Photo Potpourri: Spring Staycation So Far

Photo Potpourri

Here’s another photo dump post, and it’s all about my spring staycation so far. :D I admit, I’m a huge fan of staycations since these give me the opportunity to explore Seoul. Population-wise, Seoul ranks in the top 10 of the largest cities in the world, but it’s not in the top 10 based on urban land area size, but it’s still a huge city to explore. Part of it is because Seoul uses practically every nooks and crannies the city offers to stash away stores, restaurants, bars, cafes, and whatnot. I swear, even in my own neighbourhood, new businesses pop up in the most obscure alleyways, and I’m flabbergasted when I discover them. Bottom line, one can explore Seoul hundreds of times, and there’d always be something new to uncover. And that, my friends, is why I’m content with Seoul, and I don’t feel compelled to travel outside of it, unless it’s someplace in Japan, haha! Japan aside, enjoy my staycation photos!

Waiting at Severance Hospital

My vacation started on Thursday, April 16, with me taking care of some medical businesses at Yonsei Severance Hospital. The waiting (and the paying) is the hardest part of all this, so I made sure to bring stuff to keep my occupied. Along with my Kindle Paperwhite, I also brought my letterbook I’m working on. Paired that up with a “Lovely Strawberry Yoghurt Smoothie” from Uptown Cafe (that’s really what they called that smoothie!), I was able to ignore the hospital environment until the noise level in the foodcourt got to me.

Gwangjang Market

Friday, my boss and I went exploring downtown Seoul. Originally, I was going to go to Paju Premium Outlets, but my research led me to see that the outlets would have been super expensive, so I decided to visit Gwangjang Market (광장시장) instead. We had a blast. This is a very traditional market with a huge emphasis on food. Apparently the second floor of the market is known for their linens, sheets, and blankets, but we didn’t bother checking that out. The food vendors alone fascinated us. Bindaetteok (mung bean pancakes) and mayak gimbap were the market’s specialty. We walked through the market, and I discovered that Bangsan Market (aka Bakers Alley) was right across the street from it, so we also decided to make a return trip there :) Afterward, we backtracked back to Gwangjang Market and took a cab to . . .

Namdaemun Market

Namdaemun Market (남대문시장). Now, this is a place I’ve been to many times, but my boss hadn’t really gotten the chance to really explore it. We came here and got more food, and my boss bought a bunch of earrings and cheap grocery food. She was amazed that this one store was selling three pineapples for 5,000 KRW ($4.50 USD). After, we took a cab back to base to go have a spa day, upon my suggestion :D

Spa Day Manicure

We went to Dragon Hill Lodge salon, Clippers, and I decided to try their “special manicure”, which is their regular manicure plus special cleansing treatment and a paraffin wax treatment. That was my first time trying the paraffin treatment. My verdict? HOT, HOT, HOT!!! I’ve got crap heat tolerance, so my hands didn’t enjoy being dipped into the paraffin four times! Otherwise, it was a good spa day, and I like the pink OPI polish I chose! :D

Hyehwa Area

Saturday found me at Hyehwa Station area, also known as Daehakro. I met up with Piokun and his friend. I caught up with him since he and I hadn’t met since November.

Tonkatsu Set at Mad for Sushi Yaki Banzai

We decided to get lunch at Mad for Sushi Yaki Banzai, and I ordered the tonkatsu set. It was okay — not the best meal, but it filled me up.

Chansbros Coffee Shop

Afterwards, I walked 2 kilometres to Jongno 4-ga bus stop, and made it back to my neighbourhood to meet Chibi Toaster at Chansbros Coffee Shop. I people watched and killed time there. When Chibi Toaster came, we hung around my neighbourhood. She bought lunch at Tonic Curry, and later we went to Berkeley Coffee Social, a new coffee place I discovered recently, and their coffee is just amazing. Then she got a haircut, and we finally ended back at Chansbros to have one more cuppa before she left.

Fennel Hot Dog from Hassdog

On Sunday, I met my friend D. and his friend. We went to Fat Cat for brunch, and I had a hummus avocado sandwich with a choco banana smoothie. I wasn’t able to get a good shot of my meal, but it was delicious. Then I stopped by Hassdog to get some gourmet hot dogs for my parents and me, pictured above. I’d been hearing rave reviews about the dogs, so I finally decided to get some. It’s pricey, but it’s worth it! Even my picky parents liked it!

And that’s my staycation so far. It’s been lovely. I’ve got one more week to unwind and have fun. I look forward to the remainder of it! ^^

Symphonic Selections: Symphony No. 7 ~ 1st Mvt

Symphonic Selections

I don’t know about you all, but I’m stoked! Starting tomorrow I’m on leave until April 26! Ten days of freedom, woot! This is my belated spring break, and I’m ready to go! My schedule so far is looking like this:

April 16: Medical craparoni at Sinchon Severance Hospital
April 17: Hitting Paju Premium Outlets with Boss
April 18: Lunch date with Piokun
April 19: Go down to Cheongju to visit Chibi Toaster
April 22: Beethoven Symphony No. 6 and 7 Concert at Seoul Arts Centre
April 23 or 24: Lunch date with Chantelle

So my schedule is set on some days, but flexible on others, and I am especially looking forward to April 22. I’ve been waiting since February for this concert, of which I paid practically an arm and a kidney for, and I figure it’s really appropriate to select the first movement of “Symphony No. 7” for this round of Symphonic Selections :D

I absolutely adore this symphony, and the first movement is my favourite. Most people are familiar with its more popular second movement, but the first movement is my go-to symphonic tune, all thanks to the influences of Nodame Cantabile. I admit that this song has a pretty long “opening”, but once you hit 4:16, it will play the section that was predominantly played in Nodame Cantabile, and that’s when the piece becomes more interesting and more vibrant. Honestly, this song just makes me happy — it’s just so cheerful, and I will freely admit to this being my favourite symphony by Beethoven. I look forward to hearing this performed live on April 22!

Anyway, what do you think of this song? Will you listen to the other movements? If you’re familiar with this entire work, which movement is your favourite? In fact, which Beethoven symphony do you like? I hope you all like this selection!

Photo Potpourri: Between Bronchitis

Photo Potpourri

If you’re on Blog Matter or Flickr, you will have seen these photos, but I feel like I can expand on them here through my new column known as Photo Potpourri, otherwise known as my photo dump posts. These photos were taken between my two bouts of bronchitis. I had it a couple of weeks ago, and got somewhat better, but this week’s field trip to an outdoor park brought it back for me when it started to rain and get chilly :( So I’m stuck home coughing up both of my lungs up instead of out doing fun stuff . . . hence this photo dump post. I hope everyone else is well and not sick like me. I definitely hope that the rest I get this weekend will heal me. That way I can enjoy my upcoming “spring break” from April 16 to 26! Can’t wait for that. Anyway, back to the photos . . .

Microsoft Windows for Workgroups Installation Floppy Disk

My dad randomly brought this home saying, “Look what I found.” I had a kick seeing this, especially when he told me that this was disk 6 out of 13. I used one of these bad boys briefly in high school to save homework assignments and fanfics, but I don’t miss them at all. Not when thumbdrives, external hard drives, and CDs/DVDs are much better options! Still, I’m glad Dad brought this home. I can save this and show it to the kids I work with! Nothing like saying, “These things only held 1.44mb of information . . . ”

Home-made Curry

Mum made this delicious home-made curry :D This is what I call the “Korean style curry” of which may or may not be Japanese curry. Korean or Japanese or not, this curry was super fantastic. The curry seasoning was perfect, the addition of corn and broccoli was super, and it was just so good that there were no leftovers for me to eat the next day :(

Home-made Kimchi

A few days later, Mum made some fresh kimchi using napa cabbage and 양배추 (yangbaechu), another form of cabbage. I’m a big fan of fresh napa cabbage kimchi, so I chowed those down for dinner that night. So. Freaking. Good. I’m really lucky to have my mum! Her cooking skills are terrific! :D

Cherry Blossom

Amidst all this, it’s cherry blossom blooming time! I’ve been enjoying this annual event, and it’s been a joy walking around all these cherry blossoms. It really saddens me that they don’t bloom so long, but I guess that shortness is why I appreciate them even more! This shot was taken on the day I went to Yongsan Electronics Market with my co-worker/friend, DB (see below). I was in a hurry, so I didn’t get a great shot . . .

Cherry Blossom Lane

. . . So that’s why I took this photo. I love how this shot came out! One of my best shots, I think :D This was taken on a day when I got off work early. I had the extra time to go browse the PX, so on my way there, I stopped to take a photo of the “Cherry Blossom Lane”. Every year, I try to come through here at least once. This street is lined with cherry blossom trees for about two of three blocks. This street is quiet and not crowded, so this place is ideal for cherry blossom viewing. I’ll choose this place over Yeouido!

Pucca Isolation Keyboard

Now to talk about my trip to Yongsan Electronics Market with DB. DB wanted to get a gaming computer, so I accompanied him to the building I frequent, and we looked around for his options. He ended up getting a used gaming computer and a 22 inch monitor for $300, which isn’t bad at all. While looking around, I saw this PK300 Pucca Isolation Keyboard for 9,000 KRW or $8.00 USD. I admit, I’m not a fan of Pucca, but I ended up getting this for three reasons:

1. It’s a wired keyboard. I used to use wireless ones, but I went back to a wired one to save on battery and to not deal with connection problem.
2. It comes with a plastic covering that will help prevent keys from fading and to keep the dust off of the keys.
3. It has a clean “Apple” look to it with flatter keys. I’m anti-Apple, but I do like their keyboard design, haha!

All in all, it’s a good keyboard, but because it’s smaller, the keys are placed differently, so I’m having to get used to that.

Hirekatsu at Mika Japanese Grill

To conclude this photo dump, here’s a delicious photo of a hirekatsu set I had at Mika Japanese Grill in my neighbourhood. I am pleased that I finally have a place to get Japanese-style tonkatsu and other dishes in my area. Until this place opened, my area was severely lacking in a tonkatsu place. So yay for me!

P.S. Don’t forget about the domain giveaway!

Lucky Thirteen Domain Giveaway

Domain Giveaway

I’m here to present some exciting news! I’m partnering up with Kya and her hosting service, Giraffe Host, to do a free domain giveaway! I’ve had Aigoo-Chamna.net for almost thirteen years now, hence the name of this giveaway :D I also give credit to Blog Matter and Cup MB, both of which have inspired me to be more active in the blogosphere lately. I’ve been full of positive energy, so I want to share that through this giveaway. Simply put, I’ll provide the domain, and Kya will provide the hosting, and everyone will be happy! Interested in this giveaway? See below for all the necessary information and rules!

★ The domain will be paid for exactly one year, and it will be purchased from DreamHost. After one year, you will be responsible for any renewal and transfer fees to the registrar of your choice.

★ This giveaway is open to any of Kya’s current subdomain/domain hostees or any prospective individuals looking to be hosted with Kya at Giraffe Host.

★ If you’re currently not hosted with Kya, please provide a current/active website to show examples of your work. If you don’t have a website, then upload examples of your work to a free host like Webs.com.

★ You must also be familiar with FTP, MySQL, Control Panel, and other website tools to create and maintain your site.

★ For prospective hostees, Kya is generously providing the “Giraffe” plan to host your domain. If you’re already hosted with Kya as a subdomain hostee, you can get a domain for your site!

★ For the domain, you can choose from these domain extensions: dotCOM, dotNET, or dotORG

★ This giveaway is open to those who are 13 and older.

★ Please abide by all of Giraffe Host’s rules, terms of service, acceptable use policy, and privacy policy.

★ This giveaway will end at midnight on Friday, April 24, 2015 in the GMT/UTC+9 time zone.

★ The winner will be chosen through a random number generator, and once contacted, the winner will have 48 hours to respond. If no response is made, then another winner will be chosen.

★ Lastly, please start thinking about potential domain names and check for their availability.

Are you interested? Please leave a comment on this entry with the following information:

Read the rules?: State you have read the rules and information.
First Name:
Age:
Current Website:
Current Email: This must be a working email.
Website Category: What kind of website are you going to have on the free domain? Blogs, collectives, forums, graphic archives, photologs, portfolios, or etcetera? If it’s “etcetera”, please elaborate. Or if you’re Kya’s subdomain hostee, state here that you just want the domain ^^

Please spread the word around about this giveaway on Twitter, Tumblr, or wherever! If you have any questions, please comment on this entry. Thank you and good luck on the giveaway!

My Favourite Things: April 2015

My Favourite Things

Happy April, everyone! A new month means, another “My Favourite Things” post. This is a blog link-up hosted by the lovely Raisa and Eirene, and you can write about what you’ve been loving the past month :D Here are my favourites for this month!

CupMB

Years ago, I was in several message boards/forums, and I remember really enjoying my time on there. When I saw that Kya relaunched a new message board called CupMB, I decided to join, and I’m super glad I did! I’ve been meeting fellow bloggers online, and it’s real fun discussing things with them :D

Blog Matter

Along with CupMB, Blog Matter is back, thanks to Kya :D Blog Matter is a community for bloggers to connect with other bloggers and to discover new blogs. I love it! It’s well-organised, and it’s great concept. What amazes me is that this whole website was built with WordPress. Now, I know WordPress is a good CMS, but to build a community/directory like Blog Matter? WOW. Anyway, I hope to see some of you join Cup and Blog Matter!

Suckerfish

This suckerfish is from my workplace. I am not a big fish fan, but I enjoy watching this fish. Lately, whenever I get a chance to breathe, I’ll sit in front of the fish tank and watch the fishes. The suckerfish has been more active, so I’ve got to see this bad boy in action, and it’s amusing how it eats. The first time I saw it do this, I was a bit freaked out, but now I enjoy watching it eat XD

Reynolds Slow Cooker Liner

As much as I love my slow cooker, I do not like cleaning the thing because it’s way too darn bulky and heavy. Luckily, though, I discovered a wonderful thing called the slow cooker liner. This liner is a life-saver and makes cleaning so much easier! I adore this thing, and I do not mind paying extra for a bit of comfort and ease.

Manicure

I’m not too much into fashion or make-up, but I do like getting manicures. Earlier in March, I had gel manicure done, and then I had a regular one a couple of weeks later. For the regular mani, I went to a nail place near my flat, and I got to see how they compared to the usual place I get it done on-post. I chose the pastel green colour.

Manicure at DHL Clippers

I decided that I like the place on-post better since the atmosphere, seating, and service is better, and the price is about the same. I went to the place on-post and got my nails done in white and blue :D

Mini Diamond District Purse from Thirty-One Gifts

This is my new favourite bag. This is the Mini Diamond District from Thirty-One Gifts. Unfortunately, this bag was being sold for a limited time only :( I hope Thirty-One brings it back in the future! Anyway, I’m a huge messenger bag person, but nowadays, I find it to be extremely bulky for when I want to just carry something on the smaller side. When I need to carry documents that are 8.5″ x 11″, then a messenger bag or my backpack will work. But if I just want to carry my wallet, Kindle, nail kit, smartphone, and A5-sized notebooks? Yeah, too bulky. I have a smaller bag, but that one’s way too small to where I can’t even fit my A5 notebook! Then I discovered the Mini Diamond District. It’s a perfect size to carry all the stuff I want or need on a daily basis, and I love that it’s a cross-body like a messenger bags! Funny thing is that my mum also decided to own one, so I got her a matching one in pink :D