Saturday, August 31, 2013

Disappointed of the Coupon

I saw an advertisement in front of my door about the promotion that the supermarket has which is just located in front of my apartment building. It's a big supermarket selling everything. It has a big bookstore, coffee shops, spa, appliances, jewelry shops, clothes shops, grocery products, etc. The promotion is only for those who live in our building. I'm a regular customer of the supermarket because I feel comfortable buying there because I can everything I need and want.

In the advertisement, if you buy at least $30, you can get two cups of coffee at Kenya Coffee shop which is also located inside the supermarket. Last night, I went shopping and bought around $50 but I forgot to exchange my receipt for coupons. I just thought that I can just show the receipt to the coffee shop but it's too late when I found out that I have to exchange to receipt into coupon to receive the coffee. Too bad that it also listed that we can exchange the receipt the day that we bought the products but it was already close when I knew about it.

Oh well, my hubby cheered me up. He said that I can still use it when I get the grocery next week because the promotion is until next week. I always go shopping once a week for our whole week food I guess I have to go shopping earlier for our next living.

Let's go to the Courthouse

I always want to learn how to drive and get my own license but I don't have enough time yet but soon I will get my own if my husband will allow me. I don't know anything about driving specially license but after reading about the defensive driving information library, I learned a lot of things and it encouraged me more to get my license so I can drive soon.

You may also want to know more about driving and to start with, here are the links on Where to find courhouse addresses. They are almost everywhere so it's easy to find them in your area.

There are lots of courthouses around the world but if you are living in California, you will absolutely need this California Court List for your easy preference.

I will absolutely recommend this List of CA Courthouses to my friend in California who has just bought a new car for her own safety.

Friday, August 30, 2013

A Foreigner in Let Me In

I'm watching Let Me In right while blogging. It is a program about the ugly women who received plastic surgeries for free if they were chosen by doctors. They will show their lives and the problem they face because of their physical appearance. I like watching it because it's so interesting to see the ladies changed 180%. You can't even imagine how they were changed. It seems like they are different people.

I've seen the program many times but it's my first time to see a foreigner. She's from Bangladesh named Laboni Luna. The doctors have chosen her but she was disqualified after. The doctors have found out that Luna has lied. She said that she suffers from depression but when she was examined, they found out that she doesn't have any depression. Secondly, she said that she wears mask when she goes outside but it was also a lie. Third, she said she has a problem with her husband but her life was shown on TV before and she has good relationship with her husband.

After knowing that she was chosen, I found out that Let Me In don't discriminate because they can also choose foreigners although I thought that Luna's skin isn't a big problem at all because some foreigners live like her specially those who have been to very hot countries. But then, I feel bad not to Let Me In program but to Luna for not being real to herself and to others.

Today's Topic

Our today's topic in our debate class was about lottery. The topic was "National Lotteries should be abolished". I learned a lot about this topic specially about the good and bad things about lotteries. As we know, there's extremely small chance of winning the lottery. If I were to choose, I prefer to play in the casino than to spend money with lottery. Because playing online casino has more chance to win. Don't you think so?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Yahooo! It's Raining

Most Koreans like rain. They think it's very romantic to walk in the rain. My husband has been for rain for a long time not only because of the hot weather but also because he really loves rain. He likes walking in the rain with umbrella. It's not only him who likes rain but also my co-workers.

It's strange this summer because it didn't rain much and today is the day that my hubby has been waiting. He was so happy when he woke up in the morning raining. The weather forecast always delivered the wrong news when it says that it would rain but it didn't for a long time. But today, the weather forecast was right. It really rained. It was really hot for the past few days and I heard lots of Korean complained about the hot weather. It even showed in the news that some of the trees died and dying in some other cities. Me who has lived in hot country never complained about the hot weather in my country, but here, I can say that it was really hot. Even when you just walked for a few distance, you will sweat a lot.

Anyway, it has been raining since early morning so it's cool now and my hubby is so happy to see the rain falling from the sky. We live on the highest floor of the building and once in a while, he looks out and see the rain falls.

In my case, I hate rain. I hate walking in the rain and taking an umbrella bothers me. Luckily, it's weekend today and there's no work so it's great to stay home in the rain.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Samjengi Greentea Plantation

Last time, we visited one of hubby's aunt who lives near Boseong Green tea plantation and we had a little talk with her son, my hubby's cousin. While we were talking about their place he also mentioned that there's another plantation but not famous to tourists because they don't know about it, yet. He invited us to go there and riding my hubby's car, he led us to Samjengi.

My hubby said that the plantation is more beautiful than Boseong Greentea Plantation because it's wider and more quiet place. But I think this kind of factory or houses have ruined the view.

I wish that house is mine. Although I don't wanna live there but it's cool to have a rest house like that in the middle of the greentea plantation.

What makes the Samjengi Greentea Plantation beautiful is, it's on the plain unlike Boseong Greentea Plantation, it's on top of the hills. I think samjengi is more relaxing and breathtaking.

Here's the way Samjengi Plantation which is a few kilometers away from Boseong.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Korean Independence Day

Today is holiday because of Korean Independence Day. The day when Korea was freed from Japan that's why today, most of the programs on TV are related to the Independence. There are documentaries about Japan and Korea, Concerts for Peace, and movies related to war.

If you go out, you'll see lots of Korean flags hanging on the trees, swaying on the windows' apartments and houses, etc. to show the love for the country. I even saw an ad posted at the bus stop yesterday while waiting for the bus on my way home saying that there's an event in downtown to celebrate Independence Day. I live near downtown, it's just a few blocks away but I have no plan to watch or join the event because I'm meeting a friend tomorrow.

I'm just so happy that there's no work today and I hope that at least once a month, there will be a red mark in the calendar. I just wish!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

My Sweet Hubby

I was checking my blog and suddenly noticed the my drafts. I checked it and saw these pictures. They were taken when I went for a drive with my hubby. The view was so beautiful. I suddenly remember that time but I don't know where the place is but I think it's around Mt. Jiri if I'm not mistaken. Isn't it so relaxing to go for a drive with your loveone? Specially on rainy days? Koreans love rainy days.

On the way, we saw lots of flowers in the street. My hubby pulled over and picked some flowers and gave them to me. Oh my gosh! How romantic! He's so sweet! Eventhough he didn't buy them, just thinking of me when he saw the flowers was already so touching. Thanks honey!

Out of the topic, I suddenly miss our former car. That was our old car. My hubby loves that car. It was still in a very good condition and still looks new but we had to change it because my in-laws changed their cars and my hubby doesn't want to be left behind. And that's another Korean lifestyle. Most people are living in a "competition world".

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Some Korean Lifestyles

1. Cars in each family. In korea, each family has it's own car. Some have 3 or more cars in a family. The legal driving age is 20 (korean age). Koreans must attend driving school before they get their licenses.

2. He's my Junior. In korea senior-junior relationships are very important. The relationship is usually defined by age but sometimes it's defined by position. Seniors can make their juniors to do many things. this is because of the influence of confucianism in Korea.

3. Age is very important here. Korean often ask others about their age. They will even ask this the first time they meet someone. This is normal behavior in korea. Knowing a person's age is important- it lets the person know what kind of language to use. Also it helps deternmine the two people's relationship.

4. It's a national ID card. All koreans have a national ID card. They mush have this card when they turn 17 years old. This card holds personal information of the card includes your name, date of births, address and finger prints.

5. Why is everyone walking on the left? In korea, pedestrians are supposed to walk on the left. However koreans drive on the right side of the road. Walking in Korea can be confusing for most foreigners. They often walk on the wrong side.

6. I can't afford the key money. Koreans often pay key money to rent an apartment. This is very large security deposit. Small houses don't need much key money. Large houses need a lot. Key money is often over ten million won (around $40,000). Also the higher the key money, the lower the rent.

7. You need to haggle with her. At many places in korea, prices are not set. Shoppers often bargain with the seller. Many people actually enjoy haggling over prices. However you don't haggle everywhere. You should haggle at department stores but not usually at the markets.

8. Let's use cards for the buses or trains. Rides cost the same amount of money. It costs the same to go everywhere. You can even transfer to another bus or train using the card without any charge before 30mins.

9. Meet at a different location. In korea, it's more common to meet at a different location. Koreans often don't invite their date over to their house (specially people living with their parents).

10. There are many salespeople. In korea, department stores employ large numbers of salespeople. The salespeople never leave you alone. There are always seems to be a salesperson near you while you are shopping.

11. Did you eat? Did you eat is a common greeting in Korea. many koreans (specially concerned mothers) will ask this question then they talk to someone. Koreans often ask that when they greet a friend.

12. How old are you? Age is very important in Korea. It helps to extablish relationships. Tt is one of the first questions a korean will ask someone.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Imjingak Tourist Site

Except from Unification Observatory, we also visited Imjingak. Another worth-seeing in Gyeonggido which is also related to unification and freedom. At the Imjingak Toursit Site, you can see the Bridge of Freedom, Peace Bell and Unification Fond. It is free of admission and open throughout the year.

The Peace Bell which is 2.23m in diameter, 3.8m high and weighs 21 tons is made of bronze and tin in the korean traditional style. The bell pavilion which is made of wood with a four-sided arched roof, sits on an area of 70.5m² and is 12.18m high.

Those who are interested in ringing the Peace Bell, in the name of peace, unification and hope may purchase tickets which cost 10,000 won or around $10. The ringing time is 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. The method of ringing is seven strikes by individual or a group.

Standing behind Mangbaedan Memorial Altar at Imjingak Square, Freedom Bridge takes its name from the return of 12,773 prisoners of war in 1953 in the first exchange of prisoners after the signing of the armistice agreement that ended the Korean War.

Two railrooad bridges on the Gyeongui Line originally spanned the Imjingang River side-by-side. Both were destroyed by bombing and only the piers remained. To enable exchange of prisoners of war, the west was rebuilt as a temporary structure over the original piers. The repatriates were taken to Freedom Bridge by trucks and they crossed the bridge on foot.

Freedom Bridge is 83m long, 44.5m wide, and 8m high. It is a wooden structure reinforced by steel. Freedom Bridge has little architectural value but hold tremendous symbolic importance of "Return to Freedom".

See that railway train to North Korea? Everything is all set and we're just waiting for the two countries to be united.

The remained of the train that was used by the people of North and South Koreans is still seen at the site. This steam locomotive is a symbol of the tragic history of the division into North and South Korea, having been left in the DMZ since it got derailed by bombs by the Korean war. It says that there are more than 1,020 bullet holes at the locomotive which shows how cruel situation had happened at that time.

There are also some pictures of what happened during the war.

There's also an observatory or lookout to see some sites of North Korea.

For more information, contact 031-953-4744.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Odusan Unification Observatory

It was summer vacation and we had 3 days vacation so we decided to visit Gyeonggido Province. Our first destination was the Odusan or Odu Mountain Unification Observatory in Paju City.

Odusan or Odu Mountain was a ferocious battlefield about 1600 years ago, when Goguryeo and Baekje bled for the posession of a region near Han and Imjin River for 106 years. Recently, the archeological site of Odusan Fortress and Baekje potteries were excavated in the vicinity and the area was designated as Historic Site No.351.

Cars are not allowed to enter the site but there are free shuttle buses so we decided to park the car at the parking lot where we can also take the shuttle bus.

On the first floor, you can see the North Korea Exhibition Hall and room to experience North Korea. At the North Korea Exhibition Hall, there are some pictures of the war and the Presidents.

It's now that I knew about the first Presidents until the former President. I felt so sad when I saw the picture of the former President Noh Moo Hyun who contributed a lot for the Unification of the two countries but too bad that he passed away without seeing the two countries United.

There are also North Korean medicines, products for export, life goods, wishing room where you can write your wish for Unification (the notes can be restored in a time capsule until the day of Korean Unification), stamps, military, culture and life, North Korean clothes, elementary school classroom and residence master bedroom.

The souvenir shop.

North Korean master bedroom.

The KTX train that shows that we can access other countries easily after unification. This train shows the access from South Korea - North Korea - Paris.

The outdoor sightseeings while waiting for the shuttle bus.

At the second floor are the Unification Exhibition Hall, Theater, etc. We didn't bother ourselves to watch the theater so we went upstairs to see the observation room and telescope in the outside area.

The theater.

The view outside. It's better to use the telescopes to see the North Korea. Just insert 500 won.

The Unification Observatory is open throughout the year from 9:00 a.m. For group reservation call 031-945-3171. From Seoul, you can reach the 120-meter hill within 40 minutes and have a good view of North Korea across the Imjin River. It's the place where the Han and Imjin river meet and flow into the West Sea. It's the place where Goguryeo and Baekje Dynasty fought fiercely in the age of the three states. The National security education in the place leads to the people specially of Korea's dream of Unification.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Korean Summer Vacation

The last week of the July is the Korean Summer Vacation so most of the students are very excited. Although they are very tired studying for their final examination, students still enjoy because after final, they can have their summer vacation. In Korea, there are lots of academies or institutes and most of the students if not all (or maybe just around 5% of students population don't go to academies, just those who can't really afford paying) go to academies or private tutorial. But all academies also have 3 days vacations so students can also spend their summer vacation without attending any private lessons that they have registered.

Most of institutes vacations was last Wednesday-Friday so including Saturday and Sunday, there are five rest days. That's really awesome some office workers also have vacations that most of them last for 1 week. They are giving everyone some time for the whole family. Children are happy but most parents are not. You know why? Because children have to stay home. They play computer games and watch TV too much. Some working parents have to send their children to other private institutes and that also mean some amount of money because nobody will take care of their kids at home. Also, Moms have to prepare some food for them or sometimes order some food and have it delivered at home.

In short, children love vacation as much as parents hate it.