Saturday, October 30, 2010

Kim Yoo Kyung - Starlight Tears (Fan-Made MV)

This is a song from the Korean drama I'm currently watching (Boys Before Flowers). It's a lot funnier than it appears in this video :-) But yes, full of romantic intrigue also :-)

Happy Halloween!

Agh, wow, it's November next week, when did that happen? Not that I'm complaining - I can't wait for the holiday season :-)

Yesterday we celebrated Halloween at school and it was oodles of fun. Most of the students don't have this holiday in their countries so they were taking photos of each other's costumes all day with great enthusiasm. Of course I forgot my camera, eek!

But there was a reason for that! I found out that my EPIK application had never been received after I'd e-mailed it so I spent Thursday evening preparing all my documents and handed them in to the Korean Consulate right after school on Friday. STRESS!!! I hope everything goes more smoothly now. I should have known by now - it's always better to do things in person.

This is a photo from a traditional Korean restaurant in downtown Daegu. It was sooooooo good. The mandu in the middle tasted pretty much the same as Russian dumplings, I was so surprised. Mmmm, delicious :-) And because there were five of us we got plenty of side dishes :-)

Okay, time to get the weekend started! Have a spectacular day!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

So Happy!

This weekend was so beautiful...maybe not weather wise but in other ways...this Fall everything seems to be clicking into place and flowing in a wonderful way! I really feel like I'm on the right path and every day is fulfilling and exciting and different and eye-opening and full of joy :-) Well, most days at least :-)

I still haven't heard from EPIK but I talked to some people who have taught in Korea or have some knowledge of it and they said the process is usually quite slow so it's not surprising or abnormal. In any case, I feel like one way or another I'll be wherever I need to be at the right time :-)

In the meantime, Vancouver is gorgeous in its own glorious way. The ocean looks amazing and I love the freshness in the air. I've also been enjoying cappuccinos, homemade pita pizza, butternut squash soup, pumpkin seeds, shopping for boots (and buying some really awesome ones!), trying on headbands and hats, feeling cozy by the fireplace, eating spicy noodles with noodle loving friends, watching hilarious Korean dramas (that also feature great fashion!), listening to 90's music, watching Ghostbusters, planning my Winter vacation (my friend from Korea is coming to visit!), and watching leaves fall to the ground (it's more interesting than it sounds).

Here's to a wonderful Autumn! I hope it brings everyone joy, energy, and strength to carpe diem!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Happy Autumn!

And it really does feel like Autumn now - crisp air, some colourful trees (but very few in my corner of the world - most of the ones here stay green year round), layered clothing and cozy boots, and I've even turned on the fireplace a few times. Oh, and all those tasty cups of warming tea and bowls of comforting soup - yay!

I sent my application to EPIK so all I can do now is wait and hope that I will get an interview soon. It's hard when you can't actually DO anything - you just have to wait and wait and try to be patient.

This is a beautiful traditional house on the campus of my friend's university (in Daegu). It was amazing to see - the architecture is so completely different and so soft and gentle on your eyes, I really liked it. It would be great to have a luxury house that looks like an old traditional house on the outside but has modern comforts on the inside. :-)

I miss Korean food! I had delicious seafood rice porridge when I first arrived there and I've been craving it so badly but I don't know exactly how to make it, and it wouldn't be the same anyway. Agh, I miss everything! Must remind self - accept and enjoy the present moment and make the most of every second :-)

Have a beautiful October weekend!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Korea's Awesome Cafes

One thing I really loved about Korea was that it had so many cozy and unique cafes, coffee shops, and restaurants. It was so great to get away from endless chains and see and experience something way more unique and special. My friend took me to Succa Cafe, where you get your own little room (with a cute curtain for a door) in which you can chat, watch TV/movies, look at magazines, play video games, and eat as many snacks and drink as much as you want within the time you pay for. We paid $6 per person for 3 hours and ate ice cream, pop corn, and chips and drank herbal tea (so really it was totally balanced and healthy ;-)). I noticed they also had limitless alcohol that you could drink but we stuck to the tea, thank you very much :-)

I'd never been to a place like that before so it was really fun and interesting. It was perfect for catching up and having a nice long chat. I think some guys would maybe refuse to come here (pink! so cute!), but in Korea it was normal for couples to go there - so sweet! Did I mention they also enjoy wearing matching outfits and feeding each other? It's delightful :-) You can buy couple T-shirts, hoodies, shoes, socks, etc. and it's totally common to see couples wearing these matching things. So cute! And uniquely Korean :-)

Right now I'm drinking Korean ginseng tea (something else Korea is very famous for) - an energizing way to start the day! I might head downtown for a bit of shopping. Yesterday I bought two awesome pairs of boots but I still need some winter appropriate clothing to go with them. And I have to get ready for work - it's back to class tomorrow! And I'll be teaching the elementary level for the first time, eeeek! It's good to be able to teach all the different levels though.

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Thanksgiving Weekend!

Mmmmm - this is a delicious GIANT waffle I had in ended up being dinner for two :-) There were even a couple of tomatoes somewhere in there so overall it was pretty balanced, no?

Today I started off the long weekend with a trip downtown. It was fun to walk around, go to the beach, eat some Korean food for lunch (hooray for downtown Vancouver's Korean gems), drink a hot beverage in the rain...nice. Relaxing :-) I also picked up some kimchi ha ha. I'm totally addicted :-)

I'm still working on the EPIK application and it's causing me STRESS. It's sooo long and complicated and on top of it all they keep stressing how everything should be submitted ASAP because hiring is done on a first come, first served basis. I don't like these kind of rushed, competitive affairs. Oh well, I'm very motivated to do this so I will most definitely do my best and keep on hoping :-)

My lunch consisted of a seafood pancake (Korean pancakes are delicious!!) that was like a light, fluffy pizza and I also had a pork and veggie dumpling (mandu), yum yum. Good fuel for a day of walking in chilly weather :-)

Okay, time to feed before returning to my application. Have a fantastic day!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

I'm Back! And, oooh, I miss Korea already!

Wow, I can't believe I'm back in Canada already - it feels like I just left! Korea was a whirlwind of fun, adventure, excitement, beauty, delicious food, neon signs, Samsung TVs, culture, gorgeousness, green, mountains, laughter, warmth, friendliness, and all things wonderful!!! I really really really didn't want to leave, and I've already started the process of applying to teach there next year through the EPIK program. I can't wait to go back!!!

Honestly, I've given up on trying to plan anything in my life. Things just seem to happen on their own and I'm happy to surrender and go with the flow. I never thought I'd ever travel to Asia and now all I want is to go and live there! Crazy! But it feels so right and natural and wonderful - resistance is futile :-) I love Korean culture, so many people that I met are incredibly warm, kind, group-oriented and full of life and passion. Their traditions and even everyday interactions are steeped in meaning and respect. It was amazing to experience!

I will write more later and give a full run down of the places I visited but right now I have to work a bit on my application :-)

Lastly, I have to add that I LOVE Korean stationary. Well, I love all their cute, colourful things in general but I have a thing for stationary so getting cute pens and notebooks was heavenly :-)

Happy Weekend!