Window to Seoul

Real life in the land of K-dramas

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Seoul International Fireworks Festival (Oct 6)

Now that the SNU language program’s fall semester has ended, it’s time for me to play catch-up with this blog. On October 6th, I went to see the annual Seoul International Fireworks Festival with one of my language partners. The festival consisted of four 20-minute shows, by Italy, China, the US, and South Korea in turn, with the fireworks being set off over the Han River by Yeouido. They also play music along with the fireworks, and the best place to both see and hear the show is in front of the 63 Building.  Of course, about a bajillion people attend the festival, so if you want to get a good spot, you have to get there super early. We didn’t do that, so by the time we got to a couple of subway stops away, where we were supposed to transfer to Line 5, the station was so packed that we decided to bail out and just walk the rest of the way (about 45 minutes). Continue reading



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