To Do’s

Hello Everyone!

I hope you are having a great day so far! So, on day two of South Korea my brother, sister, and I decided to make Korean bank accounts. However, in order to make one you need to have a Korean ID or alien card. Since I have neither, my grandmother took me to the NongHyup (NH)  Bank and helped me open up an account so that I could transfer my US Dollars into Korean Won (South Korea’s form of currency which was about $1.03 per dollar). IMG_0028 IMG_0030My grandmother can only create a bank account for one person/bank so my uncle helped my brother open an account. Also, the best part about having this card (for international people) is that you can use it to purchase anything without worrying about transfer fees as well as use it as a T-Money card! T-Money is used for transportation purposes. You receive a small discount and save a bunch of time by having T-Money. You swipe your card as you enter the bus or subway and then swipe once more as you exit.IMG_2459 The transportation system in South Korea is so convenient that you really do not need a car to travel, unless you hate walking, sitting or standing next to people…IMG_0117(Riding during rush hour:P)

Then my grandmother took me to open a savings account so that I could keep my American money in dollar form until I needed it. I hate to carry around money so this was extremely helpful to know it was safe within a bank and then when I need it I can find an KEB (bank name) ATM take out some cash and carry small amounts or transfer it to the NH Bank. If I do not spend all of the cash that I brought, then I can simply take it out of the KEB Bank in dollar form. Placing my money in the KEB cuts out the Won -> Dollar exchange fee I would have if I placed all of my money in the NH Bank.

IMG_3109This is the escalator before entering the Subway (Jihachul). HIGHLY recommend downloading the application titled Subway (Jihachul) it is truly a timesaver/lifesaver for those who currently living or visiting South Korea! It definitely beats carrying a map or asking for directions every stop.

You think this would take the whole day…it almost did haha we were tired after running around trying to debate about how to arrange the best deal. I think we did a pretty good job. After we came back home my sister and I helped grandmother prepare lunch!IMG_0119We are so spoiled every time we come to our grandparent’s house! 🙂 Yay for purple rice!

Around dinner time the three muskateers (aka my brother, sister, and I) left for my Uncle (mother’s youngest sister ((who lives in Indonesia!) husband’s house) He took us to a Chinese Restaurant and we had an amazing 10 course seafood dinner… SO delicious!!! Then name of the restaurant was  Al Bone and its located in Mongchongtoseong (Highly Recommend)

DSCN0747Just a teaser 😉

After dinner I was pooped! Went to my Uncle’s beautiful home and passed out!

I hope you take some time out of your busy day to spend with your loved ones!

Jennifer

Meet My Parents

Hello Hello!

I think the pictures can explain more than words can…

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I smile everytime…:)

And for those of you who know my father…can you find him in these pictures??

IMG_0125How about my mom??:)IMG_0127 IMG_0123 IMG_0124

And just one more…<3

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Good looking couples make good looking babies! ❤

I can’t thank them enough for giving me this wonderful opportunity to visit Korea, meet my other side, and learn more about myself.

I love you both and miss you so much!

Jennifer

Adventure Time!

Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening! 🙂

My 2nd day in Seoul was interesting from the start! After the long plane ride, my body was itching to run around. So, I walked up to my grandmother and asked her to write the address and phone number on my wrist because I didn’t have a working cell phone. She laughed thinking I was just being silly and wrote the information big enough to fill up my entire forearm! Then she walked with me down a few blocks and it began sprinkling!  We didn’t have an umbrella and she did not want to get her hair wet, she pointed her finger and said just keep going straight till you run right into it.  Before I could ask another question, she was already hustling back towards the house! All I could think was at least she is healthy for her age! I put my headphones in and began exploring. Soon I came to a middle school with a little park. After running around the playground, I was bored. So, I decided to journey towards the city. Everything was so crazy! The people walk with purpose and million dollar buildings are in construction on every corner. My eyes strayed from the path and focused on the shops around me. When I turned to go back, I couldn’t remember which was home was suppose to be. After a solid 40 minutes of running/panicing, I found myself at a fire station asking them for help using the little Korean I knew. Someone directed me to the police station and they asked me where I lived. So, I showed them my arm and the police officer cracked with laughter. He jokingly shouted you can’t run around here with that kind of information on your arm! Everyone in the office looked at me and I could feel the blood rushing to my face. I don’t think it gets any more embarrassing..haha Then he led me to an ambulance vehicle and called my grandmother to let me know that they would bring me home. We chatted about America, Hawaii, and his future vacation plans during the 15 minute drive. My sister waited for me on the corner of the street and the police officer called my grandmother to make sure it was okay to leave me with the woman in the red shirt. I suppose a 5’2″ small woman could be pretty dangerous haha After she gave him the okay, he warned me to be more careful and drove away with a smile. I definitely learned my lesson, but at least I had a chance to meet a nice police office and ride in the back of an ambulance….for free!

I’ll end this post with a few more pictures!

IMG_0013My grandmother’s cactus plant only produces one flower per year. Isn’t it gorgeous!? She said it must have been waiting for our arrival.

Here are my grandparents in action!

DSC_0384Can you believe he is 91 years old? And below is my beautiful grandmother (84 years old).DSC_0371

This is their garden located on their rooftop. They grow red/green peppers, green onion, maeshil (Korean plum), squash, zucchini, and some other things.

I challenge you do something outside of your comfort zone today. You never know what kind of unforgettable memory awaits! 😉

Jennifer

KOREA!!

Hello!!

So, our plane just arrived at the Incheon International Airport!

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Airplane Lunch: Bibimbap, which is mixed vegetables and rice with a side of fruit for lunch!

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Airplane Dinner 2: Steak with salad!

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Once our 14 hour plane ride was over, we gathered our luggage and met my sister, who left a few days before my brother and I. Then we greeted our 2nd Uncle! It is an amazing feeling knowing that we have this amazing opportunity to meet the rest of my family! Shortly after, we drove an hour to meet our great, great grandfather…

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we think the rain was a sign of him crying to be happy to meet us 😉 Hope you are looking after us throughout this trip great grandfather!

Then my 2nd Uncle ( we call him imoboo = uncle in korean) took us to his restaurant in Seoul! Since Korea is famous for the seafood it was only right that we have it in all of the different forms possible! We ate the best fried shrimp, fresh squid, hot soup, and sashimi!

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After dinner, we went to my grandparent’s house!!!

DSC_0389Are they not the cutest people ever!? My grandmother and grandfather welcomed us hugs and kisses! It was exactly how I hoped this moment would feel like. The butterflies I felt in my stomach instantly disappeared as my grandmother started happily clapping and speaking in Korean so fast I could not understand a single word. It was perfect! haha

More adventures to come tomorrow ❤

Jennifer

Welcome!

Hi Everyone!

Thank you for visiting my site. I created this blog so I could take you along with me to meet my family, make new friends, and travel all around South Korea. My parents were born in Seoul, Korea and immigrated to the states in their 20’s. My father served in the military so I was born in Germany. When I was 6 months old, we moved back to the United States. I grew up in Granite City, a town right outside of St. Louis. I’m a Senior and biology major at Eastern Illinois University (EIU). In a few days I am about to travel over-seas to South Korea for the first time to meet my mother’s family and attend Ajou University (Sister program with EIU) .  There are so many thoughts that race into my head as I pack for the next 2 months. I’ll share with you all of my stories both good and bad! I hope that you learn something you never knew before and join my goal to be better tomorrow and take the first steps toward that destination right now.

Best,

Jennifer Kim