Saturday, March 8, 2014
Two days prior to my B'day...Eyra and Freya were hiding in their room..concealing something from me. (I bet they're up for something and I was right.). It turned out that they made these pictures as a B'day present for me. First, this is Freya's drawing. She always imagines 'B'day' as a party having a cake with the invited friends celebrating. and..oh..some presents, too. (But, Dear...would that be necessary for your Daddy?)
What you did is more than enough.
Then, as I flipped the paper, I noticed another piece of treasure. She jotted down these words. It's simple, yet..I know how much she put her heart into it. 고마워, 프레야.
Then..I got two other pieces of paper. One from Freya and the colorful one from Eyra. Yup, these are my B'day presents from Eyra and Freya.
Nothing flashy or fancy about it....but the fact that they DID something for my birthday is beyond words. I love you, too, gils.
고마워, 프레야..^^ 고마워, 에이라^^
Surely, it's been such a great gift from both of you.
This is supposed to be Biryani rice--Indian-spicy rice--that has been one of my favorites. Of course, it's home-made. The other day, I bought Basmati rice along with one package of instant biryani ingredients. My wife told me that she'd like to make Biryani rice for my birthday. Dada..this is what it looked like. Although, of course, it looked more like nasi goreng (fried rice) than what we'd expected...ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ hahaha...but...the taste, scent, aroma makes up for it. Thanks, Ma.
* and..wait...though tempe is not the side dish that usually goes with Biryani....since I am a vegetarian...nothing beats tempe!
As of today, I am officially 40 y.o. Gosh..now..number 4 stands right in front of my age...whenever I am addressing myself in term of age. ㅋㅋㅋ.
Some say life starts at 40. (Yes...but, what does that mean?)
In Korea some say that age is just a mere number '나이는 숫자에 불과하다'
(...but, once again...what does that mean?)
What I know is that...I've been doing & experiencing lots of indescribable and invaluable lives with people around me....family, friends, and others.
and..guess..I am just right here to always thank and thank and...being thankful for what God has given me, personally.
Alhamdulillah. Be thankful always, Suray.
The first week of the Spring semester. As par of out tradition to start the semester, we gathered at one place, mostly restaurants, where we had talks over dinner. It should've been a formal occasion, but since we want to 'melt it down' a bit..so we'd thought of having it at a restaurant. Here we were. Having a blast by engaging in talks, chit-chats, and of course some ceremonial *ahem*speeches from our representative professors. Prof. Cho and Prof. Bak attended the meeting--they're welcoming the freshmen to our department--as well as letting us--seniors *ahem* to introduce ourselves to others.
I should've been in the pic. no...not necessary.
We just wanted to make sure that the so-called 'initiation' process of welcoming new students and encouraging them to study and enjoy campus life...would be a two-hour program worth-remembering. Most of us are foreigners since our program is Korean Studies designed for international students. We're from Indonesia (only me:), Thailand, Vietnam, The United States, Russia, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Mongolia, Japan, Turkey, Tunisia, and of course, Korea...although they only make up for almost one-fifth of our friends.
*Welcome to the new semester, guys.*
Thursday, March 6, 2014
This is one section of the facades of the soon-to-be-opened design plaza and park @ Dongdaemun. Just got back from there. Witnessed some workers did what looked to be a post-finishing or hmm finishing touch to the supposedly grandiose state-of-the-art plaza. hmm...
well..this is the rendering of what it'll look like when it's fully completed.
But...this is what it looked like...at least at the point of my visit as of today (March 6, 2014). I think it's about to fully operational. At daylight the walls seem to be er...bland but...I saw some rendering that the walls will be glaringly glowing with lights at night. Hope that's gonna be true, though.
So..this is what it looked like as of today. I took Eyra to take a walk even when it was surprisingly cold (again). ^^. Not many people around..and we occasionally encountered some people who happened to be coming in and out of the subway station right underneath this behemoth design.
This will surely be another must-visit attraction or tourist spot in Seoul.
Though nothing seems to be 'occupying' the area, I am sure that this plaza will be filled with innumerable exhibits to ease the senses of Seoul sight-seekers.
The question that remains is whether its function will live up to its 'grandiosely behemoth design!! TIME will tell. ..and I cant' wait to pay another visit when it's officially opened. This March?? hmmm......
Yes...today was 꽃샘추이. I think I must've been crazy to take a walk...in a weather like this today...and where? Dongdaemun and...look what I encountered....:
--> What looked like a landed alien spaceship afar....turned out to be the soon-to-be-opened (eta. March, 2014) Dongdaemun Design Plaza & Park. I vividly remembered those days when Dongdaemun Stadium (동대문동장) majestically stood there a decade ago. Yes...those days still lingered in my mind.
But now...the used to be dilapidated and outdated Stadium is GONE. The silver-color coated plaza has replaced the old nostalgic stadium. Hmm..I think it looks more like a..well...spacecraft for me...at a first glance. Sure enough..I read some reviews stating that this will be a new hub for relaxation, leisure, and refuge in the midst of the ever sprawling area like Dongdaemun.
Then..I bumped into this seemingly new department store (Lotte Fitin). I also recollect the days when the area seemed to be so well....neglected a couple of years ago..but now...this modern architectural design seems to mingle seamlessly with the Dongdaemun Design Plaza--which happens to be right in front of it!
And then...here are other high-rise malls (specially designed for clothing) that seemed to me ..sprung out of nowhere. Yep, it's been like a year or more..since the last time I checked in here:)
I am sorry, Eyra..for asking me to accompany your Daddy to take a walk in the area. Yes..today is 꽃샘추위 ..(kkotsaemchui) where the Winter (that was supposed to be gone) suddenly came back out of nowhere due to her envy *hatred* towards the warmth embrace of Spring. ㅋㅋㅋ
wow...I simply could not believe that Dongdaemun has transformed into a modern area like this one. What I mean by modern is sure...simply based on the color (grey and silver) coated mashed-up buildings:) But..hey..it's cleanly organized...which is completely different from what it used to be (let say) even..5 years ago.
I guess...it all went down to the fact that the newly built Dongdaemun Design Plaza and Park has brought a new standard of what a shopping and cultural area should be like.
Hope ...when the plaza and park are officially opened...it fills the expectation.
...getting out of exit no. 5 at Dongdaemun Culture Park subway station, I was exposed at the strikingly different banners that adorned the streets and store banners all over the neighborhood. Yep..I was at ....what people refer to as "Central Asia Village" in Seoul.
At a first glance...one might not see any difference that this place offered. But..once I was walking further deeper...the more I realized that adjacent or along with Hangeul....I could notice the reasons as to why this neighborhood is dubbed 'Little Moscow...Little Mongolia...Central Asia....neighborhood in Seoul.
Just look at the Cyrillic scripts that NONE of them I could read! ㅋㅋㅋ
wait...I started to wonder if I were in Seoul.
At times...we could find three language signage like the one above.
A typical alley that one could easily find in the neighborhood also boasted to having signage written either in Hangeul or Cyrillic alphabets.
I wished I'd known how to read them before coming here...:) Anyhow...this afternoon...my free-time took me here and well..it's worth the shot. Though I didn't have a chance to stumble and enter into shops that sell Russian or Central Asian countries like Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and others.
Since there are a lot of people from Central Asia reside in the neighborhood...even the Woori Bank also posts its signage in the Cyrillic script next to its English one.
We're passing through the corner of world's snack that seemed to be just popped out of nowhere at one section of Dongdaemun Culture Park Station. Since we're intrigued by what they offered, we thought of taking it a look and...okay...these were what we found.
So many choices of snacks from all over the world in half price or ...way much cheaper than those sold at supermarket or department store. (but...of course...I kind of being suspicious of its catch....^^, esp. as to whether they're soon-to-be-expired snacks or something...well..fortunately..they're NOT.)
And...yippie...we encountered the Tim Tam chocolate wafer that we like. And one of the funny things we found out was that...these Tim Tam are those supposed to be sold only in Indonesia....^^. so, why are they here? How is that possible? or could I be mis-interpreting it? Oh..I also bought two cans of Biscotto chocolate that we even rarely saw back home in Indonesia...but eventually ...we bumped into them anyway...right here...at this world snack corner.
Definitely saw it: three times. (dramatically hooked and zapped into it).
Hmm..the black & white movie I don't think I'll e'er watch--not that I don't want to...well, the question is....how and where to watch it....:_ )ㅋㅋㅋ
Yep. Hauntingly absorbed me into some flashes of bitterly dark history* of the humankind....(hmm..history, eh?) look around us or in other parts of the world.
Was it a sin to say that I was entertained by this vulgarly-exposed pursuit of pleasure (when we can have them all??)^-^
Well...Though some may say that this is Japanese-origin...this one we're having...is definitely Korean-style...wait....it's Indonesian-style...wait...it's our own style...wait....oh well..what's in a name...it's omerice by whatever we call it....only that...we put some soybean curd we call 'tempe' and...no meat in it whatsoever.
Plus...sliced cucumber and small tomatoes as edible garnishes....
hmmm...what a brunch.^^
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Eyra couldn't be (more) happier about her first days of school. She's been waiting for the school to start and finally it DOES. Just like what she had in her previous two years @ Elementary School, she receives tons (ㅋㅋㅋ exaggerating) of books comprising of 국어 (Korean language), 미술 (arts), 사회 (social sciences hmm), 수학 (Maths).....and English...and others. Yes...she's now in her 3rd grade and English is a new subject.
I wonder what's in her mind as she's looking (staring) at all of these books. I took the pictures of these books so as to keep them as a reference since we got to buy these books for reference at home. All of these are stored at school..so just what we experienced last year...at times we got no idea whatsoever of what she'd been referring to when she popped up with questions and let us staggeringly keep guessing.
Thus, the idea of having these photographed is to help us find the exact books at the bookstore for us to buy. By which, Eyra can easily use them for home-use reference.
oh..there's one subject that I love...사회과 부도 ..After a quick sneak-preview of the book, I found it an amazing way to introduce the students to the world we live in. Boy..all of the books are colorfully illustrated and well designed...
so as to make the students enthusiasm alive.