Stars, Wind, Dream, And I – Rooftop House

Hello chilly Raincouver style Spring!  Happy hump day!

Last week was so so busy and it was then followed with this week. This week is also nothing but busy *I usually sneak in 15 minutes power nap during my afternoon break, just to keep me sane*. But I could not be happier that today is Wednesday, which means it is only one more working day before the Easter long weekend. Truly a whimsical Wednesday for me *I need my beauty sleep*

There are a number of #onrepeat songs that have been helping me go through all the madness at work. Well, executing the “calm those nerves down” at the same time with “let’s stay awake” and “more work to come” is surely not an easy task.

But on this rainy Wednesday, a calming folk/indie *and almost sounds like oldie* song 옥탑방/rooftop house by 장미여관/Rose Motel just seem to be enough.



Lyrics + Translation



Rooftop House – Rose Motel


하늘엔 별이 참 많이 있구요 / there are surely a lot of stars in the sky

난 그 별에서 제일 가깝게 살구요 / and I surely live the closest to the stars

햇살이 좋아 빨래도 잘 말라 / I like the sunshine and how fast the laundry dries up

그 곳에서 난 꿈꾸네 / at that place I dream my dream


기타를 메고 서울에 올라와 / carrying my guitar, I went up to Seoul

6년만에 처음 얻은 집이랍니다 / it’s the house I earned in just 6 years

평상에 누워 나 하늘을 보면 / if I lie down on the wooden bench and stare at the sky

누구도 부럽지 않죠 / I don’t need to envy anyone


그러나 서른 넘어 옥탑방 / but living in a rooftop house for someone who is over 30

한심해 보는 사람들도 있지 / there are people who see it as shabby

그래도 나는 나는 괜찮아 / Even so I, I’m fine with it

오늘도 평상에 누워 꿈꾸니 / I lie down on the bench wood and dream again today


별 바람 꿈 나~ 별 바람 꿈 나 / star, wind, dream, and I ~ star, wind, dream, and I

별 바람 꿈 나~ 별 바람 꿈 나 / star, wind, dream, and I ~ star, wind, dream, and I


그러나 서른 넘어 옥탑방 / but living in a rooftop house for someone who is over 30

한심해 보는 사람들도 있지 / there are people who see it as pathetic

그래도 나는 나는 괜찮아 / Even so I, I’m fine with it

오늘도 평상에 누워 꿈꾸니 / I lie down on the bench wood and dream again today


별 바람 꿈 나~ 별 바람 꿈 나 / star, wind, dream, and I ~ star, wind, dream, and I

별 바람 꿈 나~ 별 바람 꿈 나 / star, wind, dream ,and I ~ star, wind, dream, and I

별 바람 꿈 나~ 별 바람 꿈 나 / star, wind, dream, and I ~ star, wind, dream, and I

별 바람 꿈 나~ 별 바람 꿈 나 / the star, wind, dream, and I ~ star, wind, dream, and I


세상에 제일 행복한 사람의 / if to the happiest person in this world

기준이 없다면 난 제일 행복해 / there’s no high standard, then I am the happiest (person)

하늘에 제일 가까이 있는 곳 / the closest place to the sky

옥탑방에서 삽니다 / I live in a rooftop house

월세 천에 사십이죠 / the monthly rent in thousand is 40

우리집에 놀러와요 음음~ / come and visit my house hmm hmm~

난 매일 꿈을 꿉니다 / I dream a dream everyday


Simple and honest. Just the way I like it for me to name a song, a great one. Not a lot of *foreigner* audiences might recognize this Indie band called Rose Motel. But if you do *from various reality shows*, you might know that the lead vocal: Kang Jun-Woo lives (or used to) in a rooftop house. So this song is a tell-as-is song. This is as real (and honest) as you can get.

The simplicity of the lyrics and melodies is so dreamy. For something/living that could have come off as shabby, this song offers you a soft but subtle objection.




OK, I can breathe a little bit now.

Star gazing is one of my favourite things to do for the so called stress relieving. I can’t do that with all this rain. As jealous as I am right now with Kang Jun-Woo and with anyone under a clear night sky tonight, I’ll be satisfied with this song. For now.



If there’s no high standard to the happiest man on earth, then, I am the happiest + there’s no one else I need to envy.




Until the next one!




#PracticeMakesPermanent: K-Drama vs K-Show

Happy Spring-is-still-2-months-away Wednesday!

Ever since I started revamping and trying to resurrect this blog I have not really shared with you, any of my Korean learning experiences. I did try sharing them in the past posts, and it is not like I want to keep it as a secret. Trust me there is no secret whatsoever. But, the way I learn Korean is not a studious kind, and more like unconventional one *as you might have figured by now*.

But today I will try to share one of them anyways. Who knows you will benefit from it. Sharing is caring right? 😉

One of my learning methods is by watching a lot of Korean dramas , movies, and Korean TV Shows. Like a lot of them. Everyday *well, almost*. Throughout the years, though, I feel like Korean drama (k-drama) and Korean TV show (k-show) each has different, how should I say this, “qualities” than you can take for your Korean learning journey. Trust me, I have been doing this circa 2002!


K-Drama vs. K-Show


So here are just a few of the different qualities of learning Korean by watching k-drama vs. k-show that I could come up with (and why sometimes I prefer one over the other):

If you’re watching k-drama, most of the time, the pace that the casts have when they’re reciting their line is quite the same*if not slower* compared to a regular conversation. This way you catch how a sentence is formed better than if it said in a k-show *try to catch what the nation Yoo Jae-Suk is saying in most of his shows. Yep. Good Luck!*. Plus Korean drama they might have OST songs playing in the background, but so much less background noises *yelling, laughing, sound effects* that would distract you from catching the lines/sentences being said.

To add unto this, since k-drama lines are more scripted than k-show *less improvisations/ad-libs, you might be able to pick up more grammar lessons there.

I just mentioned that you might be able pick up grammar lessons more when you’re watching kdrama than kshow. But, I have a problem with the choices vocabs they use. They’re just kinda iffy to be used in daily life.

Simple and most common used word that people might picked up from a k-drama is: 당신 (dang-sin). Imagine calling everyone 당신 for “you”. It might be described as the standard polite way, but I rarely hear them being used in daily life *unless you’re ahjumma-ahjussi couple calling each other, or if you’re really angry and trying to pick up a fight*.

Itching to say the word “dang-sin” now? Just sing this song:
당신은 사랑받기 위해 태어난 사람~


For this one, you can benefit from both of them. Need to learn proper intonation 반말 (banmal/informal figure of speech) and/or 존댓말 (cheondaemal/formal figure of speech)? They both could teach you that. Remember that k-show will be more casual and day-to-day; whereas k-drama will be filled with the character’s emotions, but slower and easier enough for you to pick up (and imitate).

Repetition and on screen captions

Have you heard exclamations or one word that you could catch being said over and over again in a k-show? Have you seen letters written all over your screen while the words are being said? Like big letters. Repeated throughout the show like this:

Yeah, you have seen this a lot on TV shows, right?!

To me this is a great benefit *especially for beginners* as they are repeated, and most of the time, written in big and flashy colours. They are usually written to emphasize exclamations or reactions like 대박 (Daebak) or ㅋㅋㅋㅋ(kkkkkk). You’ll usually get to know the meaning by watching what’s going on when they are displayed. They’re often repeated, you’ll grasp the meaning in no time. But if not, and if you’re lucky) it can make it easier for you to remember the pronunciation and how to say it exactly as how it means (try: 대~~~~~~박!). Since it’s an exclamation, you’ll hear someone saying it at the same time the word(s) is displayed. It will help you remember how to say and read the word. BUT! Because they’re mostly adjectives and/or exclamations or reactions, they can’t help you make a good whole sentence. Some of them are actually captions of what is being said. but, they’re more like summary or the short version of it. Oh well, enough to impress your Korean friends and to text them in style tho.

As for k-drama. When I started to watch k-dramas, I remember I often tried to read signs or any letters popped up on the screen during a scene. But, man, I had to pause a lot because they’re so small and they go by a scene so fast. I feel like I could not check my pronunciation nor could I understand the meaning unless I looked for it myself. However, I still it is a good practice to know your Hangul!


K-Drama or K-Show, as long you’re picking up bits and pieces *and not just plain adoring the casts and watching ’em for entertainment purposes only*, I bet they will help you in your quest to master the language!

Which one do you like watching more? Do you feel like you can learn more from K-drama or K-show? Spotted more good points? Share it with us on the comment below or tweet them my way @edreaMJ!

Just remember, #practicemakespermanent

Happy learning,

Cheesy Spicy Rice Cake and Korean Fried Chicken – Ajuker Coquitlam

Ah, Wednesday! Just a few more days before the weekends!

My mom and her friend are here in town, visiting from Indonesia. There are two things that led me to taking them to the restaurant I’m gonna showcase to you today:

1. From day 1, my mom has been “nagging” that I have not brought her to have some Korean fried chicken that she likes
2. These 2 ajummas have been watching Twenty Again, and ended up craving for some 떡볶이/tteokbokki/Korean spicy rice cake.


My friend offered to take them around, after work, to see the city lights and views from all over town. So we decided to have dinner before our night time drive session. What would be best to feed these ajummas cravings in one go?


We went to Ajuker Chicken in Coquitlam. They are claimed to have the best Korean fried chicken in town. And asking Koreans where if I should go somewhere else or not was the best decision of the night.

We ordered:
– 치즈 떡볶이/Cheese tteokbokki
– 후라이드 치킨/Fried chicken
– 계란탕/Steam egg soup

My mom and her friend were super satisfied with the chicken AND the cheese spicy rice cake. I would have to agree with them – they were so gooood. I would let them use “the best Korean fried chicken in Vancouver”.


Damaged was done, the ajummas were still curious, and we ordered one more portion of 떡볶이, this time without the cheese. T’was good, but the cheese one was better and richer in taste. We also got some fish cake soup as service *gotta love that service culture*

I would go again *well I went here several times before*, but, it’s not convenient to transit there (dear ever green line skytrain, please be operating soon).

So there you go. If you need some Korean fried chicken and cheese rice cake fix (their spicy sauce *양념 치킨* fried chicken is good too), you know where to go.

Casual/comfy dining – humble decor – friendly service – super busy on weekends *if I remember it correctly*




Ajuker Chicken
508 Clarke Rd, Coquitlam, BC V3J 7V6
(604) 936-5527
Open 7 days/week: 2 pm – 2 am

Korean style Indonesian Soto with Italian Feel

Yes, you read it right. It’s Korean style Indonesian Soto with Italian feel. Globalization in a bowl *aah Marshall Mcluhan*.

What’s hot in South Korea right now? It’s cooking variety shows/program. It even beats other variety program and new concepts sprung out almost “everyday”. One of them is 냉장고를 부탁해/Take Care of The Fridge or Please Take Care of My Fridge, a show with stars acting as chefs *of course* competing each other to make a delish and simple meal out of the ingredients found in another star’s fridge.

I have not watched any of the episode yet. But my sunbae told me the last episode she watched 김풍/Kim Pung made Indonesian Soto as his food item. And it won the competition. And everyone went a tad cray about it *to put it simply, the recipe was a big hit*. As a proud *ehem* Indonesian, I wanted to know what was it all about so I asked for the link of the recipe. At first, my sunbae told me, it was “Indonesian curry soup” called soto. And, of course I responded saying pfftt “soto” is not curry. 

I was hesitant to try this recipe because, as any other Indonesian, I grew up eating various kinds of soto and I was afraid that my taste buds, and expectations of how a bowl of soto should taste like, will curse this recipe miserably. But I’m too curious to not try. Plus I have a box of unused curry sitting somewhere in my kitchen and the recipe looks pretty simple, so I might just as well try its luck. For those of you who wants to try as well, here’s the translation/recipe I found from this link:

What you need:

meat (they used pork – as to chicken) // farfalle pasta (the Italian “feel” from Ha Seok-Jin’s fridge – which I opted out) // blocked curry sauce // lime juice // green onion // onion // salt // cooking oil // diced garlic //  diced ginger

How to:

– Sprinkle salt in a pot of boiling water and put in one portion of farfalle *bow tie* pasta

– Blend together: onion cut in halves, green onion, half spoon of salt, one spoon of diced garlic, ½ spoon of diced ginger, cooking oil

– Put into the blended ingredients, 1-2 ½ blocks of curry sauce – blend well

– Stir fry the meat you are using

– Pour the blended ingredients over the meat and stir fry for a couple minutes

– Meanwhile, roast one stalk of green onion (remove the green part)

– Put in the boiled farfella to the soup

– Add some more salt, if necessary

– Add some lime juice and the roasted green onion

They said it’s Kim Pung’s recipe that calls for some soju.

Well I tried.


I think mine was less-soupy and a tad “creamier” then how it supposed to be. When I tried it, I kept on saying “what kind of taste is this”. After sometimes, I could taste, or rather smell, a faint hint of Soto. Although the taste is so confusing, at least for me, I applaud the creativity and technique for Kim Pung! Well, it might not taste anywhere near soto, but it got the basic idea. I kinda get it why Koreans, who never tried Soto before, might like it. It has a “deep” taste that you often find in their soups/dishes. But I like the original one better *well, duh, of course!*. I still have some left at home, and I’ll see if I can turn it to something *more* edible that will make my taste buds happy(-er).

I encourage you, Indonesian or not – have tried Soto before or not, to try this recipe and taste it yourself! It’s super duper easy!

A bowl full of Jeong – Gamjatang

Gamjatang – Pork bone and potato soup. This dish could easily be called the staple item or one of the most known Korean food among my closest circle.

It is my family favourite too. I could not think of my fam/parents visit without us devouring on gamjatang at one of our favourite Korean restaurant in town. I remember my late Dad loved this so much he would use his most extraordinary food critic slash foodie reaction to describe the taste of it, while trying to convince our fam friends to grab some with us *100% success rate with out-of-town visitors craving for more*. Ah I miss you appa 😘.

I also remember on one of my solo trip to Seoul, my dear dongsaeng offered me to stay at her apartment. The first food that we had, right after Eun-chong and her mom picked me up near Anyang station, was the unforgattable biji gamjatang/비지 감자탕.

Not only delicious, I often crave for a pot of boiling hot gamjatang on cold rainy days or whenever I need something spicy to cheer myself up. Thus, I call it a bowl of “Jeong” as it revolves – and often served -around comfort of bonds, found when I’m surrounded with with my family and friends.

I was exchanging “I am super hungry” and “I crave for some good. . . ” with my only and super cool and kind sunbae/선배 on messengers at work. And I casually mentioned “Ahhh..I want some gamjatang”.  Last Saturday, she invited me to her place to have some makgeolli/막걸리 with her husband. And guess what! She made us some gamjatang 😍 because she remembered I mentioned wanting it. 감동 (touched) times infinity.

I helped her out by mixing the sesonings (by that I mean, listening at the instructions from her husband *I call him hyungboo – sister’s husband* and measuring it exactly as he said) and by asking a lot of questions while I watched 언니/unnie did her magic in the kitchen. Now I’m sharing you the recipe I screenshot from our chat. Good luck:

What you need:

Pork bone // potatoes // dried basil leaves // garlic (minced or whole) // green onion // onion // gochujang (고추장) – Korean chilli paste  // doenjang (된장) – fermented soy bean paste // gochugaru (고추가루) – dried chilli flakes // perilla leaves // perilla seeds powder (들깨 가루) // cooking wine – mirim style // ginger powder

How to make:

– Soak the pork bone in cold water for about one hour to get rid of the blood

– Put the pork bone in boiling water and boil it for a bit then throw away the water

– Pour some water again, dunk potatoes in,  put 3-5 dried basil leaves, garlic, onion cut in halves, green onion *important tips: include the peel of onions and the end part/root part of green onions to get rid of the meat smells*

– Scoop out the leaves and other floating objects after you boil it for a bit

– Put in the seasoning (: 1 spoon of doenjang, 3 spoons of gochujang, 1 spoon of cooking wine/mirim, 1 spoon of minced garlic, 1 spoon of ginger powder)

– Halfway after it boils for a while, pour out a good amount of gochugaru and bolit it down again until it turns yum red.

– Put in some perilla leaves and perilla seeds powder right before serving
It was yum and MSG free!

We had it with bossam/boiled pork wrap and shared some stories – from politics to relationship. I have only met hyungboo a couple of times. But he had shared insights for life that have helped me through some difficult curves. I honestly enjoy listening to his advices and he has a lot of jeong for his “I only have a few friends and dongsaengs”. Jeong/jung/chong is a Korean term that is really hard to describe in plain English.

Jeong is a particular sentimental attitude that goes beyond mere affection and loyalty. Jeong has multiple faces and it defined as “feeling, love, sentiment, passion, human nature, symphaty, heart”. It describes complex feelings or emotions such as an attachment or a bond – Dr. John Linton from various sources

A bowl of jeong that fills you up with warmth. Even when I was lectured by hyungboo and was given “a homework” to work on/help to solve my 고민/worry, I know it was out of “Jeong”. Man, I could never thank God enough for the jeong(s) I have in life.