Monday, September 21, 2009


I have these strange, almost out of body moments when I realize, holy crap, I'm an adult! When did this happen and how do I make it stop? I sometimes wonder if my parents have these moments still, even though they are past the 50's mark (sorry Mom and Dad) where they wonder, when did this happen?

I had it tonight. I had just gotten home and changed into my pajamas, washed the breakfast dishes, looked at the clock and realized it was already past 9pm. I immediately took my nightly pills, drank my probiotic yogurt, washed my face, brushed my teeth, and got in bed to read. Then it hit me...I'm old. I'm an adult. I live alone, halfway across the world from the most important people in my life and I'm an adult. I am responsible for the education of children. I pay bills. I can go on trips without asking permission. I mean, I've been doing this and able to do this for awhile now, but it just hits me at these weird times and I am struck dumb by how quickly life passes. I'm almost 30. 30, people. Wow.

Maybe this is just one of those reflective, late-night moments, but when they happen, they always make me wonder if I'm doing justice to all I've been education, my loving upbringing, my amazing and loyal friends, my kids...even whether or not my grandfather would be proud of me if he could see the woman I am today.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

아 디???

This is my question for daily prayer.

I will wait as long as it takes.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


G and I made another foray into glamorous Seoul last Saturday for more shopping, eating, and checking out the sights. Luckily for me, G seems to enjoy the touristy things just as much as I do and is willing to come along with me :) Of course, we started the day out with an absolutely fabulous lunch at Cook N', I know that doesn't sound too appetizing but it was the cutest little restaurant/cafe up an alley. We shared the Premium Italian Burger (on focaccia, SO delicious) and the Shrimp and Crab Pasta....heavenly. And, of course, lunch would not have been complete without taking pictures of our scrumptious food...BEHOLD:

After lunch, we ambled down the market street, checking out the cool jade bracelets, kiosks selling heaven-knows-what-on-a-stick, and a certain street vendor making and selling a candy thing made of tiny threads of honey wrapped skillfully around some kind of powder...he told me he loved me. Memorable, I swear, to have a sweating street vendor tell you he loves you in broken English. In case you were wondering what happens when you pour your beer into your paper cup too quickly...

Roaming the streets of Seoul is always fascinating. Young and old mix in a cacophony of style, noise, and attitude. There is really cool artwork on the street walls, hidden used bookshops (which are great, but it's freaking heavy to carry around 15 lbs of books all day!), little cafes, and of course, what seems like millions of taxis and buses. Seoul is actually the cleanest and nicest Asian city I've been to though. Pollution isn't horrible and everyone is really nice. I'm liking living so close to such a cool city :)

And the token margarita glasses...big shout out to my pals at Margarita Grill! Miss you and your addicting queso!

The awesome used bookstore was right underneath this awesome sign...I love it when I find them...the last time I saw one was in South Africa.

At Seoul Tower, we took a million pictures and checked out Seoul by night. It is SO beautiful up there, and we didn't even go to the top of the tower! We rode a cable car (after hoofing it up a steep 1/2 mile inclined road) up to the base of the tower where they have a Cold Stone Creamery (holla!), souvenir shops, and overlook places where the fence is festooned with locks. Like, padlocks. Apparently, it very romantic to come to the Tower with your beloved and lock a padlock on the fence, thereby ensuring that your love will last forever. I mean, tons of locks, people. There are lots of lovey-dovey peeps in Seoul, y'all!
Can you see the city in the background? BTW, it was windy and pretty chilly up there...the view (and the ice cream) was so worth it!

On the way home, things got a little crazy. I was exhausted (I wimp out early these days) and as everyone knows, when I get tired, I get giggly and weird. We got on the first subway line where the young man beside me proceeded to fall asleep, head lolling on my shoulder. I was laughing so hard I was shaking...I'm surprised I didn't wake him up! We had to change lines after that, so we headed that way.

Here's the thing about the subway...the doors open and you force your way in, trampling old women and children alike, all so you can get a coveted seat for your journey. You DON'T want to stand the whole way. Anyway, I jumped on the subway quickly and headed for a freshly vacated end seat, congratulating myself for being so adept at managing the "Seoul Train". Well, the elderly gentleman who had just vacated the seat realized that it wasn't his stop and proceeded to "back it up" right into my lap. I swear, it seemed to happen in slow motion as his rump lowered itself into my lap. He rebounded fast, though, especially for his age! I, of course, apologized profusely (in English, trying not to laugh) and tried to avoid eye contact with him for the remainder of the journey.
We had such a great and G's little excursions to Seoul always end up memorable!

BTW, these last two pics are of me waiting for the LAST train...I was delirious by this time, which amused G greatly. There are actually quite a few pics of me looking like I'm a beggar and in other odd poses, but I think these show just how tired I really was. You gotta love the friends who capture you at your best ;)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Megan, I tried to send this in an email but it wouldn't here ya go :) A glimpse of my apt a little more adjusted...
Computer, bedside chest on the left, bookcase on the right...
Microwave, rice cooker, toaster, 2 burner stove, mini fridge....
TV, small table (when Gina comes over to eat, we pull the table out and sit on the floor.
The foyer opening is on the right, as is the bathroom...
Walking into my apt from the front door...
Door, foyer, where I keep my shoes (you take off your shoes when you come in to a house)

My bed and has hanging space and 2 big drawers on the bottom...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Honestly, the past week or so have no been the best. I'm struggling with feelings of despondency and fatigue. Is this delayed jet lag? PMS? Argh, I don't know but I want it to go away! It helps to make plans, and I have a fun day in Seoul planned with G this weekend (Seoul Tower, shopping, and sushi, here we come!) and I have one of my oldest and bestest friends visiting soon. It really helps to have plans...

Also, I got the SWEETEST email from LG (10 yrs old), who I used to babysit, and she said (in big pink letters) "I thought you might be lonely and wanted to email you...I miss you and love you....don't stay in Korea....come back and live with us!" and then there were smiley faces. How precious! Really lifted me up...

Anyway, prayers going out for my dear Kara.....I love you, BFF!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

My first attempt at a Korean style dinner

You might be wondering what it all is...well, technically this wouldn't be what a Korean mom would make for her kids...BUT it's the best I can do. I just picked my favorite things and made it a meal :) Rice (of course, and my first attempt at using the rice cooker turned out DELICIOUSLY), samjang (the red stuff in the green container), sliced fresh cucumber, and pork, onion and fresh garlic cooked in my DeMarle (shameless shoutout there) non-stick skillet. That with a couple glasses of ice cold beer....heaven!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

This is how I feel today...

Hopefully, lunch and my yummy frozen coffee pop will make it all better.....

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Kkotji Trip

Though I realize this post is long overdue, better late than never, right? I'm sure whoever said that was really wise, so I'm going with it...

So, last weekend, G, Brian and I went to Kkotji. I think there's another name for the place but I'm horrible at remembering the Korean names for things and places if I don't write them down. Anyway...

We left Saturday morning and it was a pretty good drive down. We headed to the western coast and it took about 3 or 4 hours. On Saturday, we took an hour long detour just to go to this special restaurant Brian likes. It was SO worth it! The restaurant (called Avocado) was on the grounds of a pension that was so beautiful. The beach was rocky and dark but we got to chase little crabs around and there were these little fish-like animals that were minnow sized but had front legs and they scuttled around and down into holes. Very strange but very cool :)KBFF and ABFF

Next to the restaurant was a gorgeous field of wildflowers, the bluest hydrangeas I've ever seen, and hot pink crepe myrtles....dragonflies and butterflies flocked to the flowers and it looked like they were dancing! So pretty. There was a little gazebo, wooden lawn chairs to relax on and the whole place was just idyllic. Happiness :)

After lunch, we had plans to go ATV riding but the place was closed (which we didn't figure out until driving past the same rice paddies and forested area about 4 times, ror). So, we just went to the beach. It was all rocky and the tide was low, completely exposing the 2 islands off the coast, Grandmother and Grandfather Islands. We walked for a bit, watching scores of people with shovels and buckets digging for clams and crabs, which were conveniently for sale at a couple kiosks on the beach. Dig up a clam, and this lady will open it and serve it to you with some pepper sauce! They also had sea cucumbers, some weird red, horny thing, and other ocean animals to eat in buckets. Very Asian, I think!

I decided that Grandfather Island was climb-able and convinced G and Brian to come with me...of course, I was wearing flip flops (what else would I be wearing?!) and so it's a miracle I didn't fall and kill myself!Grandfather IslandMy attempts at being a mountain goat...The path up the island...the sign says "Slippery!".On top of Grandfather Island!!

I think I actually freaked G and Brian out by wandering off and climbing random rocks and boulders...G kept saying "Please don't die! You don't have insurance yet!" Needless to say, the only time my foot slipped was while walking (not climbing) on flat ground. Bruised my heel pretty good, but I didn't die. Yay!

After getting that out of my system, we walked down the beach for a ways and decided to take a boat ride! G and Brian were all for doing the banana boat ride, but I wasn't too keen on getting soaked in coldish water with no change of clothes or towel. Not for me. I convinced them that we needed to take a regular boat ride...they thought it would be boring, but G screamed so loudly she made the boat driver laugh. I think he went faster and turned sharper because her screaming was hilarious. And yes, I'm still making fun of her for that ;)

We were starting to get hungry so we headed to the fish market, and it was so cool! Every stall had row upon row of water filled bins brimming with different kinds of clams, slimy things, prawns, crabs, fish, eel, was so interested and we ended up getting a kilo of HUGE prawns about 4 inches long. Then ,we headed home for the best part....the BBQ!!!We had brought pork, onion, potatoes, and samjang and Brian brought some of his mom's homemade kimchi. We had the pension set up a grill for us in the BBQ area and we ate and ate and ate for about 2 delicious....I don't know of a better way to finish off a great day of travel in Korea!happy Ansley :)

I can't wait for our next trip! What is next, you might ask? Well, a secret trip with an old friend visiting from America...but stories of that will come later. As far as Gina and me go, I think Incheon is next on the list...whee! I love Korea!