Tuesday, November 30, 2010

FBI Check Progress

According to my bank account they have just processed my card. Let's see they received the docs 10/18, processed the payment 11/29...looking good.

I bet the result will come at the middle or end of next month, just in time to get the apostille.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Random Happiest Moment at the Han River

Yes, that's right! I had a random happy moment at the Han River a few weekends ago. It was after my trip to Samcheondong where I met up with JH. I requested he take us to the Han river, since the weather was still tolerable and well I didn't feel like heading straight home.

First, JH grabbed some grub from one of the convenience stores next to the river. He tends to be very camera shy and this time I turned it into a silly game.

After waiting an enormous amount of time for his fried chicken, he ate it and we were on our way to explore. This was the part of the Han river that is near the Banpo bridge.

 Play area for the kidlets~

The Han was looking low and pallid, but still gave us that great presence. JH took my picture and I acted out in my happiness.

We meandered are way towards the bridge.

On the way we found Seoul's good friend Haechi. Actually, this "bench" was more like a see-saw, that you could go up and down with.

Sorry, Haechi but there is already one animal that I love (Tom).
From there we took a look at the lower-bridge that accommodates pedestrians and cars.

If you are frequent person to this bridge I would say look out, especially if you cross at night time. We found a hole in it.
We didn't go very far but as we walked JH noticed some writing on a post. He translated it to that there was a couple that often frequented this bridge. This was a happy memorable place for them. The writer (we don't whether they are male or female) wrote that they knew the relationship wouldn't last. But the breakup was hard. A few days later they came back and wrote that their memories are starting to fade. Goodness! It was romantic and so dramatic. 
Plus it made the feeling at the spot seem so special. 

Well my time is waning here in South Korea. I've got just about a week left before I head back home for my 3 month vacation. (Yes, you heard me! And I'll be back.)

This moment at the Han, I think I felt so free. I don't want my life in Korea to end, and it isn't, but I know that I am finally going to be home for longer than just 2 weeks. The past 2.5 years have been in Korea and it has consumed my whole being. Let's just say that this vacation is welcomed and I am looking forward to the objective reflection it will offer.

Tomcat the Video

I am going to miss my little Tom!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

My Pals on Korean TV

There are a lot of comedy shows out here on Korean TV, and one of them is Running Man. It is known as a show where:

The MCs and guests are locked in a landmark during closed hours and are required to leave before opening hours. The first team to leave will win, while the losing team will be punished in the landmark.
I actually never watch this show, and mostly watch Infinity Challenge. But tonight it was really worth watching because my entourage of pals were guests on the show.

Tonight's theme was a team cooking challenge and the judges were my friends. There was Rob, from Roboseyo, Simon and Martina from Eat Your Kimchi, Joe from ZenKimchi and Jennifer from FatManSeoul.

These were not just people whose blogs I read but most of them I know personally. It was a fun and fantastic feeling to see them streaming from my TV. In my excitement, I tried to capture shots of them. But since my TV is old school they didn't come out too wonderful. Here is what I got (sorry guys).

A great moment in the Kblogosphere!

Tiger's Tale

Yesterday was a day spent with one of my other kitties "Tiger." A few weeks ago I gave him to my friend who lives out near Everland. We were a little sad to see Tiger go, but felt he was in good care. Unfortunately, about a week later my friend called me to tell me that she had been let go from her hagwon due to that they couldn't pay her anymore. It was a franchise hagwon but out in the sticks, so this kind of stuff is likely typical. In her situation, of having to find a job quickly or get out of the country, keeping Tiger was going to be difficult. I agreed to take him back and that my boyfriend would keep Tiger at his house. She thinks she might be more settled by January so I told her we can discuss returning him then.

However, as you will see, I don't know if that will be possible since JH and his family are getting attached to the little guy.

If you don't know by now, yesterday morning started off with a light snow and sleet storm. Already, the day started with a kick.

When we got to my friends house I was informed that poor Tiger was sick with the runs and needed medicine. Tiger and my friend said their goodbyes and we were on way back to my house. I bought an animal carrier to deal with this transportation but it proved unbearable for Tiger. So we let him out and roam around the car. Eventually, he found JH's lap and took a liking to it.

Probably not the safest way to drive and yes JH isn't wearing his seat belt, which is something I have given up fighting over.

Before we took Tiger back inside my house we quickly picked up Tom and took them both to our Vet. My friend took Tiger to a Vet near her home, but it was time for all the kitties to get their second core vaccine. The vet checked out Tiger's condition and concluded he was sick due to stress. From that point all I knew is that Tiger needed to get to JH's house so he can have a place to settle in to. But momma and pappa kitty were tired, so we grabbed some takeout and rested a while back at my house.

In the meantime, Tiger re-acquainted himself with Tom by rolling around and playing.

I can't really say for sure the reunion was a happy one. Tiger was really stressed and Tom was in a "let's make peace" kind of mode. Tiger ended up getting kind of growl-y and possessive, so we knew it was time to move on.

It was back in the car for little Tiger, which he slept pretty much the whole way to Seoul. JH personally carried him into his house, where Tiger crept around and got familiar with his new home.

His mom and sister weren't home, but I think that was good as it allowed him to comfortably look around. There were good signs of his adjustment, like not running to a corner and staying there. He looked around, drank water and checked out many places. Also, he played a lot with JH. Something tells me Tiger remembered JH from before we gave him away and missed him.
We were waiting around for his sister and mom to come back so we can help them get acquainted. Keep in mind neither JH or his family have ever raised a kitten or a cat. I was really worried about this.

JH left the house to get some food for Tiger, and his family came home. So there I was watching TV and playing with Tiger when they walked in. Tiger scurried off and hid under JH's bed. His mom looked and sounded upset. Unfortunately, due to the language barrier I couldn't help explain Tiger's condition.

JH's sister was happy and curious, but poor Tiger was scared and was hiding. As his mom unpacked and got ready to cook dinner I tried to coax Tiger out from under the bed so to help him meet his new family. JH came back and I got Tiger out and carried him around to help the others meet him. We put him down and he went exploring. But JH and his Mom got into an argument, which I couldn't understand whether it meant doom for Tiger. Things cooled down and it seemed JH was use to this. We waited, ate dinner and his mom slowly accepted the situation. I for one understand her displeasure as she was likely concerned about the cleanliness of her house and who would take care of him. Certainly, that was my initial reaction when JH brought me the kitties that night.

As the evening carried on they got more fun time in with Tiger and I could see they were warming up to him. His sister watched as he used the litter box and was in awe of his "pawing the litter" skills.

JH took me home and I went to bed last night knowing Tiger has a place to live. This morning I got good news from JH that Tiger slept well and this morning his sickness was gone. Plus his sister and his mom had warmed up more to him and were out buying stuff for him at Emart.

I hope that is the end of kitty sagas as I still have a week left to tend to Tom, who has been an active guy lately.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Back to Samcheondong

I recall several years ago when I first walked around the narrow streets of Samcheondong. It was cold outside and I took comfort in the little galleries that my friend took me into. Ever since, I have returned to this neighborhood in Seoul to fulfill my artsy side.

Last Saturday, I went there by myself for a few hours and took pictures along the way.
I approached Samcheondong area by going through Insadong street.

When I got off the bus I went through a back alley, which led me to the street that becomes the Insadong-touristy area. I was greeted with one of the street carts selling hodduk.
It seems the more I go the more little treat-carts pop up with cute young guys trying to sell traditional sweats.

I went to the Insa-Art Space and saw an exhibit where the artist painted gigantic imagery of a leaf.

I was good and didn't take any photos of the art inside, instead was intrigued by the staircases.
View from the staircase window:

When I left the gallery there were some orchids.

The rest of Insadong was a blur as I whizzed past it all to get to Samcheondong. Here I was at the usual street-entrance with the large trees and walled path.

Every time I go I spot some oddball thing on the side of a building or a cafe that has been eagerly decorated.
I did find a cat enjoying some free handout.
As I walked along I saw this alley-way with some great shadows on the wall.

While in the area I checked out the Arario gallery, which had an interesting exhibit. There was an installation by the duo group known as Thukral and Tagra. Titled "Middle Class Dreams", the show featured paintings and sculpture of houses set in a very idealistic cast amongst pastel hues. Although, I took no pictures of the show you can view some here.
 This was around the entrance area...

I think you should get out and see this exhibit because it focuses a lot on the developing world and what it is developing into. 

``The architectural values have changed,’’ Tagra said of the Western-style residences. ``The change is totally inspired by the outside world,’’ although often it is done ``without really knowing.’’ 

The Arario gallery is sectioned off into two parts. There is the bottom floor with a large gallery space and then you have to walk out and go up a staircase to get to the rest of the show. While up there I again admired a staircase.

I meandered around the area some more before settling in on my favorite restaurant in the area. Unfortunately, I don't remember the name of the place. But note that it is at the end of the street, and is a tiny place that sells Chinese food like noodles and steamed buns.

After lunch I headed to Anguk station to take the train and meet up with my boyfriend. To get to this area, I would say get out of Anguk station by taking exit 1. Head up the street past the Twosome cafe. When you see the corner, go right and keep going. You will know you are on the right path if you see what I saw when I was heading into that area.

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