happy days

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Sometimes I feel like I have to dress like a Korean or I’ll get mad judged. Then there are other times I dress like a nineties chick in leggings, keds, and a sweater tied around my waist. One thing I’m learning again and again here is that you just gotta be confident. Who cares if they judge? Gotta stay true to who I am.

On a different note, it’s finally feeling like spring! Sunshine and a light breeze in the air. If only the humidity would go away, it would be perfect. Cafes feel like my escape into society. If I’m not at a cafe, I’m usually at home alone and it can get pretty lonely. I love going to them in Chicago but I love them even more here! It gives me a sense of community and just puts me in a better mood, especially if the lighting and atmosphere is on point.

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weekend roundup

The weather here has been really crummy this weekend. Rain, rain, rain. It would be better if it would just pour but its just been glum. But just because the weather has been downcast doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the weekend. It was actually pretty packed. My dad hurt his leg playing tennis so I’ve been going to the hospital with him the past couple days to get therapy, spent an afternoon in Gangnam, and took a day trip down to Daejun. Packed to say the least!

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1. Fresh juice that costs 7,500 won. Um, no thanks.
2. This concept was cool. A cafe within an Urban Outfitters-esque store
3. Pastries and pastries and pastries galoreIMG_2429My parents sharing food at a gas station/rest area on the way down to Daejun. Cute, no? It was a snack before we went to the greatest buffet of my life. Photos of 2 of like 8 plates I ate. The sushi and dessert were amazing!
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market day

Overexposed photos, just the way I like them. Every Thursday, there’s a street market in our city, so I made my way over there this afternoon. So many venders and so many people! I don’t think I’ll ever get used to people not walking on the right side of the street/side walk and people bumping into each other without saying excuse me. But I do think I can get used to the freshly fried donuts. It was probably the most delicious thing I’ve eaten so far, and it only cost 50 cents. Say whaaat. It was so good I went back on my way home and bought four more! Looking forward to getting more next week!

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03. Learning how to relax

I’m not sure how to just sit still and do nothing. I guess that’s a prevalent problem in our generation. And that’s why I’m in Korea – to learn how to relax. And yet, here I am looking for a hobby and wanting to get moving.

I woke up early this morning, facetimed my boyfriend (the time difference is really unfortunate), went to the gym, and bummed around until I couldn’t take it any longer. Solution to my boredom? Go on a walk! How beautiful are the trees and my neighborhood!?

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Okay, kind of embarrassing, but I couldn’t figure out how to make coffee (like I couldn’t figure out how to work the stove this morning) so I stopped by the convenient store to get some. A little too sweet for my liking, but coffee is coffee! Originally 1,900 won but got it for 1000 won. YES!

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Once 2PM hit, I went to this donkatsu place called 돈까스 클럽 and got the biggest piece of pork cutlet in the world.. And to add to the great big portions, the interior was great!

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02. street food, street food, and more street food

I am so tired. Nothing seems to be registering in my head but I’m determined to write this blog post and stay up until at least 10. Today was a lot of fun which is probably why I’m so exhausted (in addition to my jet lag). Here’s how it went down:

6:00AM: Wake up, eat breakfast, and get ready for the day. My mom loves cooking healthy. So healthy that she doesn’t even put salt in her food. This mornings breakfast? Porridge made with beans, bean sprouts, carrots, broccoli, and other healthy things – it surprisingly didn’t taste bad! But it definitely was a little too healthy for me as I ate two pieces of bread after..

7:00AM: Seoul’s city center with my dad! We stopped by the American consulate, walked around, ate some street food and lunch, and went to his school to show me around his campus.

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As a snack, we each got a skewer. It was 700 won per skewer, and I thought to myself “THAT’S SO CHEAP!!” Later in the day I found out that it’s usually 500 won per. Note to self: don’t buy overpriced street food. Meh, but whatever. It was still good.

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My dad’s office + coffee brewing! I thought I drank a lot of coffee.. but he drinks even more. I guess he’s where I got this addiction from.
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School campus! Isn’t it beautiful?

3:00PM: Look at new apartments because my parents are moving! There’s something I’ve noticed coming here: consumerism is insane…. like significantly more than it’s prevalent in Chicago. Everything has to do with brand names, luxury items, and status. That being said, even apartment viewings are made into events. It’s shocking.

4:00PM: Snack on some 붕어빵. So good when they’re hot and fresh!

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5:00PM:  Street market where we had more food! Street 떡볶이! Only 2,500 won and tasted amazing. AMAZING.

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So here’s what happened. We were walking around and when we saw a ddukbokki stand, we immediately wanted some. But my dad didn’t have any cash on him, they didn’t take credit card, and my mom only had 2,100 won in her wallet when the cost of 1 serving was 2,500 won. The picture on the left is my mom looking through her wallet to find loose change, and the picture on the right shows our satisfied and extremely content faces with our ddukbokki. We ended up paying only 2,100 won because the lady was nice. Thank the Lord she was generous because it was delicious.

I hope I never forget how much of a blessing it is to be with family!

love me some ice cream

Today consisted of creating this blog, brunch at Bongo Room, ice cream at Jeni’s Splendid Ice, coffee at Elijah’s Coffee Shop, and hours of House of Cards while organizing photos. What’s more to come today? Dim Sum and mini golf with the boyfriend! Cheers to a great day!

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1. Making waffle cones = amazing smells
2. Salted Caramel and Intelligentsia Espresso ice cream in a fresh waffle cone
3. I honestly don’t remember which ice cream I got.. oops
4. Latte art and cool tiles

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