Friday, October 16, 2015

Time Flies..

When I was in high school, all I could think about was how time was moving at a snail’s pace. I could not wait to go to college and it could not have come soon enough. Now, here I am in my senior year of college. I never truly understood how quickly time passes until I came to Korea. My journey in Korea is almost halfway over with nine weeks left. I realized this with midterms approaching and the stress of “the grade.” In Korea midterms are not a normal exam, they are worth almost half of your grade. While at Columbia College, I rarely had this feeling of stress from exams because I mostly write term papers. These different stressors of learning a new language, adapting to new teaching styles, and navigating graduate school applications abroad have helped me learn valuable skills within education and traveling. Not only have I experienced educational stressors but all of the unknown things I have experienced. For example, I had no idea what it would be like to be a minority. Sure, I am a women’s study minor and I have taken minority classes, read scholarly articles, and read firsthand accounts but I had never experienced it. Like others, I have had good and bad experiences.

Now for the most recent sights and adventures...

N Seoul Tower and Locks of Love is one of my favorite sights! N Seoul Tower, better known has Namsan Tower to the locals, is located on top of Namsan Mountain and is the highest point in Seoul! The panoramic views of Seoul are stunning and gorgeous, especially at night. I went here with one of my best friends here in Korea, Ahra.

The Locks of Love is another attraction on top of the mountain. Couples or families come here to place a lock (with a message on it) somewhere on the railings or on ornaments. I decided to put a lock on an ornament resembling a Christmas tree. For those of you who know me, this was the absolute perfect placement for me.

They had older items which people could play with to see how they worked.

The queen was carried throughout the entire parade by these men.

Lantern Festival: There were lights which lit up the shrubbery throughout the stream. 

The farthest adventure I have had from my university was the Suwon Hwaseong Cultural Festival, which was two hours away by subway and bus. This was an adventure because I had only been on a bus once with a Korean friend so I did not really know how the bus system worked. However, even with my navigation skills, we did not get lost! This was a three-day long festival with various activities, from parades to lantern festivals to music to crafts. They even had a reenactment of the tortoise and the hare with a twist (in Korean of course). Below are pictures of the parade. I was actually interviewed twice about my experience in Korea and about the parade, which was cool.

We also visited the Hwaseong Fortress while at the festival. This fortress was constructed from 1794-1796. The fortress is completely made out of Seokjae and Jeondol bricks. There are holes throughout the walls of the fortress in case of an attack. 

Until I visit the DMZ,

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