Sorry for my absence, dear readers. If you keep up with my tumblr, you’ll know that I’ve taken on a second life as a 14 year old Korean girl, oogling over celebrities and being generally annoying (OMG KIM BEOM!). But anyway, I thought I’d check in.
A collection of photo albums, notebooks that I’ve had in Korea.
Well, it’s been almost a year now. Actually, today is the anniversary of me getting my visa issuance number. I bought a black notebook to commemorate (yes, sentimental and cliche, but I guess I’ve always been like that). I wrote last year, “everything feels up in the air. I guess as it should be.” I can’t say that I’m not in the same position right now. I’m actually extending my visa for another month to train my replacement, though. So I’m set to leave Korea on July 29th, for Thailand, where my friend Jan is teaching. From there, I’ll be going home August 15th, living like a nomad up and down California. After that… well, we’ll see. Also last year, around this time, I did make a music playlist called “Breaking Up with America.” That’s probably still true right at this moment.
So yeah. There’s your life update, for those who are curious, but don’t care to actually keep up with me directly.
To make this post more “meaty” I guess I should list a few of my current enthusiasms.
1. Korean ice cream bars.
The “Nuga Ba” or er, I assume, “Nougat Bar.” Amazing. Covered in delicious chocolate with not vanilla on the inside, oh no, the inside ice cream is actually a little nutty in flavor. Pretty amazing. This and melon bars are my favorite. Also, I also am enamored with the fact that Korea is a proud, ice cream eating society. There’s no shame in eating ice cream here. It’s not seen as childish, or unmanly, you know. You see unabashed ajushis on the corner with their buds, soju in one hand, ice cream bar in the other. It’s kind of beautiful. I feel like in the States there’s kind of a social stigma to public ice cream eating (that whole “you’re an ice cream eating motherfucker,” bit from that Fugazi show comes to mind), but not here. Everyone loves ice cream. And everybody should! And so do I, goddammit! Nuga Bars 4ever!
Err. There’s that 14 year old acting up again.
2. Lo-fi Film Photography
Not taken with the Holga, but with a Kodak disposable that I forgot I had. I like how these turned out though.
I bought a Holga a couple weeks ago. A Holga is a cheap camera from Hong Kong that doesn’t even require batteries and is prone to “happy accidents.” I’ve been really happy with my digital camera and my fake fuji polaroid, but I have been enjoying the sense of anticipation and surprise that comes with film. Mostly it’s a challenge because you have to remember a bunch of stuff: “Did I wind? Did I focus? Did I take the lens cap off?” so the pictures you think you’ll have are far different than the pictures you end up with. I like that. It’s a constant battle with my own incompetence, a challenge that I should probably tackle. I guess you might ask, well, “why don’t you just buy a digital SLR like tons of Koreans do?” The answer is that I don’t want to be those girls in cafes taking pictures of their friends/boyfriends with huge expensive cameras on auto. Also, I am lazy and prone to breaking expensive equipment.
3. Red Samhwa Express Buses
Line 1 and me are OVER. I’m never taking the subway across Seoul again, pushing little girls out of my way to get a seat. Not when there’s the 1200 (which goes to Hapjeong, Hongdae, Sinchon, and Seoul Station = ie, my tea latte drinking life), and the 9500/9800 which goes to Gangnam (for all my East Seoul needs, which are few, but every once in awhile I feel like poshing it up a bit). There are seats most of the time, I can take a nap, chill out… plus there are some really neat views from the window:
Also, I like the 63 Building. A lot.
4. Max Rider 4-D Rides.
The joy of my life. Russell and I stumbled across it once in Bupyeong. It’s basically like, Star Tours at Disneyland (or the beer bottle ride at the Heineken Museum in Amsterdam) but it’s for four or fewer people. It’s basically a giant screen and a moving chair in a room and you go on “rides” wearing 3-d glasses. There’s multiple options. You can go on like, an “arctic race” or a “jungle safari” or just a plain old virtual rollercoaster. Embarrassing moment: the first time I went on one, after laughing for a minute about the ridiculousness of it (I mean, it looks really fake), I got so into it, my suspension of disbelief was so great, that I uh, screamed when we went off a virtual “cliff.” I’ve never seen one in Seoul, just Incheon, in both Bupyeong and City Hall. Do not go after eating chamchi dobap though.
That is all. I know I don’t have the best blog, but it is the me-ist blog as possible. Catch you all later.