Monday was the first day of orientation. It was honestly very...intimidating. The YFU building is in the Yakjae area of Seoul and is a couple hour trip from our house in Paju. Eomma and I took the bus and then the subway and met up with Taylor's Eomma and Taylor. Eomma dropped us off and then Taylor and I met everyone and had some Naegmyeon (냉면) for lunch. Anywho, honestly, Monday through Wednesday was just introducing yourself into Korea and YFU Korea and learning basic phrases. Which was very boring because the YFU Korea orientation is designed for students who know absolutely nothing bout Korea and it's language and culture and Taylor and I already knew everything in the first two lessons. But....lets just say that we made our own fun with learning time with our Unnies' and Oppa. :) hehe. Biemeil! (Secret!) We also met the YFU Korea director on Monday.... He is without a doubt one of the most intimidating people I have ever met. And let me say, I've met a lot of intimidating people in my life (cough, father cough). He is very....stuck in his ways and YFU Korea is....well, let me sum it up in a way that a YFU Korea 2009 student told me: "YFU Korea is very good but they're very....intresting people. I can't describe them exactly but when you meet them you'll know exactly what I'm talking about." I didn't fully believe him when he told me this but I understand what he meant now. :P
Monday was also the first day that I road on the subway. I went there with Eomma but she told me that Tuesday she was going to have to go to Jiwonnie's school for testing so I'd have to take the subway myself. :/
Here was my route:
to YFU Korea:
Halla apartments ----> Gupabal by bus. Roughly 1.05 hours.
Gupabal----> Yakjae by Subway. Around 45 minutes.
Yakjae---> Yeonshinee. Around 40 minutes.
Yeonshinee----> Halla apartments. About 1.20 minutes.
I'd leave every morning at 7:40 am and get home around 6pm each night. But by Friday I was seriously an expert in the realm of the Korean Subway system.
Tuesday was once again just an introduction to the Korean language and Culture and we received this packet in which we went through everything and learned all this stuff. We watched a couple of videos that...didn't really make a whole lot of sense but whatever. OH! YFU Korea is very big on....self-study time. But I'm the type of person who has to be in a comfortable environment to study and wasn't in one, I found that time passed incredibly slowly and I didn't think that 4:30 would ever come.
We ended up taking a tour of the Palaces and one of the shopping centers in Seoul. That was actually supposed to happen Thursday....so I don't know why it happened Wednesday. Anywho, Katie Unnie from YFU was our guide that day. And YFU gave her the wrong information. Well, let me rephrase that. They gave her the address to one palace and the name of the other palace...They were both accurate pieces of information, just didn't match with each other. :P So intead of going to ONE palace YFU Korea made us go to both. :/ So we went to the Changdeok Palace as well a the Deoksu palace. They were both GORGEOUS. And we totally ditched the tour to the second palace and just played around by ourselves... We still say the whole palace but had 10000000 times more fun. :) After visiting the first palace we made our way to the King Sejong monument in the center of the business district in Seoul. Then we went underground to the Haechi gallery (Haechi is the mythic creature that watches over Seoul. Let me tell you, a Haechi is adorable!). From there that took us to the Cheonggyecheon Stream which was one of the places I really wanted to visit. Then we went shopping at some place...That I think is called Insadong? I'm not sure. I'll come back latr with the correct place but I actually ended up going back there yesterday with Eomma and Oppa. Anywho!
Wednesday Oppa came home too. It seriously was like deju vu all over again. I attempted to stay awake and meet him, but I fell asleep around 10pm and Jiwonnie sent her Unnie off to bed. I woke up around 11:30pm to find Donghwa, Oppa, eomma, and Jiwonnie staring at me... I stumble out of bed and bow to him and they all laugh and then Eomma takes off my glasses and tucks me into bed...All while they're staring at me. :/
Thursday was supposed to be our outing day but that obviously happened on Wednesday so Thursday was another.....self-study day. ALL DAY LONG. I was seriously dying of boredom today.haha, more so than usual.
Friday was our last day at YFU Korea orientation (!!) so it was an outing day. Instead of meeting at the YFU office building in Yakjae we agreed to meet at the Seoul World Cup subway station which was a lot closer and that way we didn't have to backtrack. Eomma decides to drive me this day but for some reason there was a ton of traffic so we were 20 minutes late. However, Koreans are big on the 20% rule which is basically saying that if you're 20-25 minutes late you're still considered on time...wtf?! haha. But I just lied to you. There wasn't for some reason a ton of traffic. Korea is ALWAYS in rush hour. No Joke. korean drivers are some of the best drivers in the world because of how dangerous the peoples driving is. So Eomma and I get there and it is literally POURING rain. It was awful weather...Well, no, I actually LOVED THE WEATHER but it was awful...exploring weather. :)
So we meet up with Taylor and Jae Unnie and Eomma hands me the cell phone (WTF!) then leaves.... Then we start our journey after buying snacks at the grocery store located..UNDERNEATH THE WORLD CUP STADIUM using the company's card of course. :) Not even 10 minutes later the phone rings and it was Oppa asking me where Eomma was...I DIDN'T KNOW! haha. We ended up exploring the world cup stadium and I bought some stuff there which was actually a really good price and then we were off to tour some ancient traditional homes about 30 minutes away. The rain stopped by the time we got upstairs and it was just in time! We had some yummy little...I don't know but they were like, bite sized creme filled hot donuts... but not. haha. So we took some pictures and quickly left because we all wanted to go shopping!!
We went to the Myeongdong shopping area and spent like 2 hours there. I was supposed to be home around 5ish yet I actually didn't get home til like, 6:30pm. Oppa called me twice telling me to hurry...I'm sorry Oppa but I cannot make the bus driver drive any faster... So I finally get home and as I'm waiting for the elevator this old man comes up to me and I bow to him then he smiles and bows and then...breaks out into perfect english!!! WTF!?!?! I guess he was once a piolet and we started talking a bit but I REALLY had to go upstairs so I excused myself then made it to my floor!!
Then Eomma had to leave for smething so Oppa and Jiwonnie and I went to a norabang. :) And that pretty much sums up my YFU Week.