Kootje Dijkstra | October in Seoul
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03 Nov October in Seoul

Midterm exams are over and it went well. I passed 4 out of 5 courses with a grade over the average. In the end, this will be added to the final exam grade and the attendance & participation grade. So, after a week of locking ourselves up in the school library, we were free to come and go wherever we pleased 🙂

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This is the Shinsegae Library in the COEX Mall in Gangnam. It was just recently opened in May and stores over 50,000 books! In total, this is a 2,800 square meter library and you can find it in the center of the mall.  // Jewelry in Korea; the crazier the better it seems..

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My dormitory view around 5/6 pm! I love this view  🙂

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Last Friday, Konkuk University organized a trip to the Demilitarized Zone (established in 1953). The DMZ is accessible through various cities in South Korea, Paju is one of those. From Konkuk, it is a 2-hour ride to Paju. When arrived, you will enter the Imjingak Resort, that exhibits various relics and monuments that are related to the Korean War. We weren’t allowed to take pictures most of the time.

Firstly, a short movie was showed to us to explain the most important facts about the Korean War and the DMZ. After that, we went to the Third Infiltration Tunnel, dug by North Korea to spy on the South. It was a 20-minute walk, 1,635 meters to be precise, with a height of only 1.60 meter. Lastly, we went to a lookout where we were allowed to take pictures and see the blue houses in North Korea as well. It was impressive! Though, it is super touristic with all the gift shops and guards to take pictures with, statues etc.

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The Exchange Program of 2017!

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To close the day, we went to the 63 Building. This used to be the highest tower in Seoul (259 m), but this year the Lotte World Tower opened and overtopped the 63 Building with its 555 meters 🙂

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On Sunday, I felt like doing something cultural, so I went to the National Museum of Korea, located in the Inchon area. It is a huuuuge, three-story museum with many different kinds of exhibitions. Think of Ancient History, calligraphy, Buddhist paintings, woodworks, art from various Asian regions (nice to see because I’m heading to Vietnam & Cambodia in December), sculptures and many more.
The ones that I found interesting were the Buddhist paintings, the Korean calligraphy, Buncheong ware (the traditional Korean artwork), and some personal collections. Also, the Ancient and Medieval History themes were both really interesting as all the kingdom eras, ages and dynasties were explained well with historical pieces and video footage.

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On Monday, I always have only one course to attend, International Marketing. It starts at 10.30 and ends at 12.00, so after that I decided to go to the Insadong area with Bas. In between the Gyeongbokgung Palace and the Changdeok Palace, you will find the traditional ‘hanok’ village, called Bukchon. It appears to be a 600-year old neighborhood, nowadays filled with small shops, coffee spots, mini-concept stores and little stands with traditional food. It is quite charming, but really touristic. You do want to take pictures of the streets and hanoks, but it actually is not possible without capturing tourists as well.. 🙁

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Tuesday, my worst nightmare became reality. I thought it would be over for now and that the tooth was going to spare me.. little did I know. It started to cause pain again and after three days, I decided to go to the Konkuk Hospital. Luckily, the dentist had a free spot, so I got the wisdom tooth extracted!!!!! Finally.

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There was a beerfestival in Seoul!! Actually can’t remember which day we went to this event, but the beer was good and the pizza was great 🙂 I tried various kinds, for example the pumpkin spice beer?! // Everyone went out on Thursday, but I couldn’t because of the antibiotics and the pain that I had, caused by the extraction. Instead, I went to the Children’s Grand Park in Gwangjin-gu, really close to Konkuk.

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Most of the places in the park are actually artifical, but it still is very charming and especially in this time of the year because of the autumnal discoloration. The leaves are turning in all kinds of colors. Stunning to see and the weather is still good 🙂

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Somewhere in the middle of the park, you will find an old pavilion. These are mostly used for visitors to stop and rest, and maybe do some meditation. I went up there to chill and sit down. An old man immediately rushed towards me, slapped the side of my head (!!) and pointed to my shoes. I had to take them off.. lollll solly.

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The end of a nice day.. ♥