Day 1: 한국에 도착했다!

Hi hi! I haven’t been blogging daily as promised (even though this is only my second day in Korea) because I still haven’t gotten my hands on an international adapter and only just borrowed Siying’s so I can finally use my laptop; and also because we got home late last night and left super early this morning. But I will split today’s post from yesterday’s, just so this entry doesn’t get too lengthy!

So Thursday night was my flight! I was miserable all the way from Sydney to HK and cried for a long long time. After I got to HK airport, I napped for a little since I slept so badly on the plane and had about 3-4 hours until my flight to Incheon. That flight was a little less uncomfortable (probably because it was just 1/3 of the time), fortunately. When I got to Korea, Sara, Laurie-anne and Andrea were all at the airport waiting for me. It was so exciting – they had signs for me and I felt like a celebrity!!! Hehe.

We then caught a bus to the guesthouse we’re staying at (Backpackers Inside), where I will be rooming with Siying for the next couple of days. This hostel isn’t any better or worse than I imagined. It’s okay, I guess, but the bathroom/toilet (my biggest concern) is way too small. The shower is literally 50cm from the cubicle and I’ve hit the lamp on the ceiling several times while getting changed. It’s pretty dangerous, especially after a shower when the light has been on for a while and is all heated up. Also, we’re not allowed to flush (used) toilet paper. It has to go into a bin. How unhygienic does that sound, really?

Anyway, so I dropped off my luggage in my room and changed into a tshirt (I almost died on my trip from the airport to the guesthouse from the heat!), and the 4 of us went to Hello Kitty Cafe. I forgot to take my camera out but I’m sure I’ll be making a trip to the cafe again so I’ll take photos next time (: ! It’s very cute inside and there’s a Hello Kitty face on all the drinks & food they serve!

After that, we walked around for a bit at Hyehwa (혜화) which is the closest train station, and then headed to Gangnam (강남) for a bit of shopping and dinner. I bought nothing though, just had a look around. The metro system here looks complicated and is but fortunately I could rely on the others, so I just followed them everywhere. I’m sure with a bit of time, I’ll be able to get used to it. It’s like HK’s MTR system but there’s a few more lines and a whole lot more stations and places to transfer.

Honestly, Seoul reminds me of a lot of Hong Kong, which may be good because it all seems familiar to me, but this is also what was so overwhelming to me and freaked me out so much. It looks and feels the same but the people are foreign and speak a language I still can’t understand. I never expected to be fluent, but it’s been 2.5 years of studying Korean and coming here and being so completely clueless made me feel really pathetic and it’s very upsetting ):. My listening is horrible, I cannot keep up with the pace Koreans talk at unless it’s a very simple sentence. Andrea and Siying have been studying Korean for a shorter period of time than me but they’ve been going everywhere speaking Korean. I still don’t have the confidence to communicate and actually haven’t spoken a word of Korean except for once today at Mucore (more on that later) – and only because that fan was Japanese and couldn’t speak English and I was definitely not even going to try talk in Japanese LOL. Hopefully in time I’ll get better!

Though I had a good time on my first day thanks to Sara, Laurie-anne and Andrea, I was still extremely homesick and had a good cry when I got back to the guesthouse. In fact, I couldn’t stop even when Siying came home which was rather embarrassing because we meet for the first time and I’m crying non stop -_-.

Anyway! Sorry for the lack of photos in this post. I’m feeling really tired and haven’t had time to upload anything, but I’ll write up another post tonight if you guys are interested in my Music Core experience (: Oh, and we plan to go to the Han River tonight (if the others wake up from their nap) so that should be fun!

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11 thoughts on “Day 1: 한국에 도착했다!

  1. I agree with mooray who I think is Mary (sorry if it isn’t lol) where are the photos? haha. Aww Candice! I hope you feel less homesick soon, I bet soon you won’t want to go home! You’re in my prayers and I’m glad you had a safe trip there! Remember to HAVE FUN! 😀

  2. OMG, you went to the Hello Kitty Cafe already?! Jealous! Definitely take pictures next time. 😀 lol, your description of the guesthouse reminded me of both of my exchange trips in high school. The showers in Martinique were really cramped and they don’t flush used toilet paper in Venezuela either – one of my friends learned the hard way that doing that just causes a backed up toilet.
    I’m glad you got there safely – I actually checked your twitter last night to see if you’d updated about arriving. I hope your homesickness will die down soon. Just think of it as a grand adventure! And don’t be too disappointed about your Korean. Native speakers always speak super quickly and it always takes time to get accustomed when you’re in the thick of things. It will get easier soon enough. Don’t worry too much and allow yourself to be immersed in the newness. It’s a good thing you’ve got friends who can help you get settled in. Take care. ❤

    • Yep! I put photos into my posts but I upload almost everything onto my facebook so if you want to add me, you can view my photos that way!

      Wow, you went on two exchange trips during high school? I really admire people who can go overseas. Having just been here for two days and already wanting to go home, I think it’s amazing when people can go to a foreign place and learn to adapt. I never thought it’d be easy but I didn’t think it would be this hard. I guess I overestimated myself and didn’t realise I was such a mummy’s girl T_T.

      But thanks so much, Kris ♥♥

      • Oh okay, I’ll add you there then.

        Yeah, but they were pretty short. aw, don’t feel bad though. I’m a mummy’s girl too and it was really difficult for me at first, especially for my first exchange. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped to because I had a hard time adjusting and getting used to being there on my own. It isn’t easy, especially if you’re not used to being away from your family, but that’s why it’s important to be willing to put yourself out there and not allow yourself to be intimidated. When it was time for my second exchange, I went there determined to enjoy it and not worry so much and it was a lot more fun. Keeping busy helps too, although you seem to be doing just fine in that department.

        Don’t worry too much, okay? Have fun! ♥

  3. aww i just got back from a 3-week trip in korea and i miss it already 😦 the seoul subway line was indeed crazy. thank god my friend thought of printing out a map of the subway so that we won’t get confused which station to get off, etc. enjoy your stay in seoul ^^ visit SME in apgujeong ^^

    • Wow! And how did you find it? I got a map from the subway and I managed to find Myeongdong Cathedral by myself today! But other than that, I’ve really just been relying on my friends. They’re leaving tmr/on Wednesday so I really have to start learning to be independent!

      I will probably give SME building a visit haha. I’d like to try my luck and see if I bump into anyone ;).

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