Wednesday, March 29, 2006

V for Vendetta

"This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is it vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished, as the once vital voice of the verisimilitude now venerates what they once vilified. However, this valorous visitation of a by-gone vexation, stands vivified, and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin van-guarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition. The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous. Verily, this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose vis-a-vis an introduction, and so it is my very good honor to meet you and you may call me V."

Yesterday, after school and a round of Karaoke with a few of my classmates, I met Min Hee and Michael for our excursion - to the cinemas. We were supposed to watch a Korean movie but these movies don't have subtitles so Michael suggested that we should watch an English movie with Korean subtitles...and hence for the above quote from the movie 'V for Vendetta'. It's quite a good movie I must say so I did enjoy my little trip to the movies...

After the movie, I met Lydia, Taro and his private tutor and we all went out for Chinese food (Korean style). I didn't know how much I missed Chinese food and it was a good meal, though it was still fusion - Korean food with a little bitta Chinese. Nevertheless, it was a good meal and I got home just in time to watch another episode of Spring Waltz staring Daniel Henney - sounds like he's the only actor in the drama. Haha...

BUT BUT BUT...last night's episode had the scene that they had shot on Saturday night that I had witnessed first-hand...AHHHH...what a memorable episode - #8. I deifnitely have to buy the VCD/DVD set from Singapore when I get back so I can always watch the show and shout as I point to the television screen 'I WAS THERE WHEN THEY FILMED THIS PART!'

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Day Before & Yesterday

Keu Chor Kke
Sunday morning, I couldn't get up any earlier than 10.30am. I was so tired I kept putting off my alarm for another half an hour, another half an hour. But

finally, I decided to wake up and everyone wasn't home. That morning and afternoon, I stayed home and blogged.

At around 3.30pm, I got ready to go to church. I was going to an English service held at Yonsei University Luce Chapel - alone. I don't know what made me

decide to do that but I was condifent of my decision and marched out of the house. I decided to get some exercise and did a 45 minute walk to Yonsei

University. Reaching there early - the service was only starting at 5pm, I did a U-turn and headed back to Sincheon Station, where I had initially saw a man

carrying a 'Krispy Kreme' box of donuts. Surely there was an outlet around here!!!

Oh did I tell you? I'm a Krispy Kreme convertee!! I love Krispy Kreme!! All other donuts just don't match up - sorry Dunkin Donuts. I had Krispy Kreme for

the FIRST time in my entire life on Friday and LOVED IT!! Oooohhhh. It was so good. On sunday, I craved for Krispy Kreme!! And of course after a good walk,

you'd reason with yourself that it's all OK.

The great thing about Krispy Kreme is that when you are standing in line, they would give you a free Original Glazed donut. YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!! While

munching on the first one, I made my purchase - "Grel-le-yi-ji-de Cho-kol-lit Kae-ik" (Say it real fast and make sense of it youself - it's hanglish).

Basically, it was a glazed chocolate donut!! I LOVE IT. I had it on Friday and I had it again on Sunday. I wanted to try something else, but the glazed

chocolate had my name all over it, I couldn't deny it.

After finishing the first original glazed donut, I thought I'd save the chocolate glazed for after dinner as I walked back towards the University - 2 for the

price of one - that's a damn good deal!! However, being a glutton, bit by bit, I reached into the paper bag and started picking at my glazed chocolate

donut...and by the time I got to the University, my entire donut disappeared!!!

Church was great, though the congregation was quite small. The songs we sang were nice and not too hymmish - catered to the young adults.

I hadn't been to church the previous Sunday and I didn't know how much I missed it. It's just the feeling of being in the house of God, worshipping along

with others who love him and praise his was awesome.

The people (some older but most around my age) were rather friendly and after the service, all was welcomed to join in for a simple Kim Bab (Korean Sushi)

dinner. Feeling a little out of place but yet slightly more comfortable than my first church experience in Seoul, I stayed on. I ended up finding myself at a

table with all guys along with the caucasian preacher who has lived in Korea for more than 2/3 of his life so his Korean is quite good!! Luckily for the fact

that the preacher's first language is still English, they all communicated in English. Listening in to other tables' conversations would have been tough

since they spoke mostly Korean.

Then people started to leave and younger ladies joined the table and I found myself chatting away to some of them. It was great. I was among the four last

girls who left the chapel, chatting as we walked out of the University for home.

So on the overall, it was a good service and I enjoyed myself while praising God in his house of worship. I would have liked to make more friends and perhaps

experienced a larger congregation English service sometime because the 2 services that I've attended were all less than 30 people, but for now, I'd

definitely return to Yonsei University Luce Chapel for worship. They even have a Tuesday night youth meeting at 7pm that I'd like to join, but my Tuesday

nights are occupied with excursions and I'll wait and see.

Orh Jae
Yesterday, I had the usual classes at school and then further private lessons at Omokgyo. The highlight of the day was when my teacher invited me to watch a

Korean movie. She gets free tickets so together at 5pm, we went to watch this Korean comedy. Though I didn't really understand most of what they said, but I

still enjoyed the movie as I could make a little bit of sense of it through actions and body language and bits of sentences.

And in the evening, I made it home to watch another episode of Spring Waltz...AHHHHH...Daniel Henney is 'Chal Seng Get Da'...soooo handsome!! Whenever I see

him on TV, I'm reminded of the fact that I've met him in real life and it just puts a silly grin across my face!! Mmmm. I don't mind if the show is rather

slow and aggrevating like typical Korean dramas coz of Daniel Henney...*dream dream dream*

Sunday, March 26, 2006

The Most Lucky Girls Alive!!

I haven't had time to blog in ages, so I've written a whole lot...but if you can't be bothered reading the lot, just scroll down to the part dated 26th March!! I think it's the best day of my life in Korea!!! Check it out!! I'm still beaming from joy because of it. A part of me wishes it was Kangta, but I'm still thankful for it all!

2330, 24 March 2006 :: I declare it PINK DAY

I've got so much to say today - whenever do I not - but it's also because it's been ages since I've updated my blog, so much has happened!! But not to worry, I'll break this long (I have already forseen it to be long) entry down into parts...starting from where I last updated.

Part I: Almost Not a Single Penny

On the 22nd of March, Wednesday, I had classes in the morning as usual, followed by private lessons at Omokgyo. Yuki wasn't feeling well so she stayed home that day. After lessons, our teacher had invited us to go shopping but Taro had other arrangements so it was just me and the teacher. She's very friendly and energetic so hanging with her was loads of fun. I even brushed up on my mandarin coz she speaks and teaches mandarin in Korea as well!!

We walked around Hyundai Department Store that was just located at the first few floors of her apartment. The clothes sold in department stores in Korea are unaffordable because they are very branded so all we did was 'ah i syor ping' (translation: eye shopping, a.k.a. window shopping). She told me all about her Singaporean friends and interesting things that happened to her while she was on holidays. Then, she treated me to dinner followed by coffee before we shopped around somemore.

We visited MNG where I tried on several garments but nothing really caught my attention. I think MNG in Korea carries a different style of clothes than in Singapore, perhaps catered to a more Korean taste. However, it was rather pricey - I think it's cheaper in Singapore. But while at another shop, I spotted a beige hat that I liked, except that I wasn't sure that was the colour I wanted so I didn't buy it in the end, though it was on sale!!!!

During shopping, I received a shocking phone call from Lydia telling me that Yuki was returning to Tokyo on FRIDAY!! She's not feeling too well so she thought it'd be best if she returned home sooner. Plus, because Yuki doesn't know when she'd faint again and for that reason, we are all worried and she's worried that it might happen again, so it's all good that she's going back sooner.

We then headed to a book store to browse through some korean storybooks. I wanted to buy a korean storybook that was interesting and yet not too hard for me to read and possibly understanding by translating with the help of my old-fashion dictionary (it's at these times that I wish I bought an electronic dictionary). I found one book that had both Korean and English versions on opposite pages. It was fantastic, except that the book's called 'The Little Prince' and I've read it before but didn't find it very interesting. In the end, I came out empty handed.

We then returned back to her apartment to see the amazing night scene from her place on the 57th storey. It was breath-taking!! Korea is absolutely beautiful at night!! Don't you think so?

I also took photos of her 2 babies...

I didn't stay too long at her place coz it was already past 9pm. Rushing home, I realised that I didn't spend a single cent that day!! Isn't that amazing?? I had a light lunch but it was Taro's treat, dinner was on my teacher...I didn't buy anything (a shoppaholic's accomplishment) - oh wait. I did. I bought a cup of Iced Mocha at Starbucks - W4300. Pooz...I ALMOST didn't spend a single cent.

Part II: I Declare it PINK DAY

The theme on the 23rd of March was PINK. I was dressed in my pink boots, a black skirt for contrast, a pink top and of course I carried by pink backpack.

Yuki came to school today!! She didn't attend lessons, but came after class to say goodbye to the teacher and several other classmates. We had a YUMMY sandwich lunch together with Taro and Andrew, an Australian. We also took a stroll along the side of this new made-made stream that was near to our school, taking loads of photos. Yuki was a great friend and shopping company!!! She and I grew quite close over the course of these 3 weeks. I've even been promoted to best friend status in Yuki's books, which was an honour for me.

That afternoon, Yuki and I went shopping together for the last time. First, while changing lines at Dong Dae Mun stadium, I bought this lime green pair of shoes I had been eyeing since Tuesday - my first purchase of the day.

Then, we went to Dong Dae Mun as she wanted to buy a school bag for her next year of university. After an anguishing bargaining session after bargaining session, we finally made our purchase at one out of the three shops that had the particular bag she wanted. The most expensive price quoted was W60000 (bearing in mind that we are foreigners and hence they'd increase the price by a lot thinking we don't know prices), and our best final offer was W35000 - it was a done deal.

Having bought her bag, it was my turn to shop. Making our way around the many mini booths, we found ourselves at a hat stop that had several hats that caught my attention. I ended up settling for a pretty PINK one that both Yuki and I liked. I haven't seen this design around at the other shops so it was a good buy. After making the purchase, I started wearing my new head accessory!!!

We were meeting Min Hee at 5.30pm at Chungmuro station, so on our way there, we stopped by at roadside earring stalls and I ended up buying 2 pairs of cute as earrings. That morning while rushing out of the house, I forgot to put on earrings so my ears felt bare and naked. At the first shop, I bought a pretty pair of PINK flower earrings (which only settled the problem of ONE naked ear). So after walking a little further, we came to another stall, where I ended up buying this other CUTE cUTE sUPER CUTE pair of earrings - they were PINK mini stuff toy bunnies!!!! Now both my ears were dressed and I felt great!!

At 5.30pm after meeting Min Hee and Michael, the 4 of us made our way up to Nam San Seoul Tower - our tourist desitination of the day. We had a ball the moment we got there, taking photos after photos at the bottom of the tower...

And then more photos at the top!!

We even took photos in the new toilets.

They had just renovated Seoul Tower so it interior design of the place was looking fantastically brand new and modern. We got to watch the sun as it set on the entire Seoul and as night crawled its way in.

At around 7.30pm, we descended the tower and went off for a delicious seafood dinner. It was Yuki's last night in Korea, so we had to have some good Korean food before calling it a day.

Thursday was a day to remember. Not only did I buy heaps of pink things - my lime green pair of shoes included since green is the new pink - I also got to see the entire of Seoul and eat till our hearts content.

There's this expression/slang in Korea that I simply love: Mork Gor Jook Da!!

Directly translating, it means 'let's eat and then die'. Indirectly, it means we'd keep eating till we get so stuffed.

1137, 25 March 2006 :: Continuation...

I was so tired yesterday, I didn't finish updating about my life and all the many things I wanted to say...yep, this entry isn't done yet and you are probably far from the hang in there if you are still reading this, take a breather before continuing. Haha.

Part III: Your Life Yours NOT

I don't understand how a person can ever think of taking their own life. It's just an option I've never ever considered and I'm surprised how a person could take life so lightly as if it's a joke, unless it's the reverse that they are taking life too seriously so much so that it becomes too overwhelming for them to cope with? Morl Rla Yo (translation: I don't know).

Perhaps the reason why I don't is because I've got God in my life. My life has been awesome so far, plus I know everything will be great because my life is in God's hands and protected with all His love. But even if you don't have God in your life, shouldn't you still treasure it?

Do you really have no good memories to recollect and feel loved at least once? I know you do.

Do you really think taking your own life would make it easier? If yes, then can I ask why? Because how do you know what will happen in the future?

Do you really want to throw life away like that as if it's a piece of trash? What about all your dreams you have? Isn't it something to look forward to?

Do you really think your life is for you to kidd with? Then I think you are selfish.

Very selfish. Your life is not yours to own. I think your life is like a company and it's shares. The company may be yours, with your own name and your own identity, but it could not have been possible without everyone else who helped along the way - the shareholders, however important or insignificant they could be.

Here's how I see it...

CFOs and Senior Financial Advisers (a.k.a. parents) - 35 percent
They gave you life and supported you all these years. It would have been easy to have aborted you in the first place if this was case, that you'd end up taking your own life. So you owe them big time!

Silent Partners (a.k.a. grandparents and relatives) - 15 percent
Don't tell me all the love your grandparents showered you with didn't mean a thing.

Board Members and Advisers (a.k.a. best and close friends) - 30 percent
What about your friends who's supported you in all the decisions you've made in life and gave wise advise and a comforting shoulders whenever you needed it?

Counsellers and Senior Advisers (a.k.a. teachers) - 7 percent
Don't they deserve a share since they've taught and helped educate you to the person you are now? They could have paid less attention to you and let you struggle on your own, giving you more reason to take your life, but they didn't. They have your future at heart.

Systems Support (a.k.a. nurses and doctors) - 2 percent
What about the nurses and doctors who fought to keep you alive? They deserve a share in your life.

All Miscellaneous Personnel (a.k.a. all the strangers and others who has appeared in your life) - 1 percent
Insignificant they may seem, but they are important. Without good samaritans who's lent you their cell phone in times of need, who pointed you in the right direction or gave help along the way...where would you be now?

Finally, the CEO of the company (a.k.a. YOU) - 10 percent
Not that much left for you huh? Spend this 10 percent well!! It would decide the future of your company!

So the decision lies in your hands...should you end this company and make redundant all your staff? Or continue building your company up to a brighter future??

Part IV: Po Gor Ship Po Yo...

You don't know how much you miss a person's presence until they have left. And it wasn't only me. Taro shared my feelings on this subject. On Friday 24th of March, Yuki returned to Tokyo.

The classroom felt kinda empty without her to nodd off in class.

Lunch felt kinda empty without her to order Dok Ppok Ki and share my Kim Bab with.

After lunch, her presence was felt once again when we didn't hear the familiar "Tam Bae Pi Go Ship Por Yo" (translation: I want to smoke) and "'I'll Be Back' Mor Ra Go Hae Yo?" (translation: How do you say 'I'll be back'?).

At the subway while on the way to Omokgyo for private lessons, her presence was missed once again as we walked past the waffle shop and no one stopped to buy strawberry waffle, even if she was stuffed she would get one just coz.

During our private lessons once again, there was no one nodding off and trailing her korean sentences off to silence.

Yep, we surely miss Yuki.

Anyway, on Friday after private lessons, I returned with my teacher to the book store. I thought I'd end up buying the Korean-English version of 'The Little Prince'. However, when I went back on Friday, my sight was steered to a different book or books. They had much less words than 'The Little Prince', and a lot more pictures. The books were written in complete Korean, but many cute pictures accompanied the storyline as the story developed. It was perfect for a beginner like me. I wouldn't have to frantically flip through my dictionary at every word to make sense of the sentences. The pictures would help me a great deal. Plus, the stories are rather intimate to me and my situation.

I ended up buying three books of the like.

The first book was titled 'Snowcat in Paris'. It's about a cat (the author) and her travels on her own to Paris as she explored the city. It really reflects my current situation in Seoul, as I explore and discover bit by bit, day by day, something beautiful about Korea.

The second book that I bought tells about the life of the author, as she left her hometown village for the bigger city of Seoul and her life while living alone, and her journey to discover love. The third book is a continuation, about how this author fell out of love and discovered love once again, and then she got married.

I'm looking forward to exploring these 3 Korean books and seeing all the CUTE CUTE SUPER CUTE pictures!!! And hopefully, it'd help my Korean along the way as well!!

Part V: Waiting...Ki Da Rim Ni Da

Yesterday (Friday), as I stood behind the yellow line in my new green shoes, waiting for my train to come...I suddenly had the urge to write a blog entry about it.

Waiting...isn't that what we are always doing?

Waiting to make new friends...

Waiting for friends as they arrive late for an appointment...

Waiting for someone else as they make their decisions...

Waiting for the right moment to say something that may not be appropriate...

Waiting for a job interview...

Waiting for the hopefully promising phone call...

Waiting for the boss' instuctions...

Waiting for the computer to quit thinking and start working...

Waiting for time to pass at work...

Waiting for the weekend of hopeful rest to come...

Waiting for the right someone to enter into our lives...

Waiting for the phone beside you to RINGGGGGGG...

Waiting for the precious moment of the first kiss...

Waiting for the world to stop turning as you bask in love...

Waiting for THE question...

Waiting for the day every girl dreams of since young...

Waiting on the husband...once in a while...

Waiting for the right chance to break the news of pregnancy...

Waiting for 9 whole months...

Waiting for 'THIS THING TO GET OUT!!'

Waiting for the first cry...

Waiting for the first smile and giggle...

Waiting for the first word...

Waiting for the first walk...

Waiting for the first day of kindergarden...

Waiting for their exam results...

Waiting for their big graduation...

Waiting for the first introduction to their boyfriend/girlfriend...

Waiting for the wedding bells...

Waiting to be grandparents...

Waiting for the day I meet God in Heaven...

With practice, I think I'm getting better at waiting. Impatience is another story for another day.

0045, 26 March 2006 :: AHHHHHH!!!!! The Most Lucky Girls Alive!!!

It's real late right now but I need to blog!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

I love today!!!!!!!!! It's going to be a day I'll remember FOREVER!!!

I just want to skip on to the last event of the day to tell you what made it so fantastic, but then all the other events that happened today leads up to how perfect the timing of everything much so I have to start from the top...

But I need to SHOUT IT OUT right now right here's a big hint of what happened today:

Recognise him? Hee hee hee on read on...

This morning, I initially had no plans at all which was quite sad actually, so I frantically messaged people to make some plans. One of the more or less confirmed plans was going to COEX Mall. Lydia was helping a friend from Malaysia there at an education exhibition and she asked me to come down to check out COEX Mall, a massive mall in Seoul. The thing was, it was rather far away, a 45 minute train ride...

One the other hand, I had messaged a classmate of mine, Sarah and the plan was to meet up for karaoke or clubbing that evening. She was a little busy in the afternoon so I finally made the decision to head down to COEX Mall (#1 Right Decision). She'd ring me when she's done to make further arrangements.

I left at around 3.30pm and got to COEX Mall at around 4.30pm. Lydia met me and took me into the exhibition. While she returned to promoting a Malaysian University called Sunway University, I toured the mall and found the Singapore Education booth!! WOW!! I had to take a picture with it!!

Walking through, I spotted several educational institutions I recognised, like Anglo Chinese International School, and The National University of Singapore. It was also real great to hear the Singapore accent once again. I haven't met any Singaporean yet so hearing someone speak in the Singapore accent was definitely welcoming to the ears. A little homesick in fact.

After seeing every booth, Lydia and I headed down to the shopping mall down below. She showed me around for a while before returning to work, while I stayed on and shopped around. Sarah had rang to say we could meet up for dinner, but she also said she had a couple of things to do so she'd ring me when she's done. Lydia said I could have dinner with her as well since she didn't have any plans, so I was kinda torn between the 2. On one hand, I did want to hang out with this new friend from Australia, but on the other hand, here I was in Kang Nam, a good 45 minutes away from where I'd probably meet Sarah so staying on with Lydia seemed much more convenient.

When their exhibition ended at 6pm, I met Lydia and 2 Malaysians and we went shopping. Sarah rang while we were shopping. It was just past 6.30pm. She invited me to join her and some friends for dinner. It was a farewell party for a friend. I thought I'd feel out of place, plus, it would take me about 45 minutes to get down and I didn't feel polite to dump Lydia like that, so I made a decision. I apologised to Sarah and told her perhaps we'd hang out another time, perhaps after lessons one day (#2 Right Decision).

As we continued shopping, I found a rather cool looking, unique top for only 8000 won so I tried it on and bought it. Initially, I didn't want to try it on and just wanted to buy it, but then Lydia said no returns, so a few minutes was spent as I tried it on before buying it (#3 Right Decision). Timing is very important as I lead you up to the climax event of the night.

We ended up having dinner together before splitting. The 2 Malaysians grabbed a cab back to their hotel, while Lydia and I decided to take the subway to Kang Nam and tour another busy city of Seoul (#4 Right Decision). Seoul has many cities and Kang Nam is one of the busiest business district and most well-organised city in Seoul. I actually liked Kang Nam. The many high-rise business buildings reminded me a lot of Singapore - I was definitely home sick. However, it was too dark to take a good picture. We found ourselves walking down one of the busy teenage hang out streets of Kang Nam, where there were road side food stalls, plus some accessories and all.

We also walked the back streets where there were many good pubs and restaurants. Lydia was my tour guide for the night. After touring Kang Nam, we decided to head back towards home. There were 3 ways of heading back. We could grab a bus from Kang Nam, stop at Yonsei University and make our way home from there. Or, we could bus to Sincheon and meet Michael or Alex for more night activities, or change to bus number 7 and head home. The third way was to change a bus at Chong No, and head towards Hung Dae and decide what to do from there. As Alex was studying and Michael didn't want to join us, and I wanted to find out where abouts in Hung Dae was there a NZ Natural, we hopped off the bus at Chong No and caught a connecting bus back to Hung Dae (#5 Right Decision).

We walked around Hung Dae for a while...and I told Lydia about a shop that sells all their clothes at 5900 Won. I usually walk home from Hung Dae station, therefore, I knew Hung Dae pretty well. We walked for a while, looking for the shop. We walked past several shops that weren't 'it' and I was about to give up when I spotted it and Lydia and I decided to check it out (#6 Right Decision). This lead on to me buying another top. It was cheap and a great deal (#7 Right Decision).

As we walked on, we spotted a club with a big group of people outside surrounding one person asking for his autograph. Being curious, Lydia asked a bouncer who that person was and why were there so many people asking for his autograph. The bouncer said that he was a singer. Lydia asked if he was famous and the bouncer honestly replied not really. HAHAHA. Without considering any further, we turned and continued on our way.

After that, we walked back towards home. Along the way, I wanted to show Lydia this restaurant that was always packed. I was curious as to what food theysold there since they are always swarming with people, so Lydia told me to lead the way. I actually took a turn too late, but the road would take us home too. We could have just continued and forget about the restaurant, but Lydia and I decided to make a U-turn and back track to the street before to find the restaurant (#8 Right Decision). According to Lydia, the food at that restaurant is ok, but it's just that it was at the right location and the price is alright as well. Plus, it's a popular place for people to drink and chill. Now I know.

After checking out that restaurant, Lydia also took me to check out several other cool pubs along the way. The ambience in those pubs are very welcoming, I love. However, we didn't end up staying on in the nice pub Lydia showed me since it was pretty full of people (#9 Right Decision). Instead, as we walked down the road, we spotted an ice cream shop that Lydia usually stops by. Being greedy, we both decided that we could have some nice sorbets (healthy ice creams) and went into the shop (#10 Right Decision). We ended up talking and talking. I showed Lydia the book I bought yesterday as well and we had a good time flipping through it as she translated some korean phrases for me (#11 Right Decision - Friday's decision to buy the book also affected today's decision).

We also talked about a lot of other things and that made it all that more amazing coz the timing was just perfect!! We were talking about what clubs I could join while I was in Seoul and I spotted a man carrying a massive camera so I said perhaps a film club would be beneficial when I want to enter into the television advertising business. Finally, we decided it was time to head home so we stepped out of the ice cream parlour (#12 Right Decision).

Because of all the RIGHT decisions I've made throughout my day, OUR TIMING WAS PERFECT!! A group of people started assembling around the ice cream shop and there seemed to be something going on. I saw loads of filming props and sitting on typical foldable chairs outside the ice cream parlour were 2 rather old looking man in director hats. They way they owned the chairs also made them look very much like directors. Lydia joked that one man looked like a homeless bum, but I realised that most directors look like that!! Based on my observation, I made a casual comment to Lydia saying that they must be filming something here. Casually without really making any decisions, I suggested that maybe we could stay on and find out what was happening, but it was already past 11pm. Then, just a conversation topic, I joked with Lydia that it could be that they were filming Spring Waltz here since a lot of Spring Waltz was filmed in Hung Dae. So far, I've been watching the show with my host sister and host mum and we realised that some scenes were filmed at Hung Dae - it's very near our place.

Then I spotted it, printed on the back of a green parker that several people were wearing, just above the brand of the parker 'Bean Pole' was the name of the film they were filming: SPRING WALTZ!!! I almost let out a shriek!! I couldn't believe it!! It was confirmed that those old homeless looking guys in 'golf' hats were directors.

Frantically, we looked around. Lydia said they were probably going to take a while to set up. I kidd that perhaps in one of those black vans there were actors. Jokingly, I said, "For all you know, Daniel Henney is in that van!!" Daniel Henney is one of the main actors in the latest Korean Drama Spring Waltz and the most handsome Korean guy I've ever seen. Perhaps its also coz he's mixed blood, but he's so so so HANDSOME!!! He's also acted in one other Korean drama called Sam Soon, but he had a rather small part in that show. In this Spring Waltz, he's got a rather large part since he's the other guy who's in love with the main lead actress.

And then, as if I was the luckiest girl alive, Daniel Henney got out of the van across the street and walked across to where we were standing. I was in shock!!! I didn't know how to react. I frantically reached into my handbag and when you are in a state of shock, your camera seems to have lost its way in your handbag and you can't find it. Lydia was reprimanding me for not taking it out sooner!! FINALLY, I managed to get it out and I wanted to take pics of Daniel Henney. More than that, I wanted to take pictures WITH Daniel Henney!!! He was right there, within meters of me!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Then an opportunity rose. He was right beside me, standing amoung the other filming crew - his 'body guards' I presume. Beaming with joy and at the spur of the moment, I turned to him and asked (in English of course since he grew up in America and speaks fluent English, but sadly his Korean is in bits and pieces like mine), "Hi, can I take a photo with you?"

Daniel Henney spoke to me!! DANIEL HENNEY SPOKE TO ME!!! He said, "Sure, but later after the shoot."


OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!!!!!!! I didn't know how to react. I thanked him but we were 'shoo-ed' across the road as the filming was beginning. I couldn't believe my luck!! I had stood beside Daniel Henney and I even had a conversation with him - a short one, but it was nevertheless a conversation since a reply was received. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Am I the most lucky girl or what?!!

We watched on as they filmed the scenes. It was an amazing experience. I had told my host parents earlier in the day that I'd be back by 11pm but it was already way past 11pm. Lydia told me not to worry since I had a great excuse for being out!!

Before the filming begun, I took quite a few far shots of Daniel Henney. It was a pity the lighting was poor and he was a few meters away, but nevertheless, I got photos of him!! Gorgeous pics of the gorgeous him!!

Then, filming started and the crew became very strict about the cameras, blocking it and telling everyone who held a camera not to take photos. I sneakily turned the flash off and filmed a few shot snippets!! AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! It was so awesome!!!!!! I couldn't believe my luck in Korea. I LOVE IT HERE!!!!

We stayed for the entire shoot and after the shoot, I surprisingly found myself right beside him once again. Lydia and I were in perfect spots!! Luck was on our side. They were all moving to the next location. Daniel Henney was right beside me. I chickened out for a while, reasoning that I managed to get snippets of him which was good enough, but I knew I should never let this opportunity pass. I picked up my courage and spoke to him again.

"Can I have a picture with you?"

"Sure" Daniel Henney replied. SURE!!!! AHHHHHH!!!!! Daniel Henney positioned himself right beside me, putting his arm around shoulders. AHHHHH!!!!!! DANIEL HENNEY IS RIGHT BESIDE ME!!!!! How can I possibly get to sleep tonight??!!! Lydia was just about to take the picture when a crew member blocked the camera, taking it from Lydia's hands. He offered to take the pic for both of us so Lydia hurriedly rushed over to Daniel Henney's other side and...


And after, we even had another conversation. I thanked him for the picture and he asked where I came from. Thinking it was the accent he must have picked up, I replied, "New Zealand". Then I wished him all the best with his filming and left with Lydia, both of us grinning like 2 retarded girls, giggling to ourselves as we looked at the pic over and over and over again.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Baseball in Heels

2140, 20 March 2006 :: $$$$$

I don't mean to sound like a miser, but I've just gone through some receipts of mine and I'm a little shocked!!

I'm spending quite a lot of $$$$$ while I'm in Korea...Why did I think it'd be cheap to live in Korea??

Here's just an inside look into the cost of living in Korea...

On average, the amount of money spent on a lunch meal, excluding any drinks is 5000W, which is around US$5. So if you think dinner, it can range from US$5 to US$10 if it's an average restaurant (and by restaurant, I mean a normal eatery and not anything too fancy). A fancy restaurant meal would cost around US$15 and UP UP UPPPPP!!! Unless I eat sandwiches everyday or streetside food which are around US$2.

And wanna know how much a cup of coffee is? Well...if you buy takeaways on the street, the cheapest I've seen is US$1.50 (and I only know of one place selling coffee at this price - in the subway station itself). Every other takeaway place cost around US$2 and more. And I'm talking about black coffee. Nothing fancy like Latte or Mocha (throw in a couple more dollars for that). And if you talk about sit in cafes...the prices get a little more extreme, with Starbucks and most other cafes of the like (E.g. Similar to Robert Harris, Gloria Jeans) selling coffee around US$4 each!! Can you imagine paying around NZ/S $7 for a cup of black coffee?? Well...that's me when I go with friends to cafes...don't think about the money don't think about the money don't think about the money. And the coffee isn't like super special...

Well...I'm not also talking about food but also about shopping wise, I'm a little cautious with spending money on shopping either coz clothes aren't CHEAP...WAE YO???? WHY????

I thought Korea was going to be rather cheap (and this I'm comparing with Singapore's since that's my home now).

And one last comparison I'd like to make is the cost of entertainment. Not cheap at all!! So if I go out with friends for a whole day (simple lunch and dinner meals and entertainment till late at night), I've got to be prepared to part with around US$30 or more!!

2350, 21 March 2006 :: Tung Tung

Today's entry is about the 2 best things in the world - FOOD and SHOPPING!!

Let's begin with the start of my day: Breakfast.

I was well fed at home and having only 7 hours of sleep the previous night, I napped for an additional 1 and a half hours after breakfast before getting ready for school - absolutely unhealthy for digestion.

After 2 hours of lessons, Taro and I headed to a restaurant for lunch. I ate sooo much!! Taro even said so. He said he's surprised at the amount of food I eat while still being my size - A COMPLIMENT?? AM I EATING ALOT? Pooz. But then he added that it's more fun eating with me coz Japanese girls eat real little and it's quite sad...

But have you seen Koreans eat???? IT'S A LOT MORE THAN I DO - consoling myself here!!

After a good 45 minutes of lunching, I split from Taro and went to exercise my wallet!! SHOPPING - by myself though, kinda sad huh? Well...Yuki didn't show for school today and I had nothing on till 5.30pm, so I went shopping!! Sometimes shopping alone is kinda fun (but of course it's more fun with a best friend who's got the same taste as you or doesn't mind waiting and giving advise about clothes), however, if you are shopping with people you don't really know very well, you can't really drag them into every single shop you want to see and take your own sweet time looking at clothes. So today, the company of just me was very welcoming and fruitful too. I made 3 purchases - all blouses!! LOVE THEM. And I didn't get to try all 3 of them since it wasn't allowed, but it fitted well when I got home and tried it on so I love my new purchases even more now!

Then I met Min Hee and Michael. We were supposed to go for the Han River Cruise, but because Yuki couldn't make it and initially Michael didn't confirm that he was coming so Min Hee assumed he wasn't, so we thought we could postpone the cruise for another time and have a good Korean dinner instead. You see, WorldLink's expenditure on us today is quite a sum, so it was either the Han River Cruise or a good dinner. Min Hee suggested that we could do the Han River Cruise sometime in April or May coz appreciating the night scenery on a cruise in summer is much more beautiful as the wind wouldn't be so chilly and the sky would be prettier.

Dinner was fantastic. It was Korean style steam boat!! YUM!!! I ate so much and I feel like a glutton. First, we cooked the veges, and then we threw in the beef. After finishing the lot, we threw in the raw seafood to cook and eat. Then noodles and lastly, delicious chilli marinated rice - YUM!!!

Min Hee had ordered 3 person's portion, but Michael had dinner with friends and was FULL, so Min Hee and I ended up suffering as we stuffed the 3rd person's share down our throats as well. When we left the restaurant, we were BLOATED!!!!!!

As we walked a little further down, we spotted a batting cage and Michael and I ended up whacking a few baseballs - our share of exercise after dinner. I wasn't in the appropriate outfit for baseball - heeled boots with sore feet from all that shopping in the afternoon, plus a skirt!! Nevetheless, I had fun.

After that 'workout' as we walked down the side alley towards the main road, 2 large shops stared us right in the face...Haagan Daas and Baskin Robins. YUUUUUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!! Ah E Soo Ker Rim!!!!!!!! 2000W flew out of the window, in exchange for a whole lot of sinful calories. Guess the diet starts tomorrow!! So much for being sick last week and losing a little bit of weight. I would have gained it all back on with that 'regular' scoup of chocolate mousse. Don't even need to bring dinner into the equation.

Feeling bad for eating so much, I alighted at a subway station further away from home and took a 20 minute walk home - wonder if that justifies for any calorie loss. Perhaps the fact that I was in heels could add some points???

Monday, March 20, 2006

Mal Nwa Do Dwe Na Yo?

2045, 17th March 2006 :: The Blogger Rants On...and On...and On...

I'm sick I'm sick I'm sick. Well...hopefully, after a good rest in for the entire of today, tomorrow I'll be as good as new. I've got several issues to rant about today so if you feel like reading a long entry, sit back and relax while your eyes take a long stroll.

Issue One: I Need Skin Food

Plus, my face looks like shit. Maybe I'm just being paranoid, but I think my face condition is getting worse. It's dry and flaky. Plus, coz I'm naturally fair, my zits are more visible. So to cover up, I put on make-up, but then I feel perhaps the make-up is causing more zits to show...but I can't possibly walk around without make-up, so I put on more - AHHHH, it's a vicious cycle! Why did I think Korea's weather would be better for my skin? (UK's weather was better for my skin does not mean Korea's would be)

I think I'll go buy some Skin Food for my skin...don't think my problem is going away so covering up is the only remedy. The latest place in Korea for beauty products is 'Skin Food' and that's where I'm headed one of these days. It can be found everywhere and I like the store's decor!! Now, The Face Shop is out and Skin Food is in!

Issue Two: Hospital Scare

Do you know what's worse than having someone ring you up and say a bunch of things in Korean - apart from the opening 'yo bo se yo' - that you absolutely don't understand? When the Korean on the other line can't speak English and is frantically trying to pass the phone to someone who does, only to find out that your friend is being sent to the hospital as you speak and they want you to rush down there ASAP.

Yep...that was my drama of the day. At 3pm my phone rang, disturbing me from my sleep. The one who rang spoke very little English and he had to keep telling me to hold on while he turned to ask someone else to translate, and URGH it was a gruelling 5 minutes or self repeating before someone who spoke more English took over. And even so, they didn't get straight to the point, asking if I knew this girl who's not Korean, perhaps Japanese (back of my mind: Yuki?), and they didn't even know her name...I think they only had a piece of paper or contact card they were referring to, don't even know how they got hold of my number, but anyway, they didn't know her name or how to read her name coz it was written in Japanese (or rather, Japanese Chinese Characters), so the guy translated the Japanese Chinese Characters into Korean Chinese Characters (Koreans also use Chinese characters but they sound completely different in Mandarin) but I managed to catch the first 2 characters and established that it was Yuki they were talking about and took several sentences to tell them that I'm her friend and she's Japanese, and I'm in Korea.

Then he finally told me he's calling from Omokgyo Station and that my friend is sent to the hospital and I should hurry down immediately. He told me how to get down, taking the subway to Omokgyo and then grabbing a cab to the hospital from there. I thanked him and ended our call, ringing Lydia immediately to inform her of this news. Lydia said she'd go immediately to the hospital but I should stay at home and rest more.

You see, today, I didn't go to school and didn't feel up for private lessons at Omokgyo as well, so I informed Taro and Lydia of this fact. Yuki doesn't have a cell phone and she didn't turn up for lessons this morning either. Taro and Lydia had no clue or didn't know how to contact her...I think she decided to skip school in the morning coz she wasn't feeling well yesterday as well, but decided to go to Omokgyo in the afternoon, not knowing that we had cancelled the lessons because I wasn't able to make it and it seemed like she wasn't turning up either.

After sitting around for a while (how could I possibly rest without knowing if Yuki is ok), I decided to go down to the hospital. Getting all changed and ready, my phone rang again. It was the same guy from before. He asked if I was going down and said he'd wait at Omokgyo Station for me and take me to the hospital coz he knew we both were not locals and it's not easy to find the hospital. I told him (decided at that point) I wasn't going down coz I don't know my way but our Korean friend is on her way as we speak. It was a very nice gesture from him to call and offer help. I found out from him that he discovered Yuki at the train station. She had fainted and he took her to the station control office before ringing the ambulance and informing me. Knowing that our Korean friend is on her way and he didn't need to wait for me, he said he would go on his way and said something in Japanese. He thought I was Japanese. I told him I'm from Singapore and he said he had friends good friends from Singapore. I don't know how we ended up talking a bit but he said he had friends in Singapore because he's a businessman in the cosmetics business or something like that and then he went on to say that when Yuki is better, he would like to meet me and Yuki (Hmmm...dodgy??). Anyway, I thanked him again for his help and ended the call.

Minutes later, another call came in. Not him again? This time, it was the hospital ringing to say that they were waiting for me to come down. This time I was smart and gave them Lydia's number to contact her because she was the one going down and she can speak Korean.

After that, I lied in bed waiting impatiently for the call...

Finally, the call from Lydia came. Yuki is conscious and fine now. Apparently this has happened to her before because she has low blood pressure. I think it' s also coz yesterday and most probably she didn't have anything to eat coz she said she lost her appitite. Thank God she's alright!! It's such a relief!!

After the call, I slept for another hour or more.

Issue Three: Is this fashion?

Yesterday, we went Dong Dae Mun, but because I wasn't feeling too good midway through, we cut the shopping trip short. I was a little disappointed because I didn't end up buying anything, but I guess my body needed to rest.

Talking about shopping, there was so many things to see at Dong Dae Mun, loads of female fashion shops, but these shops were all very small, and everything was displayed everywhere, it was quite hard to shop. Things were quite disorganised and the narrow walkway between shops didn't help either.

Fashion wise...I wouldn't say the things I found here was any different...perhaps a couple of shops had more frilly garments, but if you like frilly go to This Fashion. The rest of the clothes looked rather clothes you can find at Far East. And as for the in thing this Spring, didn't really appeal to me. The colours were rather blend, like baige or pale yellow or pearl white with loads of lace and frills. I gave those shops a skip. And for the rest of the shops, I realised Koreans like wearing baggy clothes. know, that kind of casual jeans plus plain coloured knitted pull over or long and slightly baggy-ish blouses which look nice but I prefer tight fitting clothes. Then there are other shops which sells t-shirts and blouses with prints all over it (like drawings or pictures or sequins all over the front) and those do not appeal to me coz it's too blah...somewhat childish, or somewhat too much in a way.

And after seeing a few shops, all the other shops look the same...and those clothes that are nice and I'd wear are things I can find in Singapore as it wasn't really unique either. Nothing really attracted me after that whole shopping trip even though we went past so many shops...

So on the overall...the clothes that looked nice and unique were few and far between. You had to look real hard to find something you'd love and then buying it at a good price becomes your next hurdle. Things aren't cheap here but I shan't harp about this now. It looks like I won't be doing much shopping here if I keep comparing prices. So the real question is if you do find something you like in one of those small it immediately without caring about the price (like the one I saw and liked at Nam Dae Mun but didn't buy) because you'd probably won't see something you like often (like none at Dong Dae Mun)...or wait, consider and reconsider?

Regret soon comes into this equation.

2210, 18 March 2006 :: Foooooooodddddddd

I'm dead tired and really wanting sleep right now, but I knew if I don't blog about today now, tomorrow's entry wouldn't be very enthusiastic.

Today, Lydia, Yuki (she's fine now) and I (I'm not too sick anymore after a whole day of sleep) went on a mini day tour with a tour group to some mountain in Kang Chon and Nami Island. The first stop after an hour and a half bus journey was this mountain, I think it's called Ku Rim San but Lydia calls it by another name. As we climbed up the mountain, the scenery was amazing!! Though the trees were rather bare due to winter, the surroundings was peaceful and beautiful with a stream flowing down one side of the mountain and interesting rocks stacked up on each other by the other side of the foot path. Lydia said those are places where people pray. The belief is that you have to do something for the Gods before you pray, so you stack stones on each other to make a higher stack before praying. How interesting...

As we got higher up the mountain, the flowing stream started to turn to ice and slowly, the stream and all it's rapids froze completely. It was pure ice and we could walk on it to take photos.

We finally got to the waterfall, only to be greeted by frozen ice. It must have been so cold during the night that the water had froze completely on it's descend.

We were also suppose to visit this village at the top of the mountain which was another half an hours climb up, but because Yuki wasn't in appropriate mountain climbing shoes (a.k.a. heels), we walked her down to the bus and then Lydia and I made a turn and headed back up to the mountain. We were not even halfway up when people from our tour group were coming down. We still had about 50 minutes to climb up and down, and the tour guide said we could make it if we ran, so being adventurous, we made our way up the steep foot path. Of course we didn't run because the foot path was steep and muddy and slippery at certain places, but it was insanely tiring. It was a good workout, though I'm sick and shouldn't be exerting myself too much. Nevertheless, we pressed on. We kept our eyes on the top of the mountain where the trees meet the sun, only to be deceived when we turned around a sharp corner and realised that the mountain carried on for another 15 minutes till we reached the village. We had already been climbing for 20 minutes and it felt like forever. We were out of breath and almost out of energy. Any further and we wouldn't be able to make it down. So we made an executive decision. We made a U-turn and headed back down, of course not before we took some photos to commemorate the hard work we had spent. We were so close and yet so far.

We made it back down with time to spare and after getting some drinks and snacks, we boarded the bus and headed off to the next destination, the main highlight of the trip - Chun Cheon Na Mi Island.

What's so special about this island? Apart from the fact that it's a private island named after some general and opened to public, the island is also where a major part of a famous korean drama - Winter Sonata - was filmed. I don't really fancy that show coz it was too slow and neither do I like the actors or actresses, but nevertheless, it's a must visit place in Korea.

After catching a ferry across to the island, we relived most of the important scenes in Winter Sonata...

We strolled down foot path lined with pine trees on both sides...

Walked down another path coz we weren't sure which was the right one (I think this one is coz there was a massive poster of the movie just at the entrance of this foot path)...

Strolled along the lake side...

And we even took photos with the two mini snowmans the actor and actress made in the movie (of course not REAL snowmans)...

But...the place was so beautiful with parks, play grounds and cafes, we took many other silly and pretty photos.

Lunch was another awesome experience. We ate Kim Chi fried rice with an egg, ready packaged in an army metal lunch box!!

First, we queued. Then we paid and waited for our food to be warmed up.

Then we put on gloves and carried our lunch boxes to our table. The next step was funny. We had to mix our food by shaking our lunchboxes!! It was very interesting and we were so hungry, we finished a whole box of rice!!

But wait...that's not all. The best surprise came when mum and dad rang me on my cell phone. Usually, I ring them because I've got an international calling card so making overseas calls is slightly cheaper, but it was a nice surprise when they rang me...definitely brought a big smile and made my day.

At around 3.30pm, we returned to our bus and headed back for Seoul.

But wait...the day's not over yet. We went shopping in Sincheon and I ended up pampering my face with some Skin Food - sea vegetable toner, moisturiser and essence. Now, my face feels smooth and well pampered...I can turn in with all smiles and no worries!!

2310, 19 March 2006 :: Ku Rou Ji Man...

Today was another eventful day, starting with me rushing out of the house early in the morning, only to realise that I had forgotten my cell phone. Why is this so important? Because I was meeting Hae Young and Michael at City Hall Station at 11.30am, I'm the only person who has both their phone numbers in my cell, but also the one who forgot to bring it out today. So I had to count on them being there and hopefully didn't change any plans and tried ringing me.

I was early anyway so it was a rather gruelling wait. I didn't know if they were coming and I wouldn't know either. Michael finally come and his cell phone is slightly spoilt (though its only 2 months new) and he can't make outgoing calls, so that was partly as relief as he didn't try contacting me. Hae Young on the other hand was late and would have tried to contact me, so I was a little worried as first, but she finally came. My host brother had helped me answer my phone and told her I forgot to bring my cell phone so that was real nice of him.

When all 3 of us were present, we headed across to City Hall, where crowds of Koreans were gathered to watch the World Baseball Classics Baseball match LIVE on the big screen!! It was a crucial game - Korea VS Japan!! Korea has beaten Japan twice in this series and this was a crucial semi-final match. I really wanted Korea to win, though I was a little skeptical coz I reckon Korea's stroke of luck might run out (baseball is also dependent on a fair amount of luck)...Japan is a very strong team and to beat them twice in this series is counted as very lucky, but a third time? Well...we could only hope.

Nevertheless, I had a great time cheering Korea on...the first 5 innings were exceptionally exciting and a tight match with double plays, almost home run hits and strike outs, keeping the score at 0-0. However, Korea's winning streak ended when Japan scored 5 (or was it 6) runs in the sixth inning. Everyone was disappointed and you could tell, just from the expression on everyone's faces...the situation was tense and eagerness and disappointment growing as time went by. The rain in America in the 7th inning didn't help either. The game was postponed till further notice and many Koreans, disappointed by the gap in the score, left City Hall. Being 'loyal', we stayed on and waited. Below is a before and after picture of what it was like earlier on in the game, and during the interval.

We managed to be promoted to seats that were nearer the screen, though that didn't change Korea's luck. Japan scored several home runs which really made it worse. Korea, within one or two innings, had changed 4 pitchers!! This was how intense the situation it was. Not only was it the semifinals, but the opponent was Japan - a win is crucial for Korea.

Korea fought to the end, but sadly to say, lady luck just decided to take her leave in those last few innings.

The game was 'che mi yi sor yo, ku rou ji man, shil mang hae sor yo.' (translation: interesting, but, disappointing)

Everyone left City Hall with discontent and disappointment.

Because we didn't have lunch, we ended up heading to Myeong Dong and ate buffet at a posh restaurant. It's a similar concept to Sizzlers but the food selection was very much better, where you order any main course and get free flow of salad, or you could just order the salad buffet.

There was spagetti, smoked salmon, shrimps (mini prawns but good enough), soups, many different selections of salads (I love salads), rice, squid, free flow of drinks like juices, fizzy drinks, coffee and tea, cookies and ice cream as well!! It was 'cheong mal ma shi sor yo' (translation: really delicious).

We had a good time and even planned to stay from 5pm when we started till 11pm when they closed...there's no time limit to how long we stayed there, but Alex called for us to join Victoria and him at Sincheon, so we cut down our lunch cum dinner and left to meet them at 8pm. We were eating for 3 whole hours - YIKES!!

Hae Young also thought Michael and I several useful phrases. Koreans are very respectful people. They use more honourific statements when talking to elders, or people they've met for the first time or if they are around your age but not your friends, you have to speak respectfully to them as well. This makes learning Korean 'or lio wor yo' (translation: difficult) as one statement could have 6 different ways of saying it from very honourific to very casual like speaking to a child or among very close friends. Hae Young taught us one statement that Michael and I found very 'che mi yi sor yo' (tranlation: interesting). She said with people around your age, after you get to know them well enough (even if you feel comfortable around that person and think you are close enough, the other might not be comfortable with you yet) and think it's an approprite time to speak more casually, they usually have to ask permission and it goes like this 'Mal Nwa Do Dwe Na Yo?'

We met Alex and Vic and headed over to a nice bar at the basement of some building. 'Boon wee gi chor ah yo'! (translation: The mood/atmosphere was great!)

Today was the first day Hae Young (Yuki and my language exchanger partner) met Michael, Alex and Vic, so we decided against karaoke and headed for a more sociable environment. We had a great time there and I picked up several Korean slang phrases as well (said among the younger generation and only amoung friends).

1) Mool Chor Ah Yo (direct translation: I like water or water is good, but indirectly, it means that the place has many pretty girls / handsome guys and I like it. Don't ask me how this came about!)

2) Chin Ku Mor Gor Yo (direct translation: I ate my friend (s), but indirectly, it means I made new friend(s). Weird expression? I reckon!)

3) Ahhh...there was one more...something about when you don't reply a text message, you'd say the person 'ate your text' but I forgot how to say it in Korean...ahhh.

To sum it up, I had a great time but because I forgot to let my family know I was going home late, I decided go back earlier (before 11pm) and hence the reason why I'm here, typing away.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Cure

Symptoms: Coughing, Runny Nose
Consequences: Missed 2 hours of lessons to sleep in
Prescription: Shopping at Dong Dae Moon!!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


2030, 14th March 2006 :: GREEN and only GREEN

I'm into a new craze - the Green phase. But I'm fussy when it comes to my green. There are only several shades of green I like...and when I see something in that particular shade - I WANT!!!

Take for example, today, Min Hee brought Yuki and I shopping at Myeong Dong and Nam Dae Moon. I urgently needed a bag that's big enough as a school bag (to replace my ice cream bag because the strap broke - sob). We went through so many shops...some were expensive, others weren't the right shade and still others were simply the wrong size.

However, we found ourselves at this bag shop in Myeong Dong and the moment I saw it, I knew I had to have it. Plus, the price was right! It was the right colour - LIME GREEN - and it looked both stylish enough to carry to work in the future and yet big enough to serve as a school bag. There was no room for consideration. The bag was mine.

Nam Dae Moon Market was a typical Korean street market, with shops lined along both sides of the street and road-side stalls set up in the middle of the street. The whole street was buzzing with activity - I love it!! The only way I can describe it is "It's So Korean!!"

After a whole afternoon of walking around, dinner was especially delicious, except for the fact that it was completely CARBO!! We ate in a typical Korean restaurant, where we had to remove our shoes and sit either cross-legged or kneeled as we ate our food on a low table. I had Bibim Naeng Myeon for starters (a small bowl of vermicelli noodle mixed with chilli paste - on the house) and Kal Gug Su (handmade noodle soup). I didn't end up finishing my meal because it was far too much for me to digest.

I'm actually very tired right now and a little sick so I want to turn in, but there's this Korean drama at 10pm, called Spring Waltz, that I want to watch. Howzzzz??

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The 14th...

Yesterday was another eventful day of...SHOPPING!!

I finally did some shopping!! Haha...okay, maybe I shouldn't be so proud as I announce this fact coz I'm spending money but I'm already broke...but I love shopping!!


Yesterday, I met Yuki at Sincheon and both of us went shopping. We went into Lydia's favourite bag and shoe shop (where everything is 15000W or less) and we had a blast...I came out 2 pairs of shoes and a hangbag richer. One pair of shoes was green - LOVE - and the other was a pair of pink heeled shoes (Yuki bought the same pair as well), and my new handbag was green and pink!! The ultimate combination of my favourite colours!! LOVE!!

After shopping, Yuki and I headed to Omokgyo for our private lessons. At evening, I had to rush off to meet my language exchange partner as well. I actually arranged to meet him at 5.30pm, assuming our private lessons would end at 4.45pm, but in the end, we ended late and I had to rush all the way down...Yuki was also supposed to come along, but she said she had to go home to do laundry, so she bailed on me...

My language exchange partner is friendly and nice. He took me to eat a traditional korean meal called 'Sam Kiop Sal' (Pork Belly BBQ) and after, we went for a drink at a cafe where he made me order the drinks. It was rather stressful ordering the drinks...I think I made a fool of myself the first time around...but was good...coz at least I'm practicing my Korean. He even bought 2 boxes of candy to give to Yuki and I because today, 14th of March, is White Day. On White Day, guys are suppose to give girls candy and gifts, while on Valentines Day, girls are the ones who are suppose to give gifts to guys. In Korea, there's even Yellow Day, Black Day and so on...every 14th of each month is a particular day...but Valentines and White Day are the most popular among all.

(I don't even know if they use this expression 'Happy White Day' but oh well!)

Monday, March 13, 2006

Life After Death

It's been a while since I've last updated my blog...yikes...there's now so much to tell, but so little time because I am going out in an hours time.

I'll guess I'll make this entry quick and snappy...and also easy on your eyes.

Friday 10th March
After class, a bunch of us - the usual gang of Yuki, Taro and I, plus 2 classmates of ours - headed to a nearby restaurant for lunch. We had a great time, chatting and getting to know each other better. Then we split for our private lessons. After our lessons, Yuki and I left for Sincheon to meet Lydia and Michael. We were going to some place far to have 'Odeng' (don't know how to spell it). We managed to get a lift from Lydia's younger brother to her cousin's restaurant, where the brother was working as a waiter. Yep, we had top notch service. Haha. We also ended up ordering a little too much but wow, Lydia and her good friend could eat!! Koreans can eat!!!

After dinner, we got a lift to the nearby subway station and headed back. Lydia forced the very tired Michael to send me home while she took Yuki home - 2 helpless girls given escorts - it was excellent service.

Then I got home, I was whacked but couldn't go to sleep immediately as Victoria messaged to ask me out tomorrow and I ended up texting till 2am before hitting the bed.

Saturday 11th March
Happy Birthday Daddy...yep, I made a call home to wish my Daddy the bestest wishes before going out to meet Lydia and Yuki at Lotte Department Store to do some DFS shopping. Yuki bought 2 CDs and a Gucci Bag, while I saw many CDs I wanted but didn't buy (would be cheaper elsewhere) and many things I liked (but didn't buy as well) - WOW, SELF RESTRAIN!! Perhaps also coz I'm not really on a holiday so I shouldn't be buying so much things. Ease off on Daddy's credit card on his birthday ay? Haha.

After lunch (YUMMY PRETZELS) and shopping, Yuki and I split from Lydia to meet Victoria, Michael and Alex for a night of fun. We had pizza for dinner - a rather weird pizza with green tea flavoured pizza base and mashed sweet potatoe topings as well. It was ma shi sor yo (delicious) but weird at the same time.

We then proceeded to a games cafe and played some silly board games. Hey Pear, do you know at boardgame cafes here, they provide tools for punishment? We got one of those silly squeeky toy hammers and the loser would get hit by everyone else.

We didn't get enough fun at the boardgame cafe so we proceeded on to a no rae bang (karaoke place) to sing our hearts out. I guess I'm slowly warming up to singing publicly. I ended up missing my last train and had to take a cab home. It was quite near my place so it wasn't an expensive ride home.

Sunday 12th March
Early in the morning, I went with Nam Shik, my host brother, to his baptist church. The first service was in English, by a pastor from America. It was a good service but the congregation was quite small since it wasn't in a big church. But the people there were very friendly, I made friends immediately with this Korean girl my age who studies in America. She spoke fluent English and she introduced me to others as well. I ended up introducing the other girls to my very shy host brother. Haha...

After the English service, I stayed to attend the Korean service with Nam Shik and in the process, got loads of attention from the Koreans. After the service, they started introducing themselves to me. It was a tradition for newbies to have lunch after the service with the pastor, so Nam Shik and I had lunch with the pastor in the pastor's office - STRESSFUL. However, I passed the "test" with flying colours. The pastor asked me if he could ask me a question without offending me and I gave him the green light.

The test: Do you truely believe that when you die, you will go to Heaven?
My answer: Yes, of course.

I'm so glad I have God in my life for me to give such a definite answer without hesitation. I know deep down that I am saved through Jesus Christ and I'm very grateful to have such an amazing God in my life who gives me hope and eternal life after death.

Finally, we were released from our confrontation, and went home. That evening, my host mum cooked a delicious meal for all of us and after dinner, I went out with my host siblings to watch a movie - Brokeback Mountain.

My verdict on that show: A VERY WEIRD SHOW INDEED. Apart from Heath Ledger being one of my favourite actors, the story was a little too slow and there was too much mumbling and talking, it got rather draggy...but it was indeed DISTURBING seeing 2 gay cowboys in action. And the ending was sad!! Even though it was about a gay couple whom society would deem wrong at that time, I still wished for a happy ending!! SOB.

That's basically what I've been doing the past 3 days that's kept me busy but I love every minute I'm spending here in Korea. The weather for today and tomorrow is going to be FREEZING coz the season is changing from Winter to Spring and these last few days of winter is FREEZING. Just now, Min Hee messaged to say that it was even snowing in Sincheon (where they work) at 9am in the morning!! That's how cold it is. On top of that or rather because of that, I've caught a cold, so I'm feeling lethargic and tired and my nose is constantly drippy and sucks. But don't worry, I've bought some medicine and vitamin C from the pharmacy so hopefully my immune system will reboot and start fighting again. AJA AJA FIGHTING!!

Friday, March 10, 2006

A Blonde Moment

2251, 9 March 2006 :: Old Vs New

Last night, I was too tired that I forgot to make a short note of my day's 'whats', so I'll just give a brief recap.

Our Korean lessons are getting slightly harder now as we are getting into conversations and reading, so at least it's getting more interesting. I'm also making friends in class as well which is excellant. I love making friends - who doesn't!

After class, Taro, Yuki and I took the subway to Omokgyo (Rhymes with 'Ang Mo Kio' - a place in Singapore - so its easy for me to remember) for our private lessons. Our teacher lives on the 57th floor of one of the tallest buildings in Seoul - Hyundai Department Store. She lives in the apartment above a hugh department store!! And the views from her place is absolutely breathtaking, not to mention, her two adorable dogs!! Awwwwwww. We had a good 2 hours of lesson there. She can't really speak English well, so most of the lesson is in Korea which really helps us I believe as we are constantly exposed to Korean words all the time. However, a great thing is that she speaks Mandarin as well, so if ever we need further explanation, she'll tell me in Mandarin and I'll translate. Yesterday was our first lesson and we all thought it was rather effective. We are going to have these private lessons 3 times a week on top of our usual 11 to 1pm class so I really hope I'll start speaking fluent Korean soon...ish.

Then Yuki and I met Lydia at WorldLink Education Office before going out for dinner. Lydia took us to eat 'Bu Dae Jji Gae' - there's noodles, bakebeans, sausage, spam, dok (rice cake), mushrooms and veges all cooked in a spicy soup in a wok in front of you. It was great fun, though Yuki and I didn't really want to eat that much, we ended up stuffing ourselves once again.

After dinner, we walked some side streets with great shopping. I saw this cool as LIME GREEN Nike shoe - LOVE!! But it's about US$ buy or not to buy?? It's completely LIME GREEN, my favourite colour, but I don't really need another sports shoe...I just love the green!! Awwwwwww...HOWZZZZ?? Yep...the shoppaholic's dilemma begins!

When I got home, I chanced upon an opportunity to talk to my host brother, and we ended up chatting till around midnight. Finally, he's opening up to me. At first, he was a little shy and I thought I wasn't friendly or he didn't like me or something like that (coz Lydia told me that he was the one who wanted to host a student), but I guess it takes a while to warm up to a person. We were able to talk that night so it's going well. The parents are very friendly as well, teaching me bits and pieces of everyday Korean phrases so it's going great!

Today, after lessons, Yuki and I had YUMMY toast!! Haha...I don't know how else to describe it. The butter they use has sugar or something sweet added to it, it makes the bread taste so wonderful. But the blonde line of the day?? You see, when I was ordering the toast, I looked up at the menu and as it was all in Korean, it's a little hard to know what to order, so I asked for 'egg' (in english which they understand) 'ha go' (and) ham? I didn't know if they had ham or if they understood what ham was because there could be a Korean name for it...obviously not coz she understood me. And do you know what question I asked next?

'Ham' Mor Ra Go Hae Yo? (Mor Ra Go Hae Yo means 'How do you say...')

And the answer from the shop lady: Ham

I felt so embarrassed!! When we got our sandwich and was standing around the shop eating it (that's what most people do), I took my time to decipher each item on the menu and there it was...HAM (spelt out in Korean characters). How could I have been so blonde and blind??

After lunch, we met Min Hee at Gyeongbokgung Chi Ha Chil Yiok (Gyeongbokgung Train Station). Today, we were doing something touristy - visiting Gyeong Bok Palace. It's so pretty!! I fell in love with it!!

Check out the pictures below...I just fell in love with the building structure... it's so ancient. It's weird though, I never thought I'd like such ancient architecture so I shocked myself as well.

The palace was so serene, making one feel very very far away from the crowded Seoul streets, busy traffic and constant construction of the roads and pavements - though the city was right beside it. I can't really describe how contrasting it felt so I hope this 'Old vs New' picture would tell the thousand words.

Within the palace was the National Folk Museum which we also toured.

After the tour, we split from Min Hee. I took Yuki back to her bus stop near school. On the way, we decided to stop by a roadside store to catch a quick dinner. This was something we've always wanted to do - stop and eat at a roadside stall like Koreans do. When in Rome, you've got to do what the Romans do, and we did exactly that - we acted like a Roman (a.k.a. foreigner in Korea).

When I got home, I chatted with my host family for a while, then Lydia came to drop by our private lesson materials. She ended up staying for a couple of hours, chatting with my host mum and brother. Which brings be to now...I'm finally in my room, completed today's homework and it's almost midnight. I'm tired and I need sleep. Jal Ja Yo!! Goodnight!!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Toilet Seats and Rubber Gloves

2351, 6 March 2006 :: On Our Own

Yesterday, after I got home from the Sauna, I had lunch with my host family and also went for an hour and 40 minutes walk with my host parents and Hee Jin (their 15 year old daughter). We walked by the Han Gang (river) which separents Seoul to North and South, introducing me to things around.

They even invited me to join them for dinner...I don't know why I had the impression that dinner was also provided on weekdays...haha...apparently not. Only breakfast is provided throughout the week. But anyway, yesterday was the first time since I've arrived that I was home for dinner, and we ended up going out to a nearby restaurant to have korean BBQ. I ate the meat the Korean style. Grab a vege leaf, put a piece of meat in it, add some special sauce, and wrap it up and bon appetit!!

It was Ma Shi Sor Yo (translation: delicious)!!

This morning after breakfast, I did some washing too. It's been drying all day long but some are still not dry yet! Sigh...perhaps tomorrow morning. Anyway, today's class was a little more interesting coz I'm not good at pronoucing double consonets so I had to pay extra attention to the teacher. The funny thing was Yuki ended up dozing off in class and the teacher skipped her several times (coz we go around the room to practice reading out loud) and since she was sleeping, the teacher didn't call on her. And after class, do you know what she told the teacher? She told the teacher to wake her up if she ever falls asleep in class (and she said this while the class was only just packing up their things) - OH MY GOSH, we all cracked up! I have never in my entire life seen someone admit that she was sleeping and ask a teacher to wake her up!! Haha...but that's the cute Yuki!

And she was telling a classmate after class where she lived and she had to turn to me to ask for her address again - YUKIIIII!!!! I really worry for her.

Anyway...after class, Taro and the 2 of us went for Italian food. Taro missed western food, so we found a nice italian restaurant which was reasonably priced. It was YUM. Both Taro and I had the lunch special, which included salad, spagetti and a mini pizza for US$5. Yuki had a seafood doria (rice with ingredients and cheeze on top).

Then we decided to spend an hour group studying, testing each other korean words. We ended up spending 2+ hours at the cafe!! Haha...

Today, we hadn't any 'tour guide' (a.k.a. Min Hee or Lydia) to take us around, so we were on our own...and after our group study, we went to the book store and bought things on our own. I bought the new FlytotheSky CD on my own.

Then Yuki and I split from Taro and headed back to the area near the school to have dinner. Yuki did the ordering of dinner - completely in Korean. We can survive in Korea - we can travel around on our own (perhaps not Yuki on her own yet), buy things and order food. That's all we need at the current moment to get us through the day.

Then I walked Yuki to her bus stop near our school before heading back myself. I had to make sure she got to the right bus stop. That's the only bus stop she knows how to get back from, and that's why we ended up having to go back to the area near our school for dinner. Nevertheless...we had a good experience, moving around on our own for the day!

Tomorrow, Min Hee is taking us to Insadong and also to appreciate Korean Tea after our classes. I'm looking forward to that - and I'll wear a skirt!!'s weather was beautiful. It's getting warmer day by day - IT'S FANTASTIC!!

2216, 7 March 2006 :: Toilet seats and rubber gloves

Today, after class, Yuki, Taro and I went out for lunch before meeting Min Hee at 2pm.

Min Hee brought us to tour Insadong, a tourist street but it's so much more useful when you have a personal guide taking you around and helping you along. And it's for this fact that I'm so thankful I found WorldLink Education. Lydia and Min Hee are doing an awesome job in breaking us in to the Korean culture, taking us to eat local food, to shop where locals do and on days where there's no activities, they still check up on us and ask us what we are doing.

Insadong isn't only for tourists. It's an ART street. Because there's art schools near Insadong, it's famous for it's art...and I don't just mean paintings. There's this entire building of about 4 storeys high, and as Min Hee mentioned, the shops in this entire building is rented out to art and design graduates and everything sold there are artistically designed and made, from paintings to accessories. As we walked around, admiring the art that was all around and taking loads of photos, I saw so many cool things I wanted to buy - but if I do, I'd go broke! Haha...I'll just have to go back there when I'm just about to go back to Singapore. Then I can spend all my remaining money there...HEE HEE.

There was one art work that I especially love, made of many toilet seat covers painted in all different colours!! That's my favourite piece of work that hung from the balcony of the building. Another piece of work that I found real cool was a wall of red rubber gloves. Among these were ONE yellow rubber glove. On every glove, a personal message was written, perhaps wishing on a glove for their dreams to come true.

Another memorial thing that Yuki and I did was write a personal wish on a piece of paper and tie it to a wall of wishes!!! Hope my wish comes true soon!!

After walking down Insadong, we went to a traditional tea house to have Korean tea before heading home. I had this citrius tea which was sweet and Cheong Mal Ma Shi Sor Yo (really delicious)! And Min Hee ordered some mini snacks as well. I think if I had come to Korea on my own just on a holiday, I wouldn't be able to explore Korea in the way I am right now - doing what locals do and yet also being a tourist about it.

Monday, March 06, 2006


Hey everyone, I've just posted pics for the last 2 post about my first few days in Korea. Scroll down and have a look!!

I'll post pics soon...

1008, 4 March 2006 :: Another day has gone by...

But it also means another day well spent!

Yesterday, I had another round of fun, apart from lessons which was the usual bore. Oh, I didn't do my homework!! Haha...know what our homework was? It's like writing the basic korean words (vowels + consonents) 3 times...just like they do in primary school. In the end, I did it then and there at class and handed it in - honestly, it was so stupid.

Fun started after class when we went to have Korean hotplate barbeque as a welcoming lunch for us. It was delicious!! And since it was a buffet, Lydia said we must eat till we are so full coz we are not having dinner - way of saving her 'children's money (haha, yep, we are her children from all over the world).

Two other Korean guys who went through Worldlink Education to learn German in Germany joined us as well. They became our 'sa-cheong's (a.k.a. Cousins). Did I tell you previously that we are trying to grow our family?? We had a good time, having lunch and chatting, while learning bits and pieces of Korean which I probably can't remember now - OOPS!! I honestly have such bad memory!! I try to remember korean sentences by repeating them after and after, but in 20 minutes, I've forgotten them.

After lunch, Min Hee (another WorldLink Education staff and our 'Ee-mu' (a.k.a. aunty) left for work, while our two new cousins went off. Lydia Omma (a.k.a. mother), Michael Chakun-O-ppa (a.k.a. younger older brother), Yuki (dong seng, a.k.a. younger silbling to me but I just need to call her by her name) and I went off to buy me a cellphone!! Taro Kun-O-ppa (a.k.a. oldest brother) couldn't make it for lunch because he wanted to go for the harder korean class.

The cell phone I got was a second-hand phone, which apparently works out cheaper if I bought instead of renting. The cell phone cost me US$30, not too bad an investment, plus, I can sell it back when I leave and get a small amount of refund. The sad thing is, it's in Korean. Well, that's also a good way of learning Korean.

After getting my cellphone, we went to telecom to get my line activated (mum, you can ring me now!!). It costs me US$10 per month, which I guess is not too bad, except that I can't text overseas...sorry all you guys, I don't mean to lose touch with you. It's just much more convenient for me if I get lost, or need to contact any of the others throughout this period of my stay in Korea.

Because Lydia had some work to do back at the office, we returned to the office. While Lydia and Yuki returned to the office, Michael and I hanged at a baseball batting cage beside their office, waking a few baseballs into the net!! It was awesome!! I miss softball. I was surprised I still manage to hit the balls!! So pround of me...

When my fingers started to hurt, I knew it was time to quit. Michael whacked a little bit more before we went to find Lydia in her office. Min Hee was there too, working hard in front of the computer.

We stayed there for a while before heading off, taking a walk along the streets lined with shops whlie Michael went home to get a jacket as the night gets considerably colder. We then met Taro and Michael at another station, before heading to Lydia's favourite pub known as the HO BAR (Ho means 'HAO' - 'good' in chinese). We had an awesome time there, drinking (I seem to be drinking almost everyday!!) and chatting. Alex Sam-cheong (a.k.a. uncle) met us there as well.

We had a great time, chatting, talking and learning Korean. Yes, both Yuki and I had our notebooks out on the table and whenever a sentence or phrase that we didn't understand came up, we hurriedly wrote it down. For our all our hard work and eagerness in learning Korean, the pub decided to treat us to a plate of finger food like chips and mini hash browns!! Also, Lydia (being Michael's matchmaker as he had just broken up with his Korean girlfriend) found out what kind of girl Michael likes, asking him to write THE LIST. Then she tried to matchmake him with people around the bar. She finally came down to the conclusion that I fitted the list, and asked me for 'MY LIST'. It was hilarious. In the end, we concluded that we needed more drama, like those Korean dramas, so the script writing began!! Michael and I would be the lead. Michael would have a girlfriend who he doesn't really like, I have a boyfriend too...and somehow, my boyfriend died (illiness or accident we haven't really concluded), and Michael was the consoler...HAHA...and Alex Sam-cheong would be the Korean delivery boy, who falls for Yuki...we haven't really concluded it, but Lydia wants more side we have to start looking for people, preferably within our family. She also wants to find a wife for Taro!! you can see, we kept ourselves really busy last night with scripting writing.

Lydia took Yuki home first before returning to the pub to meet us and the 5 of us went to a 'nu raeh bang' (a.k.a. karaoke room) to sing!! We had an awesome time there...and since I didn't know much songs, I ended up only singing one English song - Sk8ter Boi. Go Avril Lavigne...she did me well!!

By the time I got home and got ready for bed, it was almost 2am in the morning!! I just woke up and no one is at home. Guess I'll just have to give breakfast a skip since I'm not sure of the food tupperwares on the table is meant for my morning breakfast. Better not touch what is not mine, so right now, I'm eating 'wang zai xian man tou' in my room!! Hee Hee...

I'm going out soon, stay on for more exciting reports from Korea, Seoul.

1230, 5 March 2006 :: First time for all things

Hello everyone. Haha, just felt like beginning this entry with a big hello, or should I say 'An Nyiong Ha Se Yo!!'

I've definitely been experiencing Korea the Korean way...everyday's an eye opener. I'm really glad that God has given me this opportunity to explore Korea first hand, and also really glad that He has blessed me throughout these past few days. He's taken very good care of me through the poeple he's placed all around me and the new friends I've made. I'm really glad that I'm enjoying myself and loving Korea and everything about it. I've got Him to thank all the way!!

Life's been awesome!! Yesterday, I walked to Hung De Station to meet Lydia and the rest. We were going Ice Skating and to the Sauna!! Lydia has shown me the way to Hung De Station several times now, but she told me that when I go, even if I know my route, I should practice my Korean by asking (preferably to a good looking Korean guy - yep, that's her suggestion) "Hung De Yoik Orh Di Yi Sor Yo?" (Where is Hung De Station?) The thing was, I was in a hurry as I left the house with only 15 minutes to walk to my station, and I didn't see any good looking guy around. Actually, the truth is, I forgot how to say 'Station' in Korean so I didn't want to look like too much of a fool, asking "Hung De Station Orh Di Yi Sor Yo" and spend the next few minutes trying to explain what a station is, though they should know a little bit of Korean - you'd think.

Anyway, I arrived just in time, and even had the chance to buy Mentos on my own as well!!! I'll give myself a pat on my back, thanks!

Oh, Alex also brought another Korean girl friend, Victoria, along. She wanted to make friends with us and help us improve our Korean!! It's awesome. I'm slowly getting to know more friends.

Oh let me tell you an interesting thing that happened while waiting for the train to the ice skating ring...there were many people getting on the train so we were one of the last few who boarded and guess what? The door shut on me and Michael!!! It's our first time having the train door shut on us. Of course it reopened again, but it took me a while to regain composure!! was scary, but funny at the same time. I was kind of expecting it since we did take a whle, but when it really did happen, it surprised me as well.

We had lunch before heading to the ice skating ring. Ice skating was great fun, I haven't ice skated in a while, so it was awesome. The ice skating ring is similar to everywhere else's. Too bad it's currently not right smack bang in the middle of winter, coz that's when outdoor skating is possible! One day, I would love to ice skate outdoors. The weather's getting warmer now, so it's great. But the nights still get quite chilly.

After ice skating, we headed to the Sauna. But first, we had to overcome the insanely long paitence challenge while waiting for the Line #1 Train. Lydia hates this line, and we finally understood why. It took about half an hour to arrive and when it did, it was packed full, but everyone pushed their way through!! We were squashed in and more and more people pushed their way in, though it was already so full and impossible to move.

The sauna was a whole different experience altogether. Both Michael and I (with it being out first time) found the experience...well...there was only really one word/phrase to describe it - "CHEONG MAL Che Me Yi Sor Yo" (VERY interesting/fun - but more of interesting). I shan't give you a complete description of what we did there...too much visual...but basically the Korean Sauna is a place for family, friends and couples of all ages to go. The one we visisted was one of the biggest in Seoul with 6 floors.

Located at the basement was the baths of varying temperatures and shower areas, the first floor was the changing rooms, the second floor was a large meeting area with a play room for younger children, a small cafeteria and several other rooms, like an Oxygen room, two very hot room, one with temperatures ranging from 40 to 50 degrees celcius and another with around 70 degrees celcius, massage parlor and a manicure service. The third floor had a common entertainment area with a large television playing shows on their korean channel, mini karaoke boxes, game room, gym, mini group meeting rooms, a movie room, computer room and another cafe.

On the fourth floor or maybe the third (I'm confused coz there's so many floors), there were other rooms like this salt room, where you sit, lie or walk on really hot large salt crystals, hot pebbles room, a cool room with temperatures ranging from 20 to 30 degrees celcius, sleeping cave rooms, and so on. The female only and male only sleeping rooms were on the fifth floor with bunk beds.

The total cost?? US$10!! And this includes staying over!! Yep, we stayed over at the Sauna. It was really an interesting experience...there were so many people, and so much to do. But it was kind of weird too coz I've never ever seen a public place that allowed people to stay over!!

Oh, we also ate eggs there!! Haha...okay, some of you might be wondering why I'm mentioning eggs. You see, in this Korean Drama called Lovers in Paris, they went to a Sauna and bought hard boil eggs after and used their heads to crack the shell (apparently it's really common). Michael became our designated egg shell cracker!! It was really funny and the sound of the egg being cracked on your head - sounds very painful.

We also had to train Yuki how to go home. She's 20 but her sense of direction is...well...non-existent? She gets lost so easily and it's such a worry. On my first day when Lydia and I met her and took her to school...Lydia showed her the route, I think even I know how to get to school from her place, but she couldn't remember. The next day when she had to go on her own, she got lost and had to ring Lydia. The worst part? She doesn't know how to say the name of her place. So we trained her last night. Alex became 'Mini Stop' (a convenient store), Michael was the 'Family Mart', and I was 'Home' and she pretended to walk from her bus stop to was so hilarious. Because she could see 'Family Mart' (a.k.a. Michael) so she knew that she had to turn left. So we told Michael to cover his face with the towel. Then on her next go, she found 'Family Mart', saying that Michael's ang moh curly hair is easy to spot so she knew it was 'Family Mart'. She didn't understand that Michael, Alex and I were just there for landmark purposes! It was so scary and funny at the same time, teaching her the way to and fro from home to school. On another go, Michael covered his face and hair by putting a towel over his head while lying down on the floor. When Yuki got to 'Family Mart', she double checked to make sure by lifting Michael's towel to make sure he was under it - DOOH!! Michael was giving up, exclaiming that this was hilarious. You see, Yuki remembers her way home by 'turn left then right then left then right', but she doesn't know when to turn, that's why we had to teach her!! It was slightly worrying. By the end of 'class', I think all of us knew how to get to her home and Yuki? Well...her answer is "Yes...MAYBE" *FAINT*

I didn't sleep well last night though. I don't know why, perhaps it was the bed being too hard, or the pillow was weird - square and hard, and perhaps I felt too warm as well. It took me 2 hours before I finally went to bed at 3.30am...and then having to wake up at 8am to vacate the place by 9am. The hilarious thing?? When we woke up, we only saw Alex waiting for us. Michael was nowhere to be found. A text message on Alex's phone from Michael said "I'm going home" at 4am in the morning!! Haha...I guess the bed was too short for Michael!!

This morning, we had Macdonalds breakfast before coming home. Macdonalds doesn't have a breakfast menu!! Well..there's only ONE breakfast burger - normal bun with egg and cheese. The rest were the usual cheeseburger, MacChicken, etc etc.

I'm home now and later, I'm going out with my host family for dinner. They are really friendly and nice. The children are finally warming up to me so it's getting better. I like it here...this morning at breakfast, Yuki said she loves Korea and wants to live here for at least 3 years next time. As for me...though I love's not home and though I'm enjoying myself, it's not a place I want to stay for a long period of time...that's my opinion at this current moment. Will update you if I change my mind on this matter. Hee Hee.