My parents have always told me that being an adult is figuring out what to do when you do not know what to do. This morning, I had to do exactly that. Everything was going fine, I was early getting out of the apartment to start my journey on foot towards the subway station, but when I got there, I found that my transportation card was missing. I attempted to withdraw money from the ATM, only to find that there was not enough money in my Korean bank account for me to get money to buy a one way ticket. Then, I went into the convenience store next door only to find out that apparently you cannot buy a new transportation card with a credit or debit card of any kind, so I had to run all the way back to the apartment. To make matters worse, I also did not have my card to get in the front door of the apartment building. By some odd stroke of luck, someone else was also coming in, and I walked inside with them. Then, I got into the apartment and tore my hole room apart twice before realizing that the cards were probably located inside the vest I had been wearing on Saturday, and they were. Ultimately, I was six minutes late for work, but my boss did not seem to mind. I was convinced that the day would be awful until the freezing temperature caused me to lose all feeling in my fingers, thereby freezing most of my negative thoughts. Then, there was cucumber kimchi at lunch!!!!
Everything else went remarkably well for the rest of the day, especially since I got to do some English tutoring over Skype for some little girls that live in a different part of Seoul. They are adorable and I love the opportunities to help them out. The best part of the day, however, was the care package I got today from my parents! it contained some of my favorite snacks, a skirt, a magazine I really wanted, 2 bottles of Aussie conditioner, banana chips from South Africa, tea bags, a post card and a letter, and a small token to represent the Seattle Seahawks. It made my day and my host family was enamored enough with my sour gummy TJ's that they stopped making wine and doing homework for a little while.
On Friday, I did not have to work because it was a holiday commemorating the birth of the Korean written language. Germany and I went to the Hangeul Museum, which was amazing and discovered an amazing secret spot that has amazing dessert (milk flavored gelato, anyone?) Then on Saturday we went to a mall. I got lost and ended up on the subway fro about 3.5 hours, something that put me in a really awful mood. That evening, we saw a member of Shinee (a famous KPop group). I had no idea who he was, but the experience broke Switzerland, since the band is her absolute favorite. Later that night, we went to Itaewan, which is the equivalent of Chinatown. However, it is the other way around, since everything is from Europe or the Americas instead of being from Asia (obviously, this is an over generalization). I managed to find chocolate, so on Sunday I attempted to make a mug cake. I say "attempted" because I failed quite miserably. Okay, so maybe it was not completely awful, but it could have used some more flour, a longer amount of time in the microwave, and a better overall stirring technique. However, it did not taste completely awful... Also, I am incredibly disappointed in Korean butter, though not the croissants. Speaking of food, on Saturday I had a cream puff doughnut, a croissant, a cheese bagel (not made of sweet cheese!!!), and an Asian pear half the size of my head. On Saturday night I had a double Nutella milkshake that was approximately the same same size as a nine month old fetus. It was absolutely delicious.
So basically, food and my parents saved the day... As always. And I snuck some adulting into the mixture, in between culture shock and butter withdrawals.
Everyday Acts of Activism