Before coming to South Korea, I had befriended many native Koreans via language exchange apps and websites. After months of communicating over the phone and teaching our respective languages, they were so happy to hear that I had arrived in Seoul. So, once I was settled in with my classes I reached out to them to make weekend plans.
One of my friends Raky, planned out our entire day. We started off with a traditional Korean meal, and then we traveled to Yeouido, a beautiful city right next to the Han River. There, we rode bikes in the park, ate street food and went to the movies theaters to watch Ant-man and the Wasp (it was the only movie other than Mission Impossible that was in English).
It was a wonderful day that we ended by enjoying ice-cream by the river. I was so happy to see more of Seoul and to have time to relax and reflect on everything I was experiencing. It was my first time going to the movies since I arrived in Korea and it was a huge culture shock. The concession is so different. Instead of getting the average popcorn and drink combo, most people will have their popcorn flavored (they have cheese, garlic, and caramel flavors for popcorn) and they might pick up ice-cream or churros to go with it. When Raky and I went, we had caramel popcorn and fried squid which was absolutely delicious.
The following weekend, I met up with my best friend Hana. We met last year in Boston while she was studying English at an international school. After so much time had passed, I was super excited to see her again.
We went to Itaewon which is a popular district for restaurants and night life. We enjoyed a nice Italian dinner and visited a few of the local bars. In South Korea, there is a super popular chain of bars called Thursday Party. They have one in almost every major city and it’s a good place for people who aren’t fluent in Korean, as there is a good amount of people from all over the world in addition to native locals.
When Hana and I went, we heard all kinds of languages being spoken, and we met people from all over with different accents and backgrounds. We even met a few vloggers who had been visiting from the United States and the U.K. It was shocking that even in a country with a predominantly homogeneous population, you could still find so much diversity. Needless to say, we had an amazing night and made tons of friends in the process.