Ok, ladies and gents. I just want elaborate on my initial experiences in South Korea for the one and a half weeks I’ve been here so far. Enjoy.
I arrived at Incheon S. Korean airport on May 17, 2012 where a friend, which I had previously met a Purdue University, was waiting to pick me up. It took about 2 1/2 plus hours to get Soonchunhyang University (SCH). Why am I in South Korea traveling to SCH? Well I wrote a research proposal to the United States National Science Foundation (NSF) October 2011 with a SCH S. Korean professor, and submitted that proposal November 2012. After months of silence from NSF, I finally received a notification of acceptance into the East Asia Pacific Summer Institute program 2012. What made it even better was that I received the letter on my birthday (mid spring), and that has to be one of the best birthday presents ever. My research involves technologies that directly and indirectly relates to cell phone security. Specifically, the title of my research project is Vulnerability Assessment of the Secure Smartphone Platform. In other words, I am researching the intrinsic security flaws of the Android cell phones from software to hardware. Now, enough with the introductions.
I dont know how to format my experiences thus far, so Ill list them in paragraph form.
I visited Seoul, the capital of South Korea, the 2nd day. I Spent a whole day there, and since we could not return to SCH late at night, my friend and I slept in Seoul the same night. We slept at this venue for people who want to temporarily sleep in Seoul for a very cheap price, and take showers, and relax in a sauna as well. So… … I had to get NAKED in front of 30+ men to take a shower though! Literally, my friend said we will have to take a shower first before we get in the sauna. I take off my clothes and left my under garments on, and then asked him where the towels were? He told me “oh you have to be get completely naked and store you clothes in the locker rooms.” He LITERALLY strips all his clothes in front of me… at first it was awkward, but then I have been to Japan experience something very similar , so took of my clothes as well. I go upstairs to the shower/onsen(jacuzzi like)/sauna room, and theres naked men everywhere, and they are ALL staring at my junk >_> *shrug*. lol. I had to repeat the process the next morning, and there were even more men up there.
Koreans ignorantly refer to my dreads as “reggae” lol. Seriously, they were surprised when I told them that reggae is a genre of music, and my hairstyle is called dreads. When I tell them my ethnic origins hail from Nigeria, they respond “Oh Soccah” (Soccer); I guess we are famous everywhere. They pronounce the fast food restaurant McDonalds as “mek do nal lu du”, where the “al” is pronounced exactly as the name “Al”. Its always funny to hear it pronounced that way. Japanese is also interesting for they pronounce it “ma ku do na ru do”.
What I find interesting about their culture in regards to eating, a lot of their foods is made with the thought that the food will be shared with multiple people. Seriously, most of the foods I have consumed thus far were group meals, and sometimes these group meals are really cheap, sometimes. There have been places where its highly expensive spending 80$ on a meal for four people. That may seem normal, but you have to remember that their portions are usually smaller than that of America.
SCH university’s campus is beautiful. Its partially attached to the side of some of the mountains. Therefore it has a lot of hills and trees. Although walking any part of this campus means traversing up and down these hills, its worth it because I get to experience something beautiful every single day. Just the view from my window, I wouldn’t say breathtaking, but refreshing.
Here are some pics plus more of what I’ve experienced. I’ve also attached links to my facebook albums so you can peruse.
Just another day in the life of me. 🙂