Korea Diary | Crunch Time (Day 43-46)
Before we knew it, the last week of classes at YISS was staring at us in the face. Four more days of walking those hills from SK Global house near East Gate towards the center of campus where classes were held. Two more days of studying our butts off to memorize and drill facts and vocabulary into our brains.
I guess the weather was helping us be more studious during the crunch period as mother nature decided to downpour most of the week, finally.
On a rare occasion that week, my friends and I made it out for either lunch or dinner. It wasn't the most extravagant meal. Naengmyeon 냉면 and goonmandoo 군만두 were both quick and affordable eats.
Another night a full-time foreign Yonsei student, who was one of our friend's roommate, took us to his hidden Japanese ramen spot in Edae. Boy was it one of those secret finds! Kayaa Kayaa 가야 가야 was located in one of the very narrow alleyways in Edae. The inside looked like a typical ramen shop with counter seating facing the kitchen and regular tables. While I remember it being a nice bowl of ramen, it doesn't hold the strongest spot in my food memory from Korea.
While I am used to chilly rain in New York, the storms in Seoul came with high humidity. One of our Korean language teachers helped us cool down with some refreshing ice cream, her treat!
But in reality, we were also in dire need of a break from studying for the 4-part language exam that was awaiting us in a couple days. Students at KLI have to be tested on all four aspects of the Korean language exam: listening, writing, reading, and speaking. I was pretty nervous for all parts of the test but speaking (i.e. one-on-one interview) was probably the most nerve-wracking.
Everyone had to sign up for an 8-minute time slot. Not wanting to be too scared out of my wits being the first few students, nor drag out my nervousness being the last few, I luckily secured my spot in the middle of the pack. The thing I feared the most was having a brain fart in the middle of the interview. We were already assured that the interviewer would be our own teacher, so my fears of not understanding what the examiner was saying were relieved. The biggest potential hurdle was being so nervous that I would forget everything we had studied and read everyday for the past few weeks.
Studying nights meant ordering in for our meals. The further along we got into the program, the more friends we all made. The more friends we made, the more food we were able to order and share at our dinner gatherings at the dorm lounge. Going out eating was fun and all but having the bonding time with friends was the most important aspect.
P.S. Boneless chicken, soonsal chicken 순살치킨, is love.
None of us had the energy or desire to go out after an exhausting afternoon of Korean language exams on that last Wednesday. Everyone settled for ordering Korean-Chinese as our celebratory meal.