On Friday, a group of my friends and I went to a Korean Barbeque (KBBQ) restaurant called Oo-kook. For those not familar with KBBQ,Wikipedia describes it as:
"Gogigui literally "meat + roasting", or Korean barbecue refers to the Korean method of grilling beef, pork, chicken, or other types of meat. Such dishes are often prepared at the diner's table on gas or charcoal grills that are built into the table itself."
I've been to two other KBBQ places: Gaon and Road to Seoul. The nearest one to campus is Gaon, which is runs a little higher on the price range. The meat there is so-so, but the environment is clean and not too noisy. Service is a bit better/faster if you have a Korean in your group - though that seems to be true for a lot of KBBQ places?
Road to Seoul (RTS) has better meat than Gaon, but you have to shout for the person next to you to be able to hear you. What bugs me the most about RTS is that to celebrate a birthday, they flash on and off *all* of the lights and sing over the intercom. This happens several times a night, which can be very jarring. RTS is also pretty far from Caltech.
Dissatisfied with Gaon and RTS, we looked for a new KBBQ place to frequent. One of our friends had gone to Oo-kook located in Korean Town (a little far), so we tried the Oo-kook near us in San Gabriel. It was AWESOME! The meat was juicy and delicious, and the service was so fast! Literally within minutes of ordering, our dishes of meat would arrive. We ended up ordering 20+ dishes of meat because it was so good and came so fast! This place is really interesting because they have a separate salad bar, which also includes a variety of sauces.
We didn't have a Korean in our group, but the service was stunning!! My friend had a paper napkin that was slightly dirty, and the waiter replaced it without any prompting! The water was constantly being replenished - we never had to ask for refills. And this was during a full Friday night!! We were super happy and tipped accordingly.
We definitely plan on coming back here, as much as our wallets will allow! :D
Starting college can be a big transition. You’re moving to a new place, starting a new school and classes, and faced with making new friends in an unfamiliar environment. And, of course, there’s that whole “becoming an adult” thing. But, you’re also leaving a lot behind. Every new beginning means that an old chapter must come to an end. Leaving behind our friends at home may seem difficult, especially if they’re going to be a long distance away from you during the school year. Something I made sure to do was to spend a lot of time with them during the summer after high school. Of course, going to college doesn’t mean you’ll never see your friends again, or that you will no longer be friends with them. Good friendships will last if you put effort into them. It may seem hard initially. Coming into Caltech, it’s a sharp adjustment and many are caught up in the excitement of Orientation, Rotation, and starting classes. It may be hard to remember to check your phone frequently and to make time for phone calls and such. Rest assured that if you have other friends going to college, they’re probably going to go through similar things you will. In this transition period, it can feel like you’re going to immediately lose touch with people that mean a lot to you.
Let’s face it: the US loves being just a little different from everyone else. The obvious example? Units of measurement. As an international student from Canada, even I have no clue what’s going on half the time when my friends talk to me and use these weird nonsensical units. And I’ve literally lived on the border between Canada and the States for all my life. After a year here, I’ve finally got a sense of how the two systems of measurement compare and how you can more easily get your bearings with these weird units.
After a year spent in “soft-lockdown” at home in Atlanta, and as Caltech students prepared to finally return to campus, I was aboard an eight hour flight towards Edinburgh, Scotland. Since my junior year plans were interrupted by the virus who shall not be named, I’m spending my first term of senior year studying abroad through the Caltech - Edinburgh University International Exchange program. I’ve only been here just over a week yet have been exposed to so many new people, perspectives, foods, and classes.
When the announcement was first made that fall term was going to be online, I started talking to friends and looking for places to live. We were debating locations around the country: California, Florida, New York, etc.. there were plenty of options. Then it suddenly hit me, what is stopping us from going to Hawaii, covid numbers were better and a two week quarentine would ensure that numbers stayed down… I proposed this to my friend and we agreed it would be an amazing experience, but we didn’t want to get out hopes up. A month or so later we still haven’t decided where to live, Hawaii seemed too far and too difficult to plan. But we couldn’t get the idea out of our heads. We spent some time looking into plane tickets, places to stay, etc… and it actually didn’t seem so impossible after all. A couple weeks later and we were arriving here on the big island!