Short update

I’m back again! This time with a smaller update than usual.

The Korean classes are interactive and fun, but really early. I have Korean class at 8am every morning (except for Friday). It is worth it though, since I really want to learn Korean.

These days haven’t been all that special, just the usual school and partying. This weekend is Chuseok, which can be compared to Thanksgiving. We are free until Wednesday, so I guess you can see it as a long weekend. Initially we wanted to travel around to either Jeju or Busan, too bad there were no transportation tickets or hostels left! It seems that everyone is going OUT of Seoul with Chuseok, which kinda sucks cause I will probably be staying here. Luckily we found some alternative plans, like going to the Gyeongbok palace (again), where they have a lot of events and festivals in Chuseok theme. Tomorrow we will be going to Everland which is an amusement park. Monday is the “most important” day of Chuseok, we are planning to visit an ancient village to see and experience the life of ancient Korea (and hopefully wear a Hanbok)!

So this weekend will be a lot of fun! I will post another update about the weekend later, and probably take some more pictures too!


Party, party, party…

Hey guys! How is everyone doing?

So here we go! The campus life at EHWA/이대 started last Tuesday with the opening ceremony, which was boring in general until this group of female students went on stage and danced to a mix of Goodbye Baby Goodbye, 내가 제일 잘 나가 and Bad Girl Good Girl. It was funny since I recognized the songs and the dance moves.

So after the somewhat boring opening ceremony I went back to my room to rest a bit, saving up some energy for the opening party that night. On our way to the opening party I met Dung, a guy I know from my vacation in Germany in 2007. This world is really small!

After walking to the Blue Monkey bar in Sinchon (신촌) with Dung, Lieke, DJ, Philipp and Lara, it was time to see how the clubs in Korea are like. First thing I noticed immediately was that the whole place was packed, but not moving?! Appearantly Koreans don’t really dance while clubbing, at least not as in Europe. So after grabbing a beer Lieke and I decided that at least SOMEONE should start dancing, so we went to the middle of the dance floor and started dancing and moving to the music, hoping the other people would follow. Well, that was not really the case. People were staring at us like we were from another world. We didn’t really care though, so we kept dancing. After a few hours, when everyone drank enough alcohol, the people started moving to the music a bit, and it looked a bit like a party. I walked around for a bit, talking to some other people and trying to get to know my new fellow students. Later we met up with Freddy, a Korean friend Philipp met at his hostel, and his friends. We went to a bar to get some food and drink some Soju. In the end, it still was a very fun night actually, just very different from what I’m used to.

Next day was tough, I had to wake up early to do the Korean Language Placement Test. While walking downstairs I met Henrik (Hector, from Finland). The guy was still drunk from the party and was also going to take the test haha.

The test was actually harder than I thought. I could only write my name actually, the rest of the written test consisted of some text one had to read and understand, and then fill in the blanks. I could obviously read the text, but no way I understood that shit. So after writing my name in Korean, I went to take the oral test. I thought the oral test went pretty okay, when she asked me to read out the words in a book I could do pretty fast. When she asked about me I could understand everything she said, but answering was quite difficult for me. Most of the times I would answer in English with some Korean words. That’s probably why I got in level 1 of the Korean language course. It’s not that bad, considering that I never had proper Korean lessons. I just hope that they don’t waste too much time on reading 한글 (Korean alphabet) since I already know it.

The first classes already started on Thursday. Two of the three courses I chose had lessons on Thursday, so I went to the first class which was Advertising and PR. Since Lieke is also taking that course, I walked with her to the class room. Well the first class already was a disaster. Appearantly professors can refuse to let you take the courses here if the classes are full. So Lieke and I could not follow this course and we had to look for a replacement. Luckily I quickly found my replacement already, and its’ first class was also on Thursday and I could check it out immediately. Thank god I got accepted into the other two classes.

After having dinner I went back to the dorms, and heard that there would be a (secret) party on the roof of our building. I quickly ran to the convenient store to buy some beer, and took it to the roof. Well, it seemed like the “party” hadn’t started yet, since there were only four Finnish girls there. It didn’t matter for me, I just stayed and talked with them since I knew the others were coming sooner or later. Shortly after I arrived a group of Swedish girls came to the rooftop, and it became really fun already. Before I knew it, the roof was filled with people from all countries, I think there were like 50 people on the rooftop. Out of all of those people, I started talking to a girl who happened to be the niece of Lee Hyori!

Because we were with so many people, we got complaints from the guards and the people sleeping, and after the fourth complaint we decided it was time to leave this place. I really wanted to go to bed early because I was still tired from the night before, but somehow the group managed to convinced me to go clubbing in Sinchon again. This time we went to Bar Fly and it was quite different from Blue Monkey. At least everybody was dancing here It’s weird to hear that they were playing Hoot from Girls’ Generation after Yeah! from Usher, but that didn’t stop me from having fun.

Just when I wanted to go home, Henrik and some other people asked me if I wanted to go to karaoke/noreabang (노라방). Of course I couldn’t say no! I really enjoyed noraebang, I’m actually going again tomorrow haha. We did it for one hour and then it was time to leave, but not before we got ourself some Korean food at this tofu bar. At 7:30 in the morning (yeah what the fuck) we arrived at our dorm and finally went to bed.

This morning when I woke up I felt really bad and I still do, probably the reason why I didn’t do anything useful or special today. I also just got the news that Hooni, a friend of mine who was living on the same floor, got kicked out of the dorms today. Apparently the school found out through facebook that he organized parties at the rooftop and they didn’t really like it. It’s so sad, I haven’t even spoken to him yet..

So today there is no party on the rooftop, some people already went to Sinchon but today I am going to act wise and just stay at home to rest. I will be staying here for 5 months so I have plenty of time to party here :).

Finally moved into my dorm!

Hey guys,

It’s been “a while”! Thought I would let you guys know what I have been doing these days ;).

Last Saturday Lieke and I went to the Free Market in Hongdae, where students from the Hongik University sell their own (hand)made art. It was really fun and there were a lot of nice stuff there. Lieke bought earrings and I got myself a handmade money clip from cow leather! At the market there was also live music which was also nice (and quite different from your usual K-Pop).

That night we also met up with David Joost and Max, the German student who has been here for half a year already. He brought some other people and we first ate some 해물파전 with the group. After dinner we decided to go partying, and we ended up going to the Silent Disco at Hongdae playground. A Silent Disco is a place where every person can get his own headphones and all listen to one and the same DJ. It was like really awesome! Since it was outside, other people watching would think there are a bunch of crazy people, but in fact we all just danced to the music. Just when I thought the Silent Disco would end, they attached the sound system to the MC who led the whole group through the streets of Hongdae like a parade. Never saw or did anything like this before!

After the Silent Disco we decided to go to a bar again, there were two Korean girls with us and they taught us some Korean drinking games. First it was kind of confusing so we had to drink a lot of Soju in the beginning, but it was really fun. Soju, by the way, is a Korean drink and people tend to drink it a lot here. At about 4 o clock we thought it was enough so Lieke and I walked back to our hostel while Max and DJ took a cab home.

So after sleeping really well thanks to the soju, we had a “normal” quiet Sunday, and we decided to take it easy it would be hour last night in the hostel, and we would have to move to the dorm the day after. While resting I figured out that my Dutch phone DOES work here after all! I forgot to turn on 3G, that’s why it didn’t work. Silly me! I gave the phone I bought here to Katharina, a German girl I met at the hostel, who is also going to study here for one semester. After packing our stuff we met a group of American people who were really fun, too bad we didn’t have time to party with them anymore. After adding one of them (Doug) on facebook we decided to call it a night.

So, today I finally moved into my dorm and it’s really nice here! So far my roommate hasn’t arrived yet so tonight I’ll be alone in my double room. It is actually quite spacey and it has a toilet/shower built in. I will upload pictures and video’s of my room later!

After installing myself into my room, I met up with Hector, a Finnish exchange student, DJ, Lieke her buddy 이유나 (YuNa Lee). We ate at a “Chinese” restaurant and I had 자장면 and  짬뽕 for the first time! It was really delicious, I stuffed myself for like only 3,5 euros!

Then, the time had really come. It was time to cut my hair! I went to the hairdresser with my buddy Yuri since the hairdressers here don’t speak English. Since I already knew that I wanted to have a color and a perm, it saved us some precious time since the process takes a while. Well I will save you the details, since most of you have seen the pictures already on facebook. I must say that I’m pretty satisfied with the result! 🙂

Well I think that’s enough of an update already. Tomorrow is the welcoming ceremony  and Wednesday I have to take the entrance test for the Korean Language course, I’ll probably be very busy. So off to bed Duy goes, this time without a frikkin’ blanket because I forgot to buy one :(.


What I have been doing these days..

Hey guys,

Since it has been a few days since I updated this, I will only give a “recap”.

So the first day in Seoul I met up with my EWHA Peace buddy, 최유리 (Choi Yuri). A buddy is someone who will guide you through Seoul/Korea during your stay at EWHA. She is a very nice and sociable person, I’m very lucky with her :). We also met up with David Joost, a fellow RuG student who is also going to study at the EWHA.

These days I also met a lot of nice people. Besides my own buddy, I also met 정은 (Jung Eun), 희은 (Hee Eun) and 다혜 (Da Hye), who are also EWHA Peace buddies. I also met some other exhange students, Philipp, Lara and Max, who all happen to come from Germany.

I also ate some Korean food here already, and I reallly love it! First I had 떡국 (Tteokguk) and 비빔밥 (Bibimbab), and today I tried 냉면 (Naengmyeon) and 뚝불고기 (Ttukbulgogi), all of the dishes were delicious! If you are wondering what these dishes are you should google them :P.

Since we are staying in Hongdae, which happens to be the best party place in Seoul, we of course had to hit the bars of Hongdae! Yesterday Sean led us and a group of French people through the night life of Hongdae, and we ended up in a place called Exit. It was actually just a garage box with a DJ and a bar, but it was really really nice. Lieke thought there would only be K-pop music but of course that is not true! The French people and us started to hit the dance floor and some locals followed. We also talked to some of the locals there and they were really nice :).

Besides eating and partying I also did something useful this week. I got myself a “new” phone and a Korean sim card, because my phone is not usable in Korea (like most of the other European phones). Now it’s much easier to contact 유리 or David Joost :)!

What’s also funny is that EVERYONE here is amazed about my Korean “skills”  and my K-pop/K-drama knowledge. They were amazed I could recognize every star on the commercials and advertisments haha.

Well that was my “recap”, I see it became longer than I expected, but that’s what happens when you are in Seoul. A lot!

Arrived in Seoul!

Hey guys! After about 13-14 hours of flying with a cold, I finally arrived in Seoul! First thing I noticed was that the people there barely speak English, even the people who work at the airport! After we got our luggage back it was time to find our way to our hostel, but not before I took pictures of the many advertisements I recognized from Youtube! TVXQ!, Lee Seung Gi and the Lotte Duty Free ads were everywhere.

After changing all of our money to Korean won, we went outside to find a means of transport to our hostel. The moment we stepped outside there were 3 people swarming over trying to get us into a cab. With their good English and my awesome Korean skills I told them to go away, and so we took the subway to Hongik University in Hongdae.

The trip took as long as Groningen – Heerenveen, except now I traveled from district to district instead from city to city :P. When we arrived at Hongik University we were a bit lost on our way to the hostel. I tried to ask someone for help, but the guy didn’t really speak English and didn’t live in the neighborhood. Still he insisted to help us by asking other people in Korean, and we eventually got to the hostel (that’s how nice they are here).

Once arrived at the hostel we met Jun and Sean, two nice guys who are working there. After getting our stuff into our (6 persons) room, I immediately tried to contact my mom through “Freecall”. Sadly Freecall doesn’t work in Korea, so I told my sister on facebook that I arrived safely.

And off to bed Duy goes, yeah it’s only 10pm here but I’m really tired and the cold doesn’t help. Hopefully I can recharge for tomorrow because I really want to check out Hongdae!

Last weekend in Holland before leaving for Korea!

Had an awesome last weekend here before leaving for my 5 months trip to Korea. My cousins Minh Khanh and Kieu came to visit me, and we had a really nice time with my family and friends here. Tomorrow I will be leaving already! I think I have packed everything I need… I’m always afraid that I will forget something :’).

I will try to keep this blog updated, though I’m not sure if I can find the time to update this blog regularly. Also, I don’t think wordpress has any photo album features, so I guess I’d have to upload all of my photo’s on facebook.

In any case I will go to bed now, probably won’t be updating this before I go. So goodbye everyone, I know that you guys will be missing me and I’ll try to miss you guys too! Talk to you guys soon!