Lilypie - First Birthday

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Nature Republic Jelly Puff & Body Gel

I think my favourite shop here in Korea is Nature Republic because 1) it is near to my campus 2) can get many freebies 3) prices are cheap and quality of products is good. However now that there is already a Nature Republic shop in Queensbay, Penang, I think I should try and switch to other brands such as Innisfree, It's Skin, Tony Moly and Missha as they are not available in Penang yet!

My latest purchases:
Red clay cleaning puff, 3000won
I feel that my pores and skin surface are still very dirty even after I wash my face every morning and night. There's a lot of dead skin on my face and I feel that my face lacks luster. So, I bought this jelly cleansing puff which is supposed to "clean your face better" rather than using your bare hands. Just squeeze facial foam on the wet jelly puff and rub it all over your face in a circular motion. My face feels so much cleaner after using it! I also recommended the charcoal jelly puff to my mom and brother when they were here. This is the "in" thing to use now in Korea. NR brand only cost 3000 won but other brand cost up to 8000 won! 

Body gel, 3000 won - available in green tea, aloe vera and pomegranate~
This is my favourite body gel to use - this is my second jar. The water-gel absorbs easily into the skin and is great for summer because it is non-sticky! Great for those days when I don't feel like applying body lotion... I always see girls use this after swimming or at the sauna. Most importantly, it's so cheap! My hubby likes to use this too~

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Beautiful Spring on Dalmaji Hill


Sakura season has officially ended in Busan, with the pretty pink flowers all being replaced by mint green leaves. 

Not much excited as last year where I actually spent time photo-documenting down the process of the sakuras in campus from budding to flowering to full bloom; this year it was more of already expecting what was to come, and it was extremely lucky that I got to spend the peak of the sakura season in Busan with my best friends, and in Seoul with my family and hubby! Now I'm not so emo as last spring cos I got my friends to stand together with me underneath the night sakura and accompany me! And I walked in the sakura rain together with my hubby~ *^_^* 

At the start of spring I wanted to go to a spa so badly -- I realised too late that I hadn't been to one during the bitter cold winter months where it would have had felt so heavenly! In the end, I went to Vesta Spa twice within a week -- I stayed with my buddies on Thursday night and stayed again on Saturday night with Tiina!

Vesta Spa is located midway up Dalmaji Hill, which is the most beautiful place to view sakura in Busan. I showed my friends the lovely night view of Haeundae beach and Gwangan Bridge from the peak, and received many compliments from them on "How did u find this place?! It's so amazing!" Hehe... And we took many pictures at the log cabin-style coffee house with the romantic yellow night lights and colourful  potted flowers. Thursday night was not as crowded as Saturday night. My friends and I took a spot on the 5th floor without the heated flooring. Before that, we ate spa eggs and drank sweetened rice drink (shikye) and joked a lot. Nicholas was spot on when he commented that it was like in kindergarten again, us in the pastel pink and blue spa clothes. It was so fun! *^^*

On Saturday night, Tiina and I slept on the overcrowded 4th floor and it was crazy... in the middle of the night I felt the guy who was sleeping at the top of my head put his arm around my neck and I think I kicked the guy who was sleeping at the end of my legs! We took a leisurely stroll down Dalmaji Hill the next morning amidst the beautiful pink sakura~ Nice~ *^^*

I guess this is my last sakura season for at least a few years to come~~~ Gonna miss it very much...

Monday, April 25, 2011

Doggies in Korea

One of the things that delight me the most on my random walks around in Busan are the dogs here. The dogs here in Korea are mostly purebred; it is quite rare to see mixed-breed dogs or even stray dogs running around (sent to the pot, maybe? haha...). And the dog owners here like to bring their dogs out to enjoy the sun once in a while, especially now that the weather is nice in spring. There are also so many cheap dog clothes and accessories selling on the streets. The Korean word for dog is (kae) and the sound to call the dog is "mong mong"... haha... so different from Malaysia where we call "wow wow". 

I saw this handsome Golden Retriever when I went to Gwangan Beach for the festival last weekend. Isn't he handsome?
Cute dachshund. I always wonder how they able to run so fast with those short stocky legs... keke
This is my hubby's favourite dog - a Schnauzer. It looks like a mini grandfather with the white fur around his mouth. Awwwwwwww isn't he so adorable with that pink balloon tied above his neck??? Saw it on Nami island.
This dog is a regular visitor at Haeundae beach. I must be one too; cos I've been there twice and seen it twice!
Baby princess dog being pushed around in a pink pram at Jagalchi fish market. It even has its own teddy bear! One of those "what has the world come to?" moments... haha

Sunday, April 24, 2011

My Dinner Tonight


My dinner tonight.
Microwaved instant rice + microwaved sausage + Easter egg that looks like 茶叶蛋 + (the most important ingredient of all) Leo's mom's nasi lemak ikan bilis sambal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Felt so extremely satisfied after that.
Finally, a taste of Malaysia. Sweeeeeeeeeeeet. ^^

Thanks so much to my dear hubby for bringing mommy's food all the way from Malaysia.

Happy Easter!

Friday, April 22, 2011

April Showers

"April showers bring May flowers" --Ever heard of this expression?

South Korea is so dry and it hardly ever rains, except of late, when it has been raining every week or so. Just before the sakura bloomed, it rained and the moisture/humidity popped the flowers, which had been hiding inside their buds. Afterwards it rained so hard and mercilessly brought down all the tiny pink petals. :-(

I didn't know the expression 春雨 (spring rain) was true until I came and lived in a country with four seasons. When it hadn't rained for months in autumn and winter, I missed the rain so much and it made me homesick, thinking of Malaysia, where it rains so heavily that it causes traffic jam and floods, yet a rainy day is just another normal day.

Today it rained again. I looked out my window this morning at the bleak weather and smiled, comfortably tucked in between my warm comforter and bed sheets. I was sick the whole day yesterday, diarrhea in the morning and fever at night. But I'm better today. :-) And there's a trip to Geoje city happening next week!

Rainy days just make me think of slurping spicy hot tomyam noodles. I can almost feel the taste in my mouth... one of the best things to do with my darling in Penang is driving around looking for the spiciest tomyam in town, the kind that will make your tongue burn and explode a hole in your stomach. Oh how I miss those days. Even the nuclear ramen can't replace the taste and tanginess of tomyam













--Taken during my CNY trip back home in February 2011. Hubby brought me to see the sunset and have a yummy Thai meal at Lim Jetty.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spring Things II

*Yay... went to Seoul and back with my beloved family. I feel very thankful and blessed that I have so many friends and family coming to visit me from time to time. They really cheer me up and make me feel loved. And, having many visitors makes me feel less lonely in a place where I can't fit in. But, I hate the parting and goodbyes that have to happen each time. But I know, the more goodbyes I say means the less months I have before I see them again, before the final goodbye that I will say... to Korea. :-)

Myeong-dong is really a shopping heaven! It was my second visit since year 2005... all along I thought that nothing could beat the prices at Seomyeom and Nampodong, but Myeong-dong did! And much more variety too... OMG what a fun shopping street.

Bought some stuff and of course, received some early birthday presents from my dear hubby ^^

All my stuff
1) Blue collared cotton shirt with scarf from Myeong-dong (15,000 won)
2) Dark blue cotton spring jacket from Unionbay, Savezone (20,000 won)
3) Floral print dress from Hongdae subway shop (19,000 won)
4) Spring flats from Myeong-dong (5,000 won)
5) Jar of Aqua cooling gel from Nature Republic (10,000 won)
6) Birthday present from my sweetie!! Red Clarins vanity travel kit from airport duty-free. YAYYYYYYYYYYYYY *lovesssssssssss*

My mom and I - Taken with my Panasonic Lumix LX5 at N Seoul Tower toilet

Yayyyy the BEST gift of all was my brand new camera, bought online from Amazon.com. Yay now finally for some decent pictures!!! Kekekeke.... so excited to try out my new camera...

OKOK actually I have no money now (still a student) so ask my hubby to finance my camera for me first. Gonna pay him back later when I have the money... :P

Thank you hubby!!! Taken with my Panasonic Lumix LX5 at N Seoul Tower

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Korean Food/Drink Culture

Last week I read a page on Korean food customs (식사 예절) for my language reading/writing class. Ever since I started my first meal in Korea I have been constantly bombarded with "do this" and "don't do that"s which made me feel extremely frustrated as I am a person who doesn't care much for formalities. But as time passes and I stay longer here in this country, I am starting to appreciate that it is all part of the unique culture that Koreans have. Through their education system and family values, these traditions and habits have been passed down from generation to generation and are deeply ingrained in their culture, no matter how modern Korean society progresses.

So, here are some of my observations and what I've learnt of Korean food/drink culture. ^^

With my in-laws - Visiting a traditional Korean meal 'hanjeongsik' near my university
Hanjeongsik which consist of more than 20 side dishes!!!

As everybody knows, a typical Korean meal consists of a main dish and many small side dishes known as panchan. A friend told me that when he was studying in Korea he was so poor that he could only afford to order plain rice (공기밥) and still the panchan would be served! And all the panchan are refillable! Haha...

A Korean lunch would normally cost around 5,000 won and dinner around 8,000 won. I usually skip breakfast as I can't manage to lug myself out of bed but there are these beautiful breadshops Paris Baguette and Tous les Jour which I can buy my sandwiches and milk from.

Utensils

At the table, Koreans use a long spoon (숟가락), chopsticks (젓가락) and bowl (그릇) for rice. The difference between Korean and Chinese culture is that the Korean utensils are all metal while the Chinese use bamboo chopsticks. The Korean chopsticks are unique in the sense that they are flat, which makes them more difficult to handle than Chinese chopsticks... therefore makes for a good souvenir back home! The metal rice bowl is kinda weird cos Chinese feel that it is like a beggar bowl...... Koreans also use chopsticks to eat birthday cake, which is one of the strangest habits I have ever seen!

When eating, it is considered good manners to use only one hand at a time. For example, you use a spoon for your soup, then put it down and pick up the chopsticks to take your rice or meat or vege, then put down the chopsticks again to use the spoon. It is considered bad manners to use both hands together while eating, especially in front of elders such as your professor. It is also bad manners to lift up the rice bowl while eating, which is different from Chinese and Japanese culture. The wet napkin is used to sanitize your hands first before eating, which is different from Malaysian culture where we wipe our hands and mouth after the meal.

In the Korean military, soliders use a single utensil known as the spoon-fork, which is essentially a spoon which has fork teeth at the end of the ladle. This eating device was designed to help the soldiers save precious time by not having to switch between spoon/chopsticks during the event of a war.

And don't even get me started on the ubiquitous paper cup - Koreans use the paper cup for coffee, to eat ramyeon during picnic, to hold candy, to hold electronic chips and resistors in the lab, and as I improvise, a lampshade for my LED project!

Before the meal

Koreans like to sit down at a low table on a cushion during dining, which can make your legs cramp! After everybody sits down, the most junior person at the table is expected to serve everyone by pouring out the water in the plastic flask, and distributing out the spoon, chopstick and napkins. One good thing for travelers to Korea is plain water is always given free - at restaurants, at department stores, at parks, at visitor centers etc... which is different from Japan.

During the meal

Age is important in Korea, therefore the most senior in the group will start the meal first by lifting his chopsticks and taking food, then all others will follow. It is considered good manners to utter a few words of "Eat well" (mashike duseyo) and this will usually gain you a few good points with your Korean professor especially if you are a new student hahaha...

There are a few types of soup in Korea - jigae(찌개), guk(국) and tang(탕). I'm not sure about their cooking methods (jigae is more instant, guk and tang typically take longer hours to boil) but jigae (for example doenjang jigae & kimchi jigae) are meant for sharing among a group of people, while guk and tang are for single servings. If you eat Korean BBQ meat (samgyupsal), rice and a bowl of steaming hot doenjang jigae is served after you have eaten almost all the meat. (Which my hubby, family and Malaysian friends are not used to and screaming hungry while eating the plain meat!! LOL...)

When alcohol is served, Koreans believe that it is bad luck to pour alcohol for oneself, therefore they must always need to pour for each other. (Screams weird!!!) My hubby was so cute to ask, "Then Koreans cannot drink alone? Must ask waiter to pour for them?" When downing the drink, the most junior in the group will need to turn sideways and shield his face from the group, then drink from the cup, as to not bring bad luck to the group.

Ending the meal

Before the most senior in the group had finished eating, no one is supposed to leave the table. OMG, I wonder how many faux pas have I done by going to the washroom in the middle of a meal with my professor! 

#####

Does that sound like a lot to you? Do let me know... haha cos till now I still can't digest all of that. 

Our assignment for the Korean class was to write about our country's eating customs. So I wrote that Malaysians normally use spoon and fork and the Chinese use chopsticks to eat and sometimes we use our hands to eat nasi lemak but we never ever use our left hand cos that's what we use to clean our ass in the toilet... then I asked my Korean friend to check my essay for me. And he was like... "But that's not eating custom! Eating custom is like elder eat first, junior follow... etc" How I wished to tell him that... other than the "don't use your left hand" rule, we Malaysians really have no eating rules and regulations! @.@............... 

OK lah... till next time ^^

Me & my lovely hubby in November 2010
If I were ever to be a food columnist I would probably use this photo ^^
Baek-Du-Jong Hanjeongsik (백두정)
Location: near Pukyong/Kyungsung subway, past Body Shop
051-6236807
051-6236611

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Flowers & Me


Beautiful flowers are in full bloom again! Here are some of my pictures with the lovely spring flowers~

The plum blossom starts first. 
Then the big white magnolia tree in the center of the garden at the university front gate.
Then the small colorful crocuses on the ground. And the small yellow flower that looks like a button.
Then the gorgeous sexy pink and red camelias.
And the princess of the flowers, the cherry blossom.

BEAUTIFUL.

But most of the big trees are without leaves yet. So when I don't focus on the flowers and just take a ground level random picture, it still feels kinda wintry and barren. But when I focus on the small, beautiful things and group them all together, everything looks so beautiful. Just like life, from the outside. Nobody actually sees the real picture of how I am, my current circumstance. Everybody thinks I am so happy here. Because of the small pictures. I too, cheat myself into thinking that all is perfect and well here. I hope it really is. I hope I will feel better after my friends and family come visit me for the next two weeks.

I am always hyperthreading, my thoughts. So on the other hand I feel that if I try harder to focus on the beautiful things in life, I might just feel happy again and pull myself out of the glum, the barrenness, the ugly things that I am in. Everybody tells me to focus harder. But I can't do it. I think that I am two persons in one. I try to, though, everyday. Everyday I look out the window and tell myself to start anew. That the sun is shining, that it's a brand new day.

I think I look good in the collage above with my long, straight hair and long fringe. I look kinda smart and sweet at the same time especially in my leather jacket and when I pair it with a flowery short skirt or pastel lace dress. But I don't look like that anymore. Today I felt a tremendous urge to do a perm. I want to have romantic Korean curls in time for Spring. So I went to the hair shop and the woman kept on telling me, your hair is so bad, your hair is so terrible. I hope I'll look good tomorrow for the photoshoots when my friends come!