After class ended, we had our first cultural club meetings. I was put in the music class, in which we learn how to play a traditional Korean drum called 장구. My first choice was cooking, but the drums now seem equally as fun! There’s a lot more technique that goes into playing this drum than you would expect (or maybe that’s just me). There’s a certain place on the drum you have strike, a certain way to hold the sticks, and a certain way to keep the drum in place with your feet. By the end of today’s lesson, we were physically exhausted, and I had an acute aching sensation on my left pinky from the way we had to hold the stick.
But we still had enough energy to go explore more of Seoul. A group including myself and three other awesome NSLI-Yians spontaneously decided to go Yeouido to see the Han River.
It was lovely!
But before I continue on about the wonderful time we had, I want to take a second to mention our the most intense train ride any of had any experienced. I used to think my morning commute to the university was decently packed since I occasionally have to push my way to get off the train.
Everything I’ve experienced up until today is now laughable in comparison.
We had to get on an express train to get to Yeouido, and we were all pressed up against other passengers’ bodies and couldn’t take a step in any direction. Every time more people got on, I found myself deeper lodged in the massive crowd. At one point, I had to lean back slightly to make my body fit in the limited space, and I maintained this position for several minutes. It was an effective core exercise.
When we got off the train, all we could do was laugh hysterically. I felt like I was finally able to breathe.
After the life-changing train ride, the four of us walked around Yeouido and toward the Hangang Park. We saw some beautiful scenery on the way there!
We first saw this cool statue of King Syejong, the man credited with the creation of the Korean writing system. 한글 is an incredibly simple and logical writing system, so I have quite a bit of respect for the man.
When we finally got to the river, we were met with lively music, crowds, and a bunch of food! I had some 튀김 (fritters) made with pork, and those who know me won’t be surprised that I also got spicy 떡볶이 (rice cakes). I further stuffed myself with amusingly named dessert: the “오빠 크레이프”. It was a crepe with Nutella, whipped cream, bananas, Oreo, and cereal(?). It was delicious.
The atmosphere around the Hangang River is relaxing yet festive. There were some cool performers too!
I’d definitely recommend coming here, but it’s not somewhere you’ll want to spend an entire day at. Plan the rest of your activities and maybe come here in the evening, when the view is prettiest.
That’s it for today! I apologize for the lack of consistency with these posts. I’ve truly been making the most of each and every day this week, and the time just slips by. Thanks for reading.