Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Pensive Michelle

Like the Pensive Buddha, I'm gonna think and reflect on 4 things and here are my thoughts! I decided to write this because I just need to get some stuff off my mind. The best way to unload your thoughts is by writing. Enjoy these pictures from the National Museum as they are beautiful works of art and are national treasures.... 

KOREA-  Being in Korea for the summer is really great and I'm excited to be here... Korea is so rich in culture, history and it's a really safe place to be (albeit, a tad too expensive!) but I feel so safe walking in the back alleys near my Uni and a guy dropped his iPhone at the mall and he got it back... Unlike Malaysia when I left my phone for 3 minutes, and it's gone! It's going to be difficult when I have to live in paranoia once I get back to Malaysia. Korea is clean, and the Government, somehow works. Despite the corruption.... However, the people here are too shallow and everything is about looks and beauty. Heck, even the guys look like girls!!! They are obsessed with beauty that women are beginning to lose themselves and are beginning to look like the next person. I guess in terms of beauty, I just won't make the cut here... 

MALAYSIA- I miss my family, friends and The BF in Malaysia, not the country per se... All the way in Korea, I still read about the crime that's taking place in Malaysia and ever since Najib took control, crime is on the rise and he doesn't even know it because police station are not taking reports because the crimes "wasn't severe enough." I miss my family and now, I know that they love me unconditionally and I miss that. I miss the food, my pets and The BF so much that it hurts... I miss my friends as well cause they are as real as they can get and I can't wait to tell them everything... The only song that keeps playing in my mind is Home by Michael Buble... 

LIFE - I know that it's going to be a hectic time when I get back and only God will know where I'm destined to be and I need to pass my MA and I'm really praying that I'll do. I need to get my head together to write the most amazing dissertation that will blow everyone's mind away... LOL! But I will try my best! Then, it comes commitment and work and everything under the sun. Life can be ironic sometimes, But I guess I'm looking forward to what God has in store for me! When I go back to Malaysia, it's not a holiday anymore. I'm back in business and ready to rock. 

Summer school has affected me so bad and I'm going to leave Korea knowing that I'm a better person. Yes, I'm sad and I miss home and like Gustavo (The Colombian guy) says "I can see so much of sadness in your eyes"  and yeah, because of what's happening here but I'm going to take it as a learning experience where I learn to keep my cool and I figure out my self and getting to know myself. You know, nobody know you and even you don't know yourself. Everyday, I'm learning more and more about myself that I'm feeling more confident. Yes, the sadness in my eyes will always be here because I'm not used to being away from people I love and those who loves me... I'll admit that I'm gonna have a hard time adjusting to being without them... Like everyone else, I hate it and I want to go home but quitting is not me. 

Like the pensive Buddha, I'm smiling but you have no clue what I'm thinking.... 

~you don't know who I am~
Michelle May

Day 9: National Central Museum, COEX, Samsung D'light & Baseball Game

This is gonna be a long post and lots of pictures, so, let me stop writing and let the pictures do the talking!!!

 This is a jar coffin from the 4th and 5th century from the Yeongsangang River Basin and from it, they got crowns, shoes, necklaces, and swords!!! Beautiful, isn't it?
 Around the 3rd century, they believed that the souls of the deceased were guided to the heavens by birds and these ducks are for funerary ceremonies...

 This Gold Crown Belt is from the Silla period in the 5th Century and I can tell you that it's beautiful. The craftmanship is so simple and intricate at the same time. The design of the crown is very simple but the little intricate details such as the Jade pieces on the crown and pendants are just beautiful.
 This Ten Story Pagoda was made in 1348 and they believed that once a monk dies, and was cremated, a little seed would appear with the ashes and this seed is placed into a pagoda and this pagoda is the real dealio and it has intricate cravings of monks all over the tower...
 This piece was the highlight of the Museum. This is the Pensive Buddha. The curator said that Buddha was contemplating 4 things- Sickness, Old, Death and Life and the smile is the most beautiful smile in the world. I asked the curator, "How could Buddha smile when he's thinking about such terrible things" He said, that's the secret of the pensive Buddha... You never know what he's thinking about....
 After that, we went to COEX!!! They have these beautiful lantern lights thingy as a deco and functional lights... really pretty! My knees were killing me, hence, I didn't walk much...
 But I did managed to get this pic before departing COEX!!! The crazy glasses are from JJ and he loaned it to me for picture purposes!!! LOL!!!
 Here, we arrived at Samsung d'light where it's kinda like Iron Man's lair!!! All the technology!!!
 This is at the front door where you are greeted by... YOURSELF in a huge screen TV!!!
 The huge space for play, movies, gadgets, technology and everything you could think of...
 This is the light tunnel where tiny little LEDs light up to drums and sounds and changes colors!!
 This is the KSSP Coordinator Bob and he's just the cutest!!! He loves pictures of himself!!
 This is using the latest tab by Samsung and it's just sleek and thin!! I just have an issue with Androids, thats all!
 This is so Iron Man where it's touch screen!!! Besides that, I played Kinect and I beat Jamal in Bowling and had fun at Samsung!!
 This is the baseball game and it's baseball season so, we should go to a baseball game... We're rooting for the Bears and these are the cheerleaders...
 The stadium is packed to the brim and I don't know shit about baseball but after almost 3 hours there, I know what the fuck is going on!!! The Bears made many errors that they shouldn't have and yea, they lost.
 The coolest girl voting for the Bears!! It was a crazy, fast paced, heart attack inducing game...

The Bears vs. Nexens!!! The Bears lost... Kinda sad but nearly lost my voice screaming, shouting, cheering and dancing for the Bears!!!

It's so late and I'll be home tomorrow but my next update will be from the DMZ (Korean Demilitarized Zone) and the War Memorial of Korea.... 

Till then... Lotsa love from Korea and I'm missing Malaysia, tanah tumpah darahku!!!!!! 

~you miss me~
Michelle May

Day 8: Korean Language, Intercultural Communication & Movie Night: 왕의 남자

 I enjoyed Prof. John Stiles class on Intercultural Communication. The best part? He's been to Malaysia and he loved it!! This was a competition where students from different countries have to go up on stage and inflate a globe! There's Santiago (USA), Me representing Malaysia and Claudia (Colombia) and guess, who's the winner? ME!!!! And I got to keep the globe!

After that, I had the most delicious dak galbi with MJ, one of the Korean buddies. Dak galbi is popular South Korean dish generally made by stir-frying marinated diced chicken in a gochujang (chili pepper paste) and ours was served with lots of onions!! 

For movie night, we watched an old movie circa 2005 called 왕의 남자 (The King's Men) and the movie was really entertaining. It's about 2 minstrels who mocked the King in a satire and the King liked it and welcomed them in the palace for his entertainment. unfortunately, the King fell in love with one of the minstrels. Which makes the King kinda, gay... Picture credit to Wikipedia- 왕의 남자

Anyways, it was a good day till tomorrow's hectic schedule!!! 

~you know you miss me~
Michelle May

Day 7: Bowling

Here are some pictures from our Bowling session and yea, I'm a really bad bowler!! The ball went backwards instead of to the front!

~you know I'm bad~
Michelle May

Day 5 & 6: Jeonju Hanok Village, Traditional Wedding & Bibimbap Making

On the 1st Week and on Friday till Saturday, we visited a "slow village" and it's called a slow village because its home to 800 over Korean hanoks. Hanok is traditional Korean houses and stepping into this place is like, you're going back in time ala MIB III... 

 This is a typical home or street like in Jeonju... Very clean, paved and everything is clean and organized!

 This little stream runs through Jeonju Village and it's beautiful but I can't help think that it's equivalent to Malaysia longkang... but this is a very pretty longkang..
 A typical hanok in Jeonju where they still retain their millenium old charm with intricate doors and the roof of the hanok uses wood that is precut and fitted into the beams and no nails are used.
 Our "hotel" a typical hanok sleeping area where people sleep on mattress on the floor and the windows are still covered with paper just like the good ol days!
 My Bibimbap making crew! According to Wikitravel "Bibimbap is one of the most famous Korean dishes native to this region. Bibim means mixing and bap means rice. Served in the traditional brassware,it consists of rice with seasonal stir fried vegetables (carrot, bean sprout, radish, spinach, zucchini.bracken), seaweed (gim), and hot pepper paste (gochujang). It is also available in a hot stone bowl (dol sot), which slowly cooks the egg as you stir the ingredients together. The characteristic thing about Jeonju bibimbap is that it comes with Korean beef tartar (Yukhoe), Hwang Po Mook (a yellow jelly made from mung beans) and raw egg yolk (most of other regions in Korea serve with fried egg). Besides, Also give Mountain Vegetable (San Chae)"
 Our Bibimbap ingredients... I feel like I'm in Masterchef because we were supposed to cook Bibimbap after our teacher taught us how to make it!
 The end result? A Colourful, beautiful Bibimbap!!! This was made by the teacher and not me!!! This is how a traditional Bibimbap SHOULD look like.
 AND.... Presenting my Bibimbap!!! What do you think? Horrible? I didn't like the other ingredients so, this personalized Bibimbap only had things I liked!!! The yellow slices are the mung bean jelly!!! All I can say, Bibimbap is an acquired taste!
 Do you see me screaming KSSP?? We had a "Hanbuk" session where we get to try on the "Hanbuk" which is Korean's traditional clothing!

 Surprised that my boobs can actually fit into a "Hanbuk" and don't I look pretty here??? LOL!
 Next, we had to attend the Korean Traditional Music class where I played the Janggu!! According to Wikpedia - Janggu is the "most widely used drum used in the traditional music of Korea. It is available in most kinds, and consists of an hourglass-shaped body with two heads made from animal skin. The two heads produce sounds of different pitch andtimbre, which when played together are believed to represent the harmony of man and woman."
 Next, off we went to a book printing class and book binding class... The traditional way where you spread ink on an iron cast and place a paper over it to "print" the words unto the paper. Then, you have to bind it and I did a pretty good job! Next to me is Laura from Universidad del Norte (Colombia)
 I found this shaggy dog and was so hyperactive! One of the coordinators tried to take a picture with her and she wouldn't sit still and i went up to her and told her to sit and she sat down before showing me her love and affection by licking my whole face!! Gosh! I really miss The Cocker Spaniel!!!
One of the best ice cream in Korea that I've tasted so far!! It's flavour is the rubus coreanus which is a species of raspberry native to KoreaJapan, and China and it comes in a frozen tin and a machine will push it out into a cone and it cost about (2,500Won) and it's so creamy like froyo with berry taste and it's so delicious!!!

~you know I'm old~
Michelle May