Hurrah!

Midterms are over! Scores come out tomorrow, last period, and I’m not looking for anything too high, but it’s interesting to have that “I’m free!” feeling you get after the last day of exams. Afterward, I walked around the 이대 (Edae, short for Ehwa Women’s University) area with some classmates. I had this snack from one of the outdoor vendors, it’s 떡 (ddeok, rice cake) wrapped in marinated ground meat. It’s fun to eat and the 아저씨 (ajusshi, general term for an older man) was pretty nice :) Wish I could share pictures from my phone, but my Mac laptop is incompatible with the phone’s media program!

Actually, Korea is wildly incompatible with Mac in general. It’s probably better than it was a few years ago, but anything from viewing a website to getting files from my phone means encountering a lot of blank space and insurmountable little glitches! I’ve done some research, and apparently anything technologically Korean generally requires Windows XP. That’s what nearly all website security systems and plug-ins are designed for.

Which is why I’m proud to say that I finally bought a toaster oven through Korea’s main internet shopping auction site, Gmarket! Doubly proud because I bit the bullet and spent the money after vacillating back and forth for a few weeks. I (kind of) figured out how to pay through bank transfer this afternoon, and I received an e-mail right away saying that the package had been shipped and was on its way O_O Korean convenience can be very impressive when it actually works out for the foreigner too. XD;;;

Meanwhile, I feel like all these little things have been accumulating to make me feel extra busy. This Friday right after class ends I’ll be heading to 고속 (Gosok) Bus Terminal for a weekend trip to 경주 (Gyeongju).  I’m going with a Korean girl, a language buddy I met back in California when she was here for an internship. 경주 is a very historical area, it was the capital during the time of the 신라 (Shilla) Dynasty, but I’m mostly interested in seeing the 단풍 (danpoong, autumn leaves) and trying 경주빵 (Gyeongju bbang, bbang means bread) and 잘보리빵 (chal bori bbang, “healthy barley bread”). I love barley! More information on the area (and the bbang’s) can be found here.

The weekend trip has kind of reinvigorated my traveling itch, so after stumbling across free transportation to two famous historical areas, 경주 and 전주 (Gyeongju and Jeonju), sponsored by the government, I’m trying to figure out how to take full advantage of it the next few months before the promotion ends!

I’m hoping my oven arrives before I have to leave on Friday! Reviews said that delivery was extremely fast, some getting it the day after placing the order. Not only do I not want my oven to get stolen (as some of my things have in this building…), or threatened to be sent back to the USA (as I discovered with a pesky package late last week), but I want to be able to make 빼빼로 (Pepero) for Pepero day!!

Pepero is basically Korea’s copycat:x version of Japanese Pocky, and it’s like another Valentine’s Day except instead of chocolates and flowers, you celebrate with Pepero! It’s celebrated annually on November 11, because the date (11/11 – next year’s going to be crazy) resembles the long sticks of Pepero. I’ve heard that the employee who came up with this idea got a promotion at Lotte, the company that makes Pepero, and good for him as 65% of annual sales are from this holiday! Anyway, it’s not only for lovers, but Pepero gifts can also be given to friends or teachers or anyone you appreciate. Some people make their own pepero-like confections, and that’s what I would like to do! Then give them out to people whose help I’ve appreciated since coming here. Maybe something like this?

Photo from: http://thetruththusfar.wordpress.com

Wish me luck!

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