The Marble Mansion: Days 1 and 2

It is the rainy afternoon of my second day in Goesan, Korea. Since my last post I’ve:

  • spent more than 30 hours in transit
  • arrived at Goesan university, the orientation site, to discover that I will be living in a single enormous building made entirely out of marble for the next six and a half weeks
  • seen more rain in two days than in the past six months, and no sunshine at all
  • met at least 60 of the other 80 Fulbrighters here with me
  • made a few new friends, one of whom I’m lucky enough to have as a room mate
  • eaten four entirely Korean meals without dying (though there were two close calls with boney fish soup and cartilage-filled pork)
  • bought Beauty and the Beast with Korean audio!
  • discovered there is a brand of Korean canned coffee that has flavor — 프롄치카페
  • discovered, contrarily, that there is no way to make Cuban coffee on this campus
  • signed up for an archery lesson!
  • taken my Korean language class placement test
  • and taken one photo — of the mountains outside my dorm room window.

That’s the interesting stuff so far. And yes, this university really is made entirely of marble: the walls, the floors, the windowsills, the halls, the classrooms, even my dorm room! Fortunately they stopped short of giving us marble mattresses, though granted it’s a little difficult to tell. 😉

The rest of today will consist of workshops (one of which is called Vignettes — not sure whether to expect a writing assignment or not), the language exam results, and a club mixer I’ll be checking out to see if I want to join. I’m interested because the club’s theme is language exchange, something I’d always tried to get going with Japan Club back home. We’ll see how it goes. 🙂


UPDATE: Well, it seems I will not be joining the club due to it having the same problem JLS did — too many English speakers and too few Korean speakers. In fact, several of us wound up leaving to read poetry at each other. XD I also made two failed attempts to go back into town tonight, which resulted in playing Bananagrams in the ETA lounge. So all in all, a pretty good day.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Barb the French Bean
    Jul 06, 2012 @ 10:22:20

    Gray skies and no sunshine? You sure you haven’t wandered into Zalu? (And it was raining more than when Tropical Storm Debby was in Florida? Whoa.)

    Even if you can’t make Cuban coffee for now, I’m glad that you found a tasty substitute for it in the meantime. 🙂 It should definitely help with your transition from slowed-down jet lag to normal working capacity, ha ha.

    In all seriousness, thanks for letting us know how it is going for you. Do well on the archery lesson and the club mixer! Bashya!


  2. Charlotte
    Jul 15, 2012 @ 23:03:47

    No way to make Cuban coffee? Do they even know what cuban coffee taste like? D: THEY MUST KNOW!!!! lol


  3. landofthenotsomorningcalm
    Aug 01, 2012 @ 15:18:59

    You came to Korea during 창마! I usually visit Korea during this time, too, so I feel your pain. Isn’t it humid!?

    Do you like sweeter coffee or darker, more bitter coffee? I really like Let’s Be coffee (slightly on the sweeter side) but there are so many brands if you are in a bigger city like Seoul. After I come back to the States, I go looking for canned coffee and then have to stop myself. Haha.


    • seilann
      Aug 02, 2012 @ 04:49:44

      So humid! I thought I wouldn’t notice, being Floridian and having lived through two wet seasons in Japan… but Korea had to prove me wrong! XD

      I actually used to dislike the taste of coffee, and still can’t handle it if it’s too strong. But during grad school I got addicted to Cuban espresso — which is about 1/5 super strong coffee and 4/5 milk and sugar. I highly recommend it if you like sweet coffees. As for Korean brands, I usually reach for T.O.P. lately because it’s stronger, which I need for four straight hours of Korean classes. Though I’ve had Let’s Be as well, and it’s not bad. 🙂


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