Day 1 Reflections - Shanice

Posted by Shanice Tang at 9:09 pm

3 words to describe today's experiences
- Cold. It thought it was going to be manageable as according to google, it would be about more than 10 degrees celsius. Except when we arrived, it was 4 degree celsius! I was not prepared and only had a flannel and a thin down jacket, so I was freezing especially at night.

- Interesting. I didn't know that Korea was very dependant on the steel industry. Also, I've heard that they left the fire burning in the furnace for 20 years.

- Tiring. We had flight through the night and immediately after arriving in Busan, we have a packed itinerary were we have to go to many places. 

3 highlights of the day

- POSCO Museum tour. We saw a short film about the way steel industry has changed the life of Koreans where everyone of different races came together and drum on a steel drum. As the drum was hit, the chair vibrated along which was pretty cool.

- POSCO Factory tour. We got to enter a small portion of the factory where thick iron were flattened into sheets of 6mm thick. The hot iron was red and glowing. I could feel the heat of the iron being radiated. It was mesmerising to watch the glowing iron.

- Jagalchi Market. We walked past many stores selling seafood that were still alive! Most of the stall pretty much sold the same species of fish so it was weird to me like why would you the exact same thing as your competitor? Also, the smell of seafood was so strong but it smelled so good even though I expected it to be repulsive.

3 things I learnt about Korea
- Koreans are cheerful. They are really polite people and easy to talk to. When I thanked the bus driver for driving us around, he replied cheerfully which was nice.

- Korea is very dependant of steel. Instead of using wooden chopsticks, they use steel chopsticks. Even their bowls are made of steel instead of ceramic that I'm used to seeing at home.

- Koreans bow a lot. At the EMart, every time we passed by a staff they would bow and say hello. They automatically bow and it gives you a sense of welcoming and make you feel at home.

3 things you've learnt about yourself
- I, unfortunately, have motion sickness :(. When I was on the bus going towards the POSCO Museum, my head felt super giddy and nauseous.

- I am not very smart. Although the weather was extremely cold, I still bought ice-cream and ate it. I did not think about the coldness outside and just straight away bought the ice-cream. My hands were numb when eating the ice-cream

- I can take semi-spicy food. During lunch, the meal looked red and spicy. I expected it to be burning my mouth but it wasn't too spicy. Also, there use cheese we sort of helped to ease the spiciness. But it's a relief that I can manage spicy food as most korean food are spicy or have chilli.

3 things I didn't do so well
- I didn't really pay attention during the POSCO Museum tour. My head was really hurting and I found it hard to listen to what the guide has to say when I'm massaging my head.

- I didn't look around during bus rides to look for details that will be helpful for my research. As we had a midnight flight, I didn't sleep so well and thus slept during bus journey but hopefully the next few days when I have better rest I could take photos of things related to my research.

- I wasted food. :( For dinner at the Jagalchi Market, it was a buffet. I took too much pork belly and couldn't finish it in the end. I hope that for the rest of the trip I don't take more food than I can eat so as not to waste food.

3 things you look forward to tomorrow
- We're going to Busan High School tomorrow! I'm excited to meet my buddy and get to know them. Also maybe I'll get to understand more about the Korean culture from my buddy.

- In the school, we'll get to do activities that they have prepared for us and according to the itinerary, they have prepared lessons about music. As I love playing the ukulele at home, I'm excited about learning more musical stuff.

- Tea ceremony while wearing the traditional costume of Korea. The Hanbok! I love wearing traditional costumes to see how I would look like in them. Tea is my favourite drink other than Cola, so I would be elated to have tea ceremony and drink tea.

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