Those of you who read my last blog know that I am currently on holiday. So what did I get up to during my first week of summer break?
Friday: There weren’t any official lessons today but we did have a short closing ceremony through ZOOM with all the other students enrolled at the language centre. One of the teachers said a short speech thanking us for our hard work all semester and she congratulated and bid farewell to the graduate students who will be moving to Seoul (or wherever their universities are) to complete their master’s degrees. She then mentioned to the undergraduates that we were not permitted to leave the country as it would be very difficult to return due to COVID-19. She also told us to enjoy our holidays as much as we can, to be careful when travelling around the country and to tell her if we weren’t feeling well or were showing any symptoms of Corona. Once that was over we were officially dismissed and were free to do as we pleased for the rest of the month. Later in the afternoon, I received my report/ grades for the semester; I was really happy to see that a lot of the hard work paid off and I’m excited to see how I can improve even more next semester.
Sunday: According to the weather forecast, it was going to rain all week. So today we decided to go to the beach and enjoy the sun. From our dorms, it takes roughly 30 minutes to get to the beach so we took the subway. When we arrived at the beach there were umbrellas everywhere and people swimming or sitting and enjoying the atmosphere. I’m used to Fiji beaches which are generally empty where there are maybe five other families or in Australia where you take your tents or mats or whatever you want to keep yourself covered. This beach reminded me a lot of the end scene of Mr Bean’s holiday movie where he finally makes it to the beach and there are people everywhere enjoying themselves. Anyway, when we got to the beach we bought two picnic mats from the convenience store since there were six of us and we spent 3-4 hours at the beach. No one brought swimmers so we were all just waddling around in the shallow waters with our shorts rolled up. We also walked along the beach, took some photos and lay in the sun. It was a refreshing change after being stuck inside doing online lessons for the last few months. After the sun had set and the beach was closing we decided to go and get Korean Barbeque and shaved ice. We managed to catch the last subway and while walking back to the dorms some of my friends wanted to sit in the park as they still wanted to spend more time outside. I, on the other hand, was exhausted so said goodnight to my friends and walked back to the dorms.
Tuesday: Today was a very exciting day for me because I was going to be attending my first ever live concert. However, this concert was not like your ordinary live concert where you wait in long lines and enter a crowded stadium to listen to your favourite band. This was an online concert which my friend had bought tickets for. I was excited when she invited me to watch the concert with her as it was something I hadn’t done before.
In Fiji, I wasn’t that interested in K-pop (Korean pop); I knew the basics, there was a boy band called BTS and a girl band call BLACKPINK. That was as far as my knowledge for this genre of music went and I wasn’t interested in learning anymore. However, when I arrived in Korea and started making friends I realized that a lot of them were interested in K-pop and I was actually at a disadvantage because during their conversations I was quite lost. However, as time went on I decided to listen to more Korean music to improve my listening skills as well as learn a bit about the genre because today it is an important part of the country’s culture. I managed to find a band that had a very different style and sound. I noticed that their chord progression and choice of tonality was quite different from your mainstream BTS and BLACKPINK types of bands and I liked it. In 2-weeks I had listened to all their songs and had become a bit obsessed with their music so when my friend Kami said that they were having a concert and she had bought tickets I was excited. The concert started at 11 pm and finished at 1 am. This was quite late but since it was an online concert they had to take into account the timezones in other countries where fans would also be watching. This band is called ATEEZ and they have eight members; seven vocalists and one rapper, they are also all professional dancers so their performances are always amazing to watch. I enjoyed watching the concert and it was exciting to hear their new songs especially since they were releasing their new album later in the week. So hearing some of the songs before the rest of the world had access to it was cool for me. It was an awesome experience and I hope to see them live in person one day while I am here in Korea. In case you are curious I’ve attached the music video to their latest video as well as on of my favourite songs by them.
Thursday: After the excitement of the ATEEZ concert my friend told me that Eric Nam (Korean/American singer) was also doing a You-Tube live free concert showcasing his new album. She asked me if I wanted to watch it with her since we had so much fun on Tuesday. I happily agreed, this concert was also late at night so if you haven’t guessed already this week my sleeping schedule changed dramatically. Anyway, we enjoyed it, it wasn’t as epic as the ATEEZ one since this was only one person singing and he didn’t have an impressive dance routine but we enjoyed listening to songs that we both enjoyed together. It was cool from not watching any concerts to watching two in a week. Some people may say they don’t count since they were online but it’s a start and hopefully, when corona ends I can go to some live concerts while here in Korea.
Overall, my first week on holiday wasn’t as productive as I liked but I managed to relax and have a good time and recover from the last 20 weeks of school. I didn’t study anything but I did listen to a lot of Korean music and dialogue so you could say that counts as passive studying. Next week I am planning to go visit a friend near Seoul and will also be spending a week in Seoul. I look forward to it and hopefully everything works out.
I’ve been doing a lot of research on fun places around Busan that I need to visit during my one year of language study. I’ve made a list of cool places to go and visit which include cafes, lookout spots and tourist attractions. Stay tuned to any updates by subscribing to my blog so you don’t miss out on any new posts! forget to like and subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss out on any new posts.