Since I started this blog back in August, it’s been about eight months of me blogging about Korea and its beautiful language, people, culture, etc. And thank you lovely people for visiting my site, whether through references or just randomly stumbling upon it from Google search. I’m truly grateful.
Since I’m not longer in Korea right now, I haven’t been able to update the blog regularly with experiences and stories from Korea – because I’m no longer there. However, I’ve met a lot of people with equal amounts of enthusiasm for the language and culture, and I just wanted to plug them a bit.
If you’re looking for a network of friends to study Korean with you, go to Self Study Korean. The site is run by a bunch of really awesome people from all walks of life with one thing in common – their love for the beautiful language that is Korean. I’ve been frequenting it because not only does it help me in my journey to mastering Korean, there’s a feeling of community and belonging on the site.
If you’re looking for a Korean pen pal, go to Interpals. You can pick what language you want to be your target language, and you can make friends who you can share languages with. I think the website is fairly safe, and I haven’t heard any creepo stories from it, so I think you will be okay trying to find friends on it.
If you’re looking for a westerner’s perspective on Korean culture, go to Noonablog. Paula, the writer behind Noonablog, has been living in Seoul for the past couple of years, and she has a lot of insight into Korean culture. She’s also into fashion, so a lot of her posts are about fashion (happy for me ^^), and I’ve met her personally (she’s awesome), so I promise you you won’t be bored by her blog!
If you’re looking for a good website for authentic Korean merchandise, go to G Market. This website is one of Korean’s largest e-markets, and it has everything, from clothes to cosmetics to food to furniture. The prices are decent, and they have worldwide shipping. I haven’t personally bought from the website, but I have friends who have, and I’ve heard no complaints. If nothing else, the endless pages of cute clothes (and the guys’ clothing section has a lot of cute models ^^) should keep you occupied.
Right now, I’m a little out of ideas, but if you think of any other good resources for Korean-related things, let me know! And also, if you want me to blog about anything in particular, feedback is always appreciated <3
So, it’s officially the halfway point of my stay here in Korea. I have two months left. At this point, I am tempted to do two things: 1) reflect on what I’ve done so far and 2) mope over all I haven’t done and won’t be able to do in the remaining two months.
But I will not do such things. I CANNOT do such things. My remaining time here is limited, and I must make the most of it. The simplest things here, such as the plethora of beautiful cafes, random food sellers on the street, cutesy accessory and clothes stores, and the simple existence of Asians (especially Koreans) everywhere, make me so happy and make me feel that no matter what I was doing here in the future, I would love to live here in Seoul.
Something I’ve been feeling lately – I’m so close to everything (kpop stars are living a couple subway stops from me! There are so many Korean guys but I’m too shy to actually talk to them!) but at the same time, so far away. What did I come here to do? There are so many things I wanted to do when thinking about coming here, but I really haven’t done a great many of those things. Sometimes I feel a little bit disappointed about my experience here so far – I have friends who have actually seen kpop stars up close, I have friends who have actually gotten into live music shows, I have friends who have had Korean guys actually taken in interest in them, and the list could go on and on, but I know this is really destructive behavior and that I should just stop right here.
The solution to this all is to just stay here. But I know I can’t do that…at least not for now. My plan for now is to go back to the States after this semester and finish my bachelor’s degree and then come back here to teach English while taking intensive Korean classes. And then I will pursue my acting career here. I’m still a bit iffy about this – it will take more than a little bit of perseverance and dedication to make it as an actress here, and I know myself more than anyone else – I have a weak will. My heart yearns for so much, but my body can only handle so much. Therein lies my greatest dilemma. Stay in the States and have it easy or come back to Seoul and live in what someone told me yesterday was a “exciting hell”? So true, so true – Seoul is exciting in so many ways, but at the same time, its fast-paced atmosphere can sometimes become overwhelming.
I went to Myeongdong with my friend Simon last Friday. Here are some happy pictures and we had kalguksu at a really famous place! It’s really well-prepared noodles with mandu :) And the kimchi was amazing!
What am I doing here? Where am I going? These days I feel really lost and without answers…but maybe that’s the point…
Yesterday I took my camera with me (and my friend) and just walked around Hongdae taking random pictures of interesting-looking buildings and things. Here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure.
I somehow stumbled upon the Coffee Prince coffee shop! It’s right behind the Hello Kitty on the hill. Here are some pictures.
And then we settled into Toms N Toms, which is just like my familiar Starbucks, but it had 3 floors, so it was nice and lovely. Because the day had kind of gone south, I got a honey bread thing to compensate. It is so cute-looking and delicious at the same time. I almost didn’t know what to do with it. I mean, just look:
And then we went home. But not until after I got some delicious street food. Actually, the 2nd time I was eating street food, a car crashed into me. Or rather, my backpack. It was so unbelievable, and I almost didn’t feel it too. But even though the windows of the car were tinted, I could see the driver and front-seat passenger bowing to me in apology. I waved my hand, as if to say ‘No problem!,’ in a daze. And that was my day. Actually Saturday was much more exciting, but I’ll update about that later. Until next time!~
So this blog post title today is really lame, I know, but it’s kind of the best thing I could think of. Last Sunday, I did a little photo shoot with lovely Paula, one of my fashion inspirations here in Seoul. She has a great blog, filled mostly of fashion, but also of life, love, and how beautiful Seoul is, which I’ve also discovered myself the two or some months I’ve been here so far.
Paula is working at a vintage shop called OldOld. The store is located near Konkuk station (Line 2). It’s a cute little store in the basement of an old building, but there are a lot of gems just waiting to be discovered. For my friend and I, Paula decided on a knit-only look that was kind of angelic, and to play up that aspect, we shot only on a roof-top. It was a really fun experience, and I’d be happy to work with Paula again for any other fashion ideas she has. She was the first fashion blogger in Seoul that I found, and I was so happy to finally meet her. She’s perhaps even friendlier in person than online, and that’s saying something ^^
So here are some of the photos:
They turned out really nice and artsy, right? I really loved the outfits Paula picked. She’s a natural stylist :) I really love the fashion here in Korea – it was one of the drawing points for me. At long last, I got to work on a fashion project here…I’m grateful :)
I’ve decided to make a weekly feature. It’s called Cute of the Week. It’s my chance to blog about cute things I’ve seen here in Korea, and trust me, there are a lot of freaking cute things here. From the people to the fashion to the food to the cell phones to the cell phone straps, there are a lot of things here that are just freaking adorable, so I decided to make this feature.
This week, I will be talking about Jetoy. As you can tell from the picture above, Jetoy specializes in making beautifully whimsical cat drawing products. The only way I can really describe Jetoy’s artwork is like this – stumbling into a fantasy garden, falling through a dreamy underground tunnel, and landing lightly in an alien world of ridiculously cute cats. The brand sells everything from journals, schedulers, stationary, accessories (including the beloved passport holders), wallets, clothes, you name it. If you can put a cute cat on it, it’s at Jetoy. Here are more examples of this amazing brand.
Where to find: I went to the store in Apgujeong, right off the Apgujeong station off of Line 2 (Green). I had to walk a good 15 minutes before I reached it, but it’s not hard to find.
Here’s the map of the Apgujeong location, as I found on their business card.
As expected, the map is entirely in Korean, so if you don’t know Korean, you’re kind of out of luck. At the top of the map, above the WEST and EAST signs, it says Galleria Department Store. The arrow on the left leads to Apgujeong station, and the arrow on the right leads to Cheongdam Station. Personally I would get off at Apgujeong station and walk toward Cheongdam Station. The three stores above the Jetoy sign on the map (from left to right) say Uniqlo, Seven Eleven, and Cafe Benne. I hope this map will be helpful for you, but honestly Apgujeong isn’t the easiest place to be wandering if you’re not a local.
If you’re a tourist, I would recommend you going to Kyobo Bookstore in Gwanghwamun. It has a big accessories/stationary section that includes a lot of Jetoy goods. You can find directions to the Kyobo Bookstore here.
I plan on buying some legit Jetoy merchandise, like the passport case and probably some wallets and journals before I leave, just because looking at these cats makes me so darn happy. I know some people find them a bit creepy, but I think they are just so precious and absolutely adorable.
Visit my blog often for more Cute of the Week!
Jetoy’s Website: http://jetoy.co.kr
So today we went to Seoul Comic Con 2011 (right off the Hangnyeoul station) and then Coex Mall! It was a lot of fun. I’d gone to Otakon (only the largest anime convention on the east coast) a month ago, so I wasn’t expecting much out of Comic Con, but surprisingly enough, I still had a lot of fun at the con. There wasn’t much going on (read: nothing going on), but there were two huge Artist Alleys that kept me and my friend Jei very amused.
We took pictures of sooo many artist posters…here are a few!
And then we took pictures of lots of cosplayers. Here are some good ones:
The Artist Alley stuff was way cheaper than I’d seen at other conventions, so I kind of stocked up. I bought a Miku/Vocaloid fan, a Reborn/Vocaloid folder, a cute cat mug, and a cute cat bag. I’ll update with pictures of them later.
And then we decided to go to Coex. I was so overwhelmed – it was really nice and modern inside! The Uniqlo was underwelming, though. Not that impressive. I liked the big bookstore and the many food places ^^
So following that depressing previous post about how much KU/Korea sucks, I wanted to write a post about what I liked about Seoul so far. Seoul is split up into many different neighborhoods. Seriously, they’re all different and I’ve really enjoyed visiting all of them. I’ll do a small review of what these neighborhoods are like.
Myeongdong: The quintessential chic shopping locale. We went at night, and the lights were beautiful. It consists of long streets intermixed with smaller streets, and the stores are located close together. It was similar to the nice upscale shopping districts of Shanghai. The clothe stores are rather expensive, however, and I found many stores whose clothes I loved but were waaaay too expensive for me. I will definitely be making a visit or two back to Myeongdong because I really enjoyed it (as an avid shopper).
Namdaemun: This place is a market (open from morning until 5 pm) – some open stores and some closed stores. No upscale designer clothing, but a lot of cheap stores with bags, kpop paraphernalia (that were actually quite expensive), and street vendor food. Fun once in a while, but I wouldn’t come back regularly.
Apgujeong: Similar to Myeongdong, except more Beverly Hills. Supposedly a lot of celebrities hang out in Apgujeong. There’s a SM Everysing here and I plan on coming back later to audition :) The SM Everysing building is really pretty and it has a lot of noraebang rooms that are just gorgeous. I will update everything with pictures once I get my lazy ass back in gear and start taking pictures once again.
Itaewon: This is the “foreigner’s district” and to be honest, I was quite disappointed. It looked, as my friend Jei said, like New York City – at the dirty parts. There were a lot of American food chains, like Taco Bell, Subway, Outback Steakhouse, and since I’m not a bit fan of American or fast food, I’m not a huge fan of the place. One good thing is that they do speak English better in Itaewon than just about anywhere else in Seoul. It’d be good to come back here if I start getting homesick.
Like I said, I’m being so freaking lazy about taking pictures because my camera’s heavy to carry around, and it’s just annoying taking pictures when I’m trying to go around and enjoy everything with friends. So I’ll take pictures later.
Here’s a picture my friend Carol took of us trying to get drinks at a vending machine at a temple in Busan (forgot the name).