Hello from Korea! It's been an interesting 24-hours here. The plane ride was fine. Most of the Fulbright ETA's flew out of LAX with me, so it was nice to spend the layover getting to know them.
We arrived in Incheon/Seoul arround 5:30 a.m. July 5th Korea-time, or 3:30 p.m. July 4th Chicago-time. I'm not going to lie: July 5th was the longest day of my life. I took some ironic comfort in the fact that there was a Dunkin Donuts at the airport. I guess America is not the only one that runs on Dunkin.
I lost a bag, but it was the one that was suppose to go into storage during my orientation, so I guess that's fine. We took a 2-hour bus ride to the university (KNA). We arrived at 9 a.m. but it felt like late afternoon. Awesome.
We unpacked, showered, had lunch, went to a lecture, took a campus tour and had dinner all within the following nine hours. One thing I noticed almost immediately is Korea's green-mentality. Almost everything is recycled and a lot of packaging has a sort of government seal that designates the package as "green."
Funny story: They fed us moon pies on the bus to the university. On the package there was a picture of a doctor supporting the product as "healthy." The only somewhat healthy thing I saw was the small amount of calcium from the marchmallow and milk chocolate. Healthy is a stretch.
The food is average. We eat all of our meals in the school cafeteria, which serves the same thing three times a day (I think, I'm about an hour away from my first breakfast, but I have a sinking feeling that it will be rice, spicy cabbage and soup.) The biggest change is the bathroom - I guess the pipes are too small for toilet paper, so after you wipe, you just have to throw it in a wastebasket. It's a little hard to get used to, but I'm mostly worried about getting un-used to it when I go home. :)
After yesterday's activities, a large group of us went exploring the Sunday night life. We found A LOT of bars but only went to one. We were all exhausted. The bar was very different. I guess you can't really go in and order only a drink, you have to order food. So we had fruit, nuts, vegetables and beer. All for $3 a person.
By the time we got back, it was FINALLY a socially acceptable time to sleep - it was 9:15. I slept like a log and woke up extra early just to write this for your enjoyment. Haha.
We have our language placement test today, so I am going to go cram. Wish me luck!