beginning of august

it’s already august! i’ve been living in Korea now for almost a year. the time is flying by very quickly! the level 3 semester at school is halfway over. i did so-so on the midterms… Listening is still the hardest and i got a 50% score 🙁 Reading was a 65.5%, Speaking was a surprising 78% and on the Writing test i got an 81%. i think the biggest reason for the low scores is not studying the many many new words well enough. also, comprehending everything very quickly is tough to do… but the words are the killer; i’ll study words and think i know them, but then when i hear them spoken, i have no idea what the word is. i guess i just need more practice. unless i can get in the 90% range for the finals, i’m thinking i may have to retake level 3. even though i’d like to pass it and move on to level 4, i’m partially thinking it would be more beneficial to take level 3 again. or maybe i’m just making up excuses?

i caught the new Harry Potter movie here. i really enjoyed it a lot, and have been wanting to watch it again, but i probably won’t get a chance until it comes to DVD–too busy and also other movies i want to see too. at Korean theatres you can get a 1-4 page flier promoting the movie. i usually grab a flier of the movies i’ve watched here. this is the flier for Harry Potter.

during class one day, we got to learn how to play some of the traditional drum instruments. unfortunately, i’ve forgotten the names of the different types of drums, so i’ll have to edit this post later with the names. i got to play the main drum which you hit on both ends with two different sticks. there’s also a larger drum, a very loud metal pan-like drum, and then a large (and loud) gong. there were 3 classes learning at once, so when we all played together, it was very very loud. and the moment we stopped our ears would hurt and everyone would moan. the ringing didn’t last long though. it was fun learning, but not sure if it’s something i’d like a career in.

i sometimes hear cat sounds outside my window, but lately i was hearing kittens meowing. so i went to look and saw 4 baby kittens running around in the little patch of dirt and bushes right outside my window. they’re very cute and like to climb trees and wrestle each other. the momma cat just sits and watches them. i think cats like this area, cause there’s a fresh squid restaurant right below my apartment :p

here are some other various pics i’ve taken while out and about. during the weekends, in some areas of downtown Seoul, many many police line up and wait around. i asked about this and was told usually demonstrators and/or protesters tend to demonstrate/protest in the downtown area, so the police are there to make sure it doesn’t get out of hand. the hamburger is from Kraze Burger and is one of the best burgers i’ve had. though it was also about $6… very similar to Fudruckers hamburgers. the fruit dessert has shaved ice underneath the ice cream and whipped topping. this dessert was very very good! the OK Pizza was better than ok, but i’ve also had much better 🙂 it’s good “fast-food” pizza. the odd looking corn dog is really a corn-dog with french fries stuck to the sides. my friend and i went walking around Dongdaemun and decided to try it. it was good, but i’m sure it won’t ever be found on the list of “ok” foods to eat while trying to lose weight. the last two pics are just of a various side street and a street vendor selling fruit.