CAS Blog

Miah's Korean Cultural Experience

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Excerpts from my diary about my Korean Cultural Experience

2 December 2018

Today was my first day at Seoul Sahmyook Middle School. We watched movies in most of the lessons because the students had already finished all the work that they needed to do. Everyone sleeps in class and they bring in pillows and blankets and talk a lot during lessons. Everyone is very friendly and absolutely hilarious. I feel really bad because I can’t remember everyone’s names. The school is so different from Australia. You have to take tissues from the class room to use as toilet paper because there isn’t any in the bathroom and the class rooms are very small and the library is tiny.

The girls' skirts are so short, I don’t know how they keep warm in -2 degrees. The school lunch is very different too. Everyone who spoke to me told me that the food was famous for tasting terrible but it was okay...sort of. In between every single class there is a 10 minute break and lots of the kids go to the snack bar because they don’t have an allocated time for recess. Their school bell is also really nice because it’s a sweet song instead of an alarm.

22 December 2018

Last night we went to a Korean BBQ and it was really good. Except that they were eating 100% raw cow liver and this grey bumpy stuff, which I think was intestines. Completely raw! They just opened the packet and dug in. I didn’t try any.

23 December 2018

Last night we went to a Korean spa, which was a very interesting experience. All the boys had to wear blue play suits and all the girls had to wear pink ones. Above the baths and changing areas was a huge room which had two rows of massage chairs and the floor was full of heated mats with people sleeping, watching tv, eating ramen and playing on their phones.

There were lots of kids running around and there were video games that they could play. It was kind of fabulous. At the back of the room there were three saunas. One was 45 degrees one was 59 degrees and one was 89 degrees. There was also an ice room... my favourite room. The saunas were too hot. The 45 one was nice and I had a bit of a sleep. The 59 was full of salt rocks all over the floor which were so hot that the we had to wrap our little towels around our feet. The 89 one looked like an actual human oven. It was this huge dome that looked like a giant pizza oven/igloo and the wooden door to enter was tiny and very burnt.

My host mum made me go in with her twice. I felt like I was going to die. It was so hot!!! I was in there for about 2 minutes panting like a dog before I absolutely couldn’t take it anymore and I had to leave and sprint to the ice room. It was 6 degrees but it felt amazing compared to 89. My host sister told me that when she was younger she licked the wall of the ice room and got stuck to wall. We got home at about 2:30am and we all slept in until lunch time on Sunday.

Miah McCarthy
Year 12 IB Student