Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Some rings I've made

I have been making a few crafts lately, however, most of them have been for swaps or for friends so I won't be able to post them for a while.

However, I have made some rings for me lately. I'm really into big bold rings right now (as if you couldn't tell from the pictures!).

First is a "bow" ring, when Rich and I visited Japan last year, I saw some bow rings in Harajuku which were really cool but also really expensive. I thought I could make one myself and now I finally have.

On only had this blue/green ribbon on hand when I decided to make this ring, I think I'd like to make a few more - perhaps in pink or red or poka dots.

Also, it is kind of HUGE! I do like it thought - I'm not sure how practical it will actually be.

The other two rings were made using craft kits I bought here in Korea and also in Japan. I think I do like the kiwi fruit ring the best (I am from New Zealand after all!) but the strawberry one will go with more of my outfits as I have a lot of red clothes. I'm not sure it goes so well with purple nails though!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Birthday Dress!

It's my birthday soon, 15 July to be exact and every year around my birthday I buy myself a new dress.

I've always really been in to nautical themed things - but this year it's become a bit of an obsession so I thought I would buy a nautical themed dress.

This is the dress I've bought, it's from a UK website called The Rock Collection. I am hoping it will arrive in time for the picnic I am planning in Seoul park. However, I recieved an e-mail from the company today saying all overseas orders must undergo a security check which will take a week and the picnic is planned for 10 July - so it may not make it in time - boo!

I really love this website, they have all kinds of amazing dresses, there's another nautical dress I really like. Maybe next birthday - unless someone wants to contribute to my nautical themed clothing fund.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Movie Update - Movies 35 & 36

A while ago my mum sent me a few horror DVD's, including a Pet Sematary boxed set. Last night we watched the original Pet Sematary movie. It's been literally years since I watched this film but I still love it! I'm sure everyone knows the story - when things die and you bury them in the pet Sematary they come back to life but not quite as they were.

I love this movie, the crazy cat (well the living dead cat), the strange next door neighbour and the university student that the (doctor) father in the story tried to save after a horrific accident that follows him around on occasion to warm him about the pet semetary - not to mention the mothers deformed sister from her childhood that still haunts her memories. What's not to love? Plus the Ramones feature on the soundtrack. Awesome.

Keeping with the horror and cats theme is Cat People. In this movie, back in the day, there was a group of people that interbred with big cats - namely black pathers (I think) anyways speed forward to modern times (well the eightes). Nastassia Kinski is an orphan who had just found her long lost brother Malcolm McDowell - it turns out that their parents were "circus folk" and died before they could see theire children grow up.

The rest of the moving revolves around finding out exactly what cat people are and how Natassia Kinski deals with it all. Seen as it's seems that this brother and sister are the last of their kind.I really liked this gothic horror movie - unfortunately movies like this just don't seem to get made anymore. It's slightly off the wall and the music is amazing and it includes David Bowie in the soundtrack.Awesome.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

New Haircut!

When I first moved to Korean I always went to a local hairdresser in Uijeongbu, she did a pretty good job but I think she was a little scared of cutting my hair because she hardly spoke any English. It was also difficult to explain to her what haircolour I wanted so I just ended up getting black because it was easier.

But after a while I decided I was prepared to travel a bit further and pay a bit more to have an English speaking hairdresser.

I had a look on the internet and came across a salon called Zen Art Center it's near Ewha Woman's Univeristy, so it's about an hour from Uijeongbu but it's worth a trip. The hairdressers can speak English well and do a really good job - it costs about the same as getting my haircut at home which isn't cheap by Korean standards but they also do a great job and have great service so it's worth it.

Anyways, it is summer here now and it is very hot, so I got my hair cut a little bit shorter than usual. But I think it cam out pretty well - it's almost like a bob haircut.

One more poser photo of the new haircut - because being in Korea is all about the cheesy photos!

Just another summer day in Uijeongbu

Yesterday, Rich and I went for a walk around the "new town" in Uijeongbu. It was a beautiful day but at the moment the days do tend to get a little bit too hot. It's often 30 degree's during the day which I'm really not used to after living in Wellington for four years.

In the new town in Uijeongbu there are a lot of pet shops, pets here in Korea are a lot more exotic than back in New Zealand. You can have all kinds of pets - squirrels, hamsters, gerbils, hedgehogs, sugar gliders and the list goes on and on. Here's a few photo's I took outside some of the petshops in town. I really want one of these bunnies!

While we were out we decided to get some shaved ice or "Popping Su". Now it's summer it seems everywhere sells popping su from the ice cream shops to the bakeries and even KFC and Lotteria (a Korean fast food place simmilar to McDonalds) .Popping Su would have to be one of my favourite things about the Korean summer - it's shaved ice with fruit, ice cream cereal, red beans and it is kind of milky. It's really refreshing without being heavy like ice cream can be. We bought ours from a popular bakery chain called Paris Baguette but you can really get them everywhere!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Trees vs G-Market

If you have lived in Korea you would have heard of G-market as Koreans seem to love online auction sites.

If you haven't lived in Korea, well G-market is a little bit like E-bay or Trade me at home in New Zealand.

It's actually like Trade me on acid, hundred or possibly thousand's of Korean retailers are on G-market selling everything you could imagine from furniture to clothing to make up to food and more. It seems like hundred's of images flash up at you on any given page saying - buy! buy! buy!

Until recently, I had only really used G-market when our friends Conor and Sue came to stay from the UK and we needed to buy a fold out couch. However, when I bought that my co-teacher Jiyoun helped me through the whole process. You see, even though G-market has an English site a lot of the site is still in Hanguel.

I can't really read Hanguel, but I can work things out with the help of my guide book.

My first attempts at G-market (by myself) involved me sitting over our home computer, guide book in hand trying to work out what things said. I also had Rich on hand for additional help (as he can read Hanguel).

I rember one Sunday night we muddled through G-market, trying to find a jacket for me, we finally found one and had worked out the colour and size and everything else. However, when we clicked on the international credit card option it wouldn't accept my credit card or Rich's! (which is crazy because I've used mine on all kinds of international clothing sites over the years!).

At this stage, I was ready to give up on G-market, it was "just too hard". However, after talking to my friend Dani who loves G-market I decided to give it another go.

There were two reasons, one she told me about google crome which will translate a lot more of the site into English making it much easier to buy things and secondly she told me you can set up a G-market account in your name and transfer money over to that account using a Korean ATM.

I took her advice as I really wanted a summer bolero, a lot of my dresses have short sleeves or no sleeves which isn't a good look for teaching.

Much to my surprise, yesterday when I got home my bolero was there and it fits well and it only cost KRW10,000 (about $12 NZ) and my co-teachers today were very impressed!

I have also ordered some shoes, because it's very hard to get shoes that fit westerners here, I never thought I had big feet (US size 9) but here finding nice shoes is either impossible or extremely expensive!

I have now bought two pairs of shoes for my "big size-ee" feet - let's hope they turn up today (it's usually overnight delivery). I'll let you all know how it works out.

G-market and I are still having a few trust issues, I can admit it. But if the shoes are delivered on time I think that maybe we can work something out.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Monday, June 21, 2010

Fun times in Suwon

On Saturday, Rich an I decided it was time for another day trip. This time we headed over to Suwon.

Suwon is about two and a half hours from Uijeongbu and in retrospect we should have left much earlier! There are two big attractions in Suwon - Hwaseong Fortress and the Korean Folk Villiage.
We really didn't leave early enough to see the Hwaseong Fortress, so we decided just to go to the Folk Villiage.

The Folk Villiage is about 30 minutes from the Suwon Information centre by a free shuttle bus. I just thought I'd share some pictures from inside the bus as every Korean tour bus I have been on looks like this on the inside - like it's about to take you on a "magical mystery tour".

Here's a few photo's from inside the Folk Villiage, I really like these totem pole type things (I'm not sure of their Korean name).There were also a cow and calf at the villiage but I felt a little bit sad for them, they were in a small pen with no grass. I guess cows in New Zealand have a pretty good life - I think these guys would be much happier on my parents farm.

Here's a few general photo's of the Folk Villiage buildings, some of these are "commoners" houses, some were for people much higher in the social order.

In the villiage, there was of course, kimchi pots and chilli drying in the sun everywhere!
There were also a lot of markets in the folk villiage where you could make various items that have been made in the traditional Korean way - these photo's were taken at the carpenters stall. Although, I'm not quite sure who would want the last carving in their house, maybe that's "just for fun"?

There were a few free shows at the villiage, we saw a horse/acrobatic show and also this tightrope walker. He hasn't actually fallen in this picture, it's all part of the trick, I have to say it looked like a painful trick for a man to perform!One of the really cool things about the Folk Village is that you can actually touch and use the stuff at the park, unlike a museum, I really like that. Here's som of the stuff we played with - drums, some kind of game and I think what I am holding is some kind of pillow. But I am not really sure!

Here's a couple of photo's of rich playing a traditional Korean game we have played a few times before, basically you need to get those kind of spear like things into the bucket/circle type things. Sounds easy right - well it's not. Apparently this game was one that the aristocratic Korean women used to play back in the "old days" when they weren't allowed to leave their houses.
Time for more photo's of cute animals - there were a couple of donkey's at the folk villiage but this was the only one that would stay still long enough for me to take a decent photo.Also, here's some pictures of some bunnies. I didn't see this kind of bunny until I came to Korea, I would have loved to have taken these guys home with me - I don't think that would have made the folk village people too happy though. Finally, just before we left we visited the "Ghost House" - I knew it would be lame but if there is a ghost house, ghost train or ghost anything I have to go! I thought it was so lame it was good. But Rich thought it was so lame that it was, well, just lame.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Planning new adventures....

Rich and I have now found out when our summer vacation is, which means it's time to start planning!

During the winter we went over to pay Japan a visit and this time we are going over to Shanghai, Hong Kong and Macau. I'm really excited about this trip as it's my first multi-country trip.

I do realised that these days both Hong Kong and Macau are actually part of China, but they both have their own flags and own currency so I am counting them as separate countries.

I am especially excited about going to Hong Kong as I am going to catch up with my old High School friend Lillian who I haven't seen since my first couple of years of university.

Also, when we are in Hong Kong we are going to make a day trip to Shenzen on the Chinese mainland and visit Minsk World, which is a military theme park which includes a soviet era minsk aircraft. Can you imagine anything crazier than that? Because I sure can't and I'm so excited about seeing it!

I'm also excited about going to Shanghai to see the World Expo in Shanghai, I know it's geeky, but I went to the World Expo in Brisbane in 1988 when I was a kid and I am so excited at the prospect of going to a World Expo again.

Speaking of world expo, a while ago I told Rich that the mascot for the 1988 Expo was a platypus, which is, in my humble opinion one of the freakiest looking animals in the world.

When I was searching the internet I came across this picture of the World Expo 1988 mascot.
Speaking of mascot's, this guy is the mascot for the Shanghai Expo, I'm not sure exactly what he is but he is created from the chinese symbol which means people and his name is Haibao. He looks a lot like water to me.

Anyways, I should go to bed as it's too late to still be awake on a school night. But expect more exciting details of our trip as soon as they are finalised.