Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Photos: Janghyun

Sorry for being away for a few days! There's been some big stuff going on with my life and things are getting shuffled around quite a lot... I'm dropping out of Sogang University because my health has been so bad, plus I realized when I came to Korea that there was a lot of stuff I wanted to do besides just study all day. I guess it isn't very stereotypically Asian of me to a) not want to study and b) give up, but there's way more to life than books and books, not to mention: how often am I going to be in Korea?? I need to make the most of it! But never fear, I'll still be self-studying Korean with the help of the textbooks and workbooks from Sogang, since that's more or less what I was doing on my own.

So now that I'm no longer a student, I've been looking for a casual, part-time job to help fund my love of shopping...sending out emails to craigslist all over the place. If anyone has better suggestions or knows anything, please feel free to email me or comment and let me know!! It would be GREATLY APPRECIATED.

Now, with all that boring life stuff out of the way, I felt kind of bad for being a bit here, have some pictures of Janghyun, aka my neighborhood. It's pretty far from Seoul! To get to Sogang, I used to have to wake up at around 6:30 and take the 73 bus for about an hour to Hwarang-dae (화랑대), and from there ride the line 6 subway to Daeheung (대흥) and from there walk about ten minutes to my can maybe see why I was less than enthused about going to school every day. Apparently this is really common but I guess I'm just way too American, or maybe way too American-colleged; I'm used to living five minutes away MAX from my classes!

Fun fact: the hospital right next to my apartment? Lee Min Ho once filmed a drama in it! OMG so exciting, I wish I had been able to see him! What a beautiful yet bitch-faced man...

Anyway, Janghyun (장현):

Ack in that last picture you can see Paris Baguette, it's a Korean/French bakery that is omfg amazing, their chocolate chip muffins are pretty damn orgasmic, not to mention super super unhealthy. I do my homework there sometimes while sipping one of their green tea lattes...and by the way, the existence of the green tea latte blows my mind. I don't know why!

And because ever since I came here I've been rediscovering my true and deep love of tonkatsu, here have another picture of tonkatsu, eaten at Misoya, a nearby Japanese restaurant! While I'm pretty sure the tonkatsu at that unknown place in Guri was THE BEST I have eaten so far, any tonkatsu is good tonkatsu!

Plus this one came with bonus sushi rolls! I don't really eat shrimp like ever though... Also there's something super delicious about tiny cubed radish kimchi. I don't normally like radish kimchi but when they're chopped up small like this, I can't get enough! Korean vegetables are so strongly flavored, it takes some getting used to. I'm used to eating vegetables in order to clear my palate (that sentence couldn't have come out any more pretentious if I tried), not as a full meal in their own right...but whatever, food is food is delicious.

My unni is a choco-holic so while we were waiting for our food she ran out and bought a chocolate drink. I don't know what it was called or where it was from, but it had these little shavings of chocolate inside the drink itself and it was so good! I'm not a huge chocolate fan but I took a couple sips because I just couldn't resist. *_*

Oh wait...the name of the place my unni bought it from is on the cup itself. Fail!

I feel like I should apologize for my bad, sometimes I just use my cell phone. So sorry, guys! This is not the blog for beautiful pictures of Korea. I should probably find a blog that actually has some and just put up a link to them. Let me put it this way...look at these photos and make them about 10x better looking and more exciting and you'll get an idea of what I'm looking at constantly.

Anyway I'm definitely gonna do a post soon about makeup so keep an eye out for that! Orange and this...weird pinkish beige color...are a big thing in Korea right now, I see a lot of people with gorgeous orange nail polish or orange lip gloss or orange blush. I'm burning to try the lip gloss out myself.

I've been listening to this song a lot recently. It makes me feel more upbeat and way sexier than I am, haha. Korea is definitely way less sexed up than the US, but I can't tell if that's a good or bad thing. Either way, both countries definitely fall into the Madonna/whore trap, so boo.

What have you been listening to?

Peace <3

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Serious Post, For Once

I'm considering withdrawing from Sogang University, just because my health has been so poor this summer. With the tuition money I'd move into Seoul proper and buy additional textbooks from the bookstore and self-study. I think I could do this, and I'd really enjoy it more this way, just because my Korean is so spotty and all over the place that going to class isn't helping me at all. I really don't enjoy attending classes, more so than the usual dislike. That I can usually push through.

Also, the early mornings really don't help. I don't know what's up with my body recently but I can't fall asleep before 4 or 5 AM no matter how tired I get, so when my alarm goes off at 6:30 AM I usually just ignore it and fall asleep. Plus my head kills me in the early mornings.

Who even knows??? All this depends on whether or not Sogang will give me back my tuition money, and how my dad feels about all this, since it is ultimately his money. My basic plan would be to wake up around 8 or 9 every morning, eat breakfast, study in my room until 1 or 2 PM, then go out and be a tourist and shop around. The one drawback that I can see is that it would be really lonely, since I wouldn't have any avenues to make friends, but I'm pretty okay with that.


Anyway I already sent the email off to Sogang asking about the tuition refund, so if they say no, I guess I'll just have to stick it through or find a better plan. Siiigh. This plan makes me really happy though, I really hope I can make it happen.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Links Everywhere, And Not A Post In Sight

Washing my hair for the first time since I applied the potato hair pack, the differences are AMAZING. My hair is so soft and silky to the touch, as opposed to its usual passable dryish frizz (yes, I take terrible care of myself). Google says to apply this sort of thing two to four times a week, depending on your hair condition. I have to buy one of these before I leave for America. I've been doing some Googling but I can't find it for sale online anywhere, but when I do, I'll definitely put up the link.

Anyway, today was mostly a homework day. Crazy, I'm really behind so I had to work super hard to catch up for tomorrow's class!

So, if you're trapped indoors like me, here are some links to make you excited about Korea and the summer (and sometimes both at once!):
  • I Love You, Korea: Summer Love Letters I've never tried the ojingo sundae, but it sounds perfect for seafood-haters like me. Look at how many times that sucker gets fried!
  • HUGE BB Cream Overview, Reviews, and Swatches If you're into makeup at all, you've probably heard someone raving about the wonders of Korean BB cream. No lie, as soon as I got to Myeongdong I ran into MISSHA and bought some for myself.
  • City Hunter: Episode 1 One of the biggest K-dramas airing right now, starring the incredibly gorgeous Lee Min Ho as the male lead. Swoon. The story is basically Korean Batman crusades while involved with a spunky female bodyguard who also knows judo. Read a recap of the first episode here, then head out over to MySoju or Dramafever to watch an episode!
Eep unfortunately that's all I've got for now. Stay tuned, I'll definitely scope out some more links next time!

Peace <3

    An American In Korea: Weirdos Everywhere!

    Observations about those weirdo Koreans, made by this weirdo American gyopo:

    No milk with rice or your stomach will explode!

    My unni told this to me last night when I was eating spicy pork with rice. I was thirsty and headed to the refrigerator. We just bought some soy milk for me and I saw the carton and thought, well, why not? Milk is good for spicy foods! But my unni called me a weirdo for drinking milk while eating rice. Pfft, doesn't she know that she's the real weirdo??

    30 C outside, better cover up!

    True true some of it is style (right now baggy shirts and tight pants/leggings are super in) but I'll be standing outside sweating like a pig and everyone around me will be fully covered from neck to toe in huge swathes of dark-colored fabrics. What gives? (For those unable to work Google, 30 C is approximately 86 F)

    But there is some basis to this! In dry desert heats, you want to wear baggy light-colored fabrics to help shade your skin and provide some relief. Except it does tend to get pretty humid here in Korea, not to mention that the emphasis was on LIGHT colors. So, conclusion? Weirdos!

    Vegetables? How do you want them, boiled or spicy?

    All the vegetables here are cooked, covered in spice, or both! I want a nice crisp salad sometimes but that never happens. Kimchi is the most famous Korean vegetable ever and I admit it, I do love some delicious radish kimchi served up alongside my rice and meat, but I miss even the crappy Fresh Choices of America... One time my aunt gave me raw cucumbers, and then gave me spicy gochujang sauce to dip them in. I can't win!

    I brought this topic up with some of my relatives and they just said, "맛없다~" or, to translate: "it's not tasty."


    And let's not even get into my burger cravings here...

    French fries with sour cream and onion powder

    America! Get on this! This is the most delicious junk food I have ever tasted! Mixing powder with french fries might be kind of a weirdo thing to do, but it's no different from chips, and who cares when the end result is ~amazing~.

    Clean, sparkling subways

    Sparkling might be something of an exaggeration, but the subways are amazing here. They're so quick and prompt and CLEAN. Speaking as someone whose only experience with subways comes from a few touristy trips to New York, I nearly had a heart attack when I saw how nice the subways are in Korea.

    Not to mention, a lot of the subways have little booths and stalls set up for you to buy food or clothes or bags or shoes while on your way somewhere. They're like mini-malls set up underground. We need more of this, stat!

    Any other weirdo things that Koreans do that should be added to this list? I'm sure I'll think of more tomorrow when I go back to Seoul, haha.

    Peace <3