The First Day – Part 2

After getting back, I used my laptop and the ready internet to make some Skype calls! Checked in with the parents and contacted a few friends in Korea. One of them, SeMin (세민) is a student I met when I was studying abroad – actually I met his girlfriend, SangEun (상은) first through the exchange program. They’re both very sweet, and SeMin is especially friendly. (He offered to pick me up from the airport with SangEun when I told him I was going to Korea! Lucky for him, the Fulbright had already arranged the early-morning dispatcher :) He’s actually completing his two years of military duty right now, working as a guard in one of the national museums.

We decided to meet at the subway station (I definitely know how to get from there to home and back now) at 8 PM for dinner, when he was done with work and when SangEun was free. Semin has a car! Well, at least when his dad doesn’t need it. Despite the relative ease/availability of Seoul public transportation, it’s still nice to get a car ride. The following pictures are for you, Kahlia and San ;)

We shared this tofu stew and a platter of pork and tofu.

The awesome 반찬 (banchan)! Yay for gratuitous side dishes. I especially enjoyed the spicy fried fish.

After dinner, we headed to a cafe for some dessert, sharing some kind of ice cream sitting in coffee dish and a grapefruit sorbet. It was nice to catch up and chat, and we can for the most part converse! (It’s fun too, as they’re very willing to help me out with my Korean vocabulary.) 세민 is planning to complete his engineering degree after the army duties are finished, and 상은 is studying to become a veterinarian. She hopes to specialize as a horse doctor! Not sure what the proper term is… equestriologist?? Oh, and she has also fallen in love with The Simpsons.

It was nice to just feel really welcomed, even if I was tired from the flight and hours of walking around lost. Tonight, the night I’m writing this (a little over two weeks since I’ve been here), they’re celebrating their three-year anniversary, so congratulations to them!

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