Previously on Jaxs is a True Tourist: “Wow a palace.” “Wow a temple” “That was quite the hike” *Kpop music plays* “Chillin’ with the homies”
“I’m late, I’m late for a very important date!!!” Jacqueline screams running to her computer.
Okay… look… I know… this update is late. Very late. Not that you probably noticed. But I do like to keep a schedule. *readjusts suit jacket in a pompous way* But in my defense, I have been very busy and haven’t wanted to do any work…
Let start with midterms… They weren’t too bad honestly. I think I did pretty well. I still don’t know what I got on some of them… Teachers don’t really post grades here. That, or I’m not looking in the right places. But what’s done is done and I’m not too worried about it. For I did the best that I could do.
In terms of other things that I’ve done in the month since I wrote the last full update… I don’t really remember. Everything is starting to run together, and honestly I’m just tired lol… But let’s see what I can think up!
Hiking: Since last update I’ve gone on two more hikes. One was a nature hike, set more in the woods than the first, 안산(Ansan Mountain). It was beautiful and not too bad of a hike to do. In all honesty the worst part was the walk to the trail because our map sent us a back way, up a road that was quite literally going straight up. For a minute I thought my friends would honestly just turn around. We took a different path back down the mountain and ended up at a temple, where Tram taught us how to properly pray and pay respects in the Buddhist culture. We also had some really nice ahjussis (old men) take photos for us at the top, and they proceeded to make fun of me when we attempted to take a jumping picture – I have always, and will always be terrible at those and hate them forever. The next hike was much much worse. It was shorter but went straight up and was all stairs. Let me tell you, I have never felt my legs burn that much… and I ran cross-country… The name of the mountain was 북악산(Bugaksan Mountain). Funnily enough, when I got home and told him how difficult the hike was, Manny looked at me and said, “Now, you know JJ (our old TA) said never to climb a mountain with 악(ak) in it.” No wonder I thought I was gonna die on that mountain.
Everland: An amusement park in Korea. We decided to do a day trip here a few weeks ago. Little did we know we could only get there by bus… which none of us had ever taken before. But as the navigator, I pulled through. I navigated us through multiple bus switches all the way to the park without a hitch. This place was huge. Not Disney World huge, but bigger than I expected… and confusing to get around. There were tons of rides, food stands, and gardens. We rode a few rides, then ate, and found more rides to get on. But most important is the rollercoaster they had there. This the BEST rollercoaster I have ever ridden. It was wooden and had ingenious architecture/design. The whole thing went in and out of itself saving space, it was crazy. 10/10 would recommend. We made it back home late at night, catching one of the last buses home. I was worn out!
Lotte World: Fast forward only 5 days, and I’m at another amusement park. This time the most well known amusement park in South Korea, Lotte World. Think Disney, just as magical, but only the size of Epcot and half indoors. Yeah you heard me, it’s indoors. A lot of the rides are 4D style in order to save space, but they do have two rollercoasters inside that run through the park. It is so busy there that you go expecting to only ride around 4 rides in the whole day. Plus, we went on the weekend. It was a small group of us, only me, Hayley, Bioh, and Siyun (a new friend of mine, met through Pema, from Canada, was on the Bukaksan hike). We had done maybe two rides when we went to stand in line for one of the rollercoasters, The French Revolution. Though as we searched for the back of the line, we just kept winding through the park. When we finally reached the end, it only took 20 minutes of standing in line for Siyun and I to decide we didn’t care enough to stand in line and wait for this one ride, so we left Bioh and Hayley to fend for them selves while we walked around the park. The two of us ended up going through the Korean Historical Museum there, and doing small rides and walk through adventures, like the mirror maze. We also ate churros… a lot of churros… Approximately 4 hours later we went to meet Bioh and Hayley in the line for The French Revolution where they were still waiting. After seeing they were close and saying hello, we played a few carnival games to pass the time. Finally, they rode the rollercoaster claiming that the 4 hour wait in line was worth it. We ended the night watching the parade and the castle lighting, which led to me falling in love with Lotte, the character of the park (similar to Mickey Mouse), and buying a stuffed animal of him in a dinosaur costume.
The same day we went to Lotte World, the Dior fashion show was being held at Ewha, and I just think that is so cool. That was definitely a once in a life time thing to happen. We watched the set go up for over a week in the ECC, and I even saw the models arriving one night to practice walking the stage. Just to think some of my favorite idols, actresses, dancers, and models were on MY campus is so cool. Okay mini-awestruck rant over…
Busan: Now for the first of two big trips I planed on taking while in South Korea, Busan – the city furthest south on the seaside. Busan is one place you must go when visiting. Here you will find more seafood than you could think possible and beautiful areas where it seems as if the mountains and sea are meant to come as a pair. We went the weekend before last, a group of 8 of us. Yeah, you heard that right. Traveling in a group as large as that is never easy, but we made it work. In order to make the most of our time, we left early on a Friday morning. As soon as we landed, we headed for our guest house to drop off our bags and went to immediately grab lunch. In that same day we visited Magnate, a cafe owned by the father of Jimin – a member of BTS. The cafe was amazing, great coffee and great pastries, and the mood of the overall cafe was super chill and dark. It was soon after that we traveled by bus to go ride the cable cars, which took us to a mountain side, where we had a small impromptu hike to the seaside, and I ran around of rocks much too dangerous to be running on. They also had animatronic dinosaurs set up – strange, but thoroughly enjoyed by Hayley and I. To end our first night we hit the street vendors near our guesthouse, grabbing dumplings, hotteok, and fruit juice. We even stopped by a seafood restaurant to try soy sauce braised crab. But the first thing I noticed was the sign which showed that both Mamamoo and Twice had been there, making my night!
The second day we went to the Gamcheon Culture Village. This village is known for its colorful houses and photo opportunities. It was truly a sight to see, but the bus ride there was not. I don’t get motion sickness often, but when I tell you my head was spinning from the way that man was driving that bus… We got off early and walked the rest of the way, which honestly wasn’t much better because it was all uphill. But once we arrived it was worth it. We took photos, looked in unique shops, and ate more street food. The most notable thing I ate, was a toasted marshmallow ice cream. They would toast the marshmallow right in front of you, and on the inside was ice cream – vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry – coated in a thin chocolate layer. It was quite literally one of the best things I have ever eaten, maybe the best ice cream – and that is saying a lot for me, as ice cream is one of my favorite foods. We had lunch at a cute place, and then got ready to head for our next destination, Haeundae Beach. We spent the rest of our afternoon and most of our night at the beach. It isn’t large in depth but is spans a good few miles, and one area is dedicated to beautiful works of sand art that represent different areas of the world. While we were there a man was even working on one of them. We got more street food as a snack, rested on the beach some more, and then split to have dinner. My group ended up at an amazing Korean BBQ place. I’ve never been given that many side dishes in one sitting before. We barely had room on the table for it all.
The third day we separated into two groups to do different activities, agreeing to try and meet back up at five in order to head to the airport. My group went to the Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, also know as the most beautiful temple in Korea – and they weren’t wrong. I was stunned by the beauty of this temple by the sea. It was huge and incorporated so well into the mountain side. We spent hours just walking around. But it wasn’t too long before we had to go. Though as usual, we were running late for our meeting time. So we rushed taking multiple buses and subway lines to reach the guest house as fast as possible. Still late, we all basically ran to the subways again, only this time with our bags, to make it to the airport. Lucky we made it with time to spare, catching our flight home at the last possible minute to return to Seoul for classes the next morning.
Otherwise: These are just the highlights. What I can truly remember. Still cut down because honestly I’m short on time. I have two papers that need to be written soon, along with a group project to start and prepare for. My general days are still the same almost weekly. When I’m not in class I’m either crash studying, taking a nap, visiting birthday cafes/grabbing lunch and dinner with friends, or I have smuggled Bioh in again. There was one week I thought I was going to lose it with how busy I was. I believe it may have been the week we went to Everland… I was at my wits end; surrounded by people for too many hours of my day with no time to recharge. I haven’t really been watching anything with how much I’ve been going out. I sometimes draw or sketch in my free time, and am most always fighting sleep during class. They say picture are worth a thousand words, and that’s what this post is betting on because I cannot put so many things from the past month into words, nor can I fully remember them to do so. Thank you for tuning in this week, and wish me well on these papers… I need it… I’m not kidding… please ~please~
ON THE NEXT EPISODE: “The besties are here!!!” *paper 1* “See you soon Jeju” *paper 2* “Can’t believe we are so close to going home!!!” “How am I gonna get all my stuff home???”
*You know whats next…*
Jacqueline Rates Things: Street Food Edition
- 호떡 (Hotteok) – 8/10 – honey filled, sometimes seeds as well, pancakes fried, always good but not my first pick, some vendors are much better than others
- 소떡소떡 (Sausage and Rice Cake Skewers) – 10/10 – always soooooo good, one of my favorite things to order, have a slightly spicy sauce on them, sometimes you can get them with ketchup and mustard instead
- 파전 (Korean Pancake) -9/10 – all types are good kimchi, pumpkin, etc, sometimes they aren’t very crispy from vendors as they sit out, but still tasty, one of my favorites if I can find it
- 탕후루 (Tanghulu) – 8/10 – fruit coated in melted sugar on a stick, personally not a fan of the mixed fruit, some vendors candy shells are better than others, strawberry is the best
- Chicken and Vegetable Skewers – 7/10 – just chicken skewers, one of the healthier options, good and warm, not a first choice
- Korean Corndogs – 7/10 – a good corndog but so far I havent found one that wows me, can have fries fried into it, usually half cheese half hotdog
- 떡벅이 (Tteok-bokki) – 12/10 – you can never go wrong with tteokbokki, though I do prefer it when its just rice cake and not a ton of other things
- 김밥 (Kimbap) – 8/10 – kimbap is always good, these are just mini ones of the most basic type, can’t really mess it up
- 순대 (Soondae) – 0/10 – haven’t even tried it, I refuse to, I WILL NOT eat intestines, thank you that is all
- 만두 (Dumplings) – 5/10 – usually really basic, never know what you will get, and aren’t as good as the ones you can get from a real dumpling restaurant
- 뿡어빵 (Bungeo-ppang) – 200/10 – red bean filled, fish shaped bread, the best thing Korea has to offer, do not question me on this, I could eat it literally every day