I Seoul U

Today was an easier day in the sense that I did not have to wake up as early as I normally do. I began the day by waking up at 7 o’clock, then did my morning routine which now includes eating breakfast (something that is normally not a part of my morning routine at Pitt). My breakfast was fairly small though consisting of bacon and pineapples. There was another thing that I had done today that was definitely out of my norm: drink a cup of coffee. The other days I was very tired in the beginning of the day so I decided that it was probably for the best for me to drink a cup of coffee and see if it does anything. Normally coffee doesn’t affect me in any way shape or form, but today it seemed to help a little bit. It was most-likely due to the fact that I had espresso instead of a regular cup of coffee. To my knowledge, espresso is more caffeine concentrated. After breakfast, we had left the hotel at 8:30 which was much better than leaving at 7:20 for one of the previous days.

We had gone to the company Naver. Naver provides services similar to Google and YouTube. They are partnering with a company in Japan that provides a texting service. Together they are working on making a detection system that is able to detect a single person in a group and then have the camera focus on only them. They are also working on a system to eliminate background noise from many broadcasts. For example, in America we have many people talking over one another during news broadcasts, using the Naver method, there would be only one person that would be heard and the others would be silenced in the background. This was the company that I have so far been the most interested in because it applies to something that I love: computers and the technology that surrounds them. The visit was short, it only lasted about 2 hours, but it was definitely the best. After the presentation that was given about the company and what they do, we had gone on a tour of the facility. What I was most surprised with was that the lunches for the employees only cost around 2 dollars equivalent. That blew my mind because there would be nowhere in the United States that I can imagine that would give their employees that kind of discount for food. The tour also went through a library, cafe, gym, emergency stairwell, post office, market, and a testing room for electronic devices. The group then took a picture in front of the Naver sign, and we were then on our way back to the hotel.

After the visit, some friends and I had gone to the streets to find some food. On the way there, there were some Korean school children that were most-likely in high school from the looks of it, and some of them said “Hello” to us in English which was surprising to me because this was the first occurrence of a native Korean saying “Hello”. There were also some girls that called us beautiful which made the my group chuckle a little afterwards. As far as the food went, I ended up getting a spicy chicken kebab. The manner in which the man prepared the kebab was neat to see: he pulled out a blowtorch, put the kebab on a grill, and then lit up the kebab with the torch. After I ate this, I got a cheese infused bread snack that was delicious. Then we had to go back to the hotel because some of my friends registered for a taekwondo class, so I wished them good luck and then went back to the hotel.

After two long hours, I had gone to dinner with the same group. We went to a Korean chicken place that our instructor said was the best chicken in Korea. After eating there, I can confirm that it is the best chicken I’ve had in a long time. It was tender and juicy, all in all the perfect chicken. By the time we were done with dinner it was about 8 PM.

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