Life in Korea · Uncategorized

Learning a second language is hard…

especially when you’ve only grown up speaking one.

Hi,

This is a post dedicated to all you monolingual people out there,(사랑해요[I love ya]) I just want you to know you’re beautiful.So as you may or may not know is, that I’m wrapping up my last few months of a three year tour as an English teacher in South Korea. It’s been fun, I’ve had some good times but there is something thing that I didn’t expect to happen.

I didn’t(haven’t) become fluent in the language.

Now living in the country part of a foreign country I wasn’t able to take classes in the language,if I had it my ability would have been totally different,but I didn’t so it isn’t. As things are, I learn via books such as TalkToMeInKorean(a great investment btw), watching Korean dramas(I learned the whole family structure and now that I speak a little Korean I can recognize words I didn’t know and I write them down),and talking to my co-teachers.Though I’ve done a lot of studying, I’m not even at a high beginner level,and you know what I’m ok with that.I studied really hard and then I came to a road block,a glass ceiling as I’ll call it, for self learning.I’m the kind of person that needs structure and guidance.So here I am, almost three years in with just enough Korean to have a basic conversations with the ajummas(older lady or married woman) on the streets.Though from just talking to people on the streets I’ve learned a lot.

So now I can finally understand how a lot of those older people feel in America(the U.S. specifically).To all you people who say oh if you live in the U.S. you should speak English,you kick rocks and learn a second language before you judge someone else.It takes a lot of time,hours and hours,and even with hours spent and staying in the country where they speak the language doesn’t ensure you fluency.If you work a nine to five job in another country,the last thing you want to hear when you get home is that language.When I’m at home,I like to pretend I’m in my own little slice of the U.S. ,sometimes the last thing I want to do is look ,read or hear any Korean.Now I do watch Korean dramas,but sometimes I’m just like no,there’s too much Korean in my life,let me go and watch some anime.

And sometimes people are like oh BlerdLikeMe you live in Korea,you should learn Korean( Korean co-workers) and I just look at them.Firstly majority of you have studied English for almost all of  your schooling and aren’t fluent and yet you expect me to be fluent in Korean in three years(yeah I’m judging ,I’ve spent crazy hours self study Korean).Now there are some people(ex a guy doing a seminar for our orientation, who was like yeah, I’ve been here for ten years married a Korean and can’t speak a lick of the language.)That’s pure laziness and disrespectful to your spouse.I think if you live in a country you should try,that doesn’t mean you will succeed but hey ,nothing beat a failure but a try. But to be honest most people are only here a year or two so they don’t see,the point in learning the language,I never felt that way I’ve always wanted to be bilingual.On the other hand if your just staying one year I can totally understand not spending every waking moment learning the language,and if you are more power to you.

But you know what’s really awesome is my Korean can spike when it’s important….yeah so when I went to Yongsan to buy amiibos they told me that the amiibos of this wave are all sold out and could only be gotten at premium prices. Ness was $50(50,000 won) and Charizard at $40(40,000 won) could be ordered from there through Japanese contacts.I told them that it was really expensive and I could get them online for cheaper,they explained they they weren’t even getting them in a anymore because a lot of them were just sold out.They apologized to me because I’m a pretty good costumer and they hated to disappoint me.Now somehow I managed to have this whole conversation in Korea,I didn’t even think about that ,until my friend pointed out that my Korean spiked when it came to my amiibos.

My friend pointed out that I can speak Korean when it’s something really important to me.I guess she’s right.

To all of you monolingual people out there,I love you,

BlerdLikeMe

Blerd Life · Blerd Trek · Life in Korea

Nerd things I miss while in Korea

Living in Korea,here’s are a few things that I really miss.

Western Style Anime Conventions

Yes Korea does have an Anime Conventions it’s called Comic World(it’s a monthly anime convention, one in Seoul and one in Busan), so I’ve heard that if you are cosplaying it’s pretty awesome.But for a person who is going that doesn’t(yet), it can be pretty boring.So there are two main display rooms.The artist sell bags,small artwork pieces,pins,posters,and doujinshi(orginal manga/manhwa).It’s basically a dealer room for independent artist,and that’s it…. there is a cosplay contest I believe, but as stated if you don’t cosplay….There is a mini-outside dealer-room type place.A few things are sold,one piece hats things like that.There’s no dance, no real dealers room,no gaming room,no anime viewing room,no lolita panels,no maid cafe,no panels at all,no people just doing caricatures, it’s really missing all the things I love about conventions.Also it’s super crowded and hot,it’s really shoulder to shoulder.Like I feel like it’s Comic Con busy,without all the fun that you would have at Comic Con.Though it’s not someplace I like to frequent it’s worth going to at least once.

Comic Book Stores

Yes, manga and anime are popular in Korea, and you can find English version of manga in almost any major book shop such as Bandi Lumi,you could also go to What the Book in Itaewon.But when you’re looking for, just good ‘ol monthly American comics that’s something that you’re just not going to find.

BRICK & MORTAR COMIC BOOK SHOPS DON’T EXIST HERE!Yes you can cry, it’s ok,sometimes I want to,too.

Now you can find some volumes of some series, but that’s about it.I’ve bought a volume of Young Justice and Batman,I’ve been so desperate I’ve even had some sent to me. I’ve bought hundreds of comics since I’ve been here, but they’re all in America,in many cases I would be paying more in shipping them here than I paid for the actual comic,so I have then sent home instead.

Seeing other nerds

What do I mean,OK in Seoul the other day I saw two guy that came into a burger restaurant  and while waiting for their waiter, they whipped out their 3ds’s. It’s not huge but, it’s really rare to see people just doing nerdy stuff.You know people just wearing random nerd graphic tees,playing their 3DSs in the open,random D&D and Yugioh playing.Yes I know a lot of Korean people game,but that’s actually not nerdom here,it’s just the culture(guys just game here it’s the norm).Bumping into people wearing their fandoms boldly, that is something I really miss.Now when there are events such as the celebration of the Pokemon world tournament winner it was packed with people or when the 12th doctor and the Tardis came here those tickets sold-out in less than three minutes.So I know there are nerds here,it’s just not all open like it is at home.

I just miss doing nerd stuff with nerds,aint nothing like walking into a room full of people who enjoy your same fandoms.As soon as I get home I plan on going to AWA and DragonCon and meeting up with other nerds ,not just that I’m working on a couple of cosplays.

Anyway just a few things that I miss,

BlerdLikeMe

Sidenote: MyNamesNotAlic e(really it isn’t)

 

Life in Korea · Teaching Abroad · Uncategorized

High1 Ski Resort( and those beautiful,beautiful discounts)

Hello  NerdWorld,

So, I recently decided that I would go skiing for the very first time(though my body still regrets it right now,I going to acupuncturist tomorrow).

wpid-20150117_155614.jpg Me and goggles I didn’t actually wear,goggles and glasses at the same time,are a no go.

I had fun, though my acrophobia did act up a little while I was there.I went with my friend who had a season pass,and I got to admit that even though I fell a lot,I had a lot of fun.Minus the one chick who plowed into me.One thing that you have to understand firstly, is it’s beautiful place you should go to if you’re here during the winter time.

wpid-20150117_155717.jpg

 

Let’s talk about prices.

If you were to go to the English High1 site,you will see this price range

Classification Valid hours Fee (Adult/Child, won)
Lift pass AM Pass 08:30 ~ 13:00 4.5h 60,000 / 46,000
PM Pass 12:00 ~ 16:30 4.5h 60,000 / 46,000
Evening Pass 18:30 ~ 22:30 4.0h 60,000 / 46,000
Night Pass 20:30 ~ 23:30 3.0h 40,000 / 32,000
Day Pass 08 08:30 ~ 16:30 8.0h 74,000 / 56,000
Day Pass 09 09:30 ~ 16:30 7.0h 70,000 / 54,000
PM + Evening Pass 12:00 ~ 22:30 8.5h 86,000 / 68,000
Evening + Night Pass 18:30 ~ 23:30 5.0h 62,000 / 50,000
Evening+ AM Next-day pass 18:30 ~ (following day)13:00 8.5h 88,000 / 70,000
Tourist Gondola 1 time 14,000 / 12,000

 

That’s 60,000 won to ski, but wait you need equipment.A board or skis for let’s say you’re going for 4.5 hours will run you 32,000 for skii.

 
Classification Fee
Ski board
Day pass 08
Day pass 09
Adult 28,000 34,000
Child 22,000 26,000
PM+Evening Pass
Night+Am next-day Pass
Adult 32,000 35,000
Child 24,000 26,000
Half-day Pass
Evening+Night Pass
Night
Adult 24,000 26,000
Child 18,000 20,000

 

Uhhh,the only thing I can’t give you prices on is ski clothing because,well it’s the only thing not on the site, and being the fact that I have my own, I can only tell you that it will probably cost you at least twenty thousand won.

So let’s say that you want to go skiing for four and a half hours and you don’t have clothes,that is around 112,000 won and that’s not including getting there.But look at this chart.

구분 종류 할인율 비고
주중 주말
주주 본인 1매 리프트,
렌탈, 관광
50% 30%
지역주민(4개 시군) 50% 40%
리조트 카드 30% 20%
국가유공자 / 장애우 50%
외국인(리조트카드 발급)
경로우대(만65세이상) 리프트 무료
렌탈,관광 50%
현장단체 30명 이상 리프트, 렌탈(세트),
관광곤돌라,
눈썰매(4시간)
30%
제휴카드 일 4매 30% BC, 신한, 국민, 롯데, NH,
하나(구 하나SK, 구 외환)
유아(만4세 미만) 본인 관광 무료

This is from the Korean version of the High1 site and what’s in red is the discounts for foreigners for the lift and the rentals.What does that mean, that mean that means that I only paid 44,000 won for my skis rental and lift tickets .

How do I get there?

You will need to take a train(Korail) to 사북역 that is Sabuk station.

[This was 5,000 won for me]

From there flag a Taxi,and tell them you want to go to Montainu Sukii Housu (that’s Konglish for Mountain Ski House.)

[This was a little under 10,000 won]

Ok now you’ve made it,you’ll see people waiting in Line to get tickets don’t go there,not yet.Walk inside the Mountain Ski  House as soon as you walk in there’s an information booth on your right,go there and ask for a Foreigner(Waygookin) High 1 resort card.They’ll take a picture of you and then you get your card that you can use all season long.Then go buy your ticket ,now that you have the card you get all those awesome discounts.

wpid-20150120_153405.jpg                                                        This is my High1 Resort Card and my Lift Pass(Yes, I am hiding the picture,I didn’t like it.)

 

Next Step: Ski to your Hearts content,go up Zues, Athena,or Victoria(yeah the mountains have Greek and Roman names,yeah it’s awesome like that)

Finished. Ok go back to the Mountain Ski House.Outside you’ll see green shuttle buses,get on one and ride it to the Sabuk stop.Once you get of the bus turn right,and walk up the hill ,you will eventually run into the train station.

Have fun on the slopes,or you could just be a

BlerdLikeMe(your choice)

 

 

 

 

 

Blerd Life · Life in Korea · Nintendoland

Yongsan Electronic District(Gamer Edition)

So,first things first.

Hello my name is BlerdLikeMe and I’m a casual gamer.

Mostly a Nintendo girl,being that my Nintendo 3ds is the only system I currently have, what can I say,I started out with a Nintendo.So let’s say that you’re in Korea ,and you want to play some video games,you brought your system,and you have like three RPG’s that you just beaten and now you’re bored.I would certainly suggest you come here.This is the perfect place for you,  Yongsan Electronic District’s- gaming area(this station is on line 1 and the Jungang line in Seoul).

 

wpid-20141220_150909.jpg

Let’s go inside.

First off let’s say t hat you’re a nostalgic gamer.You can buy you a nice shiny brand new or used Game Boy Color,and the ridiculous amount of games they have for every system,yeah starting from Nintendo to the current systems,with everything in between from consoles to  handheld.

 

wpid-20141220_141014.jpg

Marvel at old Mario games.

wpid-20141220_140926.jpg

Or you know, see if they’ll sell their virtual boy.

wpid-20141108_195157.jpg

 

Ok, I just realize, that I don’t have a lot of pictures of PS4 and X-Box 1 games,because well I don’t have them(though if I had the money I would so buy a PS4,but I don’t so…..) so I totally didn’t think about taking pictures of those booths.Mainly because I just went their to search for Amiibos, .Also one thing you have to realize is that sad fact that many systems have region locked games… I’ve bought multiple Japanese video games here, because the DS’s aren’t region locked.But some booths do have US games… for some reason.Anyway it’s just fun to see so many vendors selling so many games,it’s like a Mega GamesStop. It could take from 30 minutes to an hour if you spend time looking at diversity of games,and the figurines.And if you find a booth that you like it could take much longer.

wpid-20141220_141613.jpgwpid-20141220_140030.jpg

Let’s say you’re an anime fan.

wpid-20141220_145356.jpg

There are enough figurines to keep you happy forever,there are multiple booths that just sell anime  figurines.I assure you I will be going  back for that Tachikoma(there’s something awesome about Ghost in a Shell) and possibly that Jack Skeleton figurine in the picture below.

wpid-20141220_135602.jpg

 

Happy Shopping and Merry Christmas,

BlerdLikeMe