Previously on Jaxs is Now Able to Function: “We are all moved in!!! *has mental breakdown*” “Meet the homies…” “Yay, I got all the classes I wanted!” *starts yet another Disney movie*
Coming to you straight from the middle of Ewha Women’s University I-House AB Lounge in the middle of midterms…
Well guys, it’s been a while since I gave y’all a real update, so hold on to your seats ’cause this may take a while. This episode will be mostly consumed by all of the sightseeing we have been doing, and my slight money spending problem… Don’t worry about it… it’s fine, trust me (it’s less than SOMEONE I know *cough*).How should we start? Let’s get the boring part over with… School. *dun dun dunnnnnnn*
School’s not too bad in all honesty. The hours are really long though. especially Korean class which is three hours long… Also, I have recently been nodding off in my 8AM. EVEN WHEN I GO TO SLEEP EARLY! I don’t know what’s happening, but whatever. I am keeping up with my almost nonexistent workload well and making good enough grades on my quizzes. My mid-terms started this past Thursday – earlier than everyone else. I had a speaking test and an actual test-test in Language & Culture. Both went pretty well. That leaves me with four more exams to take over the next two weeks, one for Practical Korean and the rest for Korean 2. I still need to study more often…
Now to the fun! One of the first cool things I did was go to some animal cafes. Yeah, you heard me right. When you go to animal cafes you can get a drink – at most – and pet the animals. We went to a cat and meerkat cafe. The Meerkat cafe though was full of other animals. A raccoon, wallabies, fox, and a few other animals we didn’t know. Hayley, Michelle, and I went. We had so much fun with the meerkats!!! They were so cute!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Though I had no clue what to do when one climbed up my back and stood on my shoulders (pictures included). I was too scared to move… but what a cool experience. Then Michelle and I went to the cat cafe alone because Hayley is allergic. It was also really cool. It is basically a shelter for the cats until they can be adopted, but they were some very, very nice cats. We got good drinks there as well, as you couldn’t have drinks at the Meerkat cafe. It was all fun and games until a cat peed on me… Even worse, Michelle was looking at said cat wondering what it was doing, but was much too late to tell me to move… It was really funny though, and I was the running joke for the week.
THE AQUARIUM!!! I don’t know if all you viewers know this, but I love the aquarium. You may never see me look happier than when I am in an aquarium. We went to Aqua Planet 63, and technically it was for Hayley’s birthday!!! But do I feel like I wanted to go to the aquarium more than she did… yes. Did she still have fun… also yes. The trip there was really hectic though because our group of six couldn’t figure out how to get there. Surprise, surprise… I started getting aggravated… But eventually, I as the navigator of the group – how this happened I don’t know – got us there. The aquarium wasn’t too large, but it was really nice. They also had a lot of feeding shows and entertainment shows! There were so many types of little fish that I had never seen before, and some gigantic ones too that I had never seen that close up. The aquarium even had a partnership with Octonauts, the children’s cartoon, which was really cute.
The first palace we went to was Deoksugung. It was one of the palaces inhabited by the monarches of the Joseon Dynasty during the Great Han Empire. It was crazy walking through the palace because you walk through the gates from the side of a major road, and suddenly you are transported through time. The grounds were beautiful. I loved the architecture and was amazed by how intricate it all was. A part of the grounds were much more modern, built to mimic European architecture, and here there was a small museum. There was a really cool AI of King Gojong, to which you could ask a few specific questions in Korean about the time period, the weather, and other fun questions that they had set up for it to answer.
The second palace we visited was Gyeongbokgung. This was the main palace of the Joseon Dynasty and also the largest. Visiting this palace is a must during your trip. Plus, you get in free when you arrive at the palace in hanbok – traditional Korean clothing. So you know what we did… ‘Ordered ice cream?‘ No. Rented hanboks of course. We spent almost an hour picking out our skirts and the top we would wear with them, and even got our hair done. Tram, Michelle, and Alisa looked beautiful; like princesses of Vietnam, Mexico, and Hong Kong respectively. It was truly an experiencing and we had so much fun doing it. If we felt as though we had been thrown back in time for the first palace, imagine how we felt being in period dress and seeing over 50% of the other visitors dressed the same. I felt like I was experience a time slip, seeing the present and past right next to each other. The palace was just as beautiful as everyone says and was so huge I wasn’t even able to see it all. I will be going back, and just wait… (I will be unstoppable next time, just let me get my hands on a male hanbok – hehe)
Seoul Forrest. First word huge. Second word park. I have officially visited Seoul Forrest twice within a 7 day period. This doesn’t sound like much, but it is almost an hour subway ride for me to get there. Going there is definitely a whole day type of thing. But don’t let the name fool you as it did me. It is indeed a park and not just a mass expanse of woods. But it is still a really nice break from the city. The first time I visited, I went on a whim with my friend Emma. We walked for forever, making it all the way to the section of the Han River that the park connects to. It was the first and still only time I’ve gone to the Han River, so it was really cool that we didn’t plan any of it. The second time I went, we went in a big group with the plan to grab chicken and eat at the Han River (as one does). That did not happen. Between us walking circles, not being able to decide where to get chicken, and walking the wrong way, Manny, Michelle, Tram, Pema, Hayley, and I ended up by what we deemed the “Han Crik [Creek].” We ate while watching our own K-drama unfold before our eyes. A couple may or may not have been having a very dramatic breakup with lots of crying just 30 feet from us. We are truly sorry for the chaos we caused… But we had a great time taking pictures, and most importantly, saw the cherry blossoms – which fun fact are white in Korea.
Speaking of friends… we have some new besties to introduce!!!
Meet the Besties Pt. 2:
- Pema – MATERIAL GORL!!!! The bestie straight from New York. Scared of nothing it seems. If I’m not the one with directions, she is, or we are consulting together. Seems to have a magical knowledge about everything in Korea. The only person who doesn’t bully me for ordering Americanos because she does too.
- Ja’Nia – Another friend from a different university! North Carolina tap in!!!(the South is winning in this friend group) We have only met a few times, but she already knows too much about me. She has the best heart, is super funny, and easy to be around. Plus she matches my chill vibe and I like it.
- Bioh – Miss South Korea 2022 (at least in my mind). Straight out of South Korea, and a true student at Ewha. We met one night when our group went to karaoke. She is Manny’s Hangul Assi Buddy – a club at Ewha. But now she hangs out with me more…. shhhhhh don’t tell Manny (I’m her favorite). KIDDING… maybe. Super sweet, a blonde bombshell, and absolutely hilarious without meaning to be. Never leave us together for too long, chaos will ensue. Add Hayley and the chaos triples.
N Seoul Tower!!! The iconic area where lovers leave locks to solidify their love… lol… ANYWAYS… This area is very iconic from many movies and K-dramas. The woods surrounding the tower are beautiful and have many hiking trails you can take up to the tower. But we decided to take the cable car. The view on the ride up and down was absolutely amazing. The tower was really cool too, even though we didn’t go up (still not sure why). We took lots of pictures, and admired the view. I will definitely be going again.
DISCLAIMER: If you are not interested in K-Pop, skip the next few paragraphs.
Before we talk about my shopping problem, let’s talk about fun stuff!!! As I am writing this, it is Jung Wheein of Mamamoo’s birthday. To start off, happy birthday Queen! But this means there was a birthday cafe set up for her by a very popular moo twitter account that I follow, and I just knew I had to go. But it was ALL the way in Gangnam. That’s almost an hour away from where I live. If you don’t know, Mamamoo is my favorite K-Pop group, along with Dreamcatcher and LOONA. There are only four members of Mamamoo, meaning I don’t have many chances to go to their birthday events – two fall after I have already left and the other happened when I was just getting out of quarantine. This was my one chance, so I made the trip along with Hayley. I need you all to understand I was so happy. It was amazing! Such a cute little cafe with a nice lady working. The cups were cute, and the drink choices were all fruit flavored aides that were really good. There was even a projector that played videos from Wheein’s Youtube channel and live performances! Everything about it was great!!!
But obviously I couldn’t just go to Gangnam for one little cafe… SO, Dreamcatcher just had a comeback! STREAM MAISON!!!! Anyway… there was a pop-up event for the me Apocalypse: Save Me album at KTOWN4U, a K-Pop album store, and it happened to be 30 minutes away from the cafe! So we went there as well. The whole store was set up just for Dreamcatcher, the girls had even been there and signed some albums and the posters. I wrote them a little note that I attached to the board they had set up, and took pictures in the photo booth. I also bought two albums, which allowed me to get two lucky draw photo cards that were exclusive to KTOWN. Overall, this was a great day for me because I finally got to do girl group related things, as I usually accompany Hayley to all of her boy group stuff.
Speaking of boy group related things… We went to the HYBE Insight exhibition, where they showcased things about all of their groups (BTS, TXT, ENHYPEN, etc). It was a really cool museum… would have been better if it had more girl groups… just saying. They mentioned or hinted at GFRIEND a total of 3 times, once being solely the fandom name, another a quote, and the last a whole wall of their albums (this was when I had the biggest smile on my face). But it was still very interesting, and a good time spent with Hayley and Alisa. I bought GFRIEND photo cards hehe – that’s all they sold for them though…
The Dreamcatcher concert was also this week. They had it in person, but sadly, I had class till 6:15 that day. The concert was at 7:30 so I wouldn’t have been able to make it to the venue in time. BUT!!! I did get the online tickets (as usual)! It was amazing! The girls all preformed their new solo songs and MAISON, their new title song, along with a few other songs, new and old. My eyes never left the screen, and I was left mouth agape multiple times.
Remember how I said I bought two Dreamcatcher albums at the pop-up store… Yeah, well, I had already received two in the mail the day before… This brings me to my addiction… buying K-Pop albums. I am going to start this with they are sooooo much cheaper to get here than at home!!! Especially if you buy them from an underground market. Plus the shipping is cheap – $2!!! But I have bought so many since I have been here, and I honestly don’t know what I will do when I have to go home. We’re working that part out… they WILL make it home. So, I currently have almost a whole shelf-full and don’t plan on stopping. Peep the collection bellow :)))
Also LOONA is on Queendom 2 right now and are killing!!! Go watch their latest performance covering SISTAR’s ‘Shake It’ in an amazing musical-style performance!!!
KPOP Rant Over
To catch you up completely. My friends and I just went on an amazing hike up the Inwangsan Mountain! It was pretty rough not gonna lie, but we made it up and had a great time together. A lot of stairs and one part where we were basically mountain climbing, led to a lot of very sore legs and tiredness. Though it was completely worth it, and we plan to go hiking again next weekend. Then when I got home, I met Bioh to go to a Russian Avant Garde Art Exhibition. We ended up dragging Tram along with us. To go ahead and sum up the experience, we are not art people, but we tried… we really did. I’ll leave some pics of my favorite pieces below :)))
Other than that I am usually in my room, sometimes studying, in class, or doodling. I often order delivery rather than go out, and I like it that way. Though we did go clubbing in Itaewon one night and that was an experience to say the least, and I can assure you I will most likely be sitting out the next few. Other new things include often sneaking Bioh into my dorm room, which is worse than Alisa because Bioh doesn’t even live in the dorm, and visiting Mammoth Coffee (best Vietnamese coffee I have found yet). Also 75% of our friend group is sick, but it’s not COVID because we tested negative twice – except one of us… sorry bestie – so we’re chillin’. Prob just the weather…
Well thats all besties. I hope you enjoyed this blog about my recent touristy deeds and all the pictures to match. Thanks again for reading, and have a good week!!! Oh yeah, and Happy Easter!
ON THE NEXT EPISODE: *midterms* *studying* *crying* *hiking* “Wow this was cool” “I went to another birthday cafe” *pre-orders more K-Pop albums*
Jacqueline Rates Things: *duh duh-na duh~~~*
- Ewha Univ. Station – 10/10 – close and gets me every where I need to go, super simple to understand
- Sinchon Station – 9/10 – very nice, has shopping and snack foods, can be confusing
- City Hall Station – 8/10 – gives Harry Potter, confusing, good place to transfer to other lines from 2
- Myeongdong Station – 15/10 – has the underground K-Pop store, giving New York subway but clean
- Hongik Univ. Station – 10/10 – gets me to Hongdae, has a cool underground shopping mall in it
- Gangnam Station – 7/10 – has stores but nothing you would just go into, along with nice restaurants, kinda confusing
- Dongdaemun History & Culture Park Station – 8/10 – nice but not notable, gets you places though
- Hapjeong Station – 10/10 – right next to the Han River, simple pass over style station
We’ve been to many more, but I honestly can’t remember… k, bye!!!!