Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Monday, November 1, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
In other news, I've gone and started yet another blog on Tumblr. I admit, I only signed up because there are several blogs over there that I want to follow. But then I had this crazy idea that maybe I could turn it into a commentary on Korean music, movies and general entertainment. There is always something going on over here, it seems, and I always have an opinion. So, if you're curious, go check it out ---> http://emzkal.tumblr.com/ I only have two posts up right now, but I'm having fun with it. I'll never run out of topics.
Oh and a puppy update! Cheech is finally settling down and not dragging me around the neighborhood anymore. Our walks are becoming more enjoyable. Except for when I have to walk him in the morning and I haven't had my coffee yet... Yea, that's not fun. But luckily I don't have to do it very often...
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
I think we’re finally nearing the end of the apartment quest. We went to look at five places yesterday in our primary location and were pleasantly surprised. None were like the apartment I looked at over the weekend which seemed perfect but was too expensive (and I think someone else signed on it… if I understood the agent correctly) but I think we’ve found one that we can call home.
The first four were all in Gunja-dong in between Gunja Station and Children’s Grand Park Station. They were all great location-wise, being within a 5 to 10 minute walk to my roommate’s university, the park (for walking the dog) and the subway station for my commute. However, they weren’t quite right in regards to quality and size. They were all two-rooms, but either the living room wasn’t the right size or shape or one of the rooms wasn’t big enough, or the washing machine was in the bathroom or the inside was just old and couldn’t be touched up. But pricing had a good range from cheap to slightly over our limit.
By the time we were pulling up to the last building, we had decided that while we didn’t like any of the apartments enough to sign a lease, we did like our agent and felt she was working very hard for us. And then we noticed the building we had pulled up to. The first thing we noticed about the last apartment was that it was a bit farther away. It’s located in Junggok-dong, which is a little north of Gunja Station, almost closer to Junggok Station. Still, it’s only about a 10 or so minute walk to Gunja subway station, 15-20 minute walk from the university and park, and there are several buses that pick up just down the street that run to the university and to subway Line 2 (Konkuk University where I live now).
The building is fairly new with a clothing store on the first floor. The apartment was on the fourth floor and had one of those nifty camera/doorbell combos. The door to the building also had a keypad entry. When we stepped into the apartment, the first thing we noticed was light. Lots of light. There were two big windows in the kitchen/living room area and each bedroom had a giant window. There were no buildings tall enough to obstruct the view, so one side of the apartment has a gorgeous look of
We loved it. The location wasn’t perfect, but we’ve been looking so long, that we both decided it would be worth it to live a little farther out if we could have a new apartment, for less money, with a quiet neighborhood.
We’re negotiating to see if we can get the deposit lowered for a higher rent. My roommate’s boyfriend should be taking care of that, so for now, I can just sit back and wait. It’s kind of nice to just focus on packing and such without having to run off to real estate appointments every morning. Hopefully things get worked out soon. I’d like to get a move-in day settled as soon as possible. At least before someone takes this apartment, too.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
What's going on in Seoul, you ask? Here is my answer...
So, unfortunately my new roommate ended up canceling our adventures in real estate land without a translator. I ended up going out with my current roommate as a translator for about an hour, but didn’t find anything. All the 2BR apartments in the Kondae area were too small and overpriced. One place that I looked at might have worked size-wise, but it was 2.8 million won per month, which is way out of our price range. Plus, it was old.
But there is a silver lining. New Roommate is going back to the first area we looked, Gunja, today with her boyfriend to check out apartments. And I’m planning to look around Children’s
I’m FINALLY getting the documents for my visa. After another week of my boss telling me, “Oh, right. We’ll talk about that later,” I finally navigated through the Korean version of the web site explaining how to renew an E7 visa. I printed it off and highlighted the documents the secretary needed to get and handed it to her, motioning at her so that she understand that she needed to get those documents and give them to me. There are a couple of documents that I’ll get, but once she hands over her documents (which should take one maybe two days tops to gather) I’m off to immigration for a 30-minute appointment to get my ARC stamped and hand over my passport for a couple weeks. During which time, my new visa will be stamped in and my passport will be returned and I’m good for one more year in
Work (or Overwork):
I am currently in the eighth day of a (hopefully) 12-day run at work. I was told on Monday that someone would be starting next Monday to fill the open editor position and I’m hoping this is correct. Otherwise, I’m not sure how many days in a row I’ll be working. It’s more money, yes, but it’s hard to stay positive and sharp when you have no day off to look forward to. Not to mention I’ve been filling up the hours before work with real estate appointments and lunch dates and not sleeping well at night. Oi… I seriously need sleep… and some time to spend getting a few drinks with my friends. Life is too tense right now and I need some relaxation.
Sadly, I’m not sure if I’m still getting my band interviews that I was promised. Band Friend with all the contacts had a falling out with my other friend and now I have no way to contact Band Friend since Other Friend was my link (I don't have Band Friend's phone number). Not to mention, Other Friend was going to be the translator for the interviews and Band Friend now wants to have nothing to do with her. I still don’t understand what the conflict was, but I’m sad that this means no interview with Guckkasten at the moment, and that our nights of hanging in Hongdae are over. I suppose this means I’ll have to start focusing my efforts on infiltrating YG’s PR department and get on some sort of press list. We’re hoping to cover Tae-yang’s upcoming solo concert at the end of September, but we’re at a loss as to how to get on a press list and get press privileges. So, it is now my job to figure this out, since I’m currently the only writer located in
I’m not quite that confident in my skills, but we’ll see how this goes down. I’m just hoping that showing up YG headquarters dressed professionally will be enough to get me a meeting with a press contact (that speaks English, preferably). Though, personal contacts are better… I should sweep through my personal network and see if anyone I know can help me first…
Oi… I seriously wish I could take a nap… it’s only been one hour at work so far and I’m fading fast… stupid eight days of working in a row…
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
It's slowly, but surely been raining more and more here in the busy metropolis of Seoul. And this can only mean one thing... monsoon season has arrived.
Monday, June 28, 2010
I’ve never rented an apartment in the States, but I’m fairly sure that it’s customary for landlords or landladies to call before popping in to take care of things.
Apparently not so much in
I assumed that for some reason it was just my landlady, but I asked a co-worker and she said that it was pretty normal for landladies to stop on by whenever or not to call beforehand, since they see their rental property as an extension of their house.
But do they have to do it in the morning? When I’m trying to sleep?
I suppose in their defense, I do sleep in late (about 10 or ) but mostly because I work a night shift and often don’t get home until and in bed around 1 or . But, I have lived in this apartment for nearly two years now, and for about the last year, I’ve had this schedule, you would think they would learn to come on my day off in the afternoon by now instead of banging on my bedroom door trying to wake me up at .
Most of the time, they do only come over when something is broken and I call for them to come fix it. But even then, they don’t come right away and they never tell me when. I just have to sit there and wait patiently. Or get woken up the next morning. And sometimes the washing machine breaks, they have to rush over to turn the water off. At .
Honestly, a simple call involving the words ‘mul’ (water) and ‘setaki’ (washing machine) would suffice. I know how to turn the water off. And then another call giving me fair warning that they are on their way up to fix the water would be great, so I could at least have the chance to throw on some decent clothes before they are pounding down my front door (or sometimes my bedroom door if I’m sleeping particularly heavy that morning).
But today. Today was the most uncomfortable experience.
At , I am woken by the sound of pounding on my bedroom door. I throw on something decent and rush out to find my landlady sopping up water in the laundry room. She starts saying something about water and such and pointing at the machine. After about 10 minutes, she leaves. I debate whether I should stay up in case they come back to fix the machine, but sleepiness wins and I crawl back in bed, figuring the knocking on the front door will wake me up again.
Just as I’m about to enter dreamland, about two hours later, there is another knock. It’s the landlady’s husband with a new hose for the washing machine. He works on it for about 10 minutes and then explains the problem to me. I step back to let him leave, thinking if he leaves now, I can still get another hour of sleep in.
Of course, he doesn’t leave.
Instead, he digs through my fridge and pulls out some plume wine that’s been in there since April and drinks it. (This was fine as neither my roommate nor I touch the stuff.) At this point, I’m washing dishes, trying to keep busy while he’s there. He peeks in the cupboards, checks out the bathroom and checks the drain, deeming everything ‘good’. Then he sees the grill on my stove and says ‘not good’. He then proceeds to take my stove apart and scrub them in the bathroom with our bathroom cleaning brush that we use to scrub the floors. He’s at it for about 20 or 30 minutes while I bleach the entire kitchen area, including my coffee pot, toaster oven and fridge.
Once done with this, he checks around the apartment some more. Tries talking to me about random things. And then, after an hour, finally leaves. My landlady and her husband are very nice people, but I hate that they always come over unannounced. Some of my other friends here don’t seem to have the same problem, but I suppose their apartments aren’t old and falling apart like mine… Ugh…
Seriously… all I ask for is just one phone call…
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
I guess first things first… the filming…
I have to admit that filming the travel show was a lot more tiring than I thought it would be. And I still don’t quite understand why, since we didn’t actually do a whole lot of on camera work. For me, it was mostly walking around and asking what things were and wh
at people were doing and then eating… a lot. And yet, and the end of the first two-day shoot, I was utterly exhausted.
Day One: Jirisan
I started my first day at . I had to meet the crew at at my office to head out to our destination and since I was up until working on a radio script, I decided to just get up early and pack instead of staying up later. Needless to say, as soon as we set off on our four-hour drive down to Jirisan, I passed out. As did my translator, Jun-soo. Of course, not before chatting a bit and getting to know each other some.
Once at the mountain, the camera guys made us get out of the van on the two-lane highway so they could get some shots of the van driving up the road and a pretty little creek. We then arrived at the little restaurant/lodging house where we were filming. The first hour or so involved a lot of just me walking up the little road to their house and looking at the scenery around me. (I was told to look excited… not a whole lot of excitement to be found in staring at trees.) And then I got up to the house and had to ask the couple in Korean what were the giant swatches of leaves spread out on the ground and what they were doing with them. I had no idea what they were saying, but the director told me to just nod and say things like, “Ah,” and “Creyo,” and such. This went well, until the woman said she would make me lots of good food in Korean. I had no idea, and they didn’t know she would say it, so my response was, “Ah.” There was a couple seconds of awkward silence before someone yelled, “Kamsahamida!” from behind the camera. We all started laughing and went through the shot again, this time with me being more prepared with my responses.
After this, we waited for the food to be prepared and then moved to a large living room where a table was set up. I was a little nervous about them filming me as I ate, since I tend to be a bit of messy eater, but it turned out to be okay. I was told to focus on the food and the couple, so I didn’t notice the camera to my right side. It was kind of awkward. I had to ask them questions about the food (sannamul- basically leaves from the mountain that are used as side dishes and in bibimbap) in English, then my translator would yell it in Korean from behind the camera. They would answer in Korean, then she would yell it to me in English. And then they had the woman feed me several of the sannamul. At first it was okay, but then she fed me a couple of lettuce wraps and put a little too much food in it. And of course, I had to eat bibimbap… which to say the least, is not my favorite Korean meal.
After the eating wrapped and the crew got a chance to eat, we headed up the mountain so they could film me collecting sannamul with the couple. They told me to chat about how it reminded me of my mother’s garden when we lived in
After that, we headed down to the river where they filmed me talking to a fisherman who scraped the bottom of the river for jaechap (jaechap- tiny, little clams/cockles). It was a lot more interesting being on the boat and I naturally had a lot of questions to ask the man. The camera guy definitely didn’t have to tell me to look interested this time. And I was use to the translating arrangement by now. The fisherman even let me try getting jaechap… though I kind of sucked at it.
After this, we headed up to a restaurant to film me eating jaechap. Jun-soo and I ended up taking a nap while waiting for the food to be ready. This time went much quicker and easier because I didn’t have to ask questions. The ahjumma at the restaurant just talked about all the food and pointed at dishes when she wanted me to try them. Then I had to say how it tasted and if I liked it (which for the camera, I did). I honestly didn’t really like jaechap because it was too fishy-tasting for me. The director said it was because I’m foreign. I said it’s because I don’t like fish… and most foreigners like fish.
Eventually, the diver came up and we filmed talking a bit more. Then I had to eat another raw oyster with him. After docking, we loaded up and headed to his house, where there was going to be a full blown party. None of the restaurants in town were serving oyster, so he said for the show he would invite several of his friends and co-workers over and have an oyster-grilling party. Again, tons of fun. The best way to eat grilled oyster is to wrap it in kimchi. Sooo tasty. Of course, there was the necessary feeding of me and then me shouting, “Masshisoyo!” I think about five or six ahjussis took turns feeding me bites of oyster.
After this, we loaded up into the van and began our long, four-hour drive back to the city.
And the next day I got food poisoning.
Day Three: Gongju and Flower Gardens
The following weekend, we set out for one more day of filming. We were headed to a flower farm in
This time, we did food first. By the time we got back, the food was all spread out on the table. I felt like I was looking at a series of centerpieces, not my meal. The owner explained that eating flowers was very healthy and he got the idea from hearing about restaurants that served edible flowers in
I ate peonies and gladiolas in a salad and on a dessert sandwich with a jam made from flowers and nuts that tasted really sweet and similar to peanut butter. We then had… more bibimbap. It was better than the sannamul, but still not a fan.
Afterwards, I walked around the garden with the farmer as he explained the different kinds of flowers and had me try them. He was really funny and kept me entertained. Once we were done, we loaded into the van and headed back to the city once again. I finished off the night eating Chinese food. I wasn’t hungry at all, but I still ate. I came to regret this the next day when I woke up with yet another massive stomach ache…All in all, a fun experience. My episode airs on June 22 on Arirang TV. I’m anxious to see it, but a little nervous at the same time. I saw clips of it while doing voiceover work and it was a little embarrassing seeing myself on TV…