안녕하세요 (Hello)! Week 7 in Seoul was great. This was Jacob’s second week and last week in Korea. A fun highlight included our friend group ending up in the same place of Seoul we randomly decided to go to on our first week. At this random place we decided to try a sit-on-the-floor place and ordered two random stews for our large party. One was google translated to “potato ride” and the other was made of pig spine. They were both delicious; however I was not impressed with the amount of two potatoes I managed to find in the potato ride. Another highlight included getting Bingsu, which is Korean snow ice cream, with my exchange buddy. She taught me how to say lunch and dinner in Korean and how to talk about the food that comes with the drinks in Korean. Dinner is pronounced like “Jeo nyuk” and lunch is pronounced like “chum sim,” while food with drink is “panju.” The Bingsu we ate was a strawberry and condensed milk decorated mountain of milk chips with a cheesecake stuck inside. Jake and I got to eat most of it because the exchange buddy stepped out to talk for a long time, and it was mostly melted when she returned. We loved this ice cream so much that we got it three times during the remainder of his stay. Two of my favorite activities happened this week: Han River bike riding the Noryangiin Fish Market.
Another great weekend started. Thursday night started with a KUBA dinner that Jake and I went to. We ate sushi that dinner and were served three massive sushi rolls that were split between 5 people and we were all beyond stuffed. Then we moved on to round 2, which is typically a Soju place. At this Soju place we tried raspberry, apple, and blueberry flavored Soju. My favorite out of these three flavors was apple. John was also there with his KUBA group and we were approached by a GWU exchange alum who we met at the Simon Lee dinner, Jiyoon Chung. It was very exciting to see someone we met at GWU at this bar in Korea and we shall have lunch with her after midterms. After dinner, the night was spent at Monkey Beach and Octagon. Monkey Beach was a new club we tried, where a Korean girl climbed a pole and rang a bell and thus was able to get a free tub of long island iced tea. Shout out to a KU alumni Tony Lyons for giving us great tips here in Korea! He constantly recommends cool hotspots to try (like Monkey Beach) and how to succeed in classes. After Monkey Beach, we went to Octagon. As I previously mentioned, it is the number 9 club in the world and a lot of fun stuff always happens there. We danced until we could not dance anymore and even Jake was impressed by it.
Friday morning was met with homework. That Friday afternoon however we went biking on the Han River. This area is popular among Koreans because it provides a beautiful view of the city as well as a place for activity. This is where Korean couples go to show off how cute they look together in their matching outfits and bike ride. Jesse, Jake, John, Mike, Jesper, and I decided to bike. The pollution was low that day so you could actually see the mountain peaks in the distance. I felt free and happy on the bike. The bike lanes were separated into two moving direction lanes. I kept riding as fast or as slow as I wanted along to the rhythm of my music, which was blasting from my bike basket. Jake rode on an unknown path so he was separated from the group for 20 minutes, but eventually he found us. The whole trip was only 3000W for an hour and everyone was left joyful from the experience. After this adventure we got Indian food and enjoyed it on the Crimson roof.
The Noryangiin Fish Market is the largest seafood market in Korea where vendors sell everything from stingrays to squid to mystery fish. It is open year round and is the place where restaurant owners compete for the freshest catch in the mornings. John, Jesse, Michael, Jake, and I decided that we would wake up early on Saturday to explore this attraction. When we got off of the subway, the market was hidden in a large warehouse with a smelly fish odor emanating from it. As we descended down the stairs, you could hear the bustle of the merchants. It was around 9:30am when we arrived there. The warehouse was the size of a city block, with wet floors, and loud merchants trying to make a sale.
The first section was mainly shellfish such as crab and muscles, with a few squid and sea slugs. Jesse and I decided to try stingray sashimi and then the whole group split a sashimi platter. The sashimi platter was 20000W and the stingray was 15000W. We weren’t sure of where we should sit so we went outside the warehouse and sat on a raised curb where they plant flowers. We used that was the table and sat around it. The sashimi platter was fantastic and a Korean man in his car even stopped to make sure we were dipping the sashimi in the sauce. The stingray however did not sit right with any of us. When I ingested it, a funny sensation was felt down the entirety of my tongue. Being an enthusiastic food lover, even I felt as if I could not try even another piece. My friends were in agreement and we ended up throwing away the stingray sashimi. Afterwards, we decided to try some fish-cooking restaurant in the market. In order to do this Mike chose a king crab for his meal, Jake chose a red snapper, and I chose a simple random fish. We went into a random restaurant in the warehouse and they prepared it for us right there and then. It was delicious and definitely an experience that we won’t forget. Afterwards we went Han River biking round 2!
Saturday night Jake and I went to Hongdae to a rooftop party and got Korean BBQ at 2am. On Sunday, it was KUBA field day and Michael and Alissa’s group won a free meal! Studying abroad rocks! 안녕 (Goodbye)!!!