Rounding up 2014

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2014 is ending in a few hours and I am definitely so ready to welcome 2015. Just a quick post before I leave home for a countdown party! I don’t know if 2014 had been good or bad.. I think it’s probably a good mixture.

This year consisted of a lot of adventures and I felt like I was constantly on a roller coaster.. There were so many ups and downs and writing this post did make me realize some of the silly things I’ve done this year.

In 2014, I fulfilled the biggest dream in my life so far. Which was to study abroad, in Korea. I never in my university life thought I would be able to go to Korea for exchange because it’s so competitive and my grades are far from perfect. Nonetheless, I made it with a story to tell and a memory that will last with me forever. It was definitely the best 5 months of my life and I don’t think there was any moment I was homesick throughout my exchange except the last couple of weeks before going home.

This year is also the year where I travelled the most because of my exchange. Although not globally, but those small inter-cities trips did made me learn and think a lot. Other than all the typical “money is not easy to earn” lessons, I realize that life is too short so we should stop bothering about what people think and just do whatever that makes us happy. I’ve met so many kind people this year and I would like to believe that there are still nice people in this world despite all the evils.

Other than all these life lessons, I also met a family who treated me with so much kindness and love. They are like my family in Korea and I think we probably met in the past life or something. It was truly a heart-warming experience.

But of course, there was also the bad where I experience a broken love. So much dramas and I guess it wasn’t mine to begin in the first place. But well, lesson learnt!

A broken love comes a stronger friendship. I forge a lot of friendships and grew closer to people I never thought I could. And I also grew closer with my family through all those times I was away and the small bickers we had.

In terms of academic, it’s still pretty much of a mundane but I’ve done my part and I’m happy to be graduating next year! The Ascott Challenge was definitely the highlight of this academic year. The journey was nothing but amazing (and tiring). My team members and I were so amazed at how much we could push our limits and we really learnt a lot through all the nerve wrecking presentations and tight deadlines! Am glad that our hardwork paid off! :)

2014 is finally coming to an end! It also means it’s time for me to put down all my emotional baggage and unnecessary negative thoughts and grow to become a better person! I’m never good at keeping up with resolutions but I’m just hoping next year will be another exciting year (since I’m starting work) and as cheesy as it sounds, I’ll continue sharing in this space as “girlinsorea” because I really love it!

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Holiday starts now!

Before moving on, in case you missed out, I did a video last week in the midst of my paperS for a KBS World event! But no, I didn’t win that air ticket to Korea :(. Nonetheless, I had so much fun making this video so I just wish to share my humble first vlog (?is this considered?)!! I’m going to consider making more and irritate you with my face! HAHA!

AND FINALLY!! After weeks of agony, I can say goodbye to my books for a few weeks! Winter break is here! Although there’s no winter in Singapore, I’m still going to enjoy my rainy afternoons being a couch potato, writing, eating since christmas is coming… and basically just doing nothing? Perks of being a student.. I’m definitely going to miss being a student although school can be such a bitch sometimes!

This semester had been quite a breeze through except for a bit of hiccups. My worst nightmare– irresponsible group members. I think this happens to me every semester without fail. It’s not like these members are incompetent but you could totally see the amount of damns they give for the project. So SO many message left unreplied, irresponsible people and all these super last minute work drives me crazy. What’s the point of having a phone if you don’t want to reply messages? Everybody is all busy, so please set your priorities right? People also need to be more responsible instead of just disappearing into thin air and not turning up for meetings. And worse, when you are told in advance to get things done by XX time, please jolly well do so otherwise you will make the life of the person collating the work very difficult.

SERIOUSLY. Is making your group mate life easier so difficult for you? Sigh. But at the end of the day, they still got the work done so I’m shall not pick a fight with them…

Am going to move on to the next phase of my life! Which is to find a job… A process which I absolutely detest. Don’t ask me what I want to do in the future because I am currently stuck in a quarter life crisis (ha ha ha)…Shall take some time to think and search!

For now, I’m just going to worry about my results! It’s just one module which I’m afraid!!!! But what to do? Can only pray to the bell curve god..

I’m home, for good!

If you’re wondering if this space is still alive… Yes, I’m back to revive it! I have been travelling a lot during my exchange so this space was left to collect some dust. But since I am still quite free before school gets crazy, I’m gonna slowly blog about my backlogs one by one…!!! Thinking about the amount of photos I have to upload makes me go.. zzz.

Exchange has finally come to an end and I am already home for a month! Time seriously flies past way too fast. It didn’t seem like I already home for a month… The whole exchange experience still feel so raw to me (as if I am still living in Korea) but I have been getting constant reminders from my friends to wake up and get back to reality. -cries-

Could any kind soul offer me some advice on how do i wake up from this dream and fight all the crazy withdrawal symptoms? -cries again-

I too have a lot of afterthoughts about my exchange but I’ll leave that for later!

Back to the updates in Singapore first. Met up with my “Seoul drinking buddy”, Cheryl for dinner. We are in the same major but we weren’t that close before… But we eventually bonded over sessions of beer and somaek in Korea!

Went to Omakase Burger (Wisma Atria) for the first time! A bit slow to join in the hype but better to be late than never.

Both of us had the Omakase cheese burger. We also bought a large cheese fries to share.

The burger tasted… so so? It was pretty small and the the taste was just like any typical cheese burger out there.. Nothing to wow about except that the beef patty was really juicy. But the cheese fries were really awesome! Happy that they weren’t stingy with their cheese!

Skipped the drinks because we were going to Five Izakaya Bar to reminisce our  “Sinchon moments”. They have the cheapest drinks and bar snacks in my opinion. Do try the cockles and baguette roll if you are here!! It’s SOOOOOO good!

And round 3 in Starbucks. Where we talked about things we want to do but we have absolute no money to do it. Any angel investors? We are open to discuss about our proposal. ^^

Can someone bring us back to Korea please?

Goodbye from a different perspective.

This week had been a living hell for me. Within a day, I lost all my will to communicate with people. I hate the idea of large groups because that means pretending to be okay when I am not. I take this chance to apologize to anybody whom I’ve offended during this period!

With time and the strong support from my friends, I’m still trying my best to get out of this “hell” and enjoy my remaining time in Korea. Two months is all I’ve got now.

Life is so short, so I thought, what do I have to lose? I confessed my feelings. Just like a blind sheep, I slowly fell in a thing called love.

And now, out of love.

Was it a crush I fell too deep? Was it because the timing was bad? Maybe the circumstances just didn’t fit. Or maybe it was nothing to begin with. So many questions filled my mind but I didn’t have an answer. No answer.

The pain was agonizing, as though my heart was kicking my chest repeatedly. I spent endless days and nights choking on my own tears, drank and ate as much as I could, left early from a supposedly 3D2N holiday…. Nights became so long because I couldn’t sleep well. I just wished everything could be the same again.

And no doubt, every little memory of him made me so spiteful. Who does he think he is to take my heart and then trample all over me? I was angry, upset, rude and said many hurtful words. I thought, he deserved it.

But after thinking through, I realized how regretful I was.

Out of so many billion people in this world, how much fate does it takes for two people to get on the same boat? Even though it was not meant to be from the start, but at least there was something special worth remembering. Even though it was so short-lived, it was beautiful. Instead of resentment, I should be thankful for all the moments we shared because nobody but ourselves will understand.

It’s only when you lose someone, then you realized the importance of that particular person. I can go on about telling how much I missed him. How much I wished everything could be the same. But I know that things wouldn’t change anymore. All I could do now is to embrace what’s left. Deep inside, I still hope that he could tell me how good or bad his day was. I still hope that he would turn to me whenever he has problems. And most importantly, I hope he will never forget me as friend because I am still here and I would never turn him away.

For now, I am happy. I am happy that our path were once aligned and I am thankful I met him. He taught me hope, patience, how to love fearlessly, and many many more… I’ve learnt so much and overtime, I’m sure I will emerge as stronger and better person.

At the end of the day, I hope that today is going better for you than it is for me. I hope you find what works for you and I wish you happiness you’ll ever need to get by. Even though it’s time for us to say goodbye, you will always have a special place in my heart and I’ll always treasure what we used to have.

고마워.

Settling down in Korea!

It has been a week plus since I landed in kimchi land!

I was hoping to publish this post when I am more or less settled down in Busan but I am still feeling very disorientated here in Busan so I might as well publish it now. Plus, school is actually starting tomorrow…………….. SIGH. I have only two confirmed modules right now on hand when I’m supposed to take FIVE courses. Some of us did a school tour ourselves earlier and this whole school is just like a maze filled with slopes. Okay, I shall elaborate more in another post!

The past few days in Korea (except Busan) had been really good. I met up with a lot of friends whom I missed, had the chance to live with a Korean family who took care of me really well, ate and drank a lot (alcohol is mad cheap), shopped quite a bit and had the chance to speak/practice Korean although I am not able to understand them most of the time -_-.

And I am not saying that I dislike Busan! It’s just that I haven’t been here before and everything is quite different from Seoul? Me is no superhero so I definitely need time to get used pace of life here! But one thing for sure, the people here are actually pretty helpful and the air is much fresher than Seoul!

Arrival
I spent almost an hour in the airport because of my prepaid sim card (see below) and the bus to the city I’m going had a really low frequency. Waiting in the cold with so many baggages were really no joke. And apparently, you have to buy a bus ticket at the bus counter instead of paying in the bus. So I went ahead and put my luggage in the bus and went up wanting to pay the driver. But when the bus driver told me I have to get down to the bus counter to buy a ticket instead, I frantically rushed down because I was so afraid the bus would leave with my luggage!!

Accommodation
I stayed at a friend’s place for the first 4 nights and after which, I moved to Seoul where I shared a room with Sheryl who’s going to Sogang University for exchange too. Being able to experience how a Korean family live have been something I wanted to do for a long time so I was really glad I had the chance to this time round!!

That has got to be the best nights in Korea because I had an umma, appa and oppa who took great care of me! The whole family was really warm so there wasn’t any moment I felt home sick! I had home cooked Korean breakfast every morning. Think kimchi stew, kimbap, potato stew, japchae and soybean stew….. Breakfast in Singapore is usually just bread + coffee so I was actually quite shocked Koreans eat sooooo damn much for breakfast.

Nom nom….

After I left my friend’s place, I moved in to a guesthouse located in Myeongdong. Both Sheryl and I booked a room in “Seoul Tower Ville”. I would highly recommend this guesthouse to those visiting Seoul! The location is great, guesthouse is huge, price is affordable and mostly importantly, it is clean and the owner was really friendly and helpful. I wanted to borrow an iron to iron my crumpled shirt but the owner’s wife offered to iron it for me! ^_^

We only paid 29,500 KRW per night which is about SGD$35!! Look at the pictures below and I’m sure you would think it’s a steal!

I think the only bad thing about this guesthouse is that you have to climb a super steep slope to get back every night. But since Korea is filled with steep slopes, this is really nothing -_-.

Prepaid sim card
I decided to sign up for evergreen sim card (https://www.facebook.com/egsimcard?fref=ts) as most of the exchange students were also getting it.

You can actually choose to purchase the sim card online (and get it delivered to your hotel/collect it from a bookshop at Incheon Airport) or offline from GS25 at Incheon Airport. I chose the later. There are 2 types of sim card available. Either the 30,000 KRW or 50,000 KRW one. Insert the sim card after you purchased it but remember to configure your phone to the settings in the booklet if you purchase it offline. Everything should work fine!

HOWEVER! Do remember to register online at http://m.egsimcard.co.kr/ and input the last 3 digit of your sim card and a clear copy of your passport. This is extremely important because your data gets cut off if you don’t register! I was data-less for a day because I didn’t know I had to register…

The processing time was quite fast anyway. Only about 8 hours? If you need the service urgently, just drop a message to their FB account and they would get back to you asap! After you are done with the registration, you would have to activate the data plan.

There are 3 options available for the data plan. 100MB, 500MB and 1GB. So for example, if I were to opt for 1GB worth of data, EG would deduct 16,500 KRW from my sim card and leave the rest for calling/sms! You can activate the data plan via their website (https://www.egsimcard.co.kr/eng/index.asp) or their smartphone app.

And don’t worry about exceeding your data because there is also free WIFI available for EG Sim Card. Just drop them a Facebook message with your WIFI MAC address and you will provide you the access to WIFI shortly! You can access the WIFI in subway stations and selected restaurants and streets!

I know it sound kinda draggggyy and confusing but since they are the experts, drop them a message if you need any help! They reply really promptly and they are good at English!

Sightseeing & shopping
Basically, I had three full free days before I head over to Busan. 2 days were in Seoul where I did sightseeing + catching up with friends + shopping while the other day was spent in Suwon!

Seoul
The War Memorial of Korea > Bukchon Hanok Village > Namsan Tower > Myeongdong Cathedral
& Express Bus Terminal with Sheryl for shoppppping!

I love the War Memorial of Korea! I don’t know why but I’m always interested in the painful past of a country (that made me sound a bit like a lunatic but I love history!) so the museum gave me a good idea of the different wars in Korea… There were also lots of tankers and fighter jets around the museum so it’s definitely a cool attraction to head to if you have time!!

Express Bus Terminal was another crazy place. Things were crazily cheap there. Boots starts from 15,000++ and tops/cardigans starts from 10,000++. Everything was crazily cheap! Sheryl & I went a bit crazy in there and I managed to bargain a little there too! I think that could be my favorite shopping place after Ewha University shopping street!

Suwon
It was my first time in Suwon and I suggested to go to Hwaseong since it’s the landmark of the city. Such an amazing place. It’s so much better than Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul! It’s only an hour bus ride away from Seoul so it is actually a good place for a day trip!

Samcheong-dong

War Memorial of Korea

Bukchon Hanok Village

Hyewon gave me beanie as a welcome present. And yup, it was my favourite color!

Hwaseong 

Coffee with Inji ^^

Time for me to get out of here! School starts at 9am tomorrow but I have to wake up super early for breakfast + course registration + finding my way around school!!

Till next time! :)