More First Times





Hello from my dorm room in Seoul!

The weather now is so nice, it feels like winter is officially over. I have been trying to get back into the routine of school, and though its been very hard, I think I’m officially in the zone.

This is my last semester in Seoul and I’ve been making plans to go to many places and do different things. Four months go by extremely fast, despite what my Mom says, and I want to leave South Korea with little regret! 

A semi-silly thing that I crossed off my bucket-list was going to the Lotte Mart in Seoul Station. It was a goal of mine, because there’s every snack you ever want in Korea and they offer immediate tax-return. Little did I know, I was in for an experience. 

The Experience

First important fact to my story, I decided to go around 4 PM. I did wake up with the intention to go in the morning, but as time passed, I lost motivation to go. It was at 4 PM that I asked my friend if I should go, to which she said yes. Of course. Go buy food to feed yourself. 

I went to Lotte Mart by bus from my school. That was not difficult at all, because it stopped right in front of it. But what was difficult was everything inside. 

Lotte Mart, apparently, at 4 PM, is extremely packed. I went on a Friday, so I’m guessing a lot of tourist have time then to go buy snacks. I, with no direction or shopping list, was in the way of everyone there. The people that I’ve bumped, that I stood in the way of, the ones that I have awkwardly parked my cart in front of, I’m sorry.

Jin mild ramyun is my favorite!

My cart was filled with lots of snacks and noodles, things I shouldn’t be eating, but will be okay in moderation. At checkout, the cashier rung everything up and I gave her my passport, which saved me around $16. Everything was going well, until I told her I was going to pack everything in a box to bring home. 

The Seoul Station Lotte Mart has a post-office inside, so foreigners can send home their purchases without making their luggage overweight. The boxes are mainly for those. 

They weren’t made for one person to carry their stuff home by themselves.

The best and worst thing I had to bring home.

Nonetheless, I packed everything in two boxes and went off to find the subway station. 

I went around for maybe 20 minutes trying to find the station. I took a lot of rests because my arms were giving out. After the 20 minute mark, I said, “screw it,” and decided to take a taxi home. This was my first time in a taxi.

Terrible picture, but the only documentation I had in the taxi.

The driver was a nice man who was patient with my Korean. It was there that I realized that not speaking or practicing during winter break definitely showed. I have to study more! 

I went back to my dorm and laid on flat-out on the floor for a while, because I was so exhausted. Although this experience was the most taxing on my body, it definitely was something I’ve always wanted to do. Everything gained and nothing lost.