korean way outside.

So good.

I love Korean children!  Kyaaaa!

I also love good looking Korean men haha

After the museum, we went shopping in 명동 Myeongdong which I've decided is my favorite shopping place besides the luxury stores.  I bought some BB Cream since it's the huge craze here and in Asia.  Korea is the only maker of it so floods of Asians and Europeans have been coming here to get some.  Hey why not join them?  I'm not going to lie, it takes me by surprise when people of different nationalities speak Korean because it's so unique.  No one besides people from New Zealand and a few from America have been able to convey the Korean accent very good.  Well, as I was shopping, a more fair skinned man was ringing me up for makeup and was speaking to me in Korean (duh) but it was really good.  I asked him if he was from Turkey or Kazakhstan because I've seen quite a few of them from there here but he was from (I know this is sad but I can't remember) the Middle East (I think he said Afhanistan). 

After shopping, we went out to dinner with the rest of the family and 혜경 Hye Kyung, 재원 Jaewon's oldest daughter came from 수원 Suwon (where she's attending college) and she's very good at English.  She's focusing much of her studies on English and she's very good.  After dinner, I realized that I didn't prepare a house gift for her family so I went to the store with 혜경 Hye Kyung to pick up some treats.  It's always important that you bring gifts to a host family (I'm a bad girl!  How could I let something like that slip??) When we got home, we watched "Beastly" and although we all laughed a bit inside because there were some corny parts, the part that was hilarious was a segment in the movie when the main guy pretends to be watching TV and Vanessa Hudgens calls him out because he wasn't really watching TV.  The TV program was in Korean that he was watching!!  He said he was learning Korean and she asked him what they were saying and he didn't know.  Confidently, Vanessa Hudgens answered it.  Haha we laughed so hard at the part more than any other part because not only was it clever and witty the conversation they had but the Korean took us by surprise that it would peep up in a movie such as this or at all.

I love this family so much.  I can tell my mom surrounded herself by good friends and good people.  Honestly, I think I've surrounded myself around people because of the gospel and so to choose good friends I think is very difficult without the gospel so it's amazing that my mom and her friends had that wisdom.  I think it's blessed their lives.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

June 17, 2011 Our Separate Ways/Last Day of Study Abroad Together!

It's our last day together.  We're all leaving different times.  Victoria left last week because she's doing an intensive Japanese program in San Francisco, Kenwood left because of family, and the rest of us hung out one last time but then Michelle left in the afternoon to fly back home.  I was leaving to go stay at one of my mom's best friend's home.  We got some 떡볶이 ddeokbokki/spicy rice cakes (which were so good but they made these really hot that I almost cried) and then did 노래방 karaoke one last time which was EPIC!!  It made it even harder to say goodbye.  We sang "Soulja Boy" and it was so funny.  We had no idea what the lyrics were at first that after we sang them, we thought, "Oh!  So that's what they're saying!"  We've gotten so close and created so many memories together.  Before, none of us knew each other very well and now it's a different story.  Before we went to 노래방 karaoke, Juni ran into this clown who wanted to have a rock, paper, scissors contest with him.  Funny thing, Juni won every single time and whoever won, the loser has to fan them.  So the clown got really sweaty.  Michelle left to go to the airport and I packed up and took a cab to the CBS news station where I would meet my mom's best friend from high school. 

It was scary to be by myself again but I made it to the news station fine.  I waited in the lobby for someone to find me.  I thought it was my mom's best friend but it was one of the secretaries.  She took me up to where she was.  It's kind of funny, I thought the secretary was my mom's best friend, she's very young, and so I was like, "wow!"  but then I met 재원 Jaewon who looks more like my mom's age.  재원 Jaewon had to do some work before she could leave but she knew I was going into broadcasting so she let me sit in on a talk show and a radio recording.  I really wanted to do this when I got to Korea; do something relating to my major while I'm there.  The practices are still the same over there which I thought was nice.  The only difference is language haha.  After she took me to her home in 평창 Pyeongchang in 서울 Seoul which is a very nice and rich area because of all the greenery and privacy.  We took my stuff to their apartment.  There I met her husband and son.  They helped me get settled in.  They're so nice and hospitable.  We met her youngest daughter 수경 Sookyung at a restaurant for dinner.  She's so sweet and darling.  What a beautfiul young girl.  It's still a challenge to only think in Korean again but it's good.  I feel more prepared and that I can converse more.  It's not perfect but I can tell a big improvement ever since I got to Korea.

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