1 Week in Seoul – Itaewon Freedom: flash tour, street churro, Vastos, Gyungridan, night cardio

I made it safe and sound to unni’s place (I’m staying over at my friend’s place whom I got to know in Vancouver years ago).

Feeling super hungry, we went out to Itaewon for dinner. Little did I know, I would have my cardio session whil clubs hopping.

Itaewon is know to be the foreigners hub in Seoul. If you go around the neighbourhood, you will find lots and lots of non-Korean people and restaurants spreaded out here and there. That was why GS unni recommended us to eat at a famous Mexican restaurant nearby.

Since it was a Friday night, the wait time for a table was 1 hour. So GS unni decided to take me around the area, to see the famous  경리란-길/Gyungridan-Gil. It is one of the hottest and trendiest place in Seoul right now. Hip cafes, restaurants, shops, young vibes, and all those goodness.

My trainer recommended me to have some churros when I’m in Seoul. At first I reacted: “Churro? In Kore? Right….” But as I listen to my trainer well not, and as we passed by a famous street vendor: 

Street Churros – 170 Noksapyeong-Darrow, Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul.

It is a tiny corner shop that, I believe, serve to go only. It has a window opening/counter and you can peak the store inside which was decorated nicely. GS unni said it is both famous and yum. So, again listening to my trainer’s advice, I just had to get one.

I got the 아츄/A Chu (KRW 3000):


And I LOVE it. The churro was crispy, but soft on the inside. It came with with soft serve ice cream that was not overbearingly sweet (I don’t normally like ice cream). So you dip the churro in the ice cream and nom. And, you inhale the rest of the rest of ice cream afterwards. You can add chocolate/berries topping sauce too.

Then we continued walking around Gyungridan super live area some more


And then GS unni got a text that our table is available and if we are not there soon, we will lose our spot in the queue. So we had to run back. Bear in mind most of Seoul is made of steep hills. And I was wearing my wedge boots. So go figure.

I let GS untie to go first because her walking speed is already like Ussain Bolt to me. Ah and on the way to the restaurant I spotted this: 


So we had dinner at:

Vastos – 1 Itaewon-ro 15-Gil, Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul

The serve you a complimentary plate of nachos with 2 kinds of salsa. The salsa/sauces are good and nothing like the salsa you have in a normal Mexican restaurant. Fusion? Perhaps!

We had Chimuccuri Chicken Urban Tacos


And the Honey Tequila Chicken Wings


Branded as one of the best Mexican restaurant, I would say I would come here again to try more menu. I love the tacos, but the chicken wings tho. They were soooooooo good.

After dinner, she took me for a super quick Itaewon club hopping/tour. I was fresh of the plane, carrying my backpack. And off we go to places where people dress-up their best


One of the club/bar we went to/stopped by was a really famous one, called Fountain Itaewon/파우타인 이태원. I would recommend this place out of the ones we visited


I feel like dressing up and going there properly next time. Be sure to bring your passport so they can let you in!

The rest of the night felt like an endless hiking around the quite part of the neighbourhood. Imagine these for about 2 hours in heels:


Along our way we spotted the Itaewon mosque (so grand) and some random night view:


I woke up at 5 today and have been watching TV and writing this post. Now, I’m gonna get ready for my day 2!

1 Week in Seoul – Let’s go!

Hello from up in the air. Like, literally.


So my trip this time started with chanting, it’s a sunny day – a very good day to fly. You see, I’m a really nervous flyer *acrophobic*. But as soon as I got on to the plane,  I was greeted in Korean. I showed the flight attendant my boarding pass and I’m pretty sure my name is nowhere near a Korean name (she’s still talking to me in Korean now). I have the aisle sit in the middle row of the plane. And guess what. No one is sitting I. The middle. More room for my jacket and no arm wrestling! Woohoo!!

I’m not sure if it’s because of the good vibes. Or the fact that I’mflying with a plane full of ajummas *I have the ajummas are always praying stereotype*, I was not feeling that nervous this time. Yet. We’ll see.

I was planning to down some melatonin to sleep all the way through the flight. But I figured I would be sleeping more than 16 hours in 24 hours. And it might call for a jet lag. So here goes in-flight movie marathon and guess-how-many-movies-can-I-watch-in-10-hours. Starting with Finding Dorry. Here we go (Talk to you in Seoul!).

* * *

3600 ft up in the air and 4 more hours to go.

* * *

I have arrived safely in Seoul!!! Because I’m bringing a huge luggage, I had a slight change of plan from taking the subway to taking the airport bus. I am so nervous. I hope I’ll find my way just fine.  


One thing though, being treated like a local with limited Korean ability is both scary and exciting. Tho, I feel more of the first than the latter right now.

Why am I here? Why did I come? What will this trip unfold? Oh gosh let me not fall asleep and miss my stop. It is 1.30 hours and 11 stops to go. Current time 6.29 pm – Vancouver time 1.29 am. I’m beat. 

Oh! I have been snapchat-ing here and there along the way to Seoul. I might as well do the same for most of this vacay. So follow me if you haven’t! 


* * *

I made the right decision with the airport bus. I got to see more of the scenic Seoul on my way:


Seoul Friday traffic

Vacation ALAS x Departure by Kim Dong Ryul

Happy First Day of Vacation  X  I’m going to Korea!

 

Hello, fam 🙂 . I hope you all have been doing well in life while watching Korean dramas and filling your days with all Korean goodness. I am really excited for today for so many reasons. One of them is what I have mentioned right of the bat. Yes. Today is the first day of (short) vacation after a while. Why am I so excited about it?

  1. I have not had a proper vacation/me-time for more than 2 years. Mainly due to family reasons. As much as I did not mind it, I feel that a me-time/my-very-own-vacation is needed and it has been way long overdue. My body and mind are aching to have a time off.
  2. I have been getting busier with work. There are so many changes in that part of the pie in my life. Getting more responsibility = less time for me to just sit, reflect, and write.

With all that said, you can imagine how eager I was that I counted down to this very day. I need this. No. More than that, I deserve it.

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Credit: Dodam Jeong – Pinterest

So, I thought what could be more rewarding than to reward myself for a trip to Korea. YAY! With the push from my best friend, I finally bought my tickets a couple of months ago.

After that, came the questions:

  • What kind of trip do I want?
  • What kind of tone will this trip be?
  • What do I want to do there?

Generic questions that turned out to be harder to answer as I have been to Korea for several times now. When I was throwing my ideas to my best friend (no, unfortunately she is not coming with me this time), this conversation came up (C = my very “nice” friend):

M: “This time, I’ll take it chill. It will not be an ambitious one… I will visit less places, spend the afternoon/night at a café writing my blog and all that chillaxing stuffs”

C: “You’re getting old, that’s why! You know, older people get tired faster”

M: “NO I’M NOT OLD” (and then I went to a corner sobbing my heart away because what she said was half true. Note: only HALF TRUE)

I have listed out the places I want to visit this time, the food I wanted to eat (sorry trainer-nim. No, I’m not actually sorry). Still, I do not know what kind of trip it will be. Nor do I know how I would share this trip with you.

I have had issues in the past: I lost my camera every single time I went there.Sigh. I know.

So I was thinking, snapchat? Instagram? Daily posts (what, how, when)? YouTube video? While I blindly pick one (ore more than one), I will say that this is going to be a healing trip for moi. So it will be personal (just as my other posts here, yeah why do I have to re-confirm lol). So I came up with some possible (cheesy but hopefully meaningful) hashtags for my 2016 Seoul (nope, not going anywhere else this time) trip:

  • #medseoulsearching
  • #edreamjinseoul
  • #edreamjSEOULsearching
  • #edreamjXseoul

Should I just use all of the above?

Well, whatever it is, I hope to be able to bring you along my journey/trip/vacation. So follow me on Instagram, snapchat, this blog for the updates!

Now off to buy some goodies for my friends I dearly miss there!

OH!

While I do that, let me set our my mood and entertain you with a song that befit the theme of this post and resonate with my sentiment of how a trip should be (should I just make this as a theme/OST song?)

 

 

 

Of course the lyrics come after 🙂

Lyrics + Translation

출발 – 김동률

Departure – Kim Dong-Ryul

 

아주 멀리까지 가 보고 싶어 / I want to go as far as possible
그곳에선 누구를 만날 수가 있을지 / I wonder who I would meet there
아주 높이까지 오르고 싶어 / I want climb as high as possible
얼마나 더 먼 곳을 바라볼 수 있을지 / I wonder how much farther could I see places from up there

 

작은 물병 하나, 먼지 낀 카메라, / one small water bottle, a dusty camera
때 묻은 지도 가방 안에 넣고서 / an old map, I put them in my bag

 

언덕을 넘어 숲길을 헤치고 / over the hills and wade through the forest
가벼운 발걸음 닿는 대로 / just the way my light steps lead me
끝없이 이어진 길을 천천히 걸어가네 / to the endless road as I go on my sweet time

 

멍하니 앉아서 쉬기도 하고 / I space out as I sit down and take a rest
가끔 길을 잃어도 서두르지 않는 법  / even if I lost my way, do not need to hurry
언젠가는 나도 알게 되겠지 / because someday I would also find out
이 길이 곧 나에게 가르쳐 줄 테니까 / what this path is going to teach me soon

 

촉촉한 땅바닥, 앞서 간 발자국, / moist ground, printed footsteps,
처음 보는 하늘, 그래도 낯익은 길 / sky I’ve never seen before, but a familiar road

 

언덕을 넘어 숲길을 헤치고 / over the hills and wade through the forest
가벼운 발걸음 닿는 대로 / just the way my light steps lead me
끝없이 이어진 길을 천천히 걸어가네 / to the endless road as I go on my sweet time

 

새로운 풍경에 가슴이 뛰고 / my heart beats fast at the sight of a new scenery
별것 아닌 일에도 호들갑을 떨면서 / getting excited even if it’s nothing special
나는 걸어가네 휘파람 불며 / I whistle as I walk
때로는 넘어져도 내 길을 걸어가네 / Even though I fall sometimes, I keep going on my way

 

작은 물병 하나, 먼지 낀 카메라, / one small water bottle, a dusty camera
때 묻은 지도 가방 안에 넣고서 / an old map, I put them in my bag

 

언덕을 넘어 숲길을 헤치고 / over the hills and wade through the forest
가벼운 발걸음 닿는 대로 / just the way my light steps lead me
끝없이 이어진 길을 천천히 걸어가네 / to the endless road as I go on my sweet time

 

내가 자라고 정든 이 거리를 / These streets where I grew up, and became dear to me
난 가끔 그리워하겠지만 / I will miss it from time to time, but
이렇게 나는 떠나네, 더 넓은 세상으로 / like this I depart into a bigger world

 

pps: this song is taken from Kim Dong-Ryul’s 5th album: Monologue, released in 2008

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Credit: Kim Dong-Ryul

 

 

 

 

To be a little braver is scary – New Empire

Hi Monday,

 

 

With Fall knocking on the door and Summer is getting ready to leave, life gets a little awaking from its summer night dream like days. New semester, new place to live, new friends, new job – all new decisions in life usually fall in this season (no pun intended).

Whatever it is, from time to time, we will need to be a little braver.

But do you know what comes before being able to be a little braver? A burst of feeling scared. Scared of changes, scared of failing(s), scared of being in a completely new environment, scared of being outside your comfort zone.

I just made my first step. I don’t know if it will bring me somewhere new. All I know is that I made the right decision to keep my life worth living. My friend just told me that he also made that decision of being a little braver for his dream. I know he would say the same thing. It’s both comforting and encouraging to know that it’s normal to feel scared of being a little braver for our own good (hopefully).

Will it be easy? Man, by now I know that life is nothing but easy. Will it be worth it? I would say YES.

In the meantime, let’s just map our what-next with a smile and an even stronger determination.

Here is a song that kept ringing in my head. I know, I know, it’s a love song. But somehow it kept on pushing me to make friend with change and that it’s OK to start all over again (with life).

Ps.: This is an OST of a Kim Woo-Bin drama that made me cry (I don’t normally cry watching k-dramas): 함부로 애틋하게/Uncontrollably Fondly

 

Lyrics

A Little Braver – New Empire

With December comes the glimmer on her face
And I get a bit nervous, I get a bit nervous now
In the twelve months on I won’t make friends with change
When everyone’s perfect can we start over again
The playgrounds they get rusty and your heart beats another ten thousand times before
I got the chance to say I miss you

When it gets hard, I get a little stronger now
I get a little braver now
And when it gets dark, I get a little brighter now
I get a little wiser now
Before I give my heart away

Well we met each other at the house of runaways
I remember it perfectly, we were running on honesty
We moved together like a silver lock and key
But now that your lock has changed, I know I can’t fit that way
The playgrounds they get rusty and your heart beats another ten thousand times before
I got the chance to say I want you

When it gets hard, I get a little stronger now
I get a little braver now
And when it gets dark, I get a little brighter now
I get a little wiser now
Before I give my heart away
When it gets hard, I get a little stronger now
I get a little braver now
And when it gets dark, I get a little brighter now
I get a little wiser now
Before I give my heart away

 

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Credit: KBS

Love,

Med

What Colour Will You Turn To? Baby Blue by Kevin Oh

Aloha!
I have been listening to this one song on repeat for the past few weeks months. Aaah. I have not been writing for months it feels awkward 😦
Ok. Let’s try.
This song is one of the OST songs of a drama that I have not watched: 디어 마이 프렌즈/Dear My Friend, sung by Super Star K7 (audition program): Kevin Oh. Since I haven’t watched the drama, obviously I got to hear the song for the first time from another source. 

Credit : tvN

I really like its super sweet melodies filled with soft guitar tunes and whistles. But baby blue in a sweet/romantic song? I would not really correlate the two. 

Baby blue to me is more like this:

Credit: @edreaMJ

Kevin Oh’s voice convinces me that baby blue is sweeter than the overrated pink. Oh and,this song’s plus point? It’s in  English! I wouldn’t have to use my overworked/overused/goldfish like brain to translate it. So I hope everyone would be able to enjoy this song as much as I do (still on repeat).

Lyrics

Baby Blue – Kevin Oh


In my dreams

underneath the stars

are letters in my heart

saying maybe it’s true
that baby you

will turn to baby blue

falling just like “oooh”
Take it slow

feel it in our bones

and by the end we’ll know

that we were never dreaming
In good time

the white inside our eyes

will turn to baby blue
La La La La La La

La La La La La La
La La La La La La

La La La La La La
With nothing more to say

These words will never change

For you for you I will stay
Can’t you see?

You’re the one who sees

me for who I am

Will you be the answer?
All this time

trying to make you mine

falling just like “oooh”
La La La La La La

La La La La La La
La La La La La La

La La La La La La

Credit: Kevin Oh/CJ E&M

What do you think your turn into sweet lovey-dovey colour would be? 
Speaking of change. I would like to believe that human being can change (for the better). It may take forever, but it is possible. Someone has been telling me to be cautious and not to be so naïve about it. 

Well, I know that some people will still decide to stay as that annoying pain in the rear in your life. But if we open our heart to believe that a person, who has shown effort to change, has changed – then aren’t we giving them a chance to ooze out beautiful colour from their aura (I hope it’s mint green)? Then, everyone will be entertained with the soft and soothing colours of kindness and love.
Well, if you’re not for the idea…. Let’s just float in the song and let it calm and soothe your day.
That is all.

Untill the next one!

Love,

Med