Lilypie - First Birthday

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

光阳梅花节

上个礼拜天跟着“一日游”团巴到全罗南道光阳市梅花村赏花。
天还没亮,我五点半早上就爬起身了,和香港朋友 Katie 走路到大学附近的地铁站,乘坐地铁到西面站和其他马来西亚朋友会合,一同等候团巴来接我们。

樱花(sakura)还没开,梅花(plum blossom)先开... 三月中旬,梅花开得最灿烂。
我们去时已经三月尾了,但景色还是好好看。
梅花村前面是蟾律江,平静的河面倒映着的是智异山。
梅花山如其名,把整座山变成花海一片。
沿着山路一路走上,梅花在路旁两边绚丽绽放,看了真是心花怒放!

走到花丛间的草地,抬头一望,铺天盖地的都是梅花,令人目眩。
天气又爽冷的,我轻轻哼着“梅花梅花满天下,越冷她越开花”这首曲子。
经风一吹,花瓣轻轻落下,象洒了一阵的春雨。落红不是无情物,化作春泥更护花。
靠近花丛一闻,竟有淡淡的花香,Shirly 说,真像贺年片里夹着的味道!
走到山上,有人在卖梅子雪糕,味道酸酸甜甜的象 yoghurt,好清爽!

从釜山开车到这里大概要两小时,在梅花村只呆了一小时,我们就要离开了。
美丽的时光,总是短暂的。

这“一日游”团花了35,000韩币(大概马币105),去了四个地点:梅花村、乐安邑城、 绿茶山庄还有草莓园。

Monday, March 29, 2010

越南牛肉面

上星期六,跟淑菱的越南朋友约了一起去吃越南菜。^^
从大学抄捷径去,走路差不多二十五分钟。
初春,天气还冷冷的。没关系吧,就当着做运动。
店名叫"사이공",Saigon。

店铺外面种了一盆盆的花,开得很鲜艳...

先送上一杯热茶。这不是越南茶,是韩国玄米茶。

再来一盘炸春卷。 皮炸得太油了,不是很好吃。

一碗热腾腾的越式牛肉面!
虽说是越南菜,但唤起了家乡的味道~
超想念爸爸妈妈带我们去吃的怡保旧街场牛腩面
不过不要紧啦,暂时用这先顶着
想念的味道~
辣椒也好好吃哦,有象 Kampung Koh 的

“西贡”越南餐厅就在广安海滩边,直望就是广安桥全景了~
就是因为地点很好,吃的也有点贵,这一餐吃了 7,000 won,大概马币 21 块。
和一班朋友玩到太开心了,忘记了 Earth Hour 一回事,不然多呆一会看着桥上的灯都关上那一幕,应该很特别吧~

对岸还有摩天轮呢~
超浪漫的地方,等家人和老公来时,一定要带他们去~

Friday, March 26, 2010

200 won 的意义

200 won,或是两百韩币,只相等于马币六十仙左右。

今天是研究室室友与他女友的第二百天纪念日,我们研究室里每个人都给了他两百韩币。

照韩国人的习俗,当一对情人度过第一百天纪念日,周围的朋友都要给他一百韩币当作一个祝福、第二百天纪念日,给他两百韩币、第三百天纪念日,给他三百韩币,以此类推... 直至结婚/分手为止。

这习俗很新奇吧?单看题目就可以拍出一套二十集的韩剧了,哈哈哈。

韩国人工作、上研究所的时间太长了,星期一到星期五几乎都从早上十点工作到晚上十点,星期六也要做半天,哪来的时间拍拖?看过网上的一篇文章说,这里的人通常都搞办公室或校园恋情,因为每天见得最多的,就是同事或同学。韩国的通讯系统这么先进,也是因为大家要和情人,家人保持联系吧。平日没空见面,只好讲电话,看3G映像,玩Nateon(这是韩国人的instant messenger)...

所以这里的人,拍拖的时间都不长久。通常几个月过后就分手了。结果他们把一周年纪念日,改成“百日纪念日”来庆祝。还可以把纪念日 set 进电话里面的 mobile application “D-Day reminder”。真的很特别!

今天是26日,是我来到韩国满一个月的日子,也是和老公每个月的“拍拖纪念日”。还好我们已经结婚了,要不然朋友们就要每人给我 1000 韩币了。^^

Outback Steakhouse

My welcome lunch was held at Outback Steakhouse last Saturday. Outback Steakhouse is an American restaurant chain featuring Australian outback theme.

Four of us shared the party set above: I had bread, cold mango drink, cream of mushroom soup, chicken salad, steak ribs, potatoes, risotto, spaghetti carbonara, and pork ribs. I sat beside our Professor. When I was busy taking pictures of the food, he asked me, "Do you have a blog?" Wow... so smart. =_='''

The bill came up to RM1000 for 13 people, paid from lab fund. Apart from me, there's another new Masters student, a guy. Now we have 3 PhDs, 5 Masters students, 4 undergraduates in our lab.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Alice in Wonderland


Last Saturday I went to watch "Alice in Wonderland-3D" with Janice. Actually I don't really know whether she really wanna watch it or just OK to teman me because going to the cinema alone kinda sucks, although I did try that before. Anyway, really thanks to her cos "Alice in Wonderland" is one of my must-watch movies this year!

We went to CGV cinema which is near our university subway station. Ticket price for 3D cost 13,500 won (RM39), somewhat similar to Malaysian standards, but a normal movie ticket costs 8,000 won (RM24) which is much higher than our Wednesday movie night price. Therefore, 3D seems more worth it! However, the theater was just 20% full that evening and no, the movie wasn't dubbed in Korean, thank God... but all subtitles were in Korean.

The movie.

I didn't expect the movie to be a combination of "Alice in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass"! So the storyline was a bit different than what I had expected and Wonderland wasn't as beautiful as I had imagined.

Also, the Johnny Depp + Tim Burton collaboration seems to have deteriorated since "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory". I didn't like Johnny Depp in this movie. It just felt like his characters were all the same... the Mad Hatter was like being possessed by Willy Wonka and Jack Sparrow!

And I hate the Alice... she's a whiny, damn boring and an annoying little girl who only puts on one expression throughout the movie. Should have cast a better actress... such as the little girl in "The Lovely Bones", which I'm yet to finish watching.

The only redeeming factor for me was of course the beautiful cinematography, the Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter), Absolem the Caterpillar(Alan Rickman's voice is so powerful) and the Cheshire Cat!

The book.

I love classic fairytales and this is one of my re-reads, because of the writer's superb imagination! However it does give me nightmares, I can't imagine myself being Alice, I think I would end up in an asylum afterwards.

The game.

"American McGee's Alice" is a darker and demented version of Alice in Wonderland. Superb graphics and great storyline! My brother and I played the game years back... however due to my poor gaming skills I was unable to finish the game. :-P It does give me nightmares too.

The ride.

Above photos were taken while we were waiting for the Alice ride in Disneyland, Anaheim. It was more like a kid's ride, actually... sigh, regret that we didn't go for the Matterhorn Bobsleds instead!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Skinpood

Now there are some letters in the English alphabet that Koreans can't pronounce, such as the letter "f", because there is no such letter in the Korean alphabet, hangul. So they replace "f" with "p".

"figure 3c" becomes "pigure 3c"
"frequency" becomes "prequency"
"Fourier transform" becomes "Pourier transform"
"fuzzy logic" becomes "pujji logic"
"if" becomes "ip"
"fish" becomes "bitch"

It doesn't matter whether the lecturer got his degree from the USA, old habits die hard.

And yesterday, Leo saw in his credit card statement: "Skinpood". Which is actually "Skinfood"!

*paint*

Monday, March 22, 2010

Gwangan Bridge

Gwangan Bridge in the evening. The bridge has the same name as my friend, 梁广安.

I think I am attracted to the sea, wherever I go. It's like those silly psychological questions in forwarded emails: R u a mountain person, or a sea person? The sea fascinates me and clears my thoughts. I could just sit and look at it for a whole day. I will build my future home, by the sea. I want to wake up to the sounds of waves lapping on the beach, of cries of seagulls, of beautiful watercolour sunsets everyday. And bridges. From Penang bridge, to Golden Gate Bridge, to Gwangan bridge, it makes me feel like I'm closer to home.

After visiting the Busan Aquarium, we went for a walk near Gwangan bridge to while away our time.

My lovely roommate, Janice.

Katie, from Hong Kong, who is in my Korean language class.

There's these very dreamy drawings near the promenade.


Then we went for dinner - green onion chicken. No pictures there cos it was already my second time eating in that shop, and don't all chicken look the same?

We moved to another place for our second round, drinking makkoli, another type of Korean rice wine, but with only 6% alcohol.

They serve the makkoli mixed with Saida (7-up) in small bowls.

Finger food. Sugar biscuits.

My fave food of the week! Clear soup with green chilli, mussels and prawn!

Chicken gizzards

And the drinking gang.

As a result, I could only make it through 50% of my Korean dictation test today. =_='''

Busan Aquarium

Thanks to Janice, I got a free ticket to visit the Busan Aquarium yesterday. The Aquarium is located at Haeundae beach and the water in the tanks are pumped directly from the sea. It is an underground complex with three basements.

I know I miss seafood a lot when I started seeing platters of food swimming around in the tanks. First thing to catch my eye was a terrapin turtle. I miss claypot terrapin so much! Can almost imagine chewing its rubbery texture... The next tank had catfish and that made my mouth water imagining the silky smooth bak sou gong that we always order in Chinese restaurants. At the shark tank I was looking at all the fins and thinking about shark fin soup. And all those eels made me dream of unagi sushi... mmmph!

But if I drop into this tank here, I will become food for them... Amazon red belly piranhas. They can just float motionless inside the tank, silent murderers in a group, each in their own place, ready to strike at the first stench of blood.

Weird sea snake that dresses like its four-footed land counterpart.

Beautiful yet deadly jellyfish floating up-and-down and spinning all around the tank like the tides of time. I love the baby blue color!

Brutal Moray eel... very geli. The information stated: The Brutal Moray looks very ferocious because it likes to open and close its mouth. But in fact, it's just breathing!

Colourful coral tank and tropical fish.

Vertical coral reef. This is where they did the fish-feeding and magic show. The diver is a girl.

And they have this cute designed tank which lets kids crawl in and take pictures in the tank with Nemo! OK I know I look silly.

Entrance fee (adult): 17,000 won (RM51)
Verdict: Actually there's nothing really spectacular.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Soju session


The Koreans like to work hard and party hard. After work, their form of the ultimate relaxation lies in soju, which I think ranks higher than baseball and K-pop in the "Top 3 Things Koreans Love" list. I got pulled to one of their drinking sessions last Tuesday after work.

Oh and by the way, did I mention that my lab hours are from 10am till 10pm every weekday, and from 10am to 2pm at least on Saturday? Someone please kill me!~~

Soju 烧酒 is a spirit/alcohol made in Korea, and the most common brand is in this little green bottle, where two mid-size Korean boys can easily drink up to five bottles. Made of rice and with 20% alcohol content, its taste is similar or a little bit sweeter than vodka. Well, I've never liked vodka, and if I had to drink that I'd always mix it with orange juice or Coke to cover the taste. Here, they drink soju by the shots, replacing "Cheers" with "kanpei", or, as the boys shout... "One Shaaaat!" (means, One Shot!)

After the first soju drinking session at a nice little Chicken eatery overlooking the university pub street (where yours truly felt so guilty afterward for devouring many pieces of fried and kanja chicken at such a late hour), we moved to a second drinking session at a nearby pub; beer this time, cos I told them I preferred beer to soju. Photo above shows the finger food that comes with the beer. There's squid dipped in yummy mayonnaise and chili sauce, peanuts, and salty popcorn (just like American popcorn). I took the photo above cos having a big piece of squid as finger food is so new to me!

And after the second drinking session, they almost wanted to go for noraebang (karaoke session) to which I frantically said "No!! My clothes are still in the laundry room!!" Well the next day was a Wednesday with 9am class for me and I didn't wanna get too wasted.

So funny, I'd always wanted a life like in those Hong Kong dramas where me and a bunch of colleagues would go down to the local pub for happy-hour. Never thought I would get my first taste of it in Korea.

Cheers.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Jjimjilbang Revisited

This is my second time visiting a Korean jjimjilbang 찜질방. The first one I went to was in Seoul back in 2004 with the MESCORP girls where we were forced by our loud and obnoxious Korean lady tour guide to strip bare immediately upon countdown (10, 9, 8, 7...!) and were then confronted by the terrible sight of this wrinkled old lady which had sagging boobs that looked like wind-dried prunes. We all dropped our towels and ran back into the locker room.

To quote from Life of Pi, "First wonder goes deepest. Wonder after that follows in the impression of the first." After that initial fright and one more experience at a naked hot spring in Taiwan with my best friend, I thought nothing could amaze me this time.

Wham! They were in my face. Naked boobs, naked thighs, naked buttocks, fleshy women, thin model-like chicks, ajumma with permed hair, innocent young kids, all gathering around the hot pools like animals at a waterhole. For all my experience, I still felt shell-shocked. Some people can go around like it's the most natural thing to do since creation but not me. Feeling really self-conscious, I used my arm to cover my upper half and thankfully, I had my toiletries basket for the other half.

Till now I still can't understand the rationale, nor the fun of bathing naked, en masse.

But the physical feeling of enjoying a hot spring is a totally different thing, altogether. Janice had brought me to this place which is the largest hot spring in Busan near Oncheonjang 온천장 (温泉场) subway station. If someone hadn't showed me the way, I don't think I would have imagined there would be a hot spring there because the area is not like Taiwan's Beitou 北投 at all where all the hot springs are so concentrated. After leaving the subway station we went up an escalator to a street mall and down another escalator, crossed the road and entered a hotel through a side door (picture above). One more escalator up and we had reached Hurshimchung "The Best Spa in the World".

Janice said the receptionist guy was posing for me to take pictures.

We got our keys and entered a locker room to put our shoes. Then we went into another locker room to take off our clothes. This was the area where everybody started walking around naked. Then we entered the spa area... which was huge! It had like this large dome above our heads to let in sunlight and two big pools in the middle for kids and adults to soak themselves. At the sides were smaller pools of varying temperatures which boasted champagne flavor, herbal flavor, heated wooden floor and jacuzzis.

After a while I couldn't stand the trapped heat inside the indoor area and guess what? They had an outdoor area too! We stepped through the double doors and enjoyed the soak in the hot tub with the cold air blowing in our faces. There were many sauna rooms too but they were mostly full. My partner went for the 20,000 won cucumber massage and exfoliating scrub while I went to the bathing area and scrubbed myself facing a mirror, together with other people. What a weird feeling to be bathing together with so many other people! Still, it was a nice time to thoroughly cleanse myself and relax...

Then we dressed in bathrobes and went down a flight of stairs to a common area (unisex) with heated marble floors and enjoyed hot-spring eggs and red bean ais kacang. Yummy! Then off we went to another hot sauna and a cold sauna shaped like an igloo with 10 degrees Celsius and one more round of shower and left the place.

The whole experience cost me only slightly over RM30. That's so worth it! Considering the number of naked bodies I've seen...

Monday, March 15, 2010

White Day ♥


White Day falls on March 14th and is celebrated in South Korea and Japan where boys give gifts to girls as a token of love. Valentine's Day, February 14th is the opposite where girls give gifts to their special ones. Black Day, April 14th is a day where singles mourn their singledom by eating black color ja jiang mian 炸酱面 together. LOL.

And I especially love the Rain & Goo Hye Soon promo banners at Tous les Jours cake house. They look so cute together!

I received this card from my hubby on March 9th, Tuesday. Not quite White Day yet, but it was so sweet!! His words warmed my heart in the cold weather... ♥

On Saturday, March 13th, three of us girls went out to Nampodong shopping area to get a feel of the romance in the air pre-White Day. Love is all around~~~

Street outside Pukyong Dae. There were temporary stalls set up everywhere to sell White Day gifts! I love the wedding dolls in the big basket and the mini cakes~~~

Subway station... Chuppa-chuppa lollipops. These two girls always say they feel very embarrassed whenever I take out my camera to snap photos. But they still run on scene! :-P What to paiseh? It's a new culture!

At Nampodong street. Chocolates, candies and more... I simply love their gift wrap! So elegant...

A stall selling DIY flowers... lavender and crocuses... all those pretty flowers...

Outside a flower shop. I love the teddy bears! Wonder if this is the type where the plant will grow and completely cover the teddy bear shape?

And on White Day itself, I got a surprise back in my dorm room at 11pm at night while I was web-camming with my hubby. Pearly came to our room to give me this paper bag which had gift-wrapped candies and cookies and a cute little mushroom cake (hazelnut flavor)! Awww darling you're making me fat! Thanks hubby... and thanks Pearly and Janice for making the delivery and the surprise! Muaks!~

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Street Food at Seomyeon

Last Saturday, Su Lin brought me out to Seomyeon (西面), a popular shopping street at Busan, for some shopping. I needed to buy some essentials to update my look. All the Koreans are really fashionable I feel like an ugly duckling with gray feathers here.

Here's some street food that she introduced to me. I know, my posts have all been about food lately. And I am developing a sexy tummy from eating, sitting, eating, sitting for long hours. But Korean food is such a new thing to me, there's always surprises everywhere!

#1 - Chicken skewers 꼬치 "gong gi". It's juicier than Malaysian satay and the marinated sauce tastes really good! One skewer seemed a lot at first so I told Su Lin I wanted to share. But then after one round I totally grabbed one for myself!

#2 - Fresh strawberry juice to quench my thirst after eating the BBQ skewers. For only RM3!

#3 - Egg in bread 계란빵 "gae ran bang". Time for some carbs and protein all rolled into one! This is really special and is mostly sold when the weather is cold.

#4 - Headless whole fried chicken. I think Leonard will faint if I told him I ate a whole chicken. And no, I really did not eat this! But it smells so yummy~~~

#5 - Sweet pancake 호떡 "ho-tteok". It's like our Malaysian version of ham chim beng, but with more fillings, pine nuts and peanuts and such. There is this one famous stall beside Lotte departmental store.

OK, end of food. And now for the spoils!

Skin Food cherry milk soft hand essence, wildberry milk makeup remover cream, sweet plumping lip gloss all for less than RM60.

Black satchel for RM45, peep-toe ankle boots for RM90, long-sleeve striped tee for RM15, jeans not from Seomyeon for about RM60.