Window to Seoul

Real life in the land of K-dramas


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Sangju Dried Persimmon Festival

This past Saturday I took a day trip to Sangju, a small but very old city in Gyeongsangbuk-do. It’s actually one of the cities that contributed to the name of the Gyeongsang provinces, along with Gyeongju. I was going there as part of a series of trips hosted by the Sangju city government to promote their city for tourism. Most of the participants were Koreans, but I and a few other foreigners got to tag along thanks to the organizer of the Seoul Expat Global Meetup Group (meetup.com), who scored some extra invites. Continue reading


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An Amazing Weekend: Part 1 (Sept 28)

I’ve been in Seoul for well over a month now… O.o Funny how time passes so quickly.

On Sept. 28, I received my alien registration card (exactly four weeks after applying), which is making my life here much easier since it finally allowed me to get a bank account and smartphone, view Korean-only Cyworld pages (necessary in order to check out the websites of most SNU extracurricular clubs), etc. After the immigration office, I met up with a couple of my classmates to work on a class project, for which we had to make a video about a few famous places in Seoul. Our group was supposed to introduce Daehakro (대학로, an area famous for its theaters and nightlife), Naksan Park (낙산공원), and Iwha Maeul (이화마을, a small neighborhood famous for its wall paintings). It had been raining all afternoon, but fortunately stopped shortly after we met up around 5 pm. In fact, the weather turned out to be incredibly beautiful for the rest of the day, with the perfect temperature, breeze, late afternoon golden light, and sunset…. Continue reading


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A Small Introduction

So, I’ve been a little slower than I had intended in getting this blog started. It’s hard to believe I’ve been in Seoul for two weeks already, but a lot has happened in that time. I’ll be dividing up the last couple of weeks into a series of posts that will hopefully be more digestible than the massive ramble that might result otherwise. This post will just be a (relatively) quick introduction to where I am and what I’ve been up to.

A spectacular sunset greeted us as the plane landed at Incheon Airport.

As a student at Seoul National University’s Language Education Institute, I was lucky enough to get a room in one of SNU’s off-campus dormitories, which are essentially university-managed apartment buildings. The rooms in the off-campus dormitories are all singles. I’m in the dormitory called Yewon, which is located very conveniently in Daehak-dong (~10 minutes from the SNU main campus). The streets around the dormitory building are packed with an incredible number of restaurants, bars, grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, PC rooms, etc. – literally more than I can count. Every material thing you could possibly need is within a five minute walk, tops. Plus, most shops stay open very late. My first night here, fresh off the plane, the streets were still full of people at midnight, at which time I was able to buy everything from orange juice to a pillow from neighborhood stores. Continue reading