Monday, December 24, 2012

1) Make a list 2) Read the list 3)Throw away the list

More fascinating oddities in Korea!

48. Pics with the foreigner
By now, I am so used to this that when Koreans ask me to take a picture with them I don't even think about it and just do it. Almost every time we go out in a group, Koreans ask us to take a picture with them. I've taken pictures with middle school kids, couples, kids, and 아저씨 (ajeoshis -married older men).

On one occasion, a group of about 15 expats were going hiking and of course an 아저씨 approached us with his camera. We thought he wanted a picture with all of us, BUT he only wanted a picture with  one girl from our group, probably because she had blonde hair and blue eyes. It was awkward when he approached us, and everybody in the group was ready to take a picture, but the 아저씨 only wanted a picture with one girl haha.
middle school girls who wanted a pic with us

49. Fast deliveries...see 32.

50. Mirror toilets
I still don't get this all. I get all the other mirrors everywhere else, but WHY...WHY would I want a mirror on the bathroom stall door crotch level? Am I supposed to see my tushie after I'm done to make sure it's clean?

51. Assigned seating at the movies
This is such a brilliant idea that should be implemented in the States and everywhere else. When you buy  your movie ticket they ask you where do you want to sit, and they show you which seats are available so that so you can chose. It's awesome because if you buy your tickets in advanced, you can be late and you'll know for sure you'll have your seats waiting for you. Or even if you buy your tickets and there's a long line at concessions, again, there's no hurry to save seats. BAM! Korea is awesome!

52. Kimjang
This happened a couple weeks ago; it usually happens at the beginning of winter. In order to prepare for the long winter, families make huge batches of kimchi, actually enough for a whole year. I have yet to see this, but they let it ferment in a big brown pot that is buried so that it won't go bad. I have also heard of "kimchi refrigerators" which are exactly what the word says; so homes will have two fridges.

Last year a friend gave me some kimchi, but I couldn't finish it all because it was super spicy. This year, a coworker gave me three WHOLE cabbages ...the kimchi is still stinking up my fridge -_-.

53. Stationary Stores
Or for my Spanish speakers paperlerías! Yaaaaay never thought I'd see these outside of Mexico. I used to love going to papelerías because I love crafts and anything scrapbooking station back home can attest to that.

These are stores where you can buy school materials on a daily basis, you don't have to run to the supermarket just to get a new pencil. And conveniently there is always a stationary store near every school, so if you need something for school, you can stop on your way to school. You can also buy tons of other craft materials for projects and DIY. The stores can range in size from small on a corner near a school to three-story mega stores...I go crazy in those! Gaaahh I love crafts!..sorry, I just a little moment. There's a chain I like called Alpha. They are pretty well stocked with just about anything. One just recently opened near my neighborhood, but they are almost everywhere. There's a ginormous one in Seoul where let's just say my wallet pays the price.

Alpha Co. Ltd.

54. Elections
This past December 19th was time for Korea to chose a new president. Two great things came out of this event. 1) We got the day off. Say whaaaaaaaaaa? Yes, day off to go out and vote. Well, not me of course, but other people. I'm not sure whether EVERYBODY gets the day off. I asked my coworker about it, and she vaguely replied that sometimes people have to wait in line for too long to vote so they just get the day off just in case. Yay for us waygooks!

2) Campaigning, and the best way to do so in Korea is by blasting loud music and doing cheesy little dances. It is awesome.  I took the picture below in downtown, Pohang. They are campaigning for candidate No. 1. Yes, they go by numbers, I believe there were 7 candidates.

No. 1, Mrs. Park was chosen as the new President. Not too many people around me were happy because she is disliked since her father was a dictator back in the day. Apparently she apologized for her father's actions, but she is still uber conservative. A coworker was so upset that she even got sick from the result and went home early on Thursday.

55. Wine Train
Wine + train ride = awesomeness! Yes ladies and gents, this is why Korea keeps winning! How can you beat unlimited wine for almost 8 hours?! Let me answer that, YOU CAN'T!

Ana and I decided to finally go on one of these on December 15th because we had heard about them and had been wanting to go on one for a while now. We paid 98,000 won  (~ $91) which I think was a pretty good deal, like I said there was unlimited wine, snacks (cheeeeeeeeeeseballz!), the winery's tour, a hot wine footbath, a pretty damn good lunch buffet, and train transportation to and from Seoul. We were with the Travel Pants group, a group of about 15 waygooks.

We hoped on the train in Seoul at 9am and the drinking started at 10am. The only downside to the train was that it only offered Korean wine. Which I understand because the train seems to be organized by the Korean winery Chateau Manni. Their wine was alright, it got better after the third glass. On the the train they offered one white wine and three red wines...I think, a lot of things are a blur hehehe.

hot wine footbath
I need this at home!

I vaguely remember dancing with ajummas, stealing a couple bottles, making some odd smelling bags, bus number 3, awful drunk karaoke, and walking around a small town and seeing lots of ginseng.

<--- the odd smelling bags, I have no clue where mine ended up

The Travel Pants organizer also added a Christmas theme to the experience so we had a VERY drunk white elephant gift exchange on the way back...damn you person who stole the reusable hand warmer from me!

All in all, it was a great fun experience which I will definitely be doing again hehehe. And props to Travel Pants who did an amazing job!

 <-- with our white elephants gifts.

Yay last day of school today!
Happy Holidays!


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Winter is coming...

It's that time of year again. The time when I almost called it quits on Korea...

Let me start with what happened last year and why it sucked. I'm from SD, where winter is almost non-existent. Does the weather get cold every once in a while? Yes. But you put on a sweater and you're good... and maybe a scarf to look cute, not because it's needed.

Coming to Korea, I knew there was a winter, a real one, but I wasn't sure how to prepare for it. Obviously I don't own winter clothes aside from a couple sweaters, a coat, and a jacket I bought when I went snowboarding in Big Bear (which I didn't bring to Korea because it was going to take up more room in my luggage...oh ignorant me).

As the weather started getting colder in November, I quickly realized that I was doomed. Aside from not having proper winter clothes, I didn't have layer-able clothes like long-sleeve shirts, knit sweaters, or even thermals. So of course I knew I needed to go shopping. Unfortunately, I was on a tight budget because I was saving up to go back to SD (plus paying my loans) so I knew I could not spend too much money. So I bought a few more sweaters and thankfully my mom sent me an early xmas present, a new coat and my jacket.

What made winter worse was that I was walking to work everyday. A 20 minute walk in the freezing cold! (...and 20 mins back to my house). Plus, add using public transportation to go everywhere... yeah not fun. My nose got so dry that it would suddenly start bleeding.

Korea hurt my feelings. It took my romantic view of winter and crumpled it like a worthless piece of paper ...and tossed it in the trash ... and spit on it. Living in SD and having pretty much only one season, I always loved it when the weather got colder because I got to wear "winter clothes" ...what I thought were winter clothes at least. I was so excited to finally live through a REAL winter. To wear hats and gloves and scarfs. To cuddle up with a blanket with a cup of cocoa and watch movies. Instead, I got daily nose bleeds, frozen toes and fingers, and dry skin (which totally surprised me because I have extremely oily skin, I even had to buy a special and expensive moisturizer).

But alas, this year, I have a feeling it will be a different story. Winter doesn't officially start until December 21st, but the temperature is quickly changing. Below is this week's weather forecast. As you an see from Wednesday, the temperatures are dropping dramatically ...and they will drop even more. Yesterday it was actually snowing in the west part of Korea; Seoul got a nice few inches of snow.

Ana and her friends made a Totoro!

Things that are different this year:

I have a car! Which means I don't have to walk to work nor wait for buses. Hooray! I honestly didn't even feel like winter was here already. Last year by late November, I was already complaining to Ana and she said, "Dude, it's barely November, winter hasn't even started."

I have REAL winter clothes! Now that I am able to actually spend a good amount of money I have been stocking up on thermals and knit sweaters ...I have a problem now hahaha. The other day I was thinking, "What the heck am I going to do with all these clothes when I go back to SD?" I also have my boots, that I brought from SD back in January, to keep my toes nice and toasty. My dad gave me those boots a long time ago as an xmas present; I used them once when I went to Big Bear. When I went back to SD in January, I remembered them so I thought they would be useful ...those were the only shoes I used for the remainder of winter after I came back, and they will be the only I shoes I wear this winter.

So yes winter, BRING IT ON! You won't defeat me this time. You won't bring me down to my knees begging you to stop. I plan to actually enjoy you and maybe hurt YOUR feelings, just kidding, I still like you so I will give you another chance ^_^.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The path we choose

You know how sometimes you see something that triggers a bunch of thoughts and your head starts spinning? It could be because it reminds you of things from the past, or maybe things to come. Or simply it makes you reflect about life in general.

I recently had one of those moments and I cannot stop thinking about the 'what if's. Yes, those dreadful thoughts that sometimes are just so horrible to think about, but you just can't stop thinking about.

Life can always go one way or another depending on your choices, or unfortunately choices made for you. But sometimes some decisions are so profound that they turn your life 180 degrees, sometimes for the better good or for worse. Thankfully, the choices I have made have given me many more opportunities that now looking back, my life could have been everything I dread now.

If a certain event in my life had continued not too long ago, I would not be here. And by here, I mean working abroad having the time of my life, meeting new people, exploring a new country and its culture, and having my dream job. Back then, I had already thought about going abroad, but there was something holding me back. And even back then, I knew that if I were to stay in that situation, I would never get such an opportunity. Why? Because I was a coward. Because I was taking the easy way out. Because I thought that that was better for me since I didn't know better. Because I thought I couldn't find happiness anywhere else. But I was wrong....totally wrong.

I know this post is completely different from my other posts, I don't intend to start a diary so don't worry hahaha, I just felt this relates to my life in SoKo.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Lesson

Me: What sound do turkeys make?
S1: Cock-a-doodle-doo
S2: Moo?
      What people had the first Thanksgiving?
S3: Obama!
Me: oh dear...
      What do we watch on Thanksgiving?
S4: Oprah Winfrey Show!

oh my students...

Monday, November 12, 2012

PepperoLess Day

Yes, once again 11/11 rolled around and I was so excited to get my Peppero week supply as I did last year. To my surprise though, most teachers at our school decided to ban Peppero...either for health reasons or so that they don't spend money on a Hallmark made type of holiday. Needless to say, I got 2 single sticks and a box of Peppero...what a sad day really. You know, expats like me DO want the little chocolate covered sticks. We look forward to this day. We crave the Peppero. Plain and simple, we want it.

So I went home Friday with my sad small stash of Peppero and that was the end of, Monday morning. I get to my office and two girls who come often to my office came. This was my conversation with them:

Lacey: Teacha, Peppero Day, how many?
Me: Three, and you?
Lacey: Four.
Me: But your teacher said no Peppero (most teachers banned Peppero at our school)
Lacey: In bathroom...shhh, secret, I have Peppero.
Me: buaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahhahahahahahaha

I couldn't stop laughing. And then. they started using body language to show me how they hid and exchanged Peppero in their jackets and backpacks. Hilarious! 

AND, I got more Peppero muuahahaha.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Look Ma, I'm in North Korea!

Ok it's time I write something I know it's been a while, but not much as happened since I came back from SD.

Two weekends ago SoKo celebrated it's version of Thanksgiving called Chuseok where they give thanks by bowing to their ancestor for either giving them a good harvest or simply for having food on the table.

The day before Chuseok families prepare tons and tons of food. They cook all kinds of food, but don't use red pepper or garlic (important ingredients in K cuisine); they do this because garlic and the color red scare off ghosts, but for Chuseok people want ghosts to visit. On the day of Chuseok, they put all the food on an especially decorated table, they bow and then they might leave the room so that the ancestors can come in and enjoy the food. Ten minutes later people come back and enjoy a nice meal.

All this happens at the husband's parent's house, not the wife's. sometimes the wives are not allowed to bow because she is not directly linked to those ancestors.

Sometimes children also get money and some people might exchange gifts. I got socks from the principal and I got a nice, and very much needed, hair product box set from a student's mother.

socks wrapped in a very fancy way

I kind of see Chuseok as a combination of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Día de los Muertos.

Since Chuseok and another holiday, Foundation day, fell really close to each other, most of us got a 5 day weekend. Originally I was supposed to go to Jirisan, the second highest mountain in SoKo but so many people travel on Chuseok that we decided not to because it was going to be complicated. So instead I decided to head to Seoul and visit Ana.

We hiked a mountain in Seoul. I did a little shopping. I had the most expensive dinner ever!  And I finally was able to go on a tour of the DMZ.
hiking in Seoul

46. The DMZ

entering the first checkpoint

 The tour took almost the whole day and it was a bit pricey but it was definitely worth it. One cannot enter the DMZ alone, you have to be part of a tour group.

After the first checkpoint by a K soldier we arrived at Camp Bonifas where an American soldier checked our passport again as well as our clothes. One cannot wear sandals, shorts, short skirts, sleeveless shirts and no torn jeans. They told us no sandals in case we have to run but they didn't explain the shorts? Doesn't make sense. Our guide told us that back in the day everybody had to wear a suit to go in...I can only imagine being there wearing a suit when it's mid-summer...gross!

After a brief slide show on the DMZ we were given a paper saying that we were entering at our own risk and that they were not responsible for any injury ...or death -_-....I signed the damn paper anyways...when will I ever get this chance again?

We were then transferred to a military bus that was going to take us deeper into the DMZ. The first stop was the JSA (Joint Security Area). We got off the bus and walked towards the Freedom House. It was built by SoKo so that families could reunite, but NoKo decided not to allow it's citizens to enter so it never got to be used for it's purpose.

From the Freedom house we took only a few more steps and we were at Panmunjom (aka the Blue Houses: the color is blue because the UN oversees them). This was such a weird-interesting experience that I can only compare it to visiting Auschwitz. We were face to face with the NoKo side. The American soldiers told us when it was ok to take pics, we only had a couple minutes. They also had warned us that if there were NoKo tourists on the other side, NOT to wave back or point. That if we wave back, NoKo might take pics and use them as propaganda, kind of like saying "Look! This foreigner likes us!" our guide made it clear to not do it at all. There was a group of NoKo tourists and they were waving, but we just stood there and ignored it...awkward. 

                                                                       see how the SoKo soldiers stand?

halft the table in SoKo, half in NoKo
I'm on the NoKo side

We then got our turn to go into one of the blue houses. The houses sit exactly half in SoKo and half in NoKo, so guess what? I got to step into NoKo! Well only a few steps, but I was there. Inside the house, a table sits exactly on the border, so when officials from both sides need to meet they each stay on their respective side. There were also 2 SoKo soldiers in there standing firmly without moving, like the Swiss guards at the Vatican.
proof I stepped into NoKo haha

The SoKo soldiers in Panmunjom look different from your average Korean. They are taller and more muscular. They are hand picked from their training especially to be here. SoKo does this to show NoKo how powerful and intimidating they can be. The soldiers standing outside behind each house stands with half his body hidden in the house in case NoKo soldiers shoot, they will have less visible target. 
After that, we got on the military bus, switched to the tour bus and made out way to the 3rd Tunnel. It felt a bit eerie down there to be honest. Not because I was scared that NoKo would attack at any moment, but more about the significance of it. SoKo discovered the tunnel 3 years after NoKo started building it. There are 4 known tunnels dug by NoKo, but SoKo believes there might even be as many as 10. 

this monorail took us down to the tunnel

Those mountains is NoKo

the most northern SoKo train station which also goes to NoKo

in Dorosan stattion

One thing I learned from the tour is that SoKo never really signed the agreement to divide, the UN (with the US) signed it on SoKo's behalf, so SoKo is still technically at war. 

The whole experience was amazing, I'm glad I got the feeling I did from it because I hadn't felt that at all in SoKo. I think it's due to being at a place of which I had actually heard of before...uneducated me -_-.

money from NoKo, doubt it's real though...

Anyways, that was my five day weekend ^_^


Monday, August 13, 2012

Team Amurrica

Such bitter sweet last days before vacation...Team Amurrica has officially started to lose dear members. Shay will be on her way tonight to India and then go home to Charlotte. Jared will leave Korea for good tomorrow as he makes his way to Michigan. And lastly, Ana will move to Seoul a week before I come back to Pohang. And though I'll definitely visit Ana in Seoul, it won't be the same without her.

I'll be the last member standing in Pohang. Who the hell am I going to hang out with? I am praaaaaaaaaaaaayiiingg I get a latina in the building! please please pretty please!...a least a girl.

Tonight being our last night together, Jared, Ana, and I will have a movie night and stay up until we need to catch a bus to Incheon at 5:30 am....our last bus ride together :(

waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa...this isn't even cute...

San Diego, see you mañana!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Driving in SoKo

As you remember, I purchased a car a few months ago. I do consider myself a good driver overall, aside from minor scratches, I haven't had accidents or anything of that nature. (ok yes, I had a small accidents back in January in Tijuana, but in my defense the street was not well lit and I didn't see that center-divide thing...nobody was hurt).

Generally speaking, in the U.S when we drive, we think of the word "CAUTION". We look before making a turn. We signal other drivers. We are courteous to other drivers.  We obey lane pattern and traffic lights. Again, all in the sake of being cautious and to avoid accidents.

In Korea, such word does not least for drivers.

I find myself screaming at other drivers more and more because the nonsense doesn't stop.

I do drive in Tijuana, Mexico where, let's be honest, many rules are broken too...Some American drivers (including my sister) are scared to drive down there. So at first I didn't feel like there was that much of a difference, I knew what to look out for. Plus, being a passenger on a taxi or bus I knew that drivers weren't too cautious.

So what kind of crazy stuff happens here?
-For starters, traffic lights and lane patterns are merely suggestions. Everybody does this, even public buses and cops. And I've asked why the cops don't give tickets for this, and my friends tell me it's because they are more concerned with drunk driving than anything else.
-Other drivers will cut you off to go into your lane without signaling. When they want to merge into your lane, they don't wait for a SAFE amount of space between cars. I know this happens in the States too, but here it happens way too often to ignore.
-Drivers don't look out for pedestrians.
-Pedestrians (yes, they too) jump out of nowhere trying to cross the street without looking.
-Drivers don't stop and look when making a right turn. This drives me crazy because it pretty much falls on the drivers of the oncoming traffic to look out for these crazy drivers.
-Cars park where they aren't supposed to, even if it means blocking a FULL lane; so I avoid driving on the far right lane because out of nowhere there will be a car parked.
parked on the right lane, see how they block half of it?

On their defense, parking is not widely available so yes it is hard to find a spot. Also, some lanes are super narrow so two-lane streets often become one-lane streets with two-way traffic.

Parked on sidewalk to go to the bank. I go to this bank too, to I sometimes park on the sidewalk too lol

I drive through this street everyday, see all the cars parked blocking both lanes? So I have to drive in between

parked on the curve...horrible!

On top of all of this, add to the mixture a hierarchy of drivers. It seems to be buses/taxis < delivery scooters/motorcycles < other scooters/motorcycles < ajummas walking < cars < pedestrians/bikes

buses in korea...

I always get scared driving next to a bus because they'll seriously make you move by almost pushing you. If you don't move, you'll be in serious trouble...I can't risk it with Snowball.

One thing I've noticed is that Koreans can't make quick decisions. Now, think about this while applying it to driving. What does that get us? Drivers not knowing where to move quickly if needed; you end up doing that awkward dance with your car of "I turn left, the other driver turns left, I turn right, the other driver turns right"...and this can go on for minutes. And the same happens with pedestrians.

On my driver's ed book, it even said that Koreans have only been driving since recently and thus have not developed the kind of "caution" *cough* common sense *cough* we have.

I don't mean to put all Korean drivers in this category, I just want to point some of the crazy stuff that I've noticed now that I'm driving. Ask any expat in Korea, and they will tell you the same.

Some interesting things about driving in South Korea:
-There are speeding camera EVERYWHERE.
-ALL drivers have to go to driving classes before getting a license.
-At night when cars come a complete stop at a traffic light, drivers turn off their headlights, why? I read that it was to avoid blinding other drivers coming from oncoming traffic....still doesn't make sense to me, just think of the possible accidents this could cause.
-When cars come to a stop, most drivers put their car on "Park", why? No clue.
-Most cars have a navi system...which also serve as TV's, thus TV viewing while driving is common.
-Like I said, cops won't stop you for running a red light, the only thing they care for is stopping drunk drivers.
-You don't have to pump your own gas, there are people who do that. There are self gas stations though. My friend has never pumped her own gas and doesn't know how.
-Seat belts and child car seats are suggestions too.
-When you enter a parking lot (those big ones that are a building), people turn on their hazard lights, why? No clue again

It's going to be weird to drive back home because either I'll want to drive like a Korean (which I started to already), or I'll be confused by all the good driving.


Summer all the waay!

Oooooh so many things to talk about.
I've been all over the place lately and there's so much more's crazy!

I'll start with a cute story. Every year all schools compete in an English speaking contest where us foreigners write a short play and coach the students. I wrote a play about "don't judge a book by its cover" and it of course took place in the16th century (duh!).

We rehearsed for about 4 weeks, three times a week. The hardest part was getting the students to act. They memorized the script overnight, but they had no idea what they were saying.

So finally we competed against 31 elementary schools (yeah, that's ALL of the elementary schools here in Pohang).

Sad to say we didn't even rank top 10. But that's ok, I was a proud momma. The students didn't freeze or forget their lines, so I was happy.

We decided to finally go to Costco...and I drove! It was a one and a half hour drive to Daegu...first road trip! I have a Korean navi on my iPhone so we got there with no problem. We went on a Saturday and OMG it was crowded! Not even the Costco in Tijuana is ever that crowded. Our first stop was of course pizza!! Gosh how I missed Costco was heaven.

We made our way through the two-story store in search of anything western. I was a bit disappointed because as a pescetarian, there wen't too many things for me. It's definitely heaven for those who eat meat because they have everything. But that's ok, I did not walk out empty handed. So what did I buy? Apple pie! Cookies! Feta cheese! Frozen strawberries! Oatmeal! Yeah yeah, it's mainly junk food, but who cares! we were happy to have decent junk food at least.

I had previously considered getting a Costco membership. But now seeing that I would not truly benefit from the products they have, I wont.

We found out about a place called Herb Hillz (eco-park) in Daegu where we could zipline so we immediately  made plans to go.

We only paid 19,000W (about $18) for the ziplining experience. We had to wait about an hour before our turn, so we went around taking pictures with all the little cute things they had.

When it was our turn, we got our gear and a 15minute lesson (in Korean -_- ) on safety how to use the gear. We understood mostly everything because he instructor made sure we were watching him closely haha.

The whole time we were going to be at least 30 feet from the ground because it wasn't just ziplining; it was a course of obstacles and little challenges. We chose the KingKong course because it said it was the longest (and we wanted to be up there as long as possible, it said it would take 40 mins), the Tarzan course takes less but it was the hardest and Ana and I did not want to do that one.

And off I went!!!

up in the trees hanging out
 I ended up with huge bruises on my arms, legs, and butt, but it was sooo worth it! I would totally go again.

After lunch we headed to the zorbs! We paid an extra 4,000W for 6 minutes of fun! We felt so silly because it's almost impossible to stand up, the harder you try, the harder you fall.

me in the zorb


Since Jared hadn't been to Homigot and he's leaving soon, I decided we should drive down there and have a day at the beach. It was good to go back after probably nine months. There was something new, they had a little pier.

we bought matching hats in Busan a while ago...a mistake, but we needed to make use of them.

Ana told us about how Koreans think that Korea looks like a tiger, what do you think? Apparently other people think it looks like a rabbit. 

 Homigot is supposed to be on the tail of the tiger, see it?

nice view of Homigot

Jared made friends

 And of course I had to get a flat tire -_-...I drove to a nearby gas station and they didn't have an air pump! They told me to go towards the next town over. So I did very slowly. When we got there, the guy there took out this tiny manual air pump, so I put Jared to work. We made home safely ^_^.

And to finish things up, here are some more cool things for The List!

42. Etiquette bells?
What the bleep are these you ask? I asked myself the same question every time I saw one in the stalls...oh yeah, you see these at many public restrooms next to the toilets.

I had been tempted many times to push the little red button, but then I thought, "what if a Korean starts speaking through the speaker and I can't answer?"..."what if they think it's an emergency?"

So finally I asked my friend and what she said made me giggle. She said that sometimes people are shy to pee when there are other people in the bathroom. Solution? Push the little red button and a nice little song will start so that it covers the sound of you peeing.... -_- hahaha.

43. Korea doesn't do guy liner, they do guy makeup!
Yes ladies and gentleman you heard right, guy makeup. Now that it's summer I've noticed it more and more because it just melts off guys' faces.

I'm hoping Korean girls find this attractive because I know western girls for sure don't!

I guess they do this for the same reason that Korean women wear lighter makeup than their skin tone, they just want to have lighter skin. As I've said before, people here like lighter skin tones.
Just like having a slim figure, white skin is considered beautiful and even luxurious. This is why many Korean women wear makeup that is waaaaay lighter than their skin tone. But apparently now, it is a growing trend for men to also wear makeup.

The first time I saw this I didn't even know what to make of it, but the more I learned about it, the less socking it became. Overall, I just now find it fascinating how different cultures define beauty.

This article sums up pretty well why men wear makeup as well.

Unfortunately I don't have a picture of this because I don't want to look like a stalker asking a random guy if I could take his picture or trying to take a picture in secret and get caught.

44. Fake plastic food
Many restaurants have their menu beautifully displayed in a glass case outside the restaurant. It's of course plastic, but it all looks yummy. Coffee shops do this too with their pastries. I think this is such a good idea because you can see exactly what food you'll get and how much you'll get.

At the OPEC museum they even have a little plastic-food display of what they had for dinner when all those important people met.

...I would've been a happy lil girl if I had that kind of plastic food to play with in my lil play-kitchen  hehehe.

45. European obsession

the most famous bakery in Korea, Paris baguette...where NO baguettes are to be found
Being a French major with a minor in Italian, I noticed right away all the French and Italian words around the city, as business names, brands, on billboards, and just about anything. It actually made me feel a bit comfortable because it relieved some stress from trying to understand all the Korean around the city.

But, I then realized that it was too much...a little too much.

Maybe it's really obvious because Korea is a small country? Or maybe the obsession has gotten out of control? I don't know, but whatever the reason, I love it!

The funniest thing is when Koreans pronounce these words, my favorite is a bakery called "Tous les jours" and it sounds like "tuh-ruh-juh-ruh".

26 days til I'm in sunny San Diego!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!