This is the final instalment in my series about my adventures in South Korea at PKNU International Summer School. Probably the perfect time to reminisce about the things I miss…
I miss… the presence of K-pop everywhere. Every time I walked past a shop I could hear the sweet sounds blasting my way. It’s how I imagine heaven will be. And although I usually despair at the sight of advertising everywhere I turn, I found it perfectly okay – pleasant really – when the advert featured my favourite K-pop stars.
I miss… the fried chicken. I don’t know how they make it – surely by some form of sorcery – but it is the perfect way to eat chicken. Just… so… good. My mouth is watering just typing this, so I think I should refrain from writing any more on the subject. Looks like my face says it all anyway…
I miss… getting free stuff. There seems to be a phenomenon in South Korea known as “service”. Basically, I was getting something for free almost every time I purchased something. I didn’t need, or even want, these things being thrown at me, but I definitely wasn’t complaining about it. At the restaurant, at the cosmetics shop, at the convenience store: my face lit up every time I got something for free.
I miss… Popeye the cat. This was a stray cat that we frequently sighted outside our dormitory building. He/she was given the name “Popeye” after the fast food brand of fried chicken that my classmates fed him/her. He/she was rather timid around humans, and potentially riddled with disease, but he/she was also pretty darn cute. Recently, my PKNU roomie sent me picture she took of Popeye while she was strolling around campus. So, I can gladly say that Popeye is still alive and well and stalking his/her turf in search of junk food.
I miss… the people. It surprises me how quickly people become familiar to me. All in all, I only spent three weeks with my classmates, but I certainly miss their friendly faces and diverse personalities. I miss seeing the same faces in the cafeteria every morning, where we would talk about how bad the food was (but now I confess I even kind of miss that food…). I miss how tired some people would look after spending the night becoming better acquainted with South Korean drinking culture. I miss people’s catchphrases and accents. And I especially miss my roommate, Dahyun, and our routine of doing facials, snacking on sweets and chatting incessantly – I couldn’t have asked for a better roomie! Since I have been back on the Gold Coast, I keep seeing the doppelgangers of my PKNU classmates and every time I want to go up to the person and say “hi”, but then I realise that of course it’s not who I think it is. Every time a crushing disappointment. But I suppose it goes to show how much I treasure the experience I had at PKNU’s International Summer School. Thank you to everyone who helped me get there and to those who made it a special adventure!