The Journal of a Royal Palace Global Supporter: DAY ONE!

안녕하세요!

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Hi guys! So recently there was an announcement from the Cham Education and Culture Organization that they were looking for 120 volunteers for the festival that are going to be held in the Royal Palaces. They needed 100 foreigners and 20 Koreans (and there was no requirement of Korean fluency!!), so I decided to apply for it! The application process was conducted online-we just needed to fill in our information and wrote a short essay on why we wanted to be a volunteer there.

A week after, I was called in for an interview. The interview was conducted in Korea House, located just 10m away from Exit #3 at Chungmuro Station of Subway Lines #3 and #4. When I got there, there were already many people waiting to be called in. The interview was a Mass Interview, where 3 people as the interviewer interviewed 10 interviewees. We only had 10 minutes inside and it was so nerve-wracking (at least for me, haha). The interviewers had our application forms printed out and were placed on their desks, so they could immediately “mark” our papers during the interview.

There were only 3 questions asked, and we need to immediately answer that question based on the order of our seats. I sat on the edge of the line, so I was either the first one to answer or almost the last one. The time to think was roughly 2 seconds after the questions were asked, so I didn’t have enough time to think and just blurted anything that came in mind.

The interviewers said that the announcement would be sent out the next day, but surprise!- the announcement was sent out on the same day! I was so happy to receive an email from them that stated that I am selected! Yeay!

Our orientation day was on Saturday, 18th April 2015. We need to gather at GyeongBokGung Palace from 10 am to 5 pm. As an introvert person, I was always nervous in terms of meeting a large group of new people like this 😦

my name tag!

my name tag!

I arrived at the GyeongBokGung area and yes, there were a lot of people there. We checked our attendance and were given a name tag! (I was wondering why the others had their full name written on the name tag as I only had my middle name written on it but,-never mind!)

The CEO of Cham E&C!

The CEO of Cham E&C!

The orientation began, and Mr. YoungTae Ha- the CEO of Cham Education and Culture started to explain about how this program worked. He explained that this program has 4 core values which are: Fun (재미)- Make fun memories at Palace; Learn (배우)- Learn about Korean History and Culture; Friendship (우정)- Be friends with people from around the world; Pride (자부심)- Have pride as we are the ambassadors of Korea. Volunteers will be introduced to the history and culture of Korean, in particular the Joseon dynasty and court life. We will receive a lot of lectures about history and culture to promote the knowledge on the role of courtiers, court etiquette, and their responsibilites. Hope I can survive through the whole program! lol

We will be a volunteer for approximately 2 weeks and the schedule was so packed yet fun! We were also divided into 8 teams, and I am team 8.

Team 8 with Mr.Ha!

Team 8 with Mr.Ha!

After the orientation, we gathered with our groups and started to introduce ourselves. My team members are from Korea, Australia, Russia, Philippines, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Iran, India, and of course Indonesia-which is me! We had a group mission which was touring around the National Palace and select one artifact that we considered the most attractive and take a picture in front of it.  And after it, we had a nice lunch together! 잘 먹었습니다!

Team 8's lunch!

Team 8’s lunch!

After lunch, all of us gathered again in the main hall to learn….FLASHMOB! Flash mob is a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual and seemingly pointless act for a brief time, before quickly dispersing. They are often used for the purposes of entertainment, satire or artistic expression. For us, we are going to have a massive dance altogether at the Korean Palace. We practiced the dance for almost 3 hours and it was so tiring yet fun!

Dancing practice!

Dancing practice!

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The day quickly ended, and we were given a short briefing on our next schedule, which is tomorrow! Can’t wait to see what we will do tomorrow J

-And as a volunteer, we need to share and spread our experiences through social media so I decided to make a journal of this program!-

Seoul, 24th April 2015

Ivana Monica

MEET THE SUPER CUTE KAKAO TALK FRIENDS AT COEX MALL!

Annyeonghaseyo!

It’s been almost 2 months since I moved here to Korea and I have to say: Kakao Talk is really the “it” thing here! In case you don’t know, Kakao Talk is a messenger/chatting application (just like LINE, whatsapp, or WeChat) that is mostly used by Koreans. Back in Indonesia, I don’t think Kakao Talk is that popular because we use LINE or Whatsapp application but here, almost everyone has Kakao Talk. it’s normal for people to ask you “Hey, can I have your KaTalk ID?” instead of asking for phone number so if you are going to live in Korea, you better download that application right away!

Just like how the LINE application has their famous characters such as Brown, Cony, Sally and Moon; Kakao Talk also has their own version of characters which are Neo, Frodo, Muzi, Jay-G, and the super cute peach lol (I don’t know what’s his name). These characters are so popular that even many advertisements use them as their marketing mascot hahaha.

COEX Mall

COEX Mall

As an avid fan of the KAKAO friends, I decided to visit their official store at COEX Mall. COEX Mall is the largest underground shopping center in Asia. It is located in the basement of the Korea World Trade Center, located in Samseong-dong in the Gangnam-gu area of Seoul. The colossal shopping center stretches from Samseong station (subway line 2) in the south all the way to Bongeunsa temple in the north, and is considered to be the best shopping and entertainment complex in the area.

credit: visitkorea.kr

credit: visitkorea.kr

Enter the mall, find an elevator and go down to Basement 1. You would see the super yellow Kakao Talk Store!

my favorite peach!!

my favorite peach!!

Once you walk into the store, you could see a line up of Kakao Friends’ statues that you could take a photo with. And on the right side, there are a lot of Kakao Talk merchandises such as hats, mugs, notebooks, pillows, phone cases, and even candies! But because this is an official store, of course the prices are not cheap so don’t be surprised if a candy could cost around 2000 Won!

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cute (but pricey) miniatures!

cute (but pricey) miniatures!

Apeach here, Apeach there <3

Apeach here, Apeach there ❤

After going around the shop and taking pictures here and there, I decided to buy the cheapest  cutest thing in the store!

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The plastic bag is soooooo cute! I promise I won’t throw it away or accidentally make it into a trash bag lol

(again) my peach folder <3

(again) my peach folder ❤

I bought a super cute Peachie folder! It’s only 1000 won and is useful for students like me! Definitely will bring that to school and brag it to my friends hahahaha

So if you are in Seoul, do visit this KAKAO Store in COEX Mall!

Best regards,

koreanmate

Spring Destination: Seeing the Beautiful Moonlight Fountain Show at Han River!

credit:mobgenic.com

credit:mobgenic.com

Annyeong!

Although the cold weather still lingers around us, but the spirit of Spring season is already here! It’s nice to see how the flowers and trees start to bloom and people start to walk outside and enjoy the view, including me! As the cherry blossoms are already everywhere, I wanted to play outside and enjoy the sceneries. I decided to go to Han River to see the Moonlight Rainbow Show!

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credit: ivanamonica

Banpo Bridge is a two-tiered bridge over the Han River that features the Moonlight Rainbow Fountain, the world’s longest bridge fountain recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records with 380 water jets and a dazzling array of multi-colored lights. Banpo Bridge divides the Han River connecting the districts of Seocho and Yongsan. Construction on the double decker bridge was completed in 1982.

The Moonlight Rainbow Fountain’s water jets are dynamic and can move in time to music creating spectacular ever-changing displays. During the day, the fountain shows a hundred different configurations meant to evoke waving willow branches and willow leaves. When the sun goes down, 200 lights illuminate the fountain as it sends up dancing, rainbow-colored jets of water in the air in synchronization with music. Add to that the hundreds of rainbow-colored lighting combinations when night falls, and it is easy to see why Banpo Bridge is so popular among tourists.

credit: cinecafe.kr

credit: cinecafe.kr

The Moonlight Rainbow Fountain operates from April to October every year, however the schedule of the fountain shows varies from month to month. In addition, Banpo Hangang Park hosts the “Moonlight Square Cultural Weekend” event every Saturday from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. from May to October, featuring a variety of musical styles including classical music with commentary, acappella, popera, jazz, brass bands and orchestras.

How to get there: Walk out of exit 8-1 at Express Bus Terminal Subway Station (Lines 3 & 7). Walk straight 300 meters then cross large intersection (under overpass). Turn right then walk 600m to entrance of Hangang Park.

April, May & June Schedule

• Weekday ⇒ 12:00, 20:00, 21:00
• Weekend ⇒ 12:00, 17:00, 20:00, 20:30, 21:00, 21:30

July & August Schedule

• Weekday ⇒ 12:00, 20:00, 21:00
• Weekend ⇒ 12:00, 17:00, 19:30, 20:00, 20:30, 21:00, 21:30

September & October Schedule

• Weekday ⇒ 12:00, 20:00, 21:00
• Weekend ⇒ 12:00, 17:00, 20:00, 20:30, 21:00, 21:30

credit: KTO

credit: KTO

Around the bridge, there is a big and beautiful park where you could ride bicycles, exercise, or just have a picnic with your beloved ones.  There are cafes and restaurants too near the park, but they charge higher price compared to the regular ones we usually found in streets.

However, if you come during these days (April or October) the weather could get pretty cold at night (and the wind is so strong around the bridge) so please bring outers such as jackets or cardigans to keep you warm while watching the beautiful Banpo Bridge!

Best regards,

koreanmate