This past Saturday we celebrated the Kazakhstan New Years! It was an important and special day for Albina and Diana (the two girls in the center picture on the left). They spent all morning preparing a big dinner feast for the whole house! They cooked traditional Kazakhstan food (and I helped! a little...). It was a really nice way to get all of the exchange students together, and it was a very lovely thing that Albina and Diana did! Thank you! :)
Yesterday, my roommates, Agathe and Mihyeon, and I went to Hangdae to "window shop". Hongdae is similar to Ilbanga. It is an area of Seoul where you can find a lot of shops, restaurants, etc. We shopped in Style Nanda, which is a department store that is becoming more and more famous in Korea. It sells clothing items that are more unique than the average clothing store. I found a lot of interesting clothes and a couple of items that I liked but of course they didn't have the right size for me! Which is okay since I was "window shopping" anyway. (I ended up purchasing a few clothes at H&M later on that evening.)
Agathe and I later enjoyed this interesting ice cream treat! It is just called a "stick ice cream". I'm not sure what the "stick" is made of but it was hard and airy almost like rice cake but it doesn't really have a taste.
Yesterday in Cross Cultural Communications Class, Professor Ahn had a surprise for us! We played a traditional Korean game called Yut Nori, or Yut for short. The game is very simple and is based more on strategy. The supplies are four sitcks, eight tokens or coins (four distinguishable tokens or coins for each team), a game sheet, and a blanket to toss the sticks on. The object of the game is for your team to get all of your tokens back to the home position first.
Each player takes their turn in tossing the four sticks. The sticks are special for this game because they are round on one side and flat on the other side. If only one stick lands with the flat side up then they player can move only one space and so on. If all four sticks land with the flat side up then it is called a "yut" and the player takes another turn. If all four sticks land with the flat side down it is called a "mo" and, again, the player takes another turn. If a player's token lands on a spot that the other team already has a token on, then that team's token gets knocked off the board and the player takes another turn. After the first game it gets easier to play and you understand the strategy better. Even Professor Ahn (pictured in the far left photo) joined in the fun with us. Playing Yut was the only thing that we did in class. Best class EVER!!
I <3 Korea!