Sunday, September 28, 2014

KGSP - Campus Festivities

It's only been a few days since my last blog entry, but I have to get back into writing these blogs every Sunday for consistency. Despite being only like what, five days? A decent amount still happened.

Starting Tuesday there was a festival on campus. I'm not sure why, but I'm assuming it's because of Campusfest-like reasons. I missed Tuesday but me and my friends went out on Wednesday to check it out. It was fairly rainy.

And of course it was held in like the muddiest area on campus.

It was super muddy and kinda gross. But it was also kind of interesting. Every booth was pretty much the same though, alcohol and food, with only the theme being different. However they also had performances and stuff too that went on.

One of the performances that day was this guy named 하하 who is apparently a comedian, actor and musician. Now, my knowledge of Korean music is pretty much just Kpop, so it was interesting to hear that this guy does Korean reggae.

You're as shocked as I was.

That was a pretty interesting concert. Reggae isn't my thing, but apparently a lot of people like him/it so there was a pretty big crowd. Aside from the festival, there was also an event hosted by the 사랑방 at our school. To be honest I'm not sure what they're for, maybe international student support?

Anyways, they hosted a 치먹, or chicken and beer, picnic trip for the international students so I signed up and went. We went to a park by the Arc and played a few games, ate some fried chicken, drank some beer and played with sparklers.

And a good time was had.

That was pretty fun. Nice way to kinda get out and do something you wouldn't really do otherwise. The Arc is a super cool building. Probably my favourite building that I've seen so far in Daegu. It just looks so cool, especially when it lights up at night.

Today I went to play some more Magic at the card shop. Despite not touching any Khans of Tarkir cards, I participated in a draft with Korean cards, and somehow ended up with a 4-0 match score to reach first place.

I'm getting better at playing with Korean Magic cards I think.

I'm apparently just awesome or something.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

KGSP - Tiring Break

So last week being Chuseok was a break from school. This week I had another break, but not because of holiday. My sister got married on Saturday, and so I went back home to Canada for a few days to be with my family.

As a result I was able to miss four classes and go home. It was super, super, super tiring with having to deal with the jet lag and having to do wedding stuff. Also because of that I wasn't able to do my blog on Sunday, so here I am doing it now.

But I found out that Incheon airport has a small history museum.

Being able to go back for my sister's wedding means a lot to me, so I was really glad I got to do that. I just got back to my dorm at Keimyung, so I'm gonna keep this post short and head to bed. Super happy that my sister is married, super happy I have a really cool brother in law.

No idea when the next time I go back to Canada is either though, so this was a really memorable
trip for many reasons.


Also side note, when I was going back to my dorm tonight, it was raining really hard. I was lugging my suitcase, PS3 (because why not) and my backpack up the mountain and was super miserable and wet when this Korean girl runs up next to me and shares her umbrella. Super shocking and unexpected.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

KGSP - Chuseok and Exploring

So this week was Chuseok, which is Korea's mid-autumn festival. It's kinda interesting because Chinese people celebrate it too, but since I've always ever been in Canada for it I've never gotten a holiday for it. It's kinda funny how the first time I get the day off for it is like, for the Korean edition.

Anyways, so Chuseok means that we had three days off from school. The good thing was that we had three days off from school. The bad thing was that everything was closed and therefore we were pretty bored. It was a mission to just find a restaurant that was open.

Our amazing Chuseok lunch.

Since everything was closed, me and my friends did some exploring around campus as well. Keimyung University is pretty nice because it has a really nice campus. It's pretty big and has a lot of cool things to check out, but the worst part is that there is a lot of up and downs. It makes for some tiring (and hot) journeys.

Pretty much on campus we have a pretty cool looking chapel overlooking a traditional Korean Hanok village. The contrast between the Eastern and Western architectures is pretty interesting, but we couldn't go inside because it was Chuseok and everything was closed.

The Hanok village with the chapel in the background.

We also found a 플스방 by campus, which is pretty much "PlayStation Bang", or like, an arcade where you can play console games. Nice little way to kill a few hours in the afternoon to play some games and kinda chill for a bit.

On Friday I went to visit KAIST, the school I will be doing my masters at. It's in Daejeon so I took the KTX to go there. The KAIST campus was also really nice and big. It might even be bigger than Keimyung's. However, it's completely flat, so there's no going up and down hill.

Of the two Korean universities I've been to so far, their campuses are definitely top tier.

I got a chance to check out my department and the lab I will be working in next year, and talk to my supervisor and other students in the program. It was a pretty nice trip because it gave me some ideas as to what I can expect when I start my masters.

The weekend was pretty much just more exploring. Yesterday me and some friends went on an expedition to the river to check out what's up with the funky building there. One of my friends said she heard it was a sewage treatment plant, but it turned out to be a multimedia theatre.

I would say there is a fairly big difference between a sewage treatment plant and a multimedia theatre.

That was a lot of walking though. I'm going to come back to Canada with the sickest walking legs ever. Anyways, so today I went to play some Magic because I could. Did ok, considering my incomplete aggro deck.

Afterwards I went to the Seomun Market, which is apparently the third largest street market in South Korea. That was a pretty cool trip. Reminds me of the markets they have in Hong Kong, but they had a lot more food mixed in so it was pretty unique.

Sketchy looking food and cheap clothes, the staple of Asian street markets.

So we're two and a half weeks in. This week I'll be doing a quick trip back to Canada, but after that I'll be full time Koreaning.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

KGSP - University Life in Korea

Man, it's only been like a week and a half since I got here, but it already feels like a long time. Not in like, a bad way though; it's been pretty awesome. But it just feels like I've done so much in such a short period amount of time haha.

This week was the start of classes. Im taking intensive Korean classes, so that means 9 - 1 every day learning Korean. Korean is pretty interesting to learn. I like how I can find similarities between Cantonese and Japanese, so it keeps it fun for me when I'm in class.

I don't have any pictures of the class, so here's some banana milk. It says banana there in Hangul.

We have to pass TOPIK level 3 by next August, and although it's like a year away, I'm already getting kinda nervous haha. Need to really buckle down and learn me some Korean. Once I get into the stride of things I should be ok though I think.

Outside of class, I did a bunch of things this week. On Wednsday it was my birthday, so me and some of my friends went out to celebrate. It's pretty cool because the people I hang out with now are all from different countries, so it's interesting to talk with them and see the similarities and differences between our cultures and even the way we speak English.

Fun fact, I'm the only one here that refers to the "dormitory cafeteria" as the "res caf".

Korea has been pretty fun so far. I'm really enjoying meeting the new people that I've been meeting, and aside from the strict dormitory rules, I've pretty much liked everything about my experience so far. The food is pretty good (albeit sometimes too spicy) and the people are nice.

When I was in Korea a few months ago for my grad trip, I tried looking for some Magic the Gathering card shops. I found two places online in Seoul, but I couldn't actually find them. There was supposed to be a single one in Daegu, so I decided to look for it yesterday. I found it.

I had to go up this sketchy looking entrance.

It was small and not too exciting, but the people were nice and there was Magic to be played. I got somewhat pressured into joining a draft with them, so I played with some Korean cards for the first time. And man, it was hard to draft in Korean. I had no idea what each card did so I didn't do that well. More incentive to learn Korean I guess haha.

Overall pretty solid experience so far. Tomorrow is 주석, or Korean Thanksgiving, so we have a few days off in the coming week. It kinda sucks actually because I don't really have much to do and kinda want to go to class >_>

Plus all the cafeterias are closed. Note that this tasted a lot better than it looks, it's a fried pork chop with cheese inside.

But yea, life is pretty ok right now.