Seoul FC Game

28 09 2008

So today I went to an FC Seoul Game at the World Cup Stadium, which is literally down the street from my apartment. They were playing the Chunnam Dragons, which I was told are supposed to be a pretty good team, but they did lose 3-0 so who knows. Either way it was pretty fun to go see a game. The goals were all pretty well done so I can’t complain. The cheering was enthusiastic, but were not ridiculous like they were at Yon-Ko Jeon. I was actually able to sit down the entire game, which was nice. I also had a really good sausage from a microwave which was amusing. The accompanying beer (Hite) was bad as usual.

After the game we went to the shopping mall in the stadium… yes there is a full shopping mall inside the stadium, not just next to it. Had some dinner, Kimchi Tonkassu, and all was well. On the way out some of my friends got jackets and then we got a soccer ball to play around with outside. Good ol’ fun in Seoul as always.


Epik High Concert & Han River Park

28 09 2008

Last night I went to an Epik High concert over in the Olympic Park area. It was quite fun and entertaining. Epik High is a Korean hip-hop/rap group. It was a good concert, with most of the artists that are featured in their songs actually being there to perform, and they even had a live band to perform alot of their music. It was an indoor venue and they even launched some fireworks indoors which was pretty cool. It is nice to see a band that isn’t a pop group at all. These guys are very legitimate in their music which is good always.

Before the concert some of us also went to a park on the Han River which was fun. We sat on the grass in amazing weather and had some food and just hung out. I also rented a tandem-bike which is pretty weird to ride since they are so long. It was also incredibly uncomfortable, and pretty old, but for $6 an hour to rent it, I suppose it wasn’t all that bad. It was a good day overall though so I am happy.

Here are two videos of Epik High’s music. The first is the song ‘Fan’ which I thought was the best performance, and the second song is called ‘One’, which is my favorite recorded song, so yea.

Yon-Ko Jeon

8 09 2008

So Yon-Ko Jeon is the big series of sports games between Yonsei and Korea University. In all there is a soccer, rugby, hockey, baseball, and basketball. I went to the rugby and soccer game which was in the Seoul Olympic Stadium, and it was pretty insane. It was basically seven hours of non-stop organized cheering. It was pretty fun though and some of the cheers were actually pretty cool. My personal favorite was “Saranha da Yonsei” which translates into “I Love Yonsei”, here is a YouTube link:

Both games ended up good for Yonsei, which gave Yonsei the lead in the series, so we won this year. The one goal in the soccer game was quite a nice one at that too. Not super amazing, but it was just clean and nice with a good feed.

After the game there was a big concert and party at school where the Wonder Girls played. Many people thought it was amazing, but I thought it was rather unimpressive as they only played about three songs before leaving. People then walked around Sinchon and went to bars and such to continue the festivities, if the party at Yonsei wasn’t enough for them. It was a very long night, that I believe made me sick after some of those beers and hanigng around outisde all night in the semi-chilly weather. It was a good night overall though and worth it in the end.

The blue/good side is Yonsei and the red/evil side is Korea.

Classes have started!

2 09 2008

So I have now started all my classes, which are actually all pretty good. Quite a few people in my program have been having problems with their course registration and all that, but mine has been painless which is nice. I am taking:

Pre-Modern Korean History

Traditional Korean Society & Modernization

International Trade Practices

Beginner Korean 1

They are all pretty good and all that, but the first hour of Korean was terrifying as it was 100% taught in Korean. We were taught a bit of Hangul, the Korean alphabet, and apparently we should know it pretty well within a week or two. Either way it was pretty frightening at first, but it eventually became easier to understand and we were okay. I think just from a class perspective it will be a pretty interesting semester, which I am happy about. So I am now going to go as I must do what I need to for these classes that I just outlined.

Orientation Trip!

2 09 2008

So there was a weekend orientation trip, where everyone in the CIEE program left Seoul for the weekend and went to the country. For those that lack an attention span here is a brief list of things that happened:

1. Sat in a bus for many hours

2. Made paper, in a traditional style

3. Laughed as people came back to the traditional hotel really drunk, and did ghetto norebang

4. Climbed a mountain

5. Did a lot of shopping in the Family Mart at weird hours of the night

6. Ate eggs at 1AM

7. Picked tea leaves

8. Sat on the bus for waaaay too long

For those of you that have the ability to concentrate and actually read I shall explain these items a bit more. So the first day basically encompassed going to a huge land reclamation project where they are making a wall to block the ocean which will give the Koreans land about five times the size of Manhattan, which they will then change into various things like farmland and a space center… It is kind of a useless project. We then drove on to another city, which I don’t remember the name of, and there we made traditional paper. I can’t think of anything more to describe that. After that was over a group of us went to a really ghetto norebang (or karaoke room), and when we returned to the traditional-style inn that we were staying at for the night there were many drunk people running about. It was a very amusing and fun night filled with talking.

The next day we woke up to discomfort as we had slept on the floor (though I was fine as I slept on about ten pillows). If my memory serves me right we then drove to a mountain that we then proceeded to hike up. This was a fairly annoying hike as much of the path was just small boulders which were not very easy to traverse. The view, however, was quite spectacular and the whole experience was well worth it. After that we went to a Buddhist temple where we had dinner and watched an evening prayer, which actually was quite cool to me. The monks were reciting the Heart Sutra, which I forget what exactly it is but it is important. I thought that was pretty interesting. After that we went to our hotel which was a modern facility, and conveniently had a convenience store in the basement. We went there quite late and bought some eggs to have at about 1AM. That was great.

The next day, which was the last day, we spent the morning at a tea plantation and traditional village, where we actually were able to pick some tea leaves and keep them. I currently have my tea sitting on the counter drying out before I roast it to make some black tea. I just hope it doesn’t suck. We then proceeded to spend about eight hours on the bus…. it was boring. Mostly people just took pictures of other people sleeping.

Overall, orientation was pretty good. Nothing super exciting, but it was cool to get out of Seoul and things some other sides of Korea that I do not think I would have necessarily seen. So I guess you could say that it was good. Here are the pictures:

This is just a toll gate, but I thought it was pretty cool.

This is that land reclamation project, it goes really far into the Yellow Sea as you can see.

This is a cool Hyundai sign.

These are some Kimchee pots at the traditional inn we stayed at.

The same Kimchee pots and the building we stayed in.

This is apparently the prefered method of growing squash in the countryside.

The Buddhist temple we stopped at to watch the monks at work.

Here is the traditional village, with some rice fields in the background.