Saturday, September 1, 2012

Week 1: Adjustment to the New Environment

24/08/2012 - 31/08/2012

From the day we arrived until 31/08/2012, 1 week staying here, all of us are unstable~ =.= Totally UNSTABLE in all dimension.. This is the week we learn to adjust to the new environment at Ajou University, South Korea. Everything are different, new to us and we need to make a quick and fast adjustment to this new environment.

Food & Drink
Bibimbab and Slide Dishes
Here, of course they have the variety of Korean food. As we see it in Korean movie, such as Kimchi, Radish, Toppoki, Bibimbab, and Bulgogi look nice and delicious.

I didn't face any problem to taste and eat them because i can eat everything. Due to South Korea is one of the Asian country, so the food taste have some similar compare to the western food. 

In this 1st week stay in Korea, i felt so excited to try and taste all the food. After that i realize, actually Korean Food are just a few menu. What i mean is everywhere you go, there is the same menu. You can see Bibimbab, Bulgogi and the same slide dishes such as Kimchi and Radish are serve everywhere with different price. It is the Korean style to serve slide dishes all the times.

One special thing is, in all the shop they will serve, only water. Not juice or any soft drink but just a water. They will have the water machine so that the customer can take the water by them self and refill it as much as they wants to. Or we can say that, the water here are free of charge. 

Korean are more focus on the their food taste and healthy. In some shop after you are done having your meal, customer them-self need to bring the plates and cups put it at the place they prepare for it. Here, my though is they can save the labor cost and of course the effective cleaning place. Other customer no need to waste time waiting for the worker to come and clean the table. 

In Korea, most of the food are non-halal so it's have a lot problem to my other 2 friends which are muslim. They have to be careful and alert all the time when having meal outside. Here, they can't eat the chicken, meat and cheese due to they felt doubt to how the Korean cut and prepare it. So we will looking for halal shop. But most of the time, we are cooking together and having meal in room.

For the foreigner student that i knew and i observe during this 1 week, they not really can adapt to the Korean food. One of the friend from Finland say, "it's just so so.. not really nice". Some that i heard, they totally don't like it so they will look for the western restaurant. 

Weather & Health
As we know that Malaysia are HOT for the whole year and we didn't have the 4 season. What we have is HOT day, SUMMER all the time, RAINING day and sweating at most of the time. 

Korea, they have the 4 season and when we arrived here, there is end of the spring season and going to feel the Fall season. By the end of the year it is Winter time. =) We are lucky because we have chance to feel it our self.

For us, we really love the weather because it didn't hot like in Malaysia so we won't get sweat and felt comfortable. Now the weather here are windy, a little bit cold and sometimes its really cold like the Cameron Highland or Genting Highland night time weather.

Our body still not adapt to the environment so we faced some little problem such as our skin and lips are dry. And for me, my hair are dry so i need to use conditioner every time i wash my hair. Then my friend, Nani get sick, cough and flu. After that, is my turn to get sick and fever.

Most of the Korean are friendly and of course some of them are not. So far until today i felt Korean are nice as long we know how to communicate with them with the simple way. Korean are respectful as what we saw in movie. They will greet you when they saw you. 

There is 2 of my friends when they shopping, they been chase away from the shop and been mad by the seller just because they try to negotiate the price with them. I think maybe my friends, them just put the bargain price too low that's why the seller don't like and get mad and think that we are just playing around.

Communication & Languages
Here, we do face the communication and languages problem. I have a few Korean friends, they can speak English but not every well and when they don't understand they will ask for the explanation. So when i communicate with them, i will speak slowly and use simple English word to communicate. But sometimes, it's hard to explain until they understand so i will just ignore it. Hehehee.... So conclusion, i need to learn Korean... (i should do it before came here)

For me i felt a little bit disappointed to some of the exchange student from western. I don't know why, i always feel that there is a gap between Western and Asian. Here, i can see Asian friend with Asian group then Western with their own group. I have try to be friend and close to them but i don't know why.. still i can't make a really close friend to them. It's like they have a different or maybe negative though toward us.

Then i felt really really bad because all of the people here, for their 1st impression toward me is im from China~ Maybe because of my look and i speak Chinese. So whenever people asking me, i will say it, "I from Malaysia not China".. T^T

When come to expenses... everything here are EXPENSIVE~ Every time we go out for shopping clothes, food and others. Like one of my exchange student friend say "My heart felt hurt/pain every time when i pay money." hahahaa.. It's really funny but it's real. Korea Won are 3 times more than Ringgit Malaysia. Try to Imagine it...

This dress is 19,000won.
Expensive and  i just try didn't buy it.

1. 8-9 apples the cheaper price can get 5,000won equal to RM15.

2. 1 toppoki meal the cheaper price is 4,000won equal to RM12.
3. Girl clothes the standard price is 10,000won equal to RM30. 

So conclusion... It's really hurt our heart every time we buy and pay... T^T 
and we keep worry about our financial all the times. Scare that not enough to use and really really don't want to ask money from family..

**when it's come to cosmetic product.. everything are cheap.. 

So it's good for girl to come here for shopping.  =)

This is not my 1st time to stay far away from family so i didn't felt sad so badly and i do miss home but didn't miss home like crazy. Hehehe... Because from secondary school i stay far away from mom and dad then went to university stay in dormitory. Every time will be at home when its come to holiday. And now i'm here.. So everything still normal for me and i enjoy my study life every well. =) But i do miss my friends, miss the moment we spend together and have fun all the times. 

But for my 2 other friends, this is their 1st time stay far far away from the family. Sometimes i hear they say miss home so much, miss the mom's cook and miss friends. Felt pity to them.. But still, they can live here every well. =)

Study Environment

The study environment here totally different from our home university. Here, in Ajou University or we can say it Korean style. Punctuality and attendance is very important. They really really punctual and once you are late to class it will effect your mark. Example for my MIS (Management Information System) class, 2 times late consider as 1 day absence

Haiz... So, for this semester suddenly i become so hardworking and punctual all the time and never miss any classes. It's really good to train student like this so that in future, when we work we will practice it at our work life.

For some of the western foreign student say that, in their country attendance is not important. So they not really care about it until they are here.. Everything have to change just like us from Malaysia.
** to be update soon about classes/education in Korea. =)

BUS: Korea has regular buses, village buses and city express buses running relatively long distance. Bus fares vary according to region and distance, but generally regular buses and village buses are less than 1,000 won while city express buses are more than 1,000 won. In some cases, regular buses and city buses share bus stops, but village buses have separate stops.

SUBWAY: Seoul City’s subway system is one of the most convenient and fastest systems in the world. Seoul’s subway system consists of 10 lines operated by the Seoul Metropolitan Subway Corporation (SMSC) and the Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corporation (SMRT) and one line run by the Korean National Railroad (KNR). The color-coded subway lines are easily recognizable.

Everywhere we want to go just took bus and subway. It's so convenience and we just need to buy a card. Here they call it T-Money. It's similar to our touch and go card and rapid card. I bought my T-Money at the convenience shop with the charger of 2,500won. Then after that we can keep recharge it at any convenience shop or at Subway.
This is my T-Money. =)
One thing that make me felt so impressing is, at their bus-stop they have the digital board that inform us what bus is coming and in what time the bus will reach. It's really convenience and helpfully for Korean. I wish that Malaysia also have this kind of system. It's really really cool. And for sure the bus will come on time.
The red color word show number of the bus. Green show the time of bus reach.
TAXI: Korea has regular, deluxe, call and free interpretation taxi. The deluxe offer more comfort and better service than regular taxis, but are several times more expensive. Most deluxe taxis are black, so they should not be confused for the regular taxis. An addtional service fee of 1,000won is charged for calling a taxi. For regular taxi, basic charge start at 2,300won. 

In this 1st week, we really learn and adjust quickly to the Korean life style. It's not so hard to do it as long we willing to experience it and open to accept the new environment. =)

So this is what i saw and observe for the 1st week at here. It's really fun and happy to get closer to Korean culture and life style. =)

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