Tuesday, 31 May 2011

fourth day.

What a luck that the test was moved to next week.. I will have more time to prepare.

In the beginning of my stay, I was also registered to a Korean language class. I attended two schools, in total I had a class 3 times in a week for 1,5/2hrs. I liked the classes very much. I've also met many new friends from around the world.
Everyday we took the same way from home to subway station. My subway station was - 'Gangnam-gu Office' and we took the green line no.7. Sometimes we used buses too.
The roads in Seoul were like.. mountains.. In neighbourhood there was a big block of flats from Lotte, and small school teaching some European style of cooking, a chicken restaurant with delicious cabbage appetizer, and two markets: one with older ajusshi, and the other one with young student, who was studying English everytime we entered the store in the evening.

Seoul's transportation card

This time we went to Dongdaemun. High buildings full of clothing stores, accessories and others.. Generally very expensive.

After tiring day, we tried another Korean dish, very interesting soup with sausages:

almost 3pm.

Today is so sunny, I think the temperature will reach 25°C. The hot weather is coming early this year. I remember last year's May/June there were days when I needed an Autumn coat.. ;)

..I remember that day very clearly. We took all of the luggages until the bus stop. Where we stopped for some time. I still remember the smell of that air.
It was good weather, weather before the rain. The bus wasn't full, we sat in the first row, behind the driver. The time passed too fast.

The next day's morning - 1st July (Thursday) - first look around the city. I'm a big lover of sushi.. and I could enjoy the taste of Korean version - Kimbap, already during the first hour after arriving in Seoul. So the dinner has followed:) - Kimbap again:) Delicious!


In the first photo - Kimbap;) And in the second one - Kimchi. Mr and Mrs K, my favourites;) heh.
In each restaurant, or bar the still water is for free. You can take as many cups as You want. In this restaurant they also add for free a broth to drink. Very tasty:) That was my favourite meal in Korea. Other famous appetizers (for free refill!): Korean radish (in the picture You can see the coloured one - yellow), many, many different kinds of salads or Tteokbokki (You can see more detailed information in wikipedia: Tteokbokki) - these are pieces of rice cake with spicy sauce.

As You can see in the photos, there are also iron chopsticks. Chopsticks are very famous in Asia, I can't remember a place with forks and knifes (but surely some places have them too). Generally people in Asia use wooden chopsticks (there are really many, many kinds), but in Korea they use iron ones, and an iron spoon (with quite flat ending). They can have decorations, like flowers or many other patterns. Iron chopsticks are heavier than standard ones, but in my opinion they are more comfortable to use.

After dinner - first look at the university.

The restaurant was on the left to the university. You just needed to cross the street. Besides that, there were many other restaurants, including famous 'Aunty Place' which I will introduce later, and also Starbucks coffee (yum!), market, glasses store, blocks of flats, one belonged to a friend.

Ok, let's cross the street:)

Entering Soongsil University. Many high buildings, some new, some older, and a big, hm, a very nice garden in the centre. Behind it, there was big monument - white horses. The weather was very hot. But it was different hot than the one that I know in Europe. The air was so damp.
white horses
However inside the building was an air conditioning! ufff :)
I spend in the office many days during my stay. Very nice moments. I still remember tables desks of notes, cabinets full of books. A good place to focus, study and relax.

As I mentioned before, it was 1st July. I was invited into a very elegant and traditional place, romantic too. We sat in one room, a big traditional table with hole for legs. There we were served a real king's dinner. Heh, it was very nice.
I wasn't able to eat much during past days, and this time, I was very full.
I will represent some of the dishes (sorry but don't remember any names..):
let's start.

yes, O.O ..full.
1st July.

and few photos while coming back home.. Evenings were so wonderful.

The last street - in the neighbourhood. Small streets have that 'something';)

step two.

I'm back:) very fast indeed.. Let's arrive in Seoul today;)
After eating my meal on the plane, I had a nice conversation with my new Korean friends. I was very surprised when I found out, that they are also going from Poland to Korea!! They surprised me with few Polish words too. The boss lady knew English the best among them and we talked about different cases. Her employees didn't speak English well, but they used English dictionaries in their cellphones (very useful!). My flight's purpose received many supports, so we all enjoyed it:)
The rest of the time in the plane, I spent on listening music.. and sleeping. The flight from Frankfurt to Seoul took around 10:30-11hrs, if including Poland then a bit more than 12hrs, and plus waiting almost 18hrs. That's really long, and really far! I didn't realize the scale before. O.O
During the flight, I could see on the screen, small plane moving on the map of World. The information included also height, temperature, and estimated arrival time.
The turbulences were really.. a bit nervous, I've experienced some. But then, the landing, that was stressed too. After it, the weight was lifted from my heart..
I took my hand-carry and my first look - Korea:)
The Incheon International Airport is HUGE, much much bigger than Frankfurt's one.
My friends waited for me:) I didn't know too well where to go, and they were waiting in check-out's too. I felt so grateful.. In the airport they use subway to take us to the main hall, and to the luggage place.. That was my first time trying subway indeed. Everything was so clean and so modern! I enjoyed it for a short time, because I wanted to be in hurry. I remember I waited quite long for my big luggage, that was a bit stressed too. However there were lots of passengers. When I finally saw a big navy-blue bag, one Korean friend helped me to put in my trolley. I said goodbye and good wishes with them, and kept pulling my trolley to the entrance..

It was July 30, 2010, 11:35, when I landed in Seoul.

Monday, 30 May 2011

first post.

Almost one year has passed since I visited South Korea. I've never thought of going that far. Due to my personal reason, I also got a chance of meeting face to face with Korean culture.
Today, these are my memories.

Now I'll take You together with me, to look one more time through - days of summer 2010.

Far far away, ....... but stop. :)

Firstly, we need an airplane.. ; )
I chose Lufthansa. It was my third time using this airline, and so far they didn't disappoint me.
My schedule was set on 29th June 2010, a flight from Kraków to Frankfurt.
My family took me to the airport early in the morning, so we wouldn't be stressed of being late..
The farewell for next two months.., I was sad leaving them, however I was waiting for that moment very long..
My family, thank You so much for everything..!
Then 5:45hrs waiting in Frankfurt for a plane to my final destiny - Seoul. The break was very long hehe, a bit boring, but, when You know what You get after the waiting time is finished, then trust me, I could wait twice this time. Frankfurt airport is very big, really.. VERY big:) However it wasn't my first time being there. One year before - 2009, I had had there a transit.
There are many stores in the airport, but all are very expensive.. my general advice for those who are going to have long travel-break at the airport is a good coffee, small meal, new fashion magazine, good music in iPod.. and music, and music, yeah.. time goes slow..
After all check-in's, finally I managed to enter the 'awaiting room for my airplane'. A big room with chairs, TVs, food-store. I spent time looking through the window at my airplane with last check up's and loading the luggages. By the time, room became full of passengers. I remember many people were watching football game in the TV, I think it was the time of FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
Almost all of the passengers were Koreans. I started hearing their language louder for the first time. The conversations were stopped only sometimes by the personnel's information in English, German, and Korean too. I was there the only one Polish girl. But the exciting feeling of my purpose taking this flight made me so smiling inside, and I didn't feel as a lonely outsider.
The crew checked the tickets one more time, and we could get on the plane:) 'Finally'. It was evening time in Germany, almost sunset.
In front of me, a long journey..
I took my seat, I remember it was on the left side, an aisle seat - my favourite one. I had with me, my personal luggage, quite heavy indeed. While having problem with putting it up, over my seat, a nice Korean middle-aged lady, smiled to me. She gesticulated to me with her hands, and helped me. She was smiling all the time, and I could say for the first time '감사합니다' (reading: gamsahabnida), which means in Korean 'thank You'. I took my seat, but my partner didn't come. And due to broken TV screen in other seat, I was asked to change two seats over their, with one working screen. Without problem I went to front 4-seats. And that I got to know with 5 nice Korean friends, who helped me later at my arrival.
Unfortunately I don't have much photos from that time.. actually only one:) hehe.
As I was going to Korea, all choices in dishes, obviously were Korean ones, not European;)

Firstly I tried 'Sikhye'. I didn't know what is it, I took a risk;)
Here in wikipedia You can see: Sikhye It was a rice drink, and very, very sweet. But I liked it. As for the dinner, they served 'Bibimbap' (for more informations, by wikipedia: Bibimbap ) It was like, mixed salad of vegetables, rice, and spicy flavour. They gave 'Kimchi' too:) spicy Korean cabbage - a real taste of Korea:) I love it:)

In the picture - my dinner. Sorry, that's the only photo I have from my flight... ;)

Ok, I'm taking now my cup of chocolate cappuccino and notes for study. On Wednesday I'm having an exam.. so fighting:)

Good night..