안녕하세요: Settling In Part I

23:10:00

I tendered my resignation, I applied for Sungkyunkwan University and made payment soon after, I bought my one-way ticket to Seoul and started packing my luggage way beforehand. But things didn't get real until the very night before my flight. I just couldn't sleep and kept questioning myself why can't I be contented with what I have and lead a normal life? Why did I have to put myself in this? What's there for me after this? And I cried silently in my bed out of fear and nervousness.

One thing I was sure of though, was that I am going to become a way better and stronger person than I was before at the end of this adventure. Then again, I didn't expect these "life lessons" to come all so soon and together. First, for reasons both my mum and I can't understand, my luggage was supposedly overweight, then we couldn't get to sit together so I lost my mum for more than half an hour when we arrived at the airport. There were lifts that were not working in and there, and I had to haul the 20kg luggage down flights of stairs and almost lost my life. The next day my new phone was drenched so it went into a coma. That was the worst timing ever because I wasn't able to contact Sheryl, then my Korean teacher whom I was supposed to meet up, and also the owner of my later-on accommodation after the viewing on the first day. I potentially might not have a roof over my head. There were cracked screens, technical problems, broken luggage, office problems, people issues, and all these made me really tired and want to go home. I was really thankful though, that my mum was here with me. Like what Sheryl always say, everything truly happens for a reason. And now that the worst is over, things will be smooth from now on.


View from the Airbnb apartment on the 31st floor



The apartment is located right beside Mapo Station and there is a supermarket in the basement of the building so it was extremely convenient. It was comfortable and the owner was really nice to allow us early check-in, but I won't particularly recommend the house as it was not as clean as I would have expected, and someone came in while we were out on the second day. There were also two towers for this same building, they have the same unit number i.e. #3113 on both Block A and B. Thus, we had unintentionally hacked someone else's letter box (because the gatekey was supposed to be in the letter box), and tried to enter the door pin that was given to us on someone else's door. Lols, everything that can go wrong, will seriously go wrong.


Melon Bingsu (M) | ₩10,000


Garlic Cheese Bread | ₩6,000


Honey Bread | ₩5,000


Ice-Cream Waffle | ₩7,000

We went to Thanks Nature Cafe on two occasions, first was after my apartment viewing at Hongdae, and the second was because mum wanted to see the sheep again and also to visit the Hongdae Free Market so that was where I finally got to meet up with Sheryl. My mum was a dedicated ice-kachang lover but after I introduced her to bingsu right here, she fell in love with it and told me to tell her where she can have bingsu in Singapore instead haha. The ice-cream waffle and honey bread were kind of plain to me, but the garlic cheese bread was really tasty and savoury (provided you are a garlic lover). I have also blogged about Thanks Nature Cafe just last year here.

The next day after viewing the apartments and not being about to contact anyone because of my hospitalised phone, I decided to visit SKKU to see how long it takes to get there and to familiarise myself with the route so I won't be late on my first day of school. And so, we went to Homestead at Hyehwa Station for breakfast and we coincidentally ordered the exact same items (save a Choco Latte) as I did a year ago right here.


Mushroom Omelette Brunch | ₩12,000


American Brunch | ₩12,000

Similarly, I had stamps on my eyes on that day. I actually spotted the bus stop for shuttle bus #8, that was in fact just a pole, and did not notice the actual sheltered SKKU bus stop which was just a few steps away lol. Thus instead of taking the school bus, I took the public bus and walked quite a far bit from where the driver dropped us by going down the hill, entered via the side gate, only to find out that the building I had to go to was up the hill so I had to climb all the way up again. If only we had walked up instead from where we alighted, there will be an elevator that brings students up the hill from the alley filled with small diners, cafes and mini marts for us to grab our lunch, coffee and snacks..


Vegetable Porridge | ₩7,000

Went to Dongdaemun after my SKKU visit and then to Myeongdong as our last stop for the day to look for the Teteru Museum that my mum wanted to visit. We could not find it even after walking round Myeongdong for a couple of times, so we decided to have Bonjuk for dinner instead. Mum doesn't take meat, so she opted for the vegetable porridge while I had the standard abalone porridge. The portion was still as big as before, but it was still kind of overrated to me. By the way, we found out from the Tourist Police that Teteru Museum has closed down when we decided to try our luck at Myeongdong again on my mum's last day in Korea, so just visit the real Teddy Bear Museum in Jeju, Gyeongju and Seorak. It is genuinely more impressive and worth the buck.

And here comes the day I finally met up with Sheryl. After our visit to Thanks Nature Cafe and Hongdae Free Market, we carried on to the brand new Hello Kitty Cafe which was amazingly so much bigger, better and more beautiful than the previous one I visited right here.


Love the stairway that brings you to the cafe - so pretty!


Cookies & Cream Ice Blended | ₩6,000
Iced Cafe Latte | ₩4,500
Espresso | ₩4,500

Hello Kitty Cafe Hongik University
18 Wausan-ro 19-gil
Mapo-gu, Seoul
Tel: 02-334-6570

In case you are looking for directions to the new Hello Kitty Cafe, I have marked it down in this recent Hongdae Map I have got from the tourist centre when I went to ask them where is the nearest Samsung Repair Centre for my phone lol. Hope it helps!



Spotted this pet dog who is super big in size on our way back to Hongik University Station.

My journey most definitely didn't start off as well as I would have liked, but I am glad everything turned out to be for the best now. There are many things that happens later on, that made me realised why something had to go wrong before this. For instance, I didn't want to rent the bed sheets and comforter from the owner because we decided to bring our own at the very last minute since there was sufficient luggage space, but it was too late to be cancelled, so I just rented it anyway. It was only until a few days ago when I wanted to change my bed sheets that I found out that the ones my mum brought were too small. See? I was in fact lucky to be unable to cancel the request, and their comforter was so much better for the weather I am living in now ^.^

Secondly, I also learnt that there will always be kind souls who will go the extra mile to help you so don't be afraid to seek help. I was initially "paiseh" because I don't like to trouble anyone but my mum asked me if I will feel the same way if I was the one being asked to help. I wouldn't at all, and so I pluck up the courage to get Yvonne HOO via Facebook on my laptop to help me contact our teacher, and upon knowing what happened to me, she quickly asked for my address so she could come find me. I am also super thankful that the house owner happened to have seen my email, and we managed to arrange for me to move-in at the eleventh hour, just one day before I start school. He too have helped me find the nearest repair centre for my phone, and entertained all my silly questions and problems he normally doesn't come across.

So be kind, and you will be lucky,
Yvette

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