Tuesday, October 31, 2006

가시 나무

I have just discovered 조성모. 진짜...

Can anyone tell me why Lee Young Ae had to cut her fingers when she was all dressed up in a kimono in front of all those gangster-looking guys?

About JSM, I understand that he was the crown prince of ballad. Until 성시경 came along and took the title away from him...sounds like some drama that we are all crazy about. Anyway, here is Jo Sung Mo's cool official website. It has all the videos....

Monday, October 30, 2006

왕의 딜레마

저는 어제 보터 "궁" 드라마를 계속해 봤어요. 재미 있는 데요. 오랫만이야 ...신군을 보면, 기분이 너무 행복해....채겅도...

안돼!! 우리 사랑하자!!

싱가폴에서 channel U 로 "궁"을 불수있어서, 10대들이 신군거나 율군을 인기가 많이 있어요. 제 조카딸들도 고민하고 있어요. 신군? 율군? 갑자기, 싱가폴 사람들이 이런 딜레마를 있어요. 재미 있죠?

Lee Seung Chul singing 사랑할수록 , the song that Yul sang to Chae Gyeong in the library.

궁 만화

Ok....so I did it. I couldn't stop at book 1 or end at book 12 without reading the rest, right?

그개서 , 어제 밤에 , 저는 만화가게에 갔어요. 궁의 두번째 만화책을 샀어요 ^^

중국어(繁体字)로 씌어 있어서 좀 힘들겠지만, 재미있을 거예요.

옛날 옛날에, 초등 학때, 저는 처음에 중궁어를 배웠어요. 왜냐하면, 친구들은 모두 중국 사람이에요. 친구들 한테 이야기 하고싶었어요. 그래서, 혼자서 중국어 공부했어요.

중국어 만화를 읽고, 중국 가수의 음악을 듣고 (刘文正), 중국 드라마 하고 영화를 많이 봤어요. 너무 재미 있었어요.

.....wow...that seems like decades ago. Wait a minute.

It WAS decades ago!!

Anyway, I have decided that I will try to collect all the 궁 manhwa in different languages. If you know of their existence, please tell me. I am sure there is one in Japanese.

Ok, where did I put that big Chinese Dictionary......

Update (22 Dec 06):
I am waiting for Goong Manhwa Nos. 1-11 to arrive from Korea anytime now!!! My friend Nayeon has kindly bought all of them to complete my collection. Isn't she so nice!!!! Nayeon, Yujin, I love you guys!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Wann 선생님

Our Korean Language Teaching Assistant-cum-teacher is currently advancing her studies at Kyunghee University, Seoul. When I was there, she played the role of a 선배 and 언니. It was good to have her around, especially with her bubbly and bohemian personality.

Last Saturday, she called me from Seoul, excitedly chiding me for not answering her call 10 minutes earlier. I told her I was in a noisy supermarket

She called to let me listen to
선시경 singing in Doota Tower. She remembered how desperately I was looking for 시경 오빠 in Seoul and how I was disappointed for not seeing him even on TV.

Video taken with her absolutely smart camera handphone

Anyway, read her blog about her newfound interest in 성시경. Perhaps I must seriously think about starting that fanclub in Singapore. I would have 3 fans already.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Secret Language

My family is quite a multi-lingual family. I speak English, Malay, Mandarin, Korean and Sign Language. Since I started learning Korean, I have taught my 8-year old daughter some Korean words. She knows sign language too. That's the problem, you see.

When they were younger, my husband and I would resort to sign language to communicate whenever we don't want the kids to understand. But now, we have to resort to speaking in Mandarin or our own "S-Language".

But kids being kids, they pretty much guessed that we were talking about them. Ha Ha.

Qory (11) and Iman (8)Qory and Iman in Malaysia during Hari Raya 2005

So, we were driving home last night, with the kids in the backseats, when suddenly, they started whispering to each other. When we asked what they were talking about, they said "Our own secret language".

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Beautiful Days

I dreamt of my old flame....이병헌. I mean, he is still a flame, but 성시경's flame just burns brighter these days. I first saw 이병헌 in the first drama that started the wave in my life : 아름다운 날들 (Beautiful Days).

The epitome of a Chocolate Brownie

Last night I dreamt that I was in a classroom somewhere, and the teacher walked in. In the form of 이병헌. I couldn't believe my good luck. And he was looking directly at me and greeted me :


Eh? What's that again? Konichiwa?

Wrong language!

Then, I woke up. How is that for a bummer? How much longer am I gonna have to wait to speak Korean in my dream?

Anyway, 아름다운 날들 is so beautiful. So apt for a title. Lots of best scenes. But이병헌 got me whenever Min Chul walks over to Yeon Su and grabs her by the hand, without a word at all. Ah....the chocolate brownie.

Remember how she ran and ran and ran to him in that wedding dress? I would too, wouldn't you?
But the bests parts are when he was so dying to show all his love for her , but he couldn't(wouldn't) because of the bankrupcy issues. I cried so much watching this drama. And his acting was superb.

Perhaps it's time to revisit that old feelings again.

By the way, hear him sing "약속" here. Only for diehard fans.

Hear him sing. Photo taken from LeeByungHunSg (www.byunghunlee.org)

Watch the official MV of "약속" here. Credit to suarezsg for putting this up in Youtube.

Go crazy with fellow Singaporean fans here.

Official Singapore FanSite

Now...where did I put that video?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Are you GOONGed enough?

Thanks to Channel U, we are all GOONGed all over again (and LOVING it!)

Photo taken 3 minutes ago with my tiny collection of Goong stuff from Seoul.

Have you tried going through the search engines these past couple of days? Today especially? It's raining Goong .... Not to mention Naver and Daum. My goodness. Even Queen Elizabeth's visit to Singapore did not create such a royal pandemonium.

Perhaps Shin, Yul and Chae Gyeong should pay us a visit

(...oh, yes please.....murmur all Goongers unanimously...) .

After all, we are the island with 4 million smiles.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

To All Korean Muslims in Seoul and beyond

Photo taken by Spicebear outside Seoul Mosque. It reads the Testimony of Faith (Shahadah) in Korean.
Credit : Amiracle for this video. The Arab imam in the video speaks perfect Korean. Go figure!

12 more days to Syawal.
My kids are counting down the days. So am I ^^
I wonder how Aidil Fitri is celebrated in Seoul.

Monday, October 09, 2006


Korean maize Eun Sook's mother served us some maize (or is it "maizes"?) when we visited them.

I don't know about you, but I have NEVER seen maize like these before. There were bits of black/brown seeds instead of the usual full-yellow ones that we usually get in Singapore.

The ajummas and ajoshis actually sell them on the streets and in subway stations.

I ate and ate and ate and ate.......

Singapore maize
They tasted so delicious that I can still remember it till today.

Mental note to self :
Bring home some next time.

I half wished that they are available in Singapore. Maybe Koreana Supermarket would take orders............

500 원

500원 on my laptop
Why is this coin so important?
Everyday, Spicebear and I would keep all the 500 원 coins that we have in lock and key. Why? Because the dryerin our hostel uses ONLY 500원 coins. So it's precious.

Looking back, I thought it was so amusing how this coin could bring lots of laughter between us.

Aini: "Spicebear, ah...buy pepsi for me, can?"
Spicebear: " Can, but this machine can only accept 500원 coins.
Aini: " I don't have change. You use your 500 원 can?"
Spicebear: "You give me your 500 원 coin lah"
Aini: "No lah. You've got so many wat. You use yours la. I give you 1000원"
Spicebear: "Wah...you so smart ah....you go buy yourself la".

ㅋㅋ But Spicebear was (and still is) kind. She would go ahead and buy the
pepsi for me. Coz she knew how much I needed that can.

Happy Hangeul Day!


Today marks the celebration of the birth of the alphabets of the 대한민국.

한글 or 훈민정음 as they were known then, came about in the year 1446 during the reign of
King Sejong (The great) with his marvelous team of scholars.

An original copy of the 훈민정음 which means " Correct/Proper Sounds for the Instruction of the People".

The Korean alphabets were invented based on the science of phonetics to ensure that every Korean was/is able to read and write with ease. Prior to this, only scholars were able to master the mountainous task of memorizing the Chinese characters.

3 Cheers for King Sejong!!!




Korea is perhaps the only country in the world to have a holiday to celebrate it's alphabet's creation.

Happy 560th Birthday Hangeul!!!

Friday, October 06, 2006

....can i have some....

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Those days when I was starving in Seoul, I had to rely on plain rice and toasted seaweed for most of my meals. There were, of course occassions when I tried to eat rice with kimchi.

Although I don't fancy kimchi much (Perhaps I should have tried 깍두기, huh?), I am in awe at the types of kimchis available in Seoul alone. Koreans certainly ARE creative.

 one of the many displays at the Kimchi Field Museum
We in Singapore have something kimchi-like too, albeit sweeter. We call it

Achar from my fridgeI believe the achar that we find in Singapore is a blend and fusion of all races - just like Singapore is. I can find achar in:

  1. A Malay Wedding reception
  2. An Indian restaurant with my chicken briyani
  3. In a Peranakan Chinese restaurant
  4. And of course in NTUC where they sell nyonya achar.

Anyway, according to the Kimchi Field Museum, fermented vegetables as we know it now, were introduced to Korea as early as the 7th Century. But I am sure the Koreans, being creative and all, must have deviced this method much much earlier than that.

Kimchi Field Museum Entrance, Coex Mall, Seoul

I also heard that Kimchis made in Korea tastes much better than those made elsewhere in the world. Apparently the Korean climate and soil, etc produce better vegetable and pots essential in fermenting kimchis.

It's all about the environment, you see. Just ask Janggeum, she will tell you more in details about how the mountain water can taste different from different parts of the stream ^^.

Oh...by the way...do you know that kimchis "
are very efficacious for delaying skin aging process and removing cornious tissues". Perhaps I should start fancying them.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Bandi & Luni's

I simply LOVE this bookshop!

The branch at Jongno Tower is also the place where Shin and Hyorin met again much later in the drama. If I am wrong, please correct me.

Shin : "Hyorin ah... what do you think of my disguise?"
Hyorin:" Shin ah... whatever you wear, you'll still look like a prince to me"
Shin : " But no one recognises me here......see?'
Hyorin: "Shin ah...they are all extras...Sigh....how're u gonna rule Korea?"
Shin :"Oh...I won't. I'll abdicate to my nuna in episode 24."
Hyorin: "What?!! Phew! Thank goodness I didn't marry you.Have you seen Yul?"

Anyway, this bookshop is so cool. One of the 3 giant bookshops in Seoul (The other 2 are Kyobo and Yongpoong lots of books and stationary stuff. I went gaga...but I did not shop much there coz I was exercising self-control...ㅎㅎ

Performance at the Bandi & Luni open plaza.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Chocolate brownie or Cheesecake?

Have you ever noticed how the men in Korean dramas are ever so ready to profess their love to the girls? They fulfill our unmet needs of having our men express their undying love to us. Oh boy! Lots of ladies out there with unmet needs. Dont' believe me? Check out the airports and IMM when the actors come to town.

I read in Oprah Magazine a while ago about a woman called Ellen Tien in her article called "Astonised by Love". She's a writer who's been married for 12 years (like me). Life is normal, life is good. Then, she had an acute attack of a dilapidating illness that rendered her paralysed for a few months. Her husband took care of her without any questions asked. The story of her husband's dedication towards her and their 7 year old son touched my heart. Read it.

So, there is such a man afterall. Like chocolate brownies. Silent and unaffected on the outside but oozing with love on the inside. We just have to break open the hard surface to feel the warmth of the melted chocolate within. Much like our Prince Shin in Goong and so many other men that I have classified under this category.

So ladies, STOP for a while and look carefully at the hard, cold chocolate brownie that you have on your dessert plate. Don't look at other diner's plates of cheesecakes and ice-cream. Perhaps your chocolate brownie will fill your heart and soul with more warmth and love than you'll ever know.

I know.

I have a chocolate brownie too.

Post-note: But then again, there's no harm in loving a cheesecake. Afterall, without cheesecakes like 성시경, there would not be any love songs left in this world!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

힘들어 ...

Dang...the server is REALLY SLOW.....can't post much photos, I am afraid. I usually wake up at 4 am during the Ramadhan month to prepare the early morning meal for the family. So, by 5.30 am, I am usually in front of my laptop, blogging lah...

I decided to talk about studying in Korea. I think I have not talked about my "Studying" experience. So far it's been "living" experience. Where to begin?

I love going back to university. I graduated from NUS .....like.....hmm....a LONG time ago. So, it was fun being amongst students, going to bookshops (and shop like we Singaporeans ALWAYS do wherever we are), going to the library (except that it was under renovation and was dusty), eating at the school cafeteria....etc..etc....

If you know Kyung Hee University, you'll know about the steep slopes and the winding walkways from the dorms to the campus proper, right? Morning rituals were tough for someone like me who never exercised much. While Spicebear was practically running up the slopes, I would be panting behind.

We're usually the first ones to reach the class. Greeted by this peculiar but kind security guard.

Half of the class during our break at 10 am. While waiting for 장 선생님 (문법 lessons)

This is 3/4 of the class. Some had decided to play truant (tsk tsk).

I have taken the liberty to "protect" Spicebear's real identity and avoid any libel pursuits. And I thought I should do the same to my photo ㅋㅋ.

Graduation Ceremony. Can you spot me and Spicebear?

The teachers are good and dedicated. I have learnt much from my study trip to Korea. What I have learnt before, I am clearer now. What I have not learnt in NUS Ext, I have a better grasp of their usage.

What is life? (quoting from Song's site)

Life is about experiencing it...... And live to tell it.