one girl's journey across kpop paradise

Tag Archives: recreation

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.



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 :)

Hey look! We found a sticker photo booth in Busan! We jumped at the opportunity and it was SO MUCH FUN! It was in a shopping area in Seo-myeon (or something like that) and the store had about ten+ booths. We picked one near the back – we picked a big one because there was seven of us. We ended up picking 6 shots, and picked backgrounds for all of them. After we were done taking the pictures, we went to this little booth next door to decorate the photos. It was the best thing ever! See, we wrote on ours, put sparkles and hearts all over it, added bunny ears, headbands, tiaras, you name it. The photo booths are from Japan :) All the high-tech, really cute photo booths are always from Japan. They’ve got it going on in terms of photo booths apparently. The whole thing costed 6,000 Won, so less than $6. Among the 7 of us, we spent around a dollar each for this. It was definitely worth it. I would totally recommend you do it if you find it in Korea!

I don’t have the pictures for this right now, but I’ll talk about the amazing video game arcades we found in Busan (I’m sure they’re good in Seoul too). All my dreams and fantasies about video game arcades in Asia were right! The one we went to was packed. There were a lot of boys and girls (mostly boys at specific games like DDR and both girls and guys at more popular games). There was one really popular game in the center of the arcade that was like one of those spin-around rides. The ride is circular with a row of seats along the edges, and people get to sit next to each other and hold onto the bars. The ride bounces up and down rather violently, but it doesn’t look dangerous. In fact, it looked really fun and we all wanted to go on, but the line was like 100+. We made a pact to go on it eventually. We ended up playing a shooting game, but it was in a dark booth, so we were secluded. It was so intense! And then we went one a ‘5D’ ride – it’s one of those rides where you sit on rollercoaster seats and theres a screen in front of you and the ride bumps up and down along with the screen, to simulate the experience of the real thing. I’ve been on tons of these, so it wasn’t that exciting, but the others seemed to enjoy it a lot.

And SK and I really wanted to try the Pump It Up (DDR with diagonal arrows), but there were a lot of guys at the three stations that acted like they owned the place. But whatever, SK and I still went up and played it. We didn’t really understand how to work the machine and this Korean guy there tried to help us out by picking the right stages and and levels. Luckily we didn’t embarass ourselves too much, and it was a whole lot of fun. I’d do it again gladly!

Okay, I’m going to try to get some sleep before we have another full day of activities! Just one more day in Busan before we go back to Seoul. As much as I like Busan, I am really excited to go back to Seoul to buy all the necessary essentials for living (we need pillows, hangers, hair dryers, etc) before we start Orientation and classes! I’m so psyched!

Until next time <3