So, I came to Korea for a reason. Well, several reasons. The things I wanted to do here were to learn Korean (to be semi-fluent at least), to eat a lot of Korean food, to visit worthwhile new places, to meet a lot of Koreans/make Korean friends, and most of all, to try to jumpstart my acting career here in Korea.

And I feel like I’ve not made a lot of progress on the goal list front. While I have eaten a bunch of Korean food, I haven’t tried a whole wide array of different foods. And while I’ve visited several places, I still feel like I’ve so many more places to go to. And these both may be a good thing, for it means I always have things to do here in Seoul.

But the things I’m feeling frustrated about are 1) not improving my Korean as quickly as I would like, 2) not meeting a lot of Koreans/making Korean friends, and 3) the fact that it’s almost impossible to act here.

This goes back to the title of this entry, Productivity vs. Recreation, because there are always different things I could be doing. I feel like I’m doing a lot to practice and improve my Korean, but in reality, I’m probably not doing nearly enough because I’m barely improving. If I want to act in Korea, I better be able to speak Korean like a native, and I am so, so far from that. I have the dilemma of do I want to stay in and study Korean or do I want to go out and try to meet Korean friends, who may or may not help me improve my Korean? It’s a big dilemma.

A friend recently told me that despite the fact that he hates working out, he still does it regularly and seriously because his dreams depend on the requirement that he’s fit and fast (he wants to be a professional basketball player). Which had me thinking…why am I not working out all the time? Actresses have to be outwardly beautiful – that’s like basically a requirement – so why am I doing almost nothing towards that end? The realization made me feel, at once, both impressed at my friend’s dedication and ashamed of my own failures and weaknesses. I now must add working out (and eating better) to my productivity to-do list.

Should I spend my time working out, learning Korean, or meeting/hanging out with Koreans? They all help me go towards my goal, but what is my best bet? There needs to be something I should focus on. And then there’s always the nagging desire to go out to eat, to explore new parts of Seoul with friends, and to go shopping (I love Korean fashion so, so much).

I am basically ranting at this point – this post probably has no interest to the vast majority of my readers, so I wanted to post something that I think will be of interest. My friends and I recently went to an amazing ddukbokki place in Ddukbokki Town called “Mabokrim Ddukbokki.” It was by far the best ddukbokki I’ve ever had in my life, and the best meal I’ve eaten here in Korea.

Directions: You get off at Sindang on Line 6 at exit 8. You turn left and keep walking until you see this:

And look for this banner on the left side of the street:

Look how many people are crowded in this small restaurant! The food MUST be good, I thought as I sat down.

It’s self-serve when you sit down and eat.

BEFORE:

AFTER:

Omg I’m like salivating looking at the pictures. It was SO good. I plan on going again (several times), so if you’re in Seoul reading this, let me know and we can go together :)