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DIY Hand Mirror in Bukchon

Seoul, South Korea — Bukchon Hanok Village, literally means northern traditional village, is situated between Jongmyo Shrine and two famous palaces namely Gyeongbuk andChangdeok. Most visitors and tourists merely take photos at this very spot of the famous traditional village


The Glass is Half Full (of BS)

"You're so positive! You really have a bright outlook on things!"

So say coworkers and acquaintances, but it's not something I ever really considered to be one of my defining personality traits. Sarcastic, judgmental, with a tendency to complain-- yes, yes, and (according to my mother) yes. But positive, glass-is-half-full gal? Is that really me?

Well, yes and no. Living in a foreign country is a lot harder than you'd expect. Things that should be easy are difficult, every little chore seems a bit more exhausting, and it's easy to begin to feel beaten down and victimized. When your class is canceled, or a taxi driver won't stop for you, or the store stops carrying that familiar brand from home, it's so easy to take it personally, to feel that your school or the country or even the world is against you.

Happy Pepero Day

South Korea — 해피 빼빼로 데이~ Aside from Valentine’s day and White day, today marks another sweet occasion especially for high school students and couples. Today, Korea celebrates Pepero day. If one haven’t heard about Pepero, it’s a pretzel covered with chocolate, white or dark, almonds, melon or strawberry produced by Lotte. It can be compared to Japan’s snack called Pocky.


Korean Tradition : Jesa

South Korea — I was thinking of not writing about  제사  (Jesa) since Wikipedia has already explained it thoroughly. Instead, I am writing this based on what I have observed and experienced and probably quote some information from Wikipedia. This picture I got from Koreatimes tells the proper way to prepare the table:


Home is Where?

Well, it didn’t matter. He’d had enough. He wasn’t going to try to understand anything anymore. He was going home.  
 Except that wizards can never go home.
-Terry Pratchett, Sourcery

I come back to that quote every once in a while. When I first read Sourcery, back in high school, I breezed right past it; during a more recent read, it jumped off the page and lodged itself in my brain, and so far, despite my best efforts, I've been unable to kick it out.

Home is something I think about a lot. I've moved so many times that it's taken on a sort of hazy, unfocused quality. There's my hometown, where some of my family is, the place when I spent my childhood. There's my mom's home, in a town I've never lived in. Is it Seattle, where I graduated college? When I say "I want to go home," what do I mean?

Why I Hate the Word "Diet"

"Are you on a diet?"

I am so incredibly mind-numbingly sick of this question. Don't get me wrong, I don't always hate the word diet. "These ancient peoples ate a diet consisting of..." is totally fine. "There should be lots of vegetables and hot sauce in your diet for health!" also gets past my censors. But that question. It eats away at me (if you'll pardon the accidental pun).

Before I moved to Korea, I don't remember thinking about it much, but I can't say if it's due to any cultural difference or just something that's been on a slow burn that finally blew up. There are so many instances where this question comes up. for example:

-when I'm eating a salad
-when I don't take a ginormous portion of rice at lunch
-when I don't want to eat any cake that someone brought into the office
...I could go on.

In the Country

I've had a rather enjoyable week, despite the humidity and the MERS scare. Actually, as horrible as this probably sounds, I'm feeling rather thankful to MERS. For one thing, there's soap in the school bathrooms for the first time since, well...ever? I guess people are actually washing their hands now? It's a miracle! Also, since parents were freaking out about it, my school decided to close for 3 days, because allowing students to roam freely around town is somehow safer? One way or the other, teachers still had to come in, though it still felt like a bit of a vacation.


Overwhelmingly Marvel Biased: House Tour Part 2

While I posted a tour of my apartment back when I first moved in, I realized recently that I still haven't posted any pictures of the finished product. I have furniture now! Art is on the wall! Things are surprisingly color coordinated! So, without further ado, I present to you: my house.

The entryway is largely unchanged. I love the little shelf/window thing, and it was actually the first place I decorated when I moved in. I feel like I should move the books now that I have a real bookshelf, but I like the effect so they can stay for now.

How is a gear shift like a grammar point?

Next month, I will buy my first car. While this is an exciting and very grownup-feeling thing to do, it's also a bit terrifying, for a variety of reasons. Not only will this be the most money I've ever spent in one go, but my future 2005 Chevy Kalos has...a manual transmission.

So, I recently started learning to drive stick. We started simple, in one of the few traditional student driver locations: a semi-abandoned parking lot.  On the way there the friend I'm buying the car from gave me the basic walk-through. This is the clutch, this is when you should shift, that's the noise you don't want to hear, etc. I'd also been given plenty of advice from friends and family, so I felt...entirely unprepared and marginally terrified. 

Mandu for Breakfast: Jeonju Food Tour Part 2

Hopefully you've recovered from the feast that was Part 1, because I have yet more food to talk to you about. I pretty much always have food to talk about, so it's a wonder I ever write about anything else on this blog. First stop of the day? Dumplings.

I know, eating dumplings for breakfast sounds weird, but in our defense A) we slept in pretty late and B) don't be such a square.


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