Previously on Jaxs Needs a Break: “Welcome to a chaotic post about everything I’ve been doing,” *hiking,* *amusement parks,* “Wow Busan!!!,” *eats more food*
Coming to you live from the cafe Bioh works at (more to come on this place later) and somewhere else because this won’t be finished tonight… Everyone’s favorite host, JACQUELINE HIBBARD!!!! *John Cena theme song*
What’s up everyone! I am back with your regularly scheduled trip update. It is currently finals week, and on top of that I fly home this upcoming Wednesday. There is so much to update you all on, but this time I think I actually have it sorted out unlike last time… so! Let’s get started shall we???
When I wrote my last post, my friends Sarah and Katie were actually visiting Korea already. They came for three weeks, spending two in Seoul and one in Busan. I was so excited to see them. It was one of the things keeping me going. They arrived a few days after my friends and I returned from Busan. The first night they arrived, I met them, with Bioh, close to their place (who else would they meet first 🙄). We went to Hongdae for K-BBQ to commemorate their first night, followed up by ice cream. We went to Hongdae a lot actually, but that’s not a surprise as it’s one of the places I am the most comfortable. One day going to a cafe and watching buskers. Another going to Itaewon. We ate fried chicken multiple times, as they were obsessed, but as they should be! We even went to Lotte World, as it is a quintessential part of any trip to Seoul, and spent the whole day there. I also met them at the Namsan Tower one night after my classes had finished, actually getting to go up this time – I am here to tell you that it is simply another space needle and i was kind of underwhelmed but at least I can say I did it. On one of their final days in Seoul, we visited Bioh at work. They all wanted to see each other again before they left, and who was I to say no… So we traveled an hour to Ilsan, where the cafe is, to see her during her break and of course try the absolutely amazing pastries. I’m not kidding, they are to die for! The cafe is called 말금 케이크 (Sunny Cake). We ate a chocolate strawberry cake, apple pie, filo pastry doughnut, and egg tarts (what the cafe is known for). All thanks to Bioh who spoiled us!!! After that we rode the subway home and had one last dinner together before they left for Busan, and I left for Jeju.
Jeju for a Long Holiday Weekend: My friends and I left early Friday morning for Jeju. We called a taxi, as it was still too early for public transportation and went to the airport, where we ended up arriving WAY too early and having to wait for the airport to even open. Finally though, we boarded the plane, on which I knocked out immediately. Fast forward and few hours and I was writing my last update for you guys on the bus to our hostel. You heard that right… we stayed in a hostel. Luckily though we rented a room for 8 people, as we thought Sarah and Katie would be meeting us there – though it didn’t work out – so we didn’t have to room with anyone we didn’t know. Staying in the hostel was very interesting, sharing bathrooms and a small living area with all of the other residents. But I adjusted and in all honesty didn’t mind it too much. The place was really nice and in a relatively good location… or as good as you can get for Jeju. To be honest we didn’t have the best time in Jeju. Many times we tried to do things we were unsuccessful and/or there wasn’t anything to do. We mainly visited museums. Going to the Hello Kitty Museum, Teddy Bear Museum, Chocolate Museum, and Grimm Forrest (a virtual projector art museum based off of the Tales of the Brother’s Grimm). We also visited the green tea fields which was really cool. The rest of the time was spent in cafes. Spending nearly four hours in one as soon as we got there because Manny, Alisa, and I all had homework we needed to do. We also visited a few water falls. The biggest down side to the trip was the public transportation, as it isn’t that great in Jeju, so we took A LOT of taxis, paying a lot of money for those and museums. But we did get to try black pork, which Jeju is famous for, and we all really enjoyed it. Jeju is also extremely beautiful. I loved being by the water, but life would have been so much better if we had had a car.
School Stuff: As for school… remember those two papers yeah… well I got them done eventually. But never at good times. The last one I started writing one day, and the next day in class my teacher private messaged me on zoom asking if I had submitted the last one, and proceeded to tell me it was due the night before – which she NEVER said. She said to turn it in before our final and at that point I still had a week, but WHATEVER. So I turned it in late… I also had a group project for that class. I partnered with my friend Juyoon. We most definitely did it last minute, and I was with her for 24-hours straight, spending the night at her place just off campus. But we did pretty good in our opinion (if you ever want to know about classist language in the film Parasite and what it proves about perception of self, hit me up). We also just had finals. Honestly, they were kinda rough. I did the best I could though, I guess. We will see how I do, but I’m guessing my grades this semester aren’t super… I really just didn’t try too hard, more worried about experiencing Korea and hanging out with friends for once in my life. But in total I had 7 tests – keep in mind I only had 3 classes – 2 speaking tests, two grammar and reading tests, a listening and writing test, a presentation, and a final on Korean Language and Culture. Fun fact I took my last exam Monday… in Ilsan… I may or may not have made it home after going to see Bioh at the cafe… as in I most definitely didn’t. I ended up staying at her place, to both of our surprise as we didn’t think her parents were gonna let me spend the night… to which in the morning her mother told her “when you said you were getting dinner at 8, we expected she would be staying over.” Needless to say I was floored and EXTREMELY grateful. If only you could see me sitting on the floor of her bedroom on zoom taking my listening and writing exam… a mess. After my test we then met our friends at Lotte World lol… three times in one trip sounds like a success to me.
Other than that I went to a few Yves birthday cafes and attempted to go to Cafe Rosy, the cafe owned by Olivia Hye’s family, but it was closed for a holiday the day I went and I had not bothered to check. I sadly didn’t get the chance to go back. I also bought more K-pop albums but THAT is besides the point. I had to buy another suit case to pack all my albums, stuffies, and other nicknacks in, let’s just say thank god I got the size I did and it is REALLY good quality. More importantly I mailed a fat box home full of souvenirs, clothes, shoes, and other small things because otherwise I would have had to have bought another suitcase. I look funny enough rolling 4 at one time, I don’t think I would have been able to do 5. I also actually started watching new shows and stuff. I started watching Sailor Moon a while back and I watched the new Netflix drama First Kill. I highly suggest both! I was also watching a lot of old movies spanning from Funny Face staring Audrey Hepburn to Wendy Wu Homecoming Warrior to decompress or maybe disassociate from feeling… but that is for a therapist to figure out.
To comprise our last few weeks, we were really all just trying to make the most of it. Going to favorite restaurants for the last time, making sure to hang out with friends we may not see for a while, or just experiencing a little more of Korea. Bioh convinced her parents to spend the night with us a few times at the dorm which was great. Our whole friend group aka 10 people got together to go clubbing together a few last times. We really tried to do everything. I was running on max 5 hours of sleep a night if I was lucky, but usually 3-4 and over the last 2-3 days only 1, but it was worth it. I even got to see two friends from home right before I left. Anna and her sister Mina came to Korea to visit their family, so we met up and did lunch and dessert!!! It was so great to see them, and made me so happy. It was like a little taste of home before I actually got the whole thing.
To finish up Manny and I got up at 5 this morning – well Manny actually didn’t sleep but… – to go take a few pictures and get ready to call the cab that was gonna bring us to the airport. Hayley and Bioh saw us off, being the angels they are, and helped us get the cab and take pictures. Manny and I are currently sitting it the Detroit airport waiting for our horrid layover to be over. We are both two steps from croaking, but that’s okay. We are almost home. See you all soon…
ON THE NEXT EPISODE: A final reflection, summary, reverse culture shock, the airport and flying home… see you all soon (aka in like two days)
“Time for Jacqueline Rates Things” *record scratch*
“Oh… ummmmm. Time for Jacqueline’s Brain is Mush”:
I have nothing to rate. Unless you want a vauge description of cafes, whose names I cannot remember and no matter what the final consensus would be 맑음 카이크 (Sunny Cake) is superior *whispers* “Mammoth Coffee” .
Brain empty… stream Loona’s new song and music video Flip That