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Happy Hangul
thephenomenallife sent: What is the name of the song playing in the background? :)

Hello, sorry for the late reply. I didn’t get a notification. Anyway, the three songs that play are:

1) Solitude by Ibadi
2) Eve by Ibadi
3) Voyage by Ibadi

These three songs are very sad and lovely. I’m glad you enjoyed them. Again, sorry for the late reply. 

My 30 Minute Friend (After Thoughts on Korea)

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Korea was a dirty place with sad people. Piles of trash littered the sides of the roads and the people walked stiffly all day and loosely all night. So much emotion held just below the surface has no choice but to overflow when the sun sets and the alcohol sinks in. Korea’s sadness can be felt through not only the people but also through the architecture. Plain, gray buildings line the skyline and make even the cheeriest of blue skys seem depressed. All of this imagery may not seem appealing to most (and there are some really beautiful scenes in Korea, but most likely you will not live there), however, this imagery was exactly what I needed. I was forced to deal with what I felt, there were no distractions.

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Korea slapped me in the face and told me to wake up. She yelled at me, shook me, and tormented me. I felt alone, even when I was with my lover I felt so alone. The people were very different from me and we could not relate. The language barrier and cultural barrier kept me separate from the natives. I walked passed a 1000 people everyday not knowing anyone and no one knowing me, no one wanting to know me. At least that’s how it felt. Sometimes people would turn their backs on me when I approached them, afraid I would speak English to them and embarrass them. Sometimes I sat on a packed bus with an empty seat beside me because people would rather choose to stand than take the chance that I might interact with them.


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One afternoon I was solemnly riding the bus out of Seoul when the doors swung open and an injured 아저씨 (ahjussi) climbed in. He was bleeding from his forehead and stinking from alcohol. I casually pulled some tissue from my backpack and waited for him to sit next to me. I knew that this broken man wouldn’t be afraid to sit near me. His inhibitions gone, his stoic attitude washed away by the 소주 (soju). The 아저씨 payed the bus driver, clumsily made his way towards me, and fell into the seat next to me. I handed him the tissues, asked him if he was ok, then stared forward, not wanting to look at him out of respect. He began to talk and he wouldn’t stop. The words poured from him and I couldn’t understand a thing he said to me, but I listened carefully anyway. Like him, I also wanted to be heard and I knew how hard it was for people to hear you shouting over the bustle of everyday life. Then the talking abruptly stopped. He took out his phone and played the song, Hello Darkness by Simon and Garfunkel. We sang together for a while then he began to cry. It was odd, but all I could do was smile at him as he wept. That bleeding broken man sitting on the bus next to a stupid foreigner. I’ll never forget him, my 30 minute friend.

Would I go back to Korea? I don’t know, the only reason I had to go back has drifted off into the city haze. Korea changed my life for better and for worse. My life is completely different now. The stardust that I held in my eyes has all been cried out. I need time to morn the death of my old life and I have to start celebrating my new life before I can take Korea by the hand again. I hope one day the memories will make me smile instead of leaving me feeling hollow. 

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Metric-Breathing Underwater  “They were right when they said we were breathing underwater out of place, out of time in a world that wasn’t mine to take.”

Don’t Fall In Love Abroad: The Distance Kills (Dating in Korea)

This is why I thought my long distance relationship between me and my Korean boyfriend failed, but it was so much more than that.  Before going to Korea I had joined a language exchange website thinking that I could make some friends prior to my visit. That is where Gavin and I originally met. We e-mailed each other on and off for a few weeks before I set foot in Korea.

After arriving in Korea Gavin and I had made arraignments to meet in person. Our meeting unfolded just like a Korean drama (and continued in this fashion all the way to the end of our relationship). I had gone to the gate of my school to wait for his arrival, but after 15 minutes had passed I began to wonder if maybe we were not recognizing each other. So, I took out a wrinkled piece of paper from my backpack and scribbled the words, “Looking for Gavin” on it. I was embarrassed so I sat on the curb of the sidewalk and placed the sign over my head, that way I couldn’t see who was looking at me. Another 10 minutes passed by and I started to seriously doubt that he would come at all, but just as my hopes were fading away, a pair of shoes gradually came into focus. I sat there, the sign on my head, and my knees pressed up against my chest. I blushed and stared at the worn down shoes that stood before me, not talking, just waiting. After a moment (that felt much longer) a voice finally came. “Hello, I’m Gavin. Are you Nakita?” I looked up and there stood a broad, tanned skin man. He was much cuter in real life than in his photo.

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After our introductions we set off for Seoul! The bus ride was nice, we talked, laughed, and when I felt sleepy he suggested that I rest my head on his shoulder. We stopped at many places including 명동 (Myeongdong), 서울타워 (Seoul Tower), and a glittering shopping center called “Spiral Road”, but the real highlight of the night was seeing 한강 (Han-Gang). Gavin and I walked along the river’s edge divulging secrets to one another. Each secret came with an emotion. Sometimes we giggled and sometimes we comforted each other. Maybe it was the slight chill of the night air or the glittering water, but I instantly fell for this tanned skinned boy.

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This all sounds so perfectly romantic… Except for one minor detail, I already had a boyfriend back in America, a boyfriend who I had been with for 8 years! When I left for Korea I had told myself that nothing would ruin my current relationship. The problem was that my relationship was already heavily damaged. Stupidly I thought that taking some time apart would help us heal, but it turned out to be the nail in the coffin.  When Gavin first tried to kiss me I did not stop him, but I felt ashamed and guilty. Not because of the kiss, but because I wanted the kiss. I let his lips rest against mine. I could hardly breath and I was afraid to move, but I did eventually turn away. I tried to brush my feelings off. I told myself that it was ok to have a crush, just don’t act on it. Thus I began to ignore his advances. 

The right thing to do would have been to stop seeing Gavin, but my will was weak and in the end I succumbed to his persistence. This caused me great stress because I wasn’t sure what to do about my boyfriend back home. I couldn’t break up with him over the phone after all! At first I thought that Gavin and I would simply be a couple in Korea and that when the time came he and I would break up… but my, well, what I can only assume was love, grew for Gavin. When I looked at him all I could see were cherry blossoms. When I touched him all I could feel was silk. I didn’t know what to do and my propensity for indecision is what ultimately killed off both relationships.

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Gavin and I spent 4 wonderful months together, but all things must come to an end. I stared out the window of the airplane preparing myself for the long trip home. I was fidgety and uncomfortable even though I sat in first class. I spent much of the flight in deep thought. I knew that the relationship waiting for me at home was forever lost, but I held onto it for as long as I could anyway.

Eventually the inevitable happened and my U.S. boyfriend found out about my Korean boyfriend. After waffling for a couple of months our relationship finally ended and I moved out. Gavin of course was delighted and while I completely understood why, his delight only managed to make me feel worse about the situation. I spent most of my days sleeping. I just wanted to escape from everything, escape to my dreams, but the dreams turned into nightmares and I grew wrestles. I started to go out with my friends everyday and I began to talk to Gavin less often. Gavin was already a clingy man and the deceleration of communication between us only made him hold onto me tighter. Texts would pop up during every occasion. If I was watching TV with a friend *beep* a text would pop up. If I was playing a card came *beep* a text would pop up. If I was having a drink *beep* a text would pop up. At first I would answer him right away, but it got to the point that I no longer wanted to answer for fear that he would chastise me. I could hear him in my head, “Babe, what is so important that you can’t talk to me right now? Why is watching TV more important than talking to me?” and when we Skyped I would often be faced with Gavin staring at me in disappointment and chiding me for not Skyping him more often. Initially I was sad, but then I grew angry. After some time passed I finally came to the conclusion that I must break up with him and I did, sort of. I said the words, but my heart never really broke up with him. It truly felt like we were still together and in fact we started to message each other more often. He even said we could still be friends… I wanted to believe what he said was true. However, this fake friendship that we held for each other couldn’t last and Gavin stopped talking to me. My brain told me to let him go, but my heart just couldn’t bare it. In a desperate attempt to get his attention I sent him a video message telling him how much I missed him. This did nothing to impress him and he simply stated that I was intense and that it’s been a long time since we had anything together. That’s all my heart needed to hear. It was difficult not to message him, but I knew he felt nothing for me anymore and I wasn’t going to be a love sick fool. I cried one last time then I let him go. I’m still a little sore, but to quote Ingrid Michaelson’s song Girls Chase Boys, “I got two hands one beating heart. And I’ll be alright, I’m gonna be alright.

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If you want a successful relationship then:
1) Finish one relationship before you start another
2) Love yourself before loving another
3) Don’t get into a relationship simply because you’re lonely
4) Distance can be a relationship killer. Make sure you are mentally prepared for a LDR before jumping into one.

These suggestions might sound like common sense, but it’s easy to forgo common sense when you’re feeling dispirited and infatuated.

My Final Story Time in Korea!

So far you have read this blog (or maybe not cuz reading is for chumps and looking at pictures is way more fun) and hopefully have found some useful information in it… But fuck all that, it’s boring! I kept this blog so clean you could eat off it. Today I’m going to let you see some of the PG13 stuff that happened in Korea. 

ALCOHOL! Yeah, I never used to drink very often until I went to Korea. Koreans are a whole different breed of drinker. My idea of drinking was to get a whisky on the rocks and sip at it for 3 hours. A Korean’s idea of drinking is to have a beer in one hand and hard liquor in the other hand and slam it down as fast as possible!  The goal of drinking in Korea is to forget about all your bullshit problems and stupid ass formalities for a few hours. If Korea had an unofficial motto that motto would be:  Blame it on the a a a a a alcohol ♫ .

Anyway, here are some pictures of me and my friends blaming it on the alcohol:

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^ I started out with 막걸리 ( makgeolli) which isn’t strong at all and then I made the mistake of moving onto 소주 (soju)… The thing with 소주 is you drink it and you feel fine, then you keep drinking it and like a nuclear bomb it all hits you at once and you turn into this:

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I lost my God damned mind! This was the first time I was ever black out drunk! I will never get that drunk again! I wasn’t aiming to get wasted. I made the classic mistake of underestimating the power of 소주. The funny thing is that the restaurant owner had told the guy I was with that I could really hold my alcohol well for a foreigner… Not 5 minutes after she said that I started to fall off my chair. I grabbed onto the bin of chopsticks thinking they would save me, but I ended up on the floor covered in chopsticks. Needless to say I never went back to that food dive again… which saddened me because I really liked that place.

P.S. that guy in the background was such a grumpy drunk. He kept swearing and being mean to the owner. She kicked him out, it was great.


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^ Here is the food dive that I royally embarrassed myself at.
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^Here’s what I ate! Oh mama, that entire omelet came back back up… The sad and gross thing is, I thought it tasted so good, for a brief, but very real second I thought about eating it again… If you know what I mean (gross).

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^ I went over to a friend’s house where several of use partied till about 3am.

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^ Oh poor girl xD

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^This guy couldn’t even get up the stairs by himself, but look how happy he looks haha adorable.

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Awe, such good memories <3
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^And here I am sitting in class with a massive hangover and looking like complete shit. Don’t drink when you have class at 7am T^T . uuuuuggggh.

Well, that’s all I got for now. Stay tuned for my next update where I reflect on my experiences in Korea and tell you the number 1 life lesson that I learned.

<3



Story Time in Korea (entry #21)

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This was the last place I went to in Korea. Gavin and I decided to have a romantic mini vacation within my large vacation (ok, I went to Korea for school… but truth be told I took the easiest classes. I would rather see Korea than study the entire time).  We went to a beach near Seoul, but I can’t remember it’s name. Maybe it was Gangneung beach (강릉 경포해변). The beach I was at had a lot of animals on it. There were crabs, birds, clams, and these weird tube creatures! 

Also, the beach was a bit far from civilization because Gavin didn’t have any service on his phone. It was an adventure to find the beach since we didn’t have a map. We accidentally got off the bus too soon, then we walked for about 10 minutes till we reached a small mom and pop store. Gavin went inside and asked them how far away the beach was. They told him it was 10 or 15 minutes away by walking. So, we decided to walk because it was a nice day out. However, after 30 minutes of walking we still couldn’t see the beach. A man on a motorbike approached us, Gavin flagged him down and asked him how much farther the beach was. The guy thought for a moment then said, “About 15 minutes away by walking”.  Gavin and I looked at each other with raised eyebrows and then said thank you and continued on our way. As expected the supposedly 15 minute walk turned out to be another 40 minutes. I was so hot and sweaty after the hour and a half walk that nothing pleased me more than to see the sparkling water peaking through the horizon. God, it felt so refreshing to swim after such a long walk!

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^Hahaha what a strange shellfish and Gavin looks hilarious!

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Here I am with a bucket and shovel. I was trying to dig up all the shellfish!! … I only found 3 clams :( .

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This is me in front of the hotel Gavin and I stayed at. I was really surprised that no one else at the beach wore a bikini or even a one piece for that matter. All the girls had on T-shirts and shorts. I thought it was really weird. I guess they prolly thought I was weird for wearing a bikini haha.

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This is the inside of the hotel room. Isn’t is adorable? So sweet looking.

After the sun went down we barbecued outside. It was really cool because there was a guy at the hotel who gives people rides to the grocery store. The beach is about 15 or 20 minutes away from the store. So Gavin and I grabbed a ride and bought all the meat! Oh man, we bought way too much meat.

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Such a lovely feast O____O. I’ve never eaten so much sausage in one go… Hah, I’m such a lair.

Story Time in Korea (entry #21)

Though I lived in Suwon while I was in Korea, it was actually the last place I really explored. 

Here is a grimy, yet colorful slum located in Suwon. It is very close to 화성행궁 ( Hwaseong Haenggung Fortress).

I love places like this. I feel like I could get lost in it all. The way the colors please my eyes and the way that the textures please my fingers… I could just drown in it.

If you like these kinds of places too, then you might also be interested in checking out 개미마을 (Geami Maul, the Ant Village). I have lots of pictures and information on this place in Story Time In Korea (entry #10) (Part 3 of 3) 05.05.13

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This massive church stood in complete contrast with the humble homes below it. The broken down houses almost seemed to protest the church. There was absolutely no harmony between these buildings and that is what I found to be so beautiful about this view. 
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This grand church is called 수원제일교회 (Suwon Jeil Church). It is the first church of Suwon and is designed in a Gothic style. However, once the sun sets the church will casts an eerie glow over all that stands beneath it. The church’s name is blasted across the land with huge, green neon letters. Just another element that adds chaos to this view. I think this church is a must see! It’s striking, even deafening in it’s dominance and it will make you feel humbled.   

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The archery range at  화성행궁 (Hwaseong Haenggung Fortress). Gavin and I were going to play too, but the wait was just too frickin’ long!

That’s all I have to say for now. I’ll update again very soon. Only one more story left, then the trip home, and I will conclude this blog with my final thoughts.

<3

Story Time in Korea (entry #20)

Have you been in Korea long? If so then you are probably craving some American junk food. Maybe you’re hankering for some pizza or a hot dog? If you can speak Korean then you’ll prolly pick up the phone and order a $25 personal sized pizza, if you can’t speak Korean you might walk to your nearest pizza place and pick up a $25 personal sized pizza. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to eat cheap ass pizza like you did in the good ol’ U.S. of A? Well guess what, you can! Just head off to Costco!

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I was able to eat so much cheap junk food <3 ! I got a $3 slice of pizza ($12 for a full pizza. NOT TINY ASS KOREAN PIZZA lol), $3 cow-zone, $2 hot dog, and $1 ice cream Sunday. I felt like such a fatty with all that food in front of me. I actually gained 10lbs while I was in Korea. I was there for 4 months and I gain 10lbs!

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I hope you enjoyed this and found it useful. Now go and gorge yourself my friends! You deserve it! 

Story Time in Korea (entry #19)

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The Doll Free Market 2013! This event has been going on in Seoul and Busan since 2002. I was very excited to attend this even because I love ball jointed dolls, but not too many people around me are also interested in them. So, it was exciting to be around people who were passionate about them.


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This is where the event took place. It might change locations each year, I’m not sure. If you want to be up to date on this event make sure to check out the official website: dollfree.com . It’s all in Korean though.

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There were tons of cute, tiny clothes and accessories that people made!

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Dawww, look at the cute tiny underwear! 

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This is what I bought. I absolutely love this accessory! It’s very well made and has a lot of character. It was made by MintAge.

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These dolls are wearing traditional Korean clothing. So cute! I wish I would have bought one for my Blythe doll.

Speaking of Blythe dolls, there are more than just BJDs at the Doll Free Market. I saw Blythe, Pullip, and many action figures. I’m sorry though, I couldn’t get any good pictures of these dolls because the owners of the stalls did not want me to take pictures of them.

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Oh my gosh! I wanted that doll in the middle so badly!! She was about $800 though :( . That is just too expensive for me. $500 is my cut-off for a doll. I usually won’t spend anymore than that.

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Ooo la la! I figured we could end this entry with three sexy dollies ^_^. 

It was so nice to be able to see all the items and dolls people had for sale. I wish I would have had my dollies with me so that I could have let them try on clothes. I didn’t want to spent a lot of ₩ without knowing if the item would fit my dolls or not. Speaking of prices, most everything at this market was priced the same as if you were to buy it online. You can barter with the vendors. Always try to barter before you buy. I was able to get a nice discount on the little bag I got for Nira :D.

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you have any questions please feel free to ask :) . See you next time.