Category: Korea Culture

O Cherry Blossoms, Where Art Thou

I was super exhilarated about my April Korea trip because it was finally a 3 weeks long break away from work, and best of all, my trip was right amidst the blooming period of beautiful cherry blossoms.

Our arrival time in Incheon Airport was at 9.50pm, so we only expected to reach Seoul at around 12am after the immigrations clearance and luggage collection. As expected, the streets of Hongdae was quiet and empty when we finished our dosage of cider and fried chicken.

The day ended with me breathing the air in Seoul, smiling to myself as I head to bed.

Breakfast was bibim naengmyeon at a random shop outside Ewha Subway Station. The question below pops up once we stepped out of the restaurant. Haha. I wish I could describe to you how excited I was feeling.

Before embarking on my adventures, the first thing I had to do was to visit hair salon! I want to look good in all my pictures for my trip (or at least look decent).

I seriously have no idea how they manage to twist the ends of my hair so they curl inwards and rest so well on my chest. Awwwww~ This is a technique I really need to grasp.

We stopped by Beans’ Bins for some waffle and coffee after the long hours of hair maintenance.

My fate with cherry blossoms has always been thin like ice. I recalled on one of my trips to Taipei in April, my Taiwanese friend confidently told me he’d bring me to a place full of cherry blossoms. Skeptical yet choosing to believe in the fairytale story he painted, I went. We climbed a small mountain in the rain, instead of taking the sheltered train because we wanted to take good pictures of the cherry blossoms. To cut the story short, I didn’t see a single thing because they’ve all withered and died. I couldn’t catch a single glimpse in that weather. The rain washed away even the petals on the floor. That is my very sad story of encounter with(out) cherry blossoms. Naturally I was thrilled and eager to finally be able to see the so magical trees and flowers.

We travelled to Kyunghee University for this purpose as the school has pretty ancient looking buildings that you would expect a princess standing there waiting for her prince.

This is a library! If my school library was this nice, I’d be there everyday waiting for my prince charming (I will be the princess waiting for my prince charming, of course).

Yes, look closely at the pictures above. There are no cherry blossoms at all. Zero. Zilch. None. One week before our travel dates, the weather in Seoul suddenly turned warm. All the flowers decided to blossom a week earlier, before our arrival.

These are the only cherry blossoms I see. On the floor ㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠ

I was standing at the above location, messaging my friend in Singapore who visited Korea a week earlier than me, whining about my non-existence fate with cherry blossoms. She sent me a picture taken 1 week earlier, at the exact same spot, full of cherry blossoms. So cruel. Sobs!

And so, we moved on.

After climbing a very very steep hill, we came to this magnificent building.

This Grand Auditorium also stages musicals and concerts at times.

Ending the post with a picture of me and my travel mate.  On a side note, I am so going to plan another April trip to see my cherry blossoms. (Roars)

My New Love: BTOB

During my earlier trip to Korea, a tragic disaster happened. A South Korean ferry, Sewol Ferry, carrying 476 people, mostly secondary school students on a school trip, sunk. Approximately 300 people died in this incident, I would say this is largely due to the incompetence of rescue team.

As a result of this disaster, the entire Korea was mourning over the death of the innocent students. A lot of KPOP events were cancelled as a result. For example, musicals and concerts. I originally bought ticket to attend the WAPOP concert featuring artists line up such as BTOB and 4MEN. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to see my BTOB live performance as it was cancelled. The only way I could see them was to send the members off at the airport as they made their way to Taiwan for concert.

I managed to pass my letter to my bias Minhyuk and he said “Thank You” to me in Korean after accepting my letter. Sobs… It was enough to make my day and truly worthwhile for losing sleep the day before because their flight was too early. Before BTOB arrived, I even get to see Jay Park leaving the airport. A bonus! Teehee~

I didn’t took much photos because most of the time, I was walking beside my second bias Sungjae. I’m quite sure I appeared in a lot of fans’ photos though.

When I look back at this photo of Hyunsik, I could only think of 화보인생. It means living his life like a pictorial. Every move looks like a pose for pictorial.

And there’s Changsub and Hyunsik. They appeared solemn because they would be under fire for not respecting the victims if seen smiling in public. This is part of Korean culture, I guess.

My bias Minhyuk and Sungjae, followed by lots of photos of Minhyuk. Weeeeee~

I really like Minhyuk’s black converse shoes that I am considering getting a pair for myself. It seems like he really like this pair. He was seen wearing this on multiple occasions.

When I was in Korea, I bought BTOB’s second mini album, Thriller. Though late, it’s better than never right? And to my surprise, I got my bias photo card!!!! (Cries) Look at his arm O)-<

While I was on the topic of albums, my “Beep Beep” album was delivered to my house with their signatures. A pity there’s no photo card attached to this album. So in love with the songs in this album. Recommended!

And there were BTOB photo cards given with my purchase of Nike shoes in Shoemaker.

In case you have not heard BTOB’s new song “You’re So Fly”, do check out the video below!

Singapore eAwards 2014

Thanks to Rock Records, I got free tickets to watch Singapore eAwards 2014 earlier this month. The awards ceremony was held in Sentosa and it’s been a long time since I last visited. It was a star dazzling night. I went to support Henry from Super Junior M but I get to see the live performances of other artists as well!

Presenting to you Jia Jia and Alien Huang from Taiwan, who bagged many awards.

And be prepared for the spam on Super Junior M – Henry. He’s the biggest winner of the night, of course. Heh! Finally we’ve got a chance to hear him sing Trap and 1-4-3 live!

The derp face is just so cute!

Look at how happy he was with the trophies!

I am missing Super Junior already… … …

I’m a Couch Potato

I’ve been catching up on drama recently and I find myself sacrificing precious sleep because of this! The story lines and eye candies are so worthwhile. Teehee!

(I started this post so many months ago and I am still procrastinating. Incorrigible!)

After 2 years, Sherlock Holmes is finally back with John Watsons on season 3. Oh my goodness, I can listen to them speak in their sexy British accent all day. And the 3 episodes ended in a flash again. I am already missing their wittiness.

There’s catching up on my The Vampire Diaries Season 5. The story has developed so far and the episode I’m at, the human Elena Gilbert is now a vampire whereas Katherine Pierce the vampire turned into human. I’m convinced that the writer/s has killed every possible person in the drama and is now introducing more characters in order to kill at a later time.

Of course, Damon Salvatore is ever so handsome with his deep set eyes. Stare into my eyes and find my soul.

Apart from all these, majority of my time is spent on Korean dramas. The recently (or not) ended The Heirs featuring so many handsome actors such as Lee Minho and Kim Woobin.

The plot is similar to a Cinderella story taking place in high school. Park Shinhye is the unfortunate (or very fortunate to be surrounded by so handsome guys) girl, poor and kind, often in situations like a damsel in distress waiting to be saved.

My favourite is, however, not the main lead. I totally heart Kim Woobin! He’s deep and husky voice, tall height and eyes that stare deep into your soul. In the drama, he puts on such a strong front but is actually sensitive hurt child deep within. How not to love a man like this! Come to noona!

Oh and I so heart the Minhyuk+Krystal couple!

You Who Come From The Stars is yet another epic drama. Kim Soohyun voice sounds even better (sorry, Woobin!). I was delighted to hear he’d be coming to Singapore as one of the destinations for fanmeet. I even gave up going to watch my BigBang, CNBlue, 2NE1 for him!

In the end, Kim Soohyun is gonna come when I’m not in Singapore. Such a pity sobs… …

In the meantime, I’m on a watch out for more dramas to fill my empty heart ㅠㅠ

Bigger Heart

With my love in Taiwan music, I happen to know a lot of friends from Taiwan over the years. Some of them we have gotten so close that they know me better than Singaporean friends. I would even stay over at their houses whenever I visit Taiwan for vacation. At the same time, I also get to know fellow Singaporeans who share the same love for Taiwan music as me. My love for Taiwan music has widen my circle of friends somehow and I totally enjoyed company of these friends.

As I get to know more about KPop Culture and develop my love for Super Junior, it seems that an invisible wall is gradually growing between me and my friends from Taiwan.  My Taiwan friends would share their hatred for Koreans generously on Facebook and most of the time I chose to ignore. After all, we can’t see eye to eye for every single matter. Being friends means having to embrace our differences too.

I’ll give an example of activities that can antagonize my friends. They got angry when they heard Donghae from Super Junior opened up a cafe called “The Grand Palace” in Taipei. My Taiwan friends wished the government would stop allowing Koreans to open stores and shops in Taiwan because they ended up employing fellow Koreans as employees and it didn’t help improve Taiwan local labour market employment rate. I do feel it is true in the sense that it doesn’t help improve the labour market rate. However, it boosts the economy because Koreans bring money into Taiwan for investment. They need to see that this helps in the economy flow of Taiwan on the overall.

The spark off point came when this event happened and the Taiwanese became more united then ever hating Koreans. In short, the Korean referee disqualified the Taiwanese sportsman for cheating in the Olympics game when she was already on a winning strike. In all the games be it Taekwondo or Soccer,  it relies highly on the referee discretion at the point in time. Even though we have cameras filming and displays of slow motion video of the chain of events, the referees do not have the luxury of pausing the game and replay the videos before making any decisions such as disqualification or sending the sportsmen off the field. In most of the games, we rely heavily on the referees being impartial and having an eye for detail. If later found out that there was wrong being done to the sportsmen, we can only shrug our shoulders and say “too bad”. There is no way of turning back time, or even asking for a re-match. The only way to move forward, is to wait for the next game in a few years.

I understand how angry my Taiwan friends were and they felt wronged. At the same time, I wonder if it is really necessary to carry out extreme measures of hating the entire nation and their culture for a man’s (the referee) fault? Isn’t it a little too far to be throwing eggs at  the Korean Elementary School in Taipei? Did the children do anything to deserve this behavior towards them? Do you need to boycott the entire range of Korea products and food just because of one person?

To add on to how ridicule the event has snowballed even months after the Olympics, my Singaporean friend tweeted this late last night.

I get it when my Taiwanese friends are too blinded by their own surging emotions of hatred to look at the facts, but why can’t a Singaporean residing in the sunny land of Singapore see through all this and instead blindly join in the hating?

If you feel so strongly for the Koreans, reading this article, do you also feel so strongly for Mark Clattenburg and also extend the hatred to the entire United Kingdom? Reading this, do you hate Tim Donaghy and extend the hatred to United States and the entire US population?

If you are, I can only advice you to put down the hatred. Else you might be left with not much choices on Earth for vacation plans, and not much brands you can buy for clothing and apparels. If you are not so angry at the people I mentioned, then perhaps you are just being racist to a particular country.

Which one are you?

I only hope for myself and the people around me to have a bigger heart.

Hey Kurumi

I recently completed a Korean drama called 이웃집 꽃미남 (The Flower Boy Next Door). I am so so attracted to this lead actor 윤시윤 (Yoon Shi Yoon). I simply love his single eyelids and boyish smile. He also recently appeared in the Gag Concert. KBS Entertainment doesn’t allow embed sharing of video, so please watch it on Youtube. He is sooooooo cute in there! No matter how you read his name forward or backward, it is still 윤시윤 (Yoon Shi Yoon)! XD

This is not exactly what I wanna talk about. (Clears Throat) There is another character in the drama who is a webtoon artist. I was doing a search online and realised that in Korea, webtoon is actually very popular and there are massive readers. There is a daily schedule for when these webtoon is updated. If anyone is interested in the webtoon, there is link here.

I was reading a very short webtoon series that only has 8 chapters the other day, called 꿈의 카페 Young 다방. I came across this conversation.

This is briefly translated to: Do not give up hope. There is no reason to cry because you cannot solve your problem right now. Even if it is hard and you feel like giving up, as long as you still have hope, it is not over. Pull at it little by little, once you have constantly pulled at it, there will be something within you smiling at you.

Isn’t that very motivational? Sometimes we get so lost and restless, but there’s always someone reminding us not to give up hope. I wasn’t expecting to get this encouragement through a webtoon. Reading this already gives me smiles.

Speaking of dreams, I do have some friends who went through so much to pursue their dreams. They had to face families and friends who didn’t support them initially, they took to the streets to share their dreams. I’m talking about a popular group called Katncandix2 here, and I’m very glad their hard work paid off. They were nominated best group in very well known music award ceremonies such as Golden Melody Awards. Some time last year, they visited Singapore to perform again.

I don’t know why my face look so big beside them. Grrrrr~

Sharing another song I love putting on repeat mode, Kurumi by Mr. Children. Hope everyone of you don’t lose hope and continue pursuing your dreams with every effort!

여자들이싫어하는남자행동 II

Part 2 of article activities guys do that we females dislike continues.

13. 여자한테자꾸사달라고하는남자
Guys who keep wanting girlfriends to shower them with gifts. To me gifts is an indication of affection and love, with element of surprise. When it goes beyond all these and jumps straight to materialism, it defeats the purpose of gifts already. I was reading a piece of news online about a guy stealing a bicycle to present to girlfriend as a gift. Is this what you want? How about getting cards as gifts? They are so much more meaningful.

14. 선물기념일생일에만주는남자
Guys who only prepare presents during anniversaries and birthdays. I’m actually quite happy to be able to receive presents during these occasions. Guys in modern days are so busy too, with 101 things on their mind. For them to be able to remember all these dates is already an effort.

I’m suddenly reminded of this couple from China. The story started by a girl relating how upset she was when her boyfriend of 4 years wanted to break up with her after a quarrel over family matters. The show invited the couple to the show and the guy started to shine light on the whole matter. The girl is totally ridiculous.

One of the things she ask, for the guy to send her to the train station despite his mom sprained ankle and needs to go to the hospital. She managed to get her way by not letting her boyfriend off the car. After a few days, she stormed to the hospital and told his mother “Is there such a need? You’re not even dead!” Another requirement, for the guy to celebrate a form of Valentines every month for the past 4 years, in addition to anniversary days, birthdays… etc. Presents must be different and thoughtful.

After looking at how demanding the girl is, I suddenly feel like I can be the best girlfriend in the world. (Self-acclaimed) So come mon’ guys!!! I’m available!!!!!! (The post is taking to a very weird turn XD)

Anyway this woman has much much more requirements and too many to name. If you’re interested, click on the vid below. It’s in mandarin though.

15. 여자가울면짜증내는남자
Guys who get irritated whenever girlfriends cry. I am not a girl who cries in front of boyfriends. Usually I leave and disappear, cry and lick my wounds clean before I re-appear in front of boyfriend. I can understand why guys get irritated. They feel at a loss and don’t know where to put their hands when tears start flowing down girlfriends’ faces.  However there are times when tears just flow down uncontrollably, guys should also understand. I’m speaking for myself here, all I need is to stay quietly by my side and hold me in your arms. I’ll quieten down after a while.

16. 장난이라도여자한테살쪘다고하는남자
It may be a joke, but guys who constantly ask girlfriend whether you have put on weight. Yes it could be a joke. I’m sorry, who’s laughing here? I certainly am not. Do you really find it so funny? Your jokes definitely need more polishing because all you’re getting is a pissed girlfriend.

17. 여자의몸무게를궁금해하는남자
Guys who are very curious about girlfriends’ weight.  Nope! It’s a secret I am bringing into my grave. I will not reveal no matter how many times you ask, so stop asking.

18. 만날때졸리다하는남자
Guys who keep saying they are very tired and feels like sleeping when they meet up with you. I guess this is similar to No. 9 in my previous post. The irritating level is definitely the same.

19. 여자기죽이거나무시하는남자
Guys who do not care what girlfriends think. I’m not a puppet, I have brain and thus, I have ideas too. If you are with me, respect what is running through my mind. I am not a nutshell nor a bimbo.

20. 욱하는남자
Guys who antagonize easily. It’s like having to deal with a time bomb all the time. You never know when the time bomb is going off. I’m sorry, I don’t think my frail heart can handle this suspense.

21. 아는척,센척,잘난척하는남자
Guys who keep going on as though he’s the most knowledgeable in the whole wide world.  I have a friend’s boyfriend in this style. I got irritated in about 5min of meeting the guy. He can take part in every conversation, very confident of his speech and constantly tries to tell you something he thought you don’t know. If there is something I do not know, it is probably I’m not interested. I would have found out the answer if I am so interested. So no thank you, smart aleck! It is even more infuriating that he thought he’s done very well blending into the group and sociable at the end of the day because he’s taken part in every single conversation and topic. These people just don’t get it!

22. 여자보다애교를더부리는남자
Guys who can do aegyo (being cute) better than girlfriends.

Who can resist this!!! You tell meeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!! If you can do aegyo cute like this, I would force you to replay this to me on a daily basis!

If you’re far from this, then I suggest you leave aegyo to us girls. (Flings Hair)

23. 주사가심한남자
Guys who will die if they don’t drink (alcohol). I think guys who can hold a certain alcohol level is manly. I like guys who appreciates alcohol like wine tasting. I certainly have no tolerance of people addicted to alcohol or an alcoholic. If you start to gasp for air when you’ve not been drinking for some time. It’s time you get yourself into an alcohol rehabilitation program.

24. 여자친구한테돈아끼는남자
Guys who are very stingy when it comes to spending money on woman. It depends on how you define a stingy person. I for one, do not like it when a guy starts to whine and complain at how much your plate of rice cost in a hawker centre. If a plate of rice only costs $3, and he’s whining because it is higher  in price by $0.50. Well then, I suggest he go eat himself. However if a plate of steak costs $100 and he’s whining and complaining at how expensive it is for him. Then I guess it is something girlfriends should reflect on, isn’t it?

Wow! This article has finally come to an end. I didn’t know it would take so long to translate and post initially. I mean, reading the article only took less than 5min for me. Yet posting took me forever. Now that I’ve gotten it out of my system, I can go back into procrastination. (?!)

Nah… I have more posts coming up. Stay tuned! XD

여자들이싫어하는남자행동 I

There has been a post that is very popular with Korean nowadays. It’s called 여자들이싫어하는남자행동. It is translated to the activities guys do that we females dislike. I must assure you some of the activities are truly irritating!!!

1. 춥다고하면자기도춥다고하는남자
When girlfriend says “I’m cold”, the boyfriend echoes “Me too”. You’re a man, I expect you to behave like one. I’m not saying guys shouldn’t feel the chill too. It is rather when girlfriends express they are cold, they expect the boyfriends to cuddle them and shield them from the chilliness with their manly bodies. If the boyfriends also express they are cold, the direction of conversation will probably turn towards “Lets move to somewhere warm now”. Unromantic to the max… … …

2. 먹고싶은거없다하면내숭떤다하는남자
Guys who always say they have nothing in particular they want to eat but give a lot of ideas and suggestions. I’m trying to inject some positivity here using “ideas and suggestions” but the original text didn’t really imply such. Anyway I always believe that if you have so much ideas, then give a suggestion of place to eat. Don’t keep criticizing every suggestions we come up with, then say “I’m fine with this too.” No, if you’re really fine with it, you will keep those criticism to yourself.

3. 지나가는여자들쳐다보는남자
Guys who keep staring at every woman that walks past them. Seriously, are you a woman radar detector? Can’t you see me standing beside you? That woman you just turned your head for wasn’t even pretty! Look at me!

Need I say more?

4. 내가보고싶다고하기전에는먼저보고싶다고안하는남자
Guys who wouldn’t say “I miss you” unless girlfriend says it first. Is this an indication of a male-chauvinist boyfriend? Why do we have to be so calculative being in a relationship? Saying it first doesn’t necessarily means I love you more, or I miss you more. This is not a game either. Saying it first doesn’t mean one loses. So what is the mentality here?!

5. 내가연락하기전에는먼저연락안하는남자
Guys who doesn’t initiate contact and only respond when girlfriends made contact. I don’t really get this either. The only reasonable explanation I can think of, is that boyfriend is afraid of disturbing the girlfriend. Yet everyone enjoys picking up the phone randomly and seeing your partner sending you a message, indicating he/she thought of you. The content of the message doesn’t really matter. It is the thought. So guys, stop being such a whiny calculative person. Pick up your phone and send a message to her NOW!

6. 통화중에내가말이없다고같이말없는남자
In the middle of a conversation, guys who keep quiet if the girlfriends stop talking. Frankly speaking, I am quite fine with this. I am a person who enjoys peace and quiet. I will feel comforted knowing the person I care is beside me, listening to what I’m listening, looking at what I’m looking. I even enjoy the quiet between two people when we’re on the phone, listening to each other people breathing. Weird I know XD

7. 통화중에옆에있는사람과자주말하는남자
Guys not whole heartedly talking with girlfriends, being distracted talking with other people at the same time. I agree with this!!!!!! It doesn’t apply only to boyfriends. I have friends who are engrossed with talking with friends on twitter rather than us human sitting right in front of them. Especially guys who usually have problems multi-tasking, I’d say this act is irritating enough.

8. 전화를자주안하는남자
Guys who rarely call girlfriends on the phone. I do not like talking on the phone. It’s either messages, or meet me in person. So I can live with this. LOL~

9. 통화중에졸려보이는남자
Guys who appear very tired when talking. Anyone wouldn’t like it when the person you are talking to keeps yawning. Is my topic boring you? Or my face is getting boring for you? I certainly am not bringing sleeping bugs out with me. So I’d suggest you go home and get a good sleep. We’ll meet when you’re more refresh and doesn’t look like you’re on drugs.

10. 통화할때항상먼저끊을려는남자
Guys hurrying to hang up the phone. Do you happen to be in a hurry? Or do you follow a very strict schedule like this guy in OH! Mikey?

I have no idea why I keep watching this series. To be honest, I find it kinda stupid. But when one episode ends, I will instinctively click play for the next episode. This is so freaky XD

11. 여자가비싼것만좋아한다고생각하는남자
Guys who think that girlfriends will like the gifts as long as they’re expensive. Not all girls are superficial. I am sure expensive gifts come with a value and quality that we appreciates and delighted to receive. However handmade and thoughtful gifts goes beyond what any pricey gift can bring us.

12. 비싼것만받고싶어하는남자
Guys who wishes to only receive expensive gifts. Well, we are girlfriends, not ATMs. Where did the idea even come from? (Shrugs) Showering gifts could be an act of love, but it is definitely not the only way to display affection. If the girl doesn’t have the financial capability, this would be too demanding an expectation isn’t it?

This is such a long long article and I’ve only gone through half of it! I think I’ve closed this draft and opened up at least 4 times before I could complete this post. The next post will have to wait… … … Teehee!