Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ewha Women's University~

Today a friend and I went to 이화여자대학교, or Ewha Women's University. It's practically across the street from my dorm (almost literally a five minute walk...I didn't time it, but we were there in minutes.) This campus is absolutely beautiful, including the walk there.

These are just the back roads to get there from my dorm. The roads there are even cute, and you pass the elementary school, so if you're lucky you get to see cute kids running around! (We were lucky~) The trees still have some leaves on them so I was able to take some pretty pictures walking there~

This is the campus that you walk directly's pretty unexpected as it's (in my opinion) more cool and beautiful than Yonsei's campus.

After just looking around for a bit, Kristen and I went to find someplace to eat. We went down a random road off campus and found ourselves at a quaint little restaurant called "Hungry Bob's" (I think).

It was so cute inside, I loved it! The food was cheap, too, which was a huge bonus for us. Each person was only about $6USD. Together it was only 13,000won total! Totally worth it on a cold, comfort-food wanting sort of day.

I got Tonkatsu Omurice (Pork cutlet with a fried rice filled egg, and a small salad on the side) and Kristen got bulgogi (marinated beef with vegetables over a bed of rice). Each came with a delicious miso soup and pickled radishes (My favorite!) I would definitely recommend hitting this place up if you're ever in the Ewha area.

While trying to decide where to eat, we stumbled upon what we thought was a cute bakery. We decided to go after eating and we were pleasantly surprised. 

It wasn't just some ordinary cute bakery, it was a decorate-your-own bakery. The inside was really warm and inviting. Really vintage and nature-like. 

We didn't want a whole cake, so we each got a cupcake instead. You got to choose your cake style and icing flavor. I picked Chocolate Fudge cake with Spearmint icing. Then, you picked the tip for the icing tube and went to pick out your decorations while you waited.

They had SO much to choose from! Everything was edible, too! Letters, numbers, different types of candies or powders. In the cooler they had things like chocolate shapes, fruits, was really amazing. The idea of a hand-made cake for a loved one from yourself is so awesome!

This is what we were given when ready. Just the cupcake and a squeeze tube of icing with your own desired end. But the result was that I'm a pretty great ice...icer? Icinger? Whatever, I did a good job.

I know, I'm the next Korean Cake Boss. But anyway. This is when we got to put all our chosen decorations on the cupcake. They had tons of tools to use, too! Sifters, tweezers, knives, and more. It was great.

This is what I chose. Everything was either 500won (about 45cents) or 1,000won (close to a dollar). Chocolate powder, a cherry, fruity twist marshmallows, a chocolate leaf, and the letter K made out of sugar!

This was my finished cupcake. Totally adorable, right? I should be a baker. Haha, it's a joke. I'd eat all the tings I made. It was about 6,900won ($6.85USD) total, and albeit that's a little pricey for a single cupcake, it was worth it to decorate it. We had so much fun and we laughed the whole time. We're planning to go back here for a birthday celebration because it was so much fun. So if you go to Ewha and want to do something different than shopping, try out Jammy's Cake! It's awesome!

After that we headed home

of course with our hand-made cupcakes in cute, convenient cups and bags! Ewha is an awesome place, and has a ton of cool places to shop, eat, or just hang out. Go there if you're ever in the area!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


I figured I could make a fun and informative post on my blog! Gmarket is a website in Korea that’s sort of like the Korean e-bay, just far better. I use it a lot here and it’s extremely convenient and sometimes a cheaper way to shop.

I’ve ordered many things through Gmarket, despite not really being able to understand Korean much at all. (Although it helps if you can read Hangul, so study up!) If you’re in Korea, I recommend using this site. You can buy practically anything on Gmarket, and they even have an “English version”.

If you type in or click this url you will be directed to Gmarket’s main English homepage.

As you can see, there’s already a ton to choose from just on the front page, and that’s not even the tip of the iceberg. You can find practically anything you could want or need here!

If you are outside of Korea you can easily make a foreign registration for Gmarket, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Shipping is astronomical…something costing around $21USD will end up costing around $85USD after shipping. If, on the other hand, you are in Korea, you will need an Alien Registration card to be able to get an account (I think). If you’re here for longer than three months you have to get one anyway.

If you’re a foreigner and you’re looking to buy clothes, the best resource is to search for “Big Size” or “빅사이즈” in Korean.I typed it in Korean and literally thousands of pages popped up with those keywords in them. I’ve bought my fair share of great clothes off Gmarket! But beware! Sizing in the west is far different from here in the east. I don’t mean different as in using a different system, I mean physically different.

Back in the states I have a pretty curvy body and wear about a size 15-16 jeans. Mostly I’m large or XL, but it can fluctuate between different styles or brands. Here in Korea, I’ve only ordered their free size (after checking to make sure the measurements matched up fairly comfortably with my own) or L-XL for shirts. Pants here are a whole different story. Not only will my hips and thighs not fit in most sizes here at all, I find that even jeggings and leggings fit somewhat awkwardly. Back in the states, I would wear a Large in jeggings usually, while here in Korea I have not once ordered below a 2XL, and even then I felt lucky. Normally I’m stuck to the 3XL size. As an example, here are the jeggings that just came in. 

Both pairs are 3XL and they don’t look any smaller than a large back home. Mind you, my thighs are rather large, so I know that’s what makes them fit awkwardly, but it’s still a small size as compared to what we are used to when hearing the word 3XL. Just because it says XL doesn’t mean it’s the standard of XL you’re used to, so make sure to check the measurements!

If you’re not sure what they are in Korean, I’ll explain. I’ll use an example of a listing on Gmarket of a shirt that I actually bought. The most important terms are “가슴둘레” (bust), “소매길이” (Sleeve length), and “총기장” (total length). They are measured in centimeters and are normally shown at the top or bottom of the item you click on. Sometimes they will have a small drawing of what each category represents on a shirt, sometimes not. Mine didn’t, so that’s why it’s important to know ahead of time! This is an example of the measurements from the shirt I bought~

If you understand what each thing is asking for, it’s pretty easy to navigate buying clothing here. The hardest part is finding things that fit just right…it doesn't happen too often. Also beware that sleeves here are far shorter, especially for girls’ clothes. The length might be 83 centimeters (on myself, a 5’8’’ girl, that’s past my butt), but the sleeves may only be 58-68 centimeters…just pay attention!

Gmarket is incredible and I hope that people can use it! Just look at the haul that came in for me today~

Face and beauty products from The Face Shop, high top shoes (Big Bang style), and two pairs of jeggings!

Another great part of Korea is the freebies…I got free insoles with the shoes, free makeup samples from the Face Shop, and free socks with the jeggings! Not all things will come with “service”, but some will! All of these things together cost me about $35USD. Clearly it can sometimes be a cheaper, easier route!

I hope that this has helped anyone who needed it or just was interesting! Enjoy your shopping!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Seoul Lantern Festival

Sorry for the lack of updates! I've been busy (and too lazy to update), but I'm back! Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in America~ In one month I'll be heading home...time has gone by so fast.

Anyway, I'm going to update photos from the Seoul Lantern Festival that happened this past week or so! It was really fun to see all the paper craft statues people made. It was on the Cheongyecheon stream that runs through Seoul, and there were so many people that showed up on the day I went!

We actually went backwards through the set-up, so we saw the last ones first...and they were super heroes! They had Batman as well, but he was facing away from me so I couldn't get a good picture ㅠㅠ But we really liked seeing them~

Then was Pororo! It's a Korean children's show, and it's totally adorable. They were even playing the theme song from the area!

Then there were some really awesome fish set up above the stream. This part was a photographer's dream, it had such great colors and reflections!

Some of these were really intricate and amazing. This dragon alternated lights and it was so huge. It was so cool to get up close to it.

There was a cool fish theme at certain places and I'm not really sure why. It was really awesome though, because they put the fish in the air, so it looked like you were underwater with them! It really lit up the sky above you as you walked.

Then they had children representing countries of the world! They had America, and we were represented by a Native American girl. I loved it, since that legitimately is what the traditional American heritage is! It was really cute.

and a HUGE fruit setup! I don't know what it was for, but it was awesome. It was a giant pineapple sticking out of the middle of the stream in downtown Seoul. They even have cute little grapes on the float~

There was a small section of the walk that had a wall filled with plastic bricks people had written on with their boyfriend or girlfriend. It was really cute and creative. Korea is obsessed with dating, but they make it really cute~

They also had these lanterns in the stream. People could craft them in a certain area and write on them with friends or loved ones, and set them free into the stream. They had little candles inside and it was absolutely adorable. There were an insane amount of people so my friend and I decided not to (we didn't even know where to begin...)

This was a really extravagant lantern setup. It was an entire traditional musical performance. They had music playing and everything, but it was amazing to see how big this one was.

If you're in Korea during the time of the Lantern Festival, I would recommend going! It's really cool and fun to see all the setups! Even though it's cold now-a-days, it was worth being outside to see them all. It was really amazing.

After we were out for so long, we stopped at a Tom-n-Toms to get a snack~ Pepperoni Pretzel and Cinnamon Chocolate ice drinks. This drink is my favorite thing in the world...if you get to go, try it! You won't be disappointed!

Anyway, I'll try to update more! I'm sorry that I've been absent from here for so long!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Busan – Part 2

Okay, so I last left off with us heading back to go to Haeundae beach! After we got back to the general area, we decided to eat. We stumbled upon a place known for having absolutely amazing pasta, so we decided to give it a shot just to see what all the hype was about.

And the hype was right! Their pasta was amazing. I got the chicken alfredo, Marissa got the bacon alfredo, and Kristen got the Thursday Burger, which had egg on it.

They were so delicious, and the bread given with it was regular bread! No sugar added, and they were wheat! I never wanted to leave it was so good. I think they place was called Thursday Party, Burger and Pasta. We totally destroyed our meal.

We then headed to the main attraction in my mind, Haeundae beach. It was absolutely beautiful. My favorite place is the beach, so this was an awesome day for me!

There were lots of people playing in the water, young and older, and families and children everywhere. It was a really fun environment, and I got to get in the water too!

The best part was probably when this older gentleman on a jetski went up to a group of girls who were having the most fun of anyone on the beach and asked if they wanted a ride. The men on the jetskis had been making waves for the people on shore, and the girls were absolutely delighted. You could tell it made their entire week!

There were tons of adorable kids in Busan! I couldn’t stop myself from snapping a few pictures of them.

After we had fun at this beach for a while, we decided to head to another for dinner and the nightlife.  Clearly it was my lucky day, two beaches ! Anyway, on the way there I took some pictures of other things. First, there are mountains everywhere here. They’re all covered in trees and they’re gorgeous!

Second, animals! We saw this cat resting in a closed restaurant. He was sunbathing and seemed pretty ticked off that we woke him up with our excited squeals.

Also, these puppies….they’re my soulmates in the animal world!

They were little maltese puppies for sale by a petshop owner, and they were so playful! We actually got to go in and play with them for a while. It really made me want my own dog and miss the one back home! After playing with them and dragging myself away, we started to the subway to go to the other beach. Since we were in Busan, we figured we had to get some seafood, so we found a place along the beach and ordered a great (see: expensive) meal!

Clams, oysters, seafood stew with octopus, and a rice/seafood mix. Despite not caring much for them back in the States, they were really good! You dipped the clams and stuff in this soy sauce and onion mix that was delicious and totally made the seafood scrumptious. The octopus wasn't chewy at all, it was actually tender. I don’t like chewy foods, so I was delighted to be able to eat it!

Then after paying, we headed to the beach. First, we stopped for some ice cream and soft drinks. We carried our haul to the beach and plopped down to enjoy the lights. This beach was beautiful simply because it was dark outside.

Sorry that the photos are blurry, but my camera didn’t know how to deal with the darkness, haha. They also sold some minor fireworks and sparklers to have some fun! There were some young kids who got some from their dad and they ran around so excitedly. This is the image my camera got~

After just hanging out and having a good time at the beach, we headed back home to crash.

The next morning we wanted to hit up a very famous fish market in Busan. I only got a few pictures of the harbor where it was located, but it was fun non-the-less! 

After having an awesome lunch of fish at the market, we had to head back to the station and go back home to Seoul. Busan was an amazing trip and I’m so glad to have gone. I really loved my time there, and I’m starting to look into teaching there~