Anonymous of Holland            -A Dutchman in Korea-

    Helo welcom 2 my websight

Good morning, 2017

2016 has come to an end, and I’m sitting here wondering why I only managed to write 8 posts in an entire year while my life is undoubtedly much more interesting now than it was back in the Netherlands.

A lot of it comes down to time, and perhaps more importantly energy, I suppose.
I started attending the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies early in this year, after having an incredibly difficult uphill battle to even make it into the department I wanted (or needed) to join in the first few months. When I finally made it in, I quickly realized how hard going to university is in Korea, especially compared to the Netherlands.
Honestly, I had quite a lot of time in the first semester and I mostly filled that with dating and wasting the little money I had. In that sense, I suppose I’ve grown up quite a lot in 2016, which is kind of a weird thing to realize at 29 years old.

 

04
In the second semester I stopped throwing away money and started working to cover my living expenses a bit, while at the same time dealing with the increasing workload taking four courses at HUFS brought with it. Not a week went by in which I didn’t have one or two presentations and some form of paper to submit, and by now my academic output in this semester alone puts everything I wrote in the four years I studied law in the Netherlands to shame. Well…quantity-wise, I mean. This semester there were so many assignments from so many professors who all treated us as if theirs was the only course we were taking that I spent many a night just churning out page after page in the hopes of just finishing something, anything, on time to turn it in. So although I’m not really proud of most of what I’ve produced this past semester, I am proud that I got through it without any major problems and without losing faith in my own abilities and with results that were worth the effort.

So…yeah..that’s probably why I didn’t post a lot during this year. It wasn’t that I really didn’t have any time, it was just that I used that free time to relax and try to forget about all the bullshit a bit. I built a new computer which has barely touched any games and got a giant TV that has been used almost every day since it arrived to watch movies, shows and anime to calm my mind at night. I also took full (though, in retrospect, perhaps not full enough) advantage of living in Seoul by visiting lots of Starcraft events this year, to the point where the guys working at the Gangnam Nexon Arena actually recognized me, knew the team I liked and told me “long time no see” after I came to see a match after mid-term period ended. Although it was a shame that Gary (my Canadian friend who got me into professional Starcraft in the first place) couldn’t usually join, Starcraft and especially Proleague really made my year a lot more fun. Although Blizzard and KeSPA joined forced to effectively snub out the entire Starcraft 2 scene in Korea starting 2017, I am grateful for at least getting to experience what it’s like to really love a sport and care about the people and teams that play it.

I’m also grateful, of course, for all those wonderful people I’ve met previously in Daegu and the new friends I got to know at my university. Even though I’ve never been especially good at making friends, and it’s been increasingly hard to hang out with everyone due to their (and my) schedules, I would have probably gone mad without them and I dread the day they (or I) will have to leave. My old friends from Daegu are what make Korea the Korea that I love, and my classmates have always been there to help me adjust to the weirdness of Korean university life, give me advice, or hang out and talk about less heavy things during the less stressful times.

As I am writing this post, I’m going through my photos from the past year, and feel a bit sad to see that I didn’t really do a lot. If there’s one ‘resolution’ that I’d like to strive for in 2017 it would be to enjoy life, and Korea, a bit more.
There was of course one period in which I enjoyed this amazing country to its fullest though, and that was when my parents and brother came to visit. I hadn’t seen them since I left the Netherlands in August 2014, so seeing them ‘in real life’ as my mom always calls it was nothing short of amazing. Thinking back of that time, it still feels a bit like a dream. A dream that I should really finish putting on this blog sometime soon but…I’m worried ㅋㅋㅋㅋ

All in all, 2016 was pretty rough, but I never once regretted coming here and giving it my all.
Let’s hope that 2017 will bring more unforgettable days with friends, amazing events that can only be seen in Korea and, because this is Korea after all, more A+es with less work.

t22

Gelukkig Nieuwjaar iedereen!
새해 복 많이 받으세요!

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This entry was posted on 1 January 2017 by in Diary, Korea and tagged , , , , , , , .

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One of the things I love about Korea compared to the Netherlands is how people still visit actual, physical stores here. While in my country, cities struggle keeping their downtown shopping areas from looking like ghost towns, here there is a healthy variety in both local mom and pop stores, big franchise chains and everything in between.

There's even megamalls like this one, called #Garden5, that we couldn't even imagine finding back at home. 4 huge buildings with 14 floors of shopping each, in an area that doesn't even come close to the foot traffic that regular downtown areas see - I don't know how places like this stay in business, but I'm very happy they do.
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#Korea #SouthKorea #Seoul #Seoul_Korea #discoversouthkorea #GardenFive #Mall #Megamall #Shoppingcenter #HappyNewYear #NewYear #Store #Shopping #서울 #가든5 #가든파이브 #리차드 #백화점 #쇼핑 #네덜란드 #외국인 #유럽 #새해 #새해복많이받으세요 #가게 아휴~ teaching is hard work, but (although I'm well aware of how cheesy this sounds) seeing my students have fun with what we've come up with and enjoy themselves makes it all worth it, and because I was doing it together with my close 형, I even had a lot of fun.

The best thing about teaching in Korea is how adorable the kids are, even though they can also be little demons, and how surprised they get when they find out you speak Korean.

쌤, 한국말 아세요?
- Me? No way! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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#Korea #SouthKorea #Seoul #English #Englishteaching #Teaching #EFL #TESOL #Korean #Kids #Students #EnglishCamp #languagelearning #영어 #영어공부 #영어수업 #외국인 #네덜란드 #영어캠프 #언어 #선생님 #쌤 #Engels #Les #Lesgeven Today, I found this picture that I took about 3 years ago in a toy store here in Korea.

I don't want to sound like an old fart, but I sure do wish we'd have had books like this when I was studying English - it certainly beats the 800th 'Trip to London' practice dialogue.

P.s. Nightcrawler is the best X-Man
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#Korea #SouthKorea #Seoul #Toystore #XMen #Nightcrawler #Superhero #Superheroes #Marvel #Book #Comics #Comicbook #English #LearningEnglish #StudyingEnglish #Kids #서울 #토이저러스 #엑스맨 #나이트크롤러 #히로 #슈퍼히어로 #마블 #영어 #영어공부 #코믹 #공부 #언어 #연습 It has been snowing remarkably often this year. Winters in Korea are always cold, but since there generally isn't much precipitation, it doesn't usually snow all that often. This year, however, has seen about 7 days of snow already and with all these cold snaps, we can probably look forward to a couple more before the winter finally gives up.
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#nofilter #winter #snow #white #Korea #SouthKorea #Seoul #KyungHee #kyungheeuniversity #University #ig_korea #ig_asia #노필터 #겨울 #눈 #화이트 #서울 #seoul_korea #경희대 #경희대학교 #경희 #외국인 #네덜란드 #대학교 #대학원 #대학 #춥다 @seoul_official 완벽한 오늘.
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#Korea #SouthKorea #Seoul #Food #Koreanfood #Guksu #Gogiguksu #Present #Gift #Newyear #Perfect #foodstagram
#완벽한 #오늘 #완벽한오늘 #국수 #고기국수 #먹스타그램 #음식 #서울 After 3 months of no Starcraft, the first match of the year is always something I look forward to. I guess I now understand how sports fans feel when it's off season.

This is the third year that I've been in Seoul enough to closely follow all the major Starcraft tournaments, and although I still really miss Proleague I guess it is better for my productivity that we've only got two major tournaments going on these days. If February rolls around without any SSL announcements, I might get antsy though..
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#Starcraft #Starcraft2 #SC2 #GSL #GlobalStarCraftLeague #esports #gaming #progamer #gamer #Korean #Seoul #Korea #esport #INnoVation #Leenock #Creator #Solar #tournament #Proleague #SSL #스타크래프트 #스타2 #스타크래프트2 #외국인 #이신형 #문규리 #e스포츠 #경기 #프로게이머 #게이머
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