Posted in books, Personal, Selfstudy, TOPIK, Uncategorized

Bad timing

This year, my spring break took a frustrating turn which caused me to change my plans as well as go into a semi hiatus on the blog. Basically, I knew that the first few days would be busy but after that I didn’t have any other plans than focusing on my TOPIK preparations. However, I started to suffer from intense toothache and half of my face started to swell up, making me look like something straight out of a horror movie. Sigh.. The pain meant that I couldn’t focus on anything whatsoever and the swelling was to bad that I couldn’t eat or talk. Ugh just thinking about it makes me depressed!
Anyway, the pain is more or less under control now and the swelling has gone down a bit too, though I still look slightly scary, haha! On Friday I was finally able to focus enough  to study again and I felt really happy to be back on my usual schedule. Saturday was another busy day with family so I weren’t able to study for long.
Actually, I don’t think I have ever studied this little in a week before.

Anyhow, I was able to get a little work done! I finished 작은 아씨들 and I’m now reading 버드나무에 부는 바람. I’m 18 pages in and even though nothing has really happened yet, I enjoy it so far. I have also started the Korean Grammar In Use Advanced book, but I’m mainly focusing on getting more comfortable with the content of the intermediate book as I still don’t feel like I can comfortably use the many grammar points. I haven’t really been working on my 쓰기 since I need to focus completely to write something even slightly descent, but I have been working with my 읽기 book. It’s for TOPIK 1, so it’s not really that challenging and it have been a great way to do something Korean/TOPIK related without actually having to focus. I also had my weekly italki session (random fact: When half of your face is more or less paralyzed, it’s apparently a lot easier to speak Korean than it is to speak Danish) so I guess I haven’t wasted my vacation completely. I’ll be hitting the books this evening and I have the entire day tomorrow too, so hopefully I will get some studying done.

I’ll be starting another grammar book tonight, but I’ll be talking more about that in my next post. Also I’m working on a review that I have been wanting to do for a very long time, so hopefully I’ll be able to finish that soon too.

There’s 20 days left for TOPIK – I’ll try to get as much as possible out of the remaining time!

Posted in Uncategorized

My greed for learning

I have always been a dreamer. I easily get caught up in my own world and I often forget to see what’s going on out there in the real world.
From the very beginning I wanted to go to Korea and after a few months of being a kpop fan, I  successfully turned my sister into a kpop fan as well as a kdrama lover. At that time we were in no position to save up money but we made a pinky promise and swore that one day, we would go together for sure. A few years passed and I unintentionally started learning Korean. It sort of just happened. However I weren’t studying very often or effectively and after 4 Months I still couldn’t introduce myself or understand/reply to simple questions. Back then I didn’t know what I was doing what so ever, and it weren’t really that important to me, whether I did well or not.
After 4 months, my economical situation changed just a tiny bit, leaving me with hope for a trip to Korea in my future. I immediately started looking into flight tickets, hotels, guesthouses, activities and so on, to figure out how much it would cost me. From the beginning we had decided that we would make this trip, the trip of our lives and we didn’t want to cut down on any expenses if it meant that we couldn’t see and buy all of the things that we had dreamed of, during all that time. After looking into everything I discovered that it would take me a little over two years to save up for this trip and I was actually okay with this. I sent my sister a text immediately saying “In may 2017, you and I are leaving for Korea”, and it has been a deal ever since.
When we started looking at different housing options we found a small guesthouse and we completely fell in love with it. Do you guys know that feeling? Seeing or reading about something and just knowing for sure that it’s the perfect place for you? The rooms aren’t very big, the walls are thin, you live with the owners and other guests, you share the bathroom and kitchen, and it’s in a different part of Seoul than what we wanted. In other words.. It’s the complete opposite of what we wanted. Funny how things work out, huh? To this day we are still planning on staying there.

Anyway, while reading about this place I suddenly felt a big amount of greed for learning Korean. I wanted to be able to introduce myself at the guesthouse and I wanted to be able to say at last a few proper sentences. From that very day I started studying every day, and that’s when I discovered how much I loved self-studying this beautiful language. Whenever I would have a bad day, I would go online and read about the guesthouse again, look at pictures of the area, or go through the internet looking for good food places in that area.
Yesterday I was going through all of our plans again, I was looking at pictures, reading all the new reviews that have been posted, checking flight prices, and I was reminded of this first greed again. I am now more than capable of introducing myself and creating small basic sentences. I definitely reached my goal. But now I want more. I want to be able to order food for my sister and I, without having to worry about messing up, I want to book the guesthouse using Korean, I want to try and order chicken at Han river, I want to go see a movie in the theater, I want to try all the food I possibly can (okay, almost all the food..), I want to go book shopping, I want to be able to pick up a random newpaper or magazine and actually enjoy it while sitting in a coffee shop without relying on my dictionary, and most importantly, I want to be able to get to know the owners and other guests at the guesthouse.
Once again, I am filled with greed – And I absolutely love it!

I guess I’m writing this post as a reminder to myself. Half of the waiting time has passed even though I thought it never would. In a month I go to London for the TOPIK exam. 2-3 months later I’ll be buying the flight tickets for Korea, and then everything will suddenly become very very real. I want to remind myself of the progress I have made in the first half of my waiting time, and even more, I want to remind myself of the things I want to achieve in the second half.
I’m going to work hard and I’m going to greet Korea with a smile.

Posted in books, Personal, Selfstudy, TOPIK, Uncategorized

It’s Official

Ok guys! You all know about my TOPIK plans and guess what? It’s finally official! 아싸!
However, it most certainly wasn’t easy, haha! I had a lot of problems when signing up for the exams, and I have been patiently waiting for 2 weeks, to get a reply from the Korean Embassy. Phew! It’s been super nerve wracking!
Anyway, basically what happened was that I got the dates mixed up and therefore I was suddenly left with only 4 days to fill out all the papers and send them of to London. If you send a high priority letter to London, it still takes 3 days to get there, which means that if the letter had the slightest delay on its way, then I would pretty much be doomed. As you can imagine I was suddenly in a hurry!
Sadly, after this stressful discovery it all just started to go wrong. First of I had a ton of problems when trying to download the application form and once I finally got all that technical stuff figured out, I had no idea how to actually fill out the form. At that time I was already freaking out, and I was starting to think that I would never make it in time. When you download the application form, you also get a guide on how to fill it out, but the things is that the guide is in Korean and when I started translating it, I still didn’t understand what to do with some of the fields. In the end I got help from my awesome italki teacher (HI RACHEL!) and was able to fill out most of the form. I wrote an email to the embassy in London with my remaining questions and luckily they were able to answer my mail on the same day.

Just as everything was back on track, I suddenly couldn’t transfer the exam fee. It turns out that I was missing some of the needed information about the bank I was transferring to, and it was too late to contact the Embassy again. Sigh. Luckily my google skills were able to save me this time, haha!
In the end I was able to fill out the form and send it off to London, but as I mentioned above, I still had to wait and see if I made it in time. I have been checking my email and mailbox several times a day, and yesterday my conformation finally came!

Ah.. I would never have imagined that it would cause me this much stress, but now that things are finally set in stone, I definitely feel that it was worth it! I had many sleepless nights (starts singing 잠은 안오고 배는 고프고) but I have no regrets!
I now have everything prepared. TOPIK, new passport, flight tickets, a booked guestroom, money, days of from my internship and so on. It’s all ready!
LET THE COUNTDOWN BEGIN! – No seriously, I added a countdown Widget to the blog.

Now I just need to focus on studying which will be easy with all my new books and magazines! More on those later!