Sewing Galore

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In full support of my sister-in-law and my sewing class teacher (yup, I'm attending a sewing class!) I went to their exhibit in Gwangjin Naru Art Center here in Seoul.

Sewing is "panujil" (바느질) in Korean. I could say that I was somewhat "forced" into it!haha Mainly because my sister-in-law insisted that I should attend sewing class. She's so worried that I might get bored so she always suggests something for me to be busy with (which I really appreciate!) Surprisingly, I became interested in it. Korean "panujil" is very intricate. If you have seen "Hanbok" (Korean traditional clothes) and have looked at it closely, you will see very elaborate designs and will notice that every detail was made by magical hands (well, it was!). I have noticed (and experienced ) the "labor of love" in every piece of work. And I truly admire these people for that.

They didn't actually make Hanbok for this particular exhibit, though. (It would take longer time!) Their works in the exhibit included stuffs like pillows, place mat, curtains etc..

This is Gwangjin Naru Art Center.

The yummy feast they prepared and shared with at the exhibit's opening.

A part of the exhibition hall

My sister-in-law's work

And this is sis-in-law and me!

I could not join this exhibit (most of them are already professionals!) but I want to show my works,too!

Being able to see and actually do these things made me realize how rich Korean culture really is. I hope to learn more in days to come:)

Doctor Hifalutin

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I was supposed to see my doctor today.

I have nontoxic goiter and I have been under medication for almost three years now. It's nothing serious, really. It's just a condition wherein there's an enlargement of nodules (a mass of tissue) or stuff in our thyroid (yeah, right! Let's just say your thyroid's getting bigger!) and it's more common among women. The endocrinologist (a thyroid doctor) I was seeing in the Philippines said I most probably got it from my mom (she had goiter when I was in grade school). I was not aware that I have one until my aunt noticed that my neck was slightly bulging. I knew my mom had one but it never occured to me that I will eventually acquire it. Luckily, mine is not cancerous (because other types of goiter could be). But the doctor said it could take years to cure it (or sometimes a lifelong medication is needed) and so regular check up is a must to monitor if the nodules (whatever!) are getting bigger.

And since a regular check up is needed, I also got to meet another doctor here in Korea. The first time I met him, I was so relieved that he can speak English well. In fact, REALLY well that it was "I" who was a bit struggling to catch up!lol He used a lot of medical terms that when he was talking, I heard stuff like nodules, thyroid gland... blah, blah, function, blah, decrease in blah, blah.. Anyway, you get the picture. It was not that hard though when I tried to really listen and digest what he was saying. Perhaps I was just so overwhelmed with meeting someone, during my first few weeks in Korea, who can actually make MY nose bleed in an English conversation:)

Today was supposed to be my third time to meet him. But I failed to undergo some blood test which, according to the doctor's secretary, was strictly required to be able to see the doctor. I would have to have the test first and then go back Monday next week. So, instead of today's check up, I ended up with a needle encounter that I have always been longing to... avoid!yay! I freak out every time. What a way to start the week!

Love eating at home:)

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It was a Sunday and my husband and I just stayed home (almost!) the whole day. Almost, because my husband had been itching to go to E-Mart (known to be Korea's largest retailer) today to look around and buy something for his pet fish! It seemed so crazy that ever since he got six fish for free from E-Mart two weeks ago, he kept on dragging me to go there almost every weekend (which "I" normally do! He kept on reminding me how much he hates shopping!) I refused to go with him anyway because I was feeling so cold (though it's already spring!) and was not in the mood to go anywhere. And so he went out by himself. But then he called me later on to say we were going to have a sort of "sam gyup sal" (삼겹살, grilled pork strips) party at home today! We used to eat out often before. But ever since we moved out from his sister's apartment, we started preparing food together at home (well, at least only when we eat sam gyup sal... he's the one in-charge of cooking!). And besides, I feel more comfortable eating at home ( I can have as much rice as I can! ) plus it's less costly.

so here's our blast...

Asul was the one cooking!:)

"samjang" (삼장, mixed soybean and red chili pepper paste)

"depa" (대파, green onion)

"ssam" (쌈, vegetable leaf wrap)

Eating time!! (you'd notice there's cheese!haha that's for my "kimchii chige" (김치찌개 or kimchii stew) to make it less spicy:)

And this is how you dig in!:)

I was soooo full I had tummy ache afterwards! I love Sundays!lol

Orange taxis!

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When my friend from high school had a layover here in Korea two weeks ago (she's a flight attendant), I offered to meet her in the hotel where she was staying and go somewhere afterwards. My husband told me I had to take the subway and then the taxi to get to the hotel. I am quite comfortable now in taking the subway because I have a map with English translation for the names of the stations plus I just have follow the colors of the subway lines! However, I still feel uneasy talking to taxi drivers. You see, I've been here in Korea for almost a year but my nose is still bleeding when I talk to them. I feel like my Korean pronunciation really sucks that they refuse to talk to me. Just like when I was on my way to meet my friend. I caught one taxi and when I said where I was supposed to go, he's got this frown on his face that I had to repeat it several times. He probably gave up (me, too!) and shook his head with matching hand gesture saying "ande" (안돼 or no). It was frustrating.

And so when I read this article, I was quite thrilled to know about these orange taxis or what they call "international taxis". Taxi is not my personal preference for transportation (it's quite costly!) but I do use them sometimes especially when I'm running late for my classes (sometimes means once a week!) or on rare occasions (like what I've mentioned).

Exclusive taxis for non-Koreans to appear in Seoul
April 21, 2009

In efforts to boost tourism and to make life easier for
expats, Seoul is set to introduce exclusive taxis for international tourists and
expatriates living in the city from May 1. The taxis will provide interpreting
services in English and Japanese and will be summoned through a reservation
system. Visitors will be able to reserve these so-called "international taxis"
through a call center or the Internet. The call center will offer 24-hour
service and there will also be a help desk at both Incheon and Gimpo
International Airports.Several taxi stands will be established in various parts
of Seoul including Insa-dong, Myeong-dong and Namdaemun Market.The service will
be launched with a fleet of 119 cabs and the city plans to increase this number
to 300 by August.

It's more expensive of course! But it's good for those people especially for the tourists who can't speak Korean:)

Love at first bite!

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Asul and I were riding our bicycles in an athletic facility near our apartment a few weeks ago when we spotted this beautiful white Great Pyrenees or Pyrenean Mountain Dog taking a walk with some people who seemed to be monks (the dog's probably meditating, too or something!)

I really love dogs (though i'm not very much familiar with a lot of breeds) I have had several pet dogs before and I really had this emotional attachment with them. I also want to have one now and I want this particular dog ( I prefer big furry ones! ) but it needs a big space. And since we are living in an apartment, i don't think it would work:( So to console myself, I just took a picture with this enormous creature. The monks were so accommodating. I guess they were already used to people treating their dog like it's a celebrity or something.

So here it is... ;)

I soooooo lurv it! I wish I could have taken it home:(