Sonntag, 1. November 2015

Seoul Photo diary: Family Visit!

As you know, my parents and my brother came to visit me in Seoul two weeks ago. They stayed here for 6 days and I planned out a Seoul sightseeing/shopping/food program for them. I managed to show them almost everything that I intended to, except for a few exceptions. Now I know that it's best to plan 2-3 different things to do on one day, more than three is not very recommendable, as it can get tiring and too stressful otherwise. 
The moment when I saw them at the arrival gate was superstrange and amazing at the same time. The first thing we did was of course going out for a korean barbecue in hongdae! I think that is a perfect way to welcome anyone in Seoul. During their stay here I still attended my classes, so it got a bit exhausting for me after five days of Sightseeing and walking more than 18'000 steps everyday. But we always took our time to try out all the delicious food that Seoul has to offer, which gave us fuel for more walking and exploring. I think my family really enjoyed their time here in Seoul, and I was superhappy to have them here and be able to show them my favorite places. I have to admit, I'm not bad at this tourguide thing, but it is pretty tiring after a couple of days. Even though I enjoyed their stay, I was happy to be able to return to my daily life again, when they left after six days. I was superlucky that I didn't have any homework or deadlines whilst they where here. So it was perfect. Here some photos:

introducing bingsu to my family. The one on the left was the Cafés regular Bingsu, the other one was a Green Tea flavored one. They loved it!!

Tong-Bang, which literally means Shit Bread. Weird Asian Food Humour. 

Octopus in the aquarium of a restaurant, waiting for its last hour to strike. 

My parents in Seoul! Here at the Cheonggyecheon River. 

too many selfie sticks in this country.

Changing of the Guard Performance at the Gyeongbokgung Palace. 

supercool korean kiddos.

Black and normal Chicken Ginseng Soup for lunch. It's supposed to be good for your health. 

traditional way of lunching: sitting on the floor! We were not used to this and prefer to sit at the table in order to enjoy the food more. 

This was on my Mom's Birthday! She hasn't aged a bit. Love my Mom so much!

If you ever feel like eating one chicken thigh - there you go!

Mom's Birthday Dinner at one of the best Restaurants in Seoul that I've been to so far. The first time I came here with Claire and we had almost the same thing. The black rice and marinated Pork in a Salad leaf is just amazing!

I took my family to the Iwha Mural Village. The tumblr famous Goldfish Stairs!

How beautiful my parents look together!

Of course I wanted my picture on the tessellated Stairs as well.

flagship chinese: my brother and my mom really know how to pose on pictures. 

Favorite Spot to take a picture of the View from the Iwha Mural Village. 

My angel!

My mom in her element.

not as skilled at posing as my mom

steep roads at the Iwha Mural Village

Asian way of Breakfast: Bowls of Noodles with Meatballs and Dumplings! 

My dad at the Ewha Woman's University

after their second time eating Bingsu. Full and happy of course.

Dad and I at the Bukchon Hanok village. Perfect Weather during their Stay here!

Freitag, 30. Oktober 2015

Speak Korean?

I've been taking basic korean courses for two months now and so far I know the korean alphabet which is called hangeul, which means I know how to write and I know how to say the most basic things like hello, my name is Melanie, I'm swiss, I'm a student. Also I know how to count, I know some fruits, some professions and I know how to sing a song about a bear family.

I really like learning korean, because our teacher is just the funniest and most adorable person ever. Her english is almost non-existant, which means she uses korean in order to explain korean to us. This has been proven as very tricky in many ocassions. Sometimes (or rather often) we would ask her a question in english for example: Teacher, why is this word spelled like that? and she would respond with a loud OKAY! accompanied by some heavy nodding. In fact she says Okay a lot when she doesn't know what to say, but that is another reason why I like her.
At the beginning it was hard to follow her, because that woman moves really fast, she doesn't waste no time, but as I've been a good student so far and I've been keeping up with my homework, I find understanding her and what she wants to tell us with her limited english knowledge, better and easier with every single lesson.

Korean is a superdifficult language in terms of everything in my opinion. But once you know the alphabet it makes your life in korea one tiny bit easier. Because although you can read, that doesn't mean you'll understand what the words are saying. However I realized that there are quite a few words in korean that are directly derived from the english language and which I find superfunny to read and pronounce. And that also means that sometimes you do know what you're reading, because it's exactly the same in english, just pronounced in a korean way.

Some examples:

고 피 ko-pi : coffee
오 렌 지 eo-ren-ji : orange
컴 표 터 kom-pju-to : computer
파 인 애 플 pa-in-ae-peul : pineapple
치 즈 chi-jeu : cheese
머 핀 meo-pin : muffin
바 게 트 ba-ge-teu : baguette
바 나 나 ba-na-na : banana
배 bae : pear
핸 드 펀 haen - deu- pon : hand phone
프 랜 스 peu-ren-seu : france
핀 렌 드 pin - raen- deu : finland
토 마 토 to-ma-to : tomato
팬 게 이 크 paen-ke-i-keu : pancake
오 믈 렛 o-meul-les : omelette
크 로 와 상 keu-ro-ua-sang : croissant

When I go grocery shopping I'm still not skilled nor confident enough to speak in korean, because as I already mentioned, I look korean to the koreans, which means that If I said annyeonghaseyo (hello in korean) to them they would immediately start talking in superfast korean to me. Sometimes people just keep on talking korean, eventhough I told them that I don't understand nor speak any korean.
With my korean skills that I have so far, I'm not able to make any conversations with someone, unless we would start a conversation about a family of bears. But my goal is not to speak perfect korean anyways. It's just nice to finally be able to filter out some words in my daily life here in Seoul. It makes me feel more safe in a way.