Jul 6, 2014  •  In Korean, Personal, Travel

Back to Life, Back to Reality [Jetlag Edition]

The current time here, back home on the east coast of the U.S., is 2:47am and I am WIDE AWAKE. :-?

It figures — just as my body was finally becoming accustomed to the day-night reversal in Korea, my vacation came to an abrupt end. When I was still planning this trip, J (who has taken 3 trips to Hong Kong in the past couple of years) warned me that I would need at least a week in Korea and another week to fully recover because “We’re old now! Our bodies can’t handle the time difference like we could in our twenties!” And it seems that he is correct.

If I could say one thing about this visit to Korea, it would be that nothing was astonishing. I had half-expected Seoul to be a metropolis of the future with technology mirroring that of the fictional cities of Minority Report and I, Robot. And while in some ways, Korea is spectacularly advanced compared to the U.S., most of the time I felt like I was still back home in the states, perpetually in a Korean restaurant or in certain parts of northern NJ or Queens where many Koreans reside.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that I fit in quite well. I had read that Koreans can spot Korean-Americans from a mile away because we tend to stick out like sore thumbs in terms of our appearance and mannerisms. However, this didn’t seem to be the case with me. (Perhaps because I’m so short?) Everyone assumed I was a Korean born and raised in Korea, and was always surprised to discover that I was on a visit from America and that my Korean wasn’t perfect.

And on a more superficial note, I was overjoyed that everyone called me 아가씨 (ahgahssi, which loosely translates to “miss” and is a form of address for young ladies and unmarried women). Not once did I get referred to as an 아줌마/아주머니 (ahjumma/ahjumuhni which is used for older, married women).  :-D  In fact, most people told me that I hadn’t changed at all, and even my aunts whom I haven’t seen in 13 years said that I looked exactly the same since they saw me last. (And you know how brutally honest older Korean women can be!)

That’s enough ramblings from this jetlagged blogger. I really should try to get some sleep — don’t you hate it when your body is exhausted but your mind is awake?

A picture my sister sent me of the girls while I was away.
I missed them so, so much!

Jul 1, 2014  •  In Funny, Personal, Travel

Airplane Sleep Positions

I’m having a blast in Korea! I’ll write more about my trip in a future post, but for the moment I wanted to share with you this comic strip from Tastefully Offensive. I thought it especially appropriate considering that direct flights between JFK and Incheon International Airport are approximately 14 hours long. :-)




















I fortunately had a very good experience on my flight to Korea. There were no babies on the plane save for one extremely well-behaved toddler, the food was probably the best airplane food I’ve ever had (did you see this Instagram photo I uploaded?), and there were electrical outlets between each seat, so I was able to use my laptop almost the entire flight. :-P

What’s more, flying is one of those rare instances where being petite is a huge advantage — I never have to worry about having enough legroom! In fact, I’m always able to comfortably sit cross-legged in economy seats.

Tomorrow is my last full day in Korea. :-( Although I’m sad to leave (and wishing the trip could last longer), I’m missing my girls like crazy and am really looking forward to getting out of this suffocating humidity. Here’s to hoping my return flight is smooth-sailing as well!

Jun 24, 2014  •  In Personal, Travel


Yesterday was our last full day at home before I leave for Korea. 8-)  

The reason for my week-long (9 days with travel time) trip back to the motherland is a cousin’s wedding. I was actually supposed to visit Korea earlier this year for another cousin’s wedding, but decided to cancel the trip in light of the $6k we owed in medical bills.

But now, with the bills paid off, my mother volunteering to watch the kids while I’m gone, and J encouraging me to take a vacation as well, I decided to go for it.

(J thought about coming along and making it a 2-week trip, 1 week in Korea and another in Hong Kong, but his office needed him. We’ve both traveled a bit these past couple of years — including his 3 trips to Hong Kong and my 2 to Los Angeles — but we haven’t taken a vacation together since our babymoon 4 years ago!)

I’m excited but admittedly a bit nervous. The last time I visited Korea was January 2001 — more than 13 years ago! — and despite my trying to keep up online, I know a lot has changed since then. I’m worried that I’ll stick out like a fat (literally, because I would be considered overweight in Korea), sore thumb. Additionally, my Korean isn’t nearly as good as it used to be.

Me donning my hanbok, walking down the street I grew up on
in Daegu (circa 1984).

But I look forward to it more and more as my departure time draws closer. Family (about half my extended family lives in Korea), food (my mouth is watering just thinking about all the glorious food I will gorge on), shopping (I really want to get some nice Korean children’s books for the girls), and so forth!

What’s more, the aunt with whom I am staying and I get along extremely well. I stayed with her the last time I was in Korea, and I’m pretty sure that we would be pretty close if we didn’t live so far apart. In fact, even my own mother admits that sometimes, she feels like my aunt understands me better than she does.

The girls will be staying with my parents while I am away, and J will visit them over the weekend. We’re all a bit nervous as to whether my mom can handle C&A, but the girls love their halmeh and will undoubtedly have a ball in the suburbs.

I’m not sure what the blogging situation will be like during my trip. I will be bringing my laptop and South Korea is one of the most well-connected nations in the world, but I really have no idea what I will be doing (aside from the wedding) or what my schedule, if any, will be.

So if you don’t hear from me until my return, adieu!

P.S. — If you have any non-touristy suggestions for Seoul, I’d love to hear it! TIA!

Jun 23, 2014  •  In Books, Entertainment, Funny, Geek, Infographics, Personal, Sports

3 Flowcharts [Sleep, GoT, and World Cup Edition]

My head is a royal mess right now. Packing. Cleaning. Making sure the girls don’t kill each other. Laundry. My 15th rendition of “Do-Re-Mi” (C&A’s favorite song at the moment) today. More cleaning (because I can’t leave for a trip without cleaning first).

In case you have more free time than me today, here are three flowcharts you may enjoy…

This first flowchart/quiz, brought to you by Simmons, is titled “Is Your Sleep Personality Messing With You?”. And just as I expected, I am an “Plugged ‘In’somniac.” I know that I should cut down on screentime before bed, but it’s hard when it’s the only uninterrupted free time I have to goof off online, and to catch up TV shows and movies. :-P

Via Design Milk.

The next flowchart comes courtesy of the comics over at Dorkly, and simply predicts whether you would survive in the world of Game of Thrones. I would stay alive — would you?


The last chart is useful for non-soccer fans like myself. J was livid and depressed that his beloved England team was kicked out after the first round, but I could care less. Are you following the World Cup? Who are you rooting for?

Via imgur.

Jun 19, 2014  •  In Books, Entertainment, Geek, Infographics

“Why Did They Have to Die?”, Game of Thrones Edition [Infographic]

Although the most popular complaint against A Song of Ice and Fire series is the callous and unexpected ways in which George R.R. Martin kills off beloved characters (have you seen this?), my biggest complaint is that there are just too. Many. Damn. Characters.

And as someone who is horrible with names — especially names that are difficult to pronounce (you should hear how I butcher some Westerosi names in my head) — you can bet that I have trouble keeping track of everyone.

At least now, I have this handy infographic to help me keep track of the deceased. Sat TV Depot has combed through the many deaths in the first four seasons of HBO’s Game of Thrones to succinctly present the major deaths, and the reason(s) for their demise. 

It should go without saying that the below infographic contains some major spoilers. ;-)  Enjoy!


Via GeekTyrant.