Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Seoul-Searching in South Korea: Part 1 of 3

Annyeonghaseyo! (Whew, that’s a mouthful to say ‘hello’ in Korean,) OKAY, so prior to starting off with this blog, I would like to apologize for the horrible pun on this blog entry’s title (sorry, I just had to do it. Word plays are cool). So before summer ends (technically the summer of my brother and I ended a week ago), my parents planned for us a quick trip to South Korea. I am pretty much excited to go since it is a place I have never been to and I wanted so much to see the country that has pretty much invaded my country with their (K-pop) culture. 

I packed summer clothes for SK since I assumed the heat was as intense as it is in Manila. Google did say that it will be 25°C on the day that we will be arriving there. Boy was Google wrong. We landed at Incheon Airport at night with the stewardess announcing that it was 16°C in SK. We were all freezing and it was pretty funny being greeted by our tour guide with our teeth from the cold. We got to our hotel (which was a really cute and cozy hotel,) by about 10PM and called it a night. 

Yup, that was basically our first night in South Korea.

The Hustle & Bustle of The South
Our tour guide said that Seoul is very busy during the weekdays (I can see, it gets super traffic sometimes), and their rest day is on a Sunday (no traffic, because rest day for them means staying indoors). "Work, work, work," he says, and I used to picture Koreans to be pretty much laid back citizens, like their place, which is so clean and oddly peaceful. Maybe because they are inside the towering buildings I saw when we were driving by, working their way until Sunday. 

I have discovered a lot on our first day in Seoul. First off was the Incheon Airport. Our tour guide told us that the airport borders North Korea! It was amazing and kind of scary at the same time! Also, they have this lane called the Diamond Lane, a lane solely reserve for cars with six passengers and up, and with that we got to travel to far destinations in a breeze! I so wish there was something like that in my country, but man, there is no such thing as "stay in your lane" or lanes in general in Manila. We Filipinos just drive anywhere, ha-ha (from my own observation).

KBS World Entrance
Clash of past and present
Seoul’s Shopping District
I enjoy looking at Korean street wear. I admire their sense of fashion. It's vibrant and hip, and no matter how silly they look (e.g. wearing ridiculous onesies or couple outfits,) it suits them. Their styles vary from their footwear, clothes wear, to their hairstyles. Shopping in Seoul ruled, as they have lots of different stores ranging from inexpensive traditional markets to high-end retail shops filled with fun clothing and accessories. You will never get tired shopping in SK! It's a shopper's paradise.

Shopping street in Hongdae, South Korea
Myeong-dong, one of Seoul's main shopping districts
Namdaemun Market in South Korea
Seoul Food (Get It? Soul Food)
(I apologize again for the pun!) We had lunch at a local Korean restaurant and we were welcomed with slabs of pork galbi and kimchi. The pork ribs were HUGE and cooking it was enjoyable because it made me think that I can cook whereas actually I was just flipping the pork back and forth the grill until it was already cooked (see, this is why I love Teppanyaki-styled restaurants). I was looking for a fork in our table when my parents told me that the Korean way of eating is with the use of a spoon and chopsticks. It was a struggle to me since I am not good at eating with chopsticks at all!

Okay, so what I like about the food in South Korea is that they are not aliens when it comes to eating rice. I love eating rice (there goes my "diet")! I have also noticed that SK has a love for ginseng. My family and I also got to taste a Korean dish called, Korean Ginseng Soup, which consisted of white meat, ginseng, noodles, and soup. The serving was so big, but it was good. Just add pepper for better taste.

My parents enjoying the meal. Look at that huge pork galbi in the grill!
What Korea is very much known for: KIMCHI!
A healthy serving of Korean Ginseng Soup
South Korea's sweets are really good and unique! There is this milk in SK that I truly love, unfortunately I cannot read Korean characters, so I have no idea what the name is! They also serve soft ice cream that is not really unusual to basically anyone in the whole world, but look how perfectly sculpted the ice cream looks like. I do not even want to eat it!

Everyone knows Dippin' Dots, right? Those sweet, tiny little molecules of ice cream. Well in SK, they also serve something like that but thrice the size of it, somewhat as big as a pellet. It is so sour but man, it is so yummy! The 3,500 won was well-spent on the delicious treat. 

There is another treat that I would like to share with you. It is called kukul tarea. It is a dessert made of ripened honey, and is woven with 16,000 strands of the ripened honey. How they make it? I have no idea, but it would probably be an amazing thing to see. We bought the chocolate-flavored one, and it has this weird but sweet after taste, and it is kind of sticky. It was a good purchase, though, something new to taste!

The South Koreans
I have noticed that South Koreans look alike. Eyes in slits, cute noses, almost perfect teeth, really pale, I cannot even seem to distinguish one from another! Their skin are flawless, I cannot imagine how they can be that flawless (to South Koreans: teach me your beauty secrets!). They probably give high maintenance to their bodies. My encounters with South Korean citizens were fairly good, but to be honest it was hard to carry a conversation with them, since they prefer speaking with their mother tongue, but plus points for their effort in speaking English! Here are some of my (failed) conversations with them:

*Me buying an ice cream*
Me: What flavor is this?
Korean: Yes, that is ice cream.

*My brother and I buying a shirt*
Me: Do you have another size?
Korean: 죄송합니다나는 당신을 이해하지 않습니다.

So yes, most of my interactions with them consisted of nodding, bowing, and smiling. Now first of all I am not making fun of the fact that they hardly understand English, I just want to put an emphasis regarding language barrier, so if you are planning to book a trip to South Korea, do try to learn their language first. Just the basics will do!

Royal Changing of Guards Ceremony
Koreans in Everland!
A group of Korean students crossing the road
Overall South Koreans are nice people. Our tour guide (Hi, Mr. Steve!) who was with us during our whole trip, was proof. He took care of us, tried his very best in communicating with us, shared his knowledge and history of the country (because that is what tour guides do, duh), was very good at taking pictures, and was a completely animated man. He even gave us surprise trips! 

Alrighty then, this is just PART 1 OF 3 of my SK adventure! I cut it into three parts since it is THAT lengthy. It just shows that I have so many (more) stories to tell and so many (more) pictures for you to see. I cannot wait to share it!

Do you have something in your mind? Suggestions you would like to share? Any South Korean adventures/escapades? Feel free to comment your thoughts below! 

Shots taken from: Canon EOS 550D | Shots fired by: Me!

Next up: Seoul-Searching in South Korea: Part 2 of 3 - City Tour and Attractions

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Chubby Bunny Challenge!

Here I am with my good pal again with another video challenge: The Chubby Bunny Challenge! Now this game is very hazardous, as it may result to choking and suffocating so I suggest for kids to NOT play this! And if you are playing this, be extra careful!

So who do you think won the challenge—Eunice or I? You better watch to find out! We enjoyed so much filming this—full of laughter and, yes, wasted marshmallows. Overall, we’re planning to NOT do it again! (Or are we?)

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If you want more videos, check us out here: Oddly Pair


Friday, May 16, 2014

He Said, She Said (8)

“It seems that everyone I’m friends with is better friends with someone else and that really sucks.”

- Anonymous

May 2014 Playlist (The 80's)

My dad was blasting Depeche Mode on the car radio and it made me thought of doing an 80’s playlist for the month of May. I just realized that the songs coming way back in the 80’s were so darn good and catchy. Here are some of my favorite songs from the 80’s, mainly because of its popularity and the fact that I grew up with it listening with my parents. I could say, mom and dad sure have some pretty good taste! 

Oh, oh, one more thing, this playlist is downloadable! If you want to download it, feel free to grab it by clicking on the link below. I hope you enjoy! What is your favorite 80’s song?

 Link: May 2014 Playlist    

Friday, May 9, 2014

(Quick) Baby Food Challenge!

So we didn't know that baby food costs so much. My friend and I had so much fun filming this. Find out here if I guessed the baby food or not! 

Follow our YouTube channel here: Oddly Pair

'Til the next video, oddballs!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Iris by Goo Goo Dolls (Cover)

Access the cover link below this picture

I just discovered that our makeshift gym provides better voice quality than any other room in our house. This is my very first cover that I will be uploading in public.

Oh and it’s an a cappella and it’s 22 seconds short.

What do you think??

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Lucky Ones

I have always wondered if the world treats us all equally. I get to meet people (personally and on the internet,) that I think has been blessed with a body to die for, a personality that everyone loves, a mind that has a superior intellect, and all the riches and accolades in the world. I cannot help but compare myself to these people, and I would end up being intimidated by them. They are surely something, while I…am nothing. It is as if that luck has always been at their side, and here I am, looking for it.

I am a pretty average person. I have a generic name, normal height, regular weight. I would also consider my brain as average. I all get lines of 8’s in high school. My life, at the moment, is far from exciting. I would envy people who have money and get to go to plane or road trips with their friends, people who do not need to worry what clothes to wear since they can basically wear anything and still look good, people who do not need to study their butt off because they already know the answers just by placing their textbooks under their pillow, people who are graced with good looks and does not need to feel insecure about themselves anymore. People like them.

With this amount of envy crawling inside my head, I ended up searching the web (Wow. Such reliability,) for answers if some people are really just lucky. I could not help it, I just find it frustrating that it seems everything is going their way and opportunities are just a few knocks away. Where do they get all these luck in life from? Is it from genetics? The environment they were raised at? God? I wanted to seek for answers, and one particular article caught my eye—and eventually gave me a cold, hard, slap in the face.

(Click link below to read)

Bob Miglani, an author, gave us 21 reasons why some people get so lucky in life, and none of my aforementioned answers were in them. These are his 21 reasons (if you want further explanations by Bob, click the link above):

Lucky people:

1. Work hard...quitely.
2. Surround themselves with positive people.
3. Put positive seeds into their mind every single day.
4. Fight the overthinking mind each day.
5. Have a clear purpose.
6. Accept imperfection.
7. They do not gossip or pay attention to the critics.
8. They feel more than they think.  
9. They focus on the goal, not the plan.
10. They take lots of action.
11. They are open to meeting anyone, anytime.
12. Remain in the day to day.
13. They get hurt by the setbacks and failures as much as anyone.
14. They believe in themselves.
15. They are always curious.
16. They know that getting to success is never a straight line.
17. Are grateful.
18. Admit that they are not smart.
19. They serve others.
20. Know that they are not born lucky.
21. They are hungry.

This list was like a rude awakening for me. I know that some people become lucky out of chances and accidents, but all in all, being lucky may also come from no one or nothing but ourselves. I complain most of the time, concentrate on the negative side of things, expect the worst, and underestimate my capabilities. These habits of mine should really be thrown off in the ocean. Practicing these unhealthy habits would not really amount to anything at all. For those who share the same sentiments, it is time for us to hold our heads up high and give ourselves a 180-degree turn of mindset.

The list above pointed out how initiative, faith, and humility can go a long way. The article showed me that people are lucky because they act on their problems instead of whining about it. Lucky people are open-minded and they believe in themselves, even if the rest of the world does not. They invest their time and effort in something that they want, and soon enough, they get it. They gained it, after all. Lucky people put their best foot forward, and as much as they have bragging rights, they remain modest and unpretentious. 

In fact, the lucky ones are just the normal human beings like me.What makes them apart from others is their state of mind. These people see things in a different light, like every other day is a ray of sunshine, despite the gloomy circumstances. They are self-aware. If no one believes in them, they self-motivate. And like what #20 mentioned, they know that they are not born lucky, so they work their asses off and just go do it.

Of course, there are some people who are born from millionaires, who have a naturally fit body, who are blessed with Einstein's brain, and sometimes who has all of the above, but I would just like to think to myself that those people are really lucky to have those bonuses in life. To the rest who think that they are just Plain Jane or Average Joe (like me,)...who does not want the challenge, right?  I think that is what life is about. Having all the luck in the world could be a bore. Would you rather have good fortune laid in front of you, or gain that good fortune through personal efforts? I bet the latter is more exciting. I can say from this point that I am lucky that I can see, hear, speak, feel, smell. It is the little things that count, and each one of us is lucky in their own way. I am already lucky for the fact that I am a healthy woman. That I am alive and kicking, and I have the years ahead of me that I can use in order for me to attain my goals in life. We just need to lead life in a new perspective, and the rest will eventually follow. 

Photo Credit: HQ Wall Base | More on Bob Miglani: Embrace the Chaos