Tuesday, 29 November 2016

weekend home in london.

the end of the first semester is quickly drawing to a close and i type this, i just realised i haven't blogged much at all about my second year of uni. it is different to say the least. for one, the work load is nearly double of last year, and living with 6 other people in a house is not easy particularly when you have a bad landlord and no one likes cleaning.

anyhow, i got the chance to be back home for the second time this semester. i remember last year i was back to london within 2 weeks of starting uni, but i've only managed to visit twice these last couple of months! i guess work and this new house just got the better of me. and as much i love and miss my family a lot, i'm not as home sick anymore.

i arrived on friday evening, and by saturday morning my parents were keen to take me out for lunch in kingston. we explored the christmas market then ate at a japanese-korean restaurant which served sushi and korean bbq. and lucky for us, they were also doing 50% off promotion as they are a new restaurant, so we got the chance to try out a lot of their funky dishes and desserts.

we started off with a selection of their sushis - which, by the way, were very very tasty. bombdigalicious.

as a side to our korean bbq, we got an eel dish served with veg.

our meal then ended with some dessert - we got their coconut ice cream served in a coconut shell and a selection of black sesame and green tea ice cream mochis.

simply yumbo jumbo. i love that asian desserts are light and not too sweet. i swoon over anything green tea too, so this dessert sealed the deal for me.

we walked off our full bellies along the riverside and admired the sunset and red skies. it was actually freezing that evening, so we didn't spend that long outside.

we popped into this cute tea shop on the high street which sold amazing looking teapots and teacups (wayyyy out of my price range too). after sniffing some tea, we popped into the christmas markets to snag some christmas gifts for our relatives including a chocolate paintbrush which looked too real to be edible!

i love that i was able to dive into the christmas spirit with my family. i mean, that's what christmas is all about right!

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Thursday, 24 November 2016

hello korea!

i'm so glad my photos are finally organised and i can share this eye-opening experience with you all! 
back in august of this year, i made my first mark on korea after signing up to teach english there for a month. i knew no one, knew nothing much about the trip (in fact, my mum was worried i might get deported), and i did not know an ounce of korean except hello and thank you.

saying bye to my dad and sister!
as exciting as this was, there was a mini cloud over me holding my worries and fears. but all that was gone the moment i met part of the team at heathrow airport.

we were a good mix of uni students in second year, third year and some graduated; it turned out too that i was the youngest among us all! we entertained ourselves for a bit looking for our departure gates, grabbing food and pondering what the next few weeks would be like.

leaving the uk

first glimpse of south korea

it has been a good 8 years since i've been on such a long-haul flight, and i admit i was pretty well prepared for it (thank you pinterest). plane food wasn't as bad as i remembered it to be, and their makeshift bibimbap rice bowls weren't even that bad tasting. i also managed to get a good morning grind moving, watching zootopia during breakfast before we landed. 

once we landed, we were introduced to the team that flew over from america that same day. i grabbed a quick taro bubble tea (i mean, first things first) - before we got a taste of the humidity and heat outside when we boarded our coach to the city of danjin.

after a 2 hour drive, we saw the massive church we will be based in for the duration of our trip, which claims to hold 1000 people for services. we had a quick orientation where we tried to combat our jetlag, before being introduced to our homestays who will be looking after us. 

i was put into pairs with a korean girl, also from the uk, who was particularly helpful in translating between me and our host family who only knew limited english. our family consisted of 2 girls and a little boy who was very shy with us at first. they were the most welcoming and cheerful family too.

they took us out for dinner to an italian-korean fusion restaurant where we munched and got to know each other. it was an early night for us that evening despite how humid it was in the apartment even with the fan on!

church started off with 5am services, but we attended the one at 11am after a cute breakfast consisting of fresh goods from the bakery down the road and a strong coffee.

the big church.

 their services were so different to what i'm used to back in the uk. the children were so enthusiastic with their praises, and their prayers were filled with so much passion. we got a chance to introduce ourselves to the thousand people at the church too - a bit of daunting experience if you ask me. 

after church, i went exploring with my roommate, hadarm. the heat really got to us so we sat down to enjoy some bingsu, which eventually became a frequent dessert for us as it was so hot. 
we popped back to church for their evening service at 7pm before heading home for dinner.

dinner was beautifully laid out (and tasted great!) and afterwards we popped down to the corner shop to get some of the most funkiest ice creams for dessert.

i already know this will be the most yummiest trip yet.

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