Saturday, October 22, 2011

Reading, eating, writing...

Another weekend is here (and it feels very fleeting as usual!) and I am cozy inside, drinking tea and trying to refrain from eating chocolate. Yesterday was a very rainy day and today is just as gloomy and cloudy but without the rain. It's nice for staying indoors.

Yesterday's downtown adventures (of course I ventured outside despite the weather!) included eating delicious chocolate cake at a lovely cake shop downtown. It was my first visit there and it took ten minutes just to choose what kind of cake we wanted - there were so many tempting options! We ate the cake at a cafe above the shop and chatted the time away. Today's photo is obviously not of chocolate cake but cream pasta from dinner out a few weeks ago. Oh well, it still looks interesting haha.

I also bought two new books as I'm almost through The Woman in White. Wilkie Collins' mysteries are so atmospheric and intriguing...I get completely wrapped up in them and cannot stop turning the pages...and reading just a little bit more...and more :-) Anywho, the two new books I bought are Howards End, which I've been meaning to read for ages, and also The Night Circus. I wasn't planning on buying anything contemporary but this sounds like such an imaginative, magical, theatrical book that I couldn't resist. I'm hoping it will transport me to an exciting new world and stir my fancy :-) The cover is pretty at least ;-)

Well, time to pull my eyes away from the computer and point them at a book instead.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sniff's cold season!

After avoiding and fighting off the ailment seemingly every other teacher at school had fallen prey too, I too have finally surrendered. I have a cold. Which means staying indoors, drinking copious amounts of tea, reading, and watching The Great British Bake Off. Things could be worse I guess ;-)

This past week I've been quite busy, rarely spending time at home and having lots of adventures outside while the weather is still good. I had lots of fun, but sadly I neglected to get enough quiet, recharging time and now I'm paying for it.

Whenever I get sick I think it's a good reminder to get more rest, eat and drink a little more carefully, and take some time out for myself. Some people can be super busy all day long, sleep for just a few hours, and be able to repeat the cycle again and again. I think they also get energy from the people around them. I can only do this for a very very short time. Even though I am still young, I need my eight hours of sleep, some peaceful time alone, and healthy food and drinks. It is easy to feel when I am a little off balance, but sometimes it's hard to find that balance again when life tempts us with adventure, sunshine, and chocolate brownies ;-)

Today I will delve more deeply into The Woman in White (which has flourished into a page turner just a few pages in). Thank goodness for books - even when we can't explore the real world outside, we can always transport ourselves to a different place just by picking up a book :-D

Friday, October 14, 2011

Cozy Day Ramblings

Yesterday I started watching the Great British Bake Off. The weather had suddenly changed so it was surprisingly cold and rainy compared to the summer-like weather we've been enjoying here for so long. I curled up in my blanket with a hot cup of tea and some roasted almonds and enjoyed a fun hour of entertaining Britishness. I can't wait to go back to England (for a visit) - the accent, architecture, people, history, tradition, culture, arts, literature, humour, style....I feel very attached to it all :-)

Anywho, watching a British program about baking is the epitome of coziness in autumn, ahhh. So lovely!

I also started reading The Woman in White at long last. It's my first Victorian novel in many months which seems utterly crazy. I don't know how I survived for so long without reading one. The unique language, style, and tone of Victorian novels soothes and inspires me. I love language in all its dimensions and nothing peaks my interest and passion as much as Victorian novels. Each sentence is a lovely, thought out gem. Each page sparkles with colour and wit. There is never a plain or bland sentence.

And now, getting back to everyday life - Korea still feels like a wonderful place to live and I continue to enjoy it here. I keep discovering new places and trying new things but the best part is definitely the people I have met here. The friends I've made are incredibly kind, warm, funny, kindred spirits and I feel grateful to have them in my life. Yay! It's a very sparkly life indeed :-)

And now it's time for tea!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Happy October!

Autumn here is so incredibly beautiful - I cannot get used to it! In Vancouver, Fall means big fat rainclouds and weeks of ongoing darkness and dampness. Here, Fall is a celebration of changing colours, crisp air, and gorgeous sunshine. Yesterday I even ate ice cream after a day of walking around downtown :-) And I also bought two pairs of flat shoes for the new season. There are lots of  stores downtown that only sell flat shoes and nothing else. Prices are very reasonable, so far I've been pleased with the quality, and the stores themselves are cute and cozy. The shoes are so pretty and unique :-)

I think I haven't really mentioned the street food here before. There are lots of delicious things you can easily buy on the street but my favourites by far are Fall/Winter treats such as roasted chestnuts, 붕어빵 and 국화빵 - the last two are little bread things with a red bean filling. They are so warm and soft and just perfect on a crisp day.

Lastly, these photos are from my trip to Jeju Island. Sometimes people call it the Korean Hawaii and it used to be Korea's #1 honeymoon destination. The island is stunningly beautiful. It really feels like you're getting away from normal, everyday city life when you go there. The natural beauty of the island, the colour of the water, the waterfalls and's all breathtaking! I could easily have stayed there for a longer time but even four days was rejuvenating and delightful :-)

Ah, and on a rather different note, I've been racking my brain trying to think of which university to go to for my Masters degree and I recently discovered that many universities in England offer a TESOL Masters program (this kind of program is not common in Canada). So - maybe I can combine two dreams and go to England for postgraduate school! I've been looking at the University of Bath...could it really happen? I really really hope so! So I should stop buying shoes and save money for life and education in England :-)