and I’m exhausted haha. Who knew being a mother was this tiring? I admire those who are taking care of more than one child! I don’t get a lot of uninterrupted sleep as I am breastfeeding Mina at nighttime - and when I’m not, I either wake up several times out of fear that Mina will get the blanket over her face and suffocate, or I get kicked in the belly by her little foot (or she hits my chest with her arm haha). That’s a new trick of hers, hitting! Especially in the morning around 6:30 when she is VERY ready to get up, she will just lay there hitting her mommy while kicking the air with her legs..
Anyways, today was one of those days where everything seemed to happen at once. For example, just when I was cutting vegetables for dinner, I had to come to B’s rescue as Mina had managed to get poo literally up to her neck.. I was gonna give her a bath today anyways, and I needed a shower as well - so I took her into the shower with me. We both got squeaky clean and there was no need to get the whole changing mat dirty and waste a bunch of wet tissue on cleaning her. I won’t be doing that a lot though, cause holding a wet baby in the shower feels quite dangerous.. I was holding her really tight, but when she started moving (like the little worm that she is haha), it’s a little tricky to have a good grip on her. Hopefully we won’t have another situation like this for a long time!
Since Mina recently turned four months old, we have started to feed her a little porridge (well, we actually cheated and started when she was 16 weeks old - technically 4 months but that was in the beginning of this month). At first it was really difficult to make sure the porridge actually ended up inside her mouth and not just down her chin and on her whole face, in addition to trying to make her not touch her face with her hands smudging the porridge all over the place.. We have gotten better at this, and now she eats around half a portion each time, and she mostly keeps her hands out of her face during mealtime! I’m hoping she soon will be eating a full portion of porridge, and also *hopefully* sleeping longer at night!
Oh and, I ordered a bunch of Christmas cards from the internet today, after spending a few days trying to decide which design, and from where.. I ended up buying them from a US website where they are more than double the price of the swedish or norwegian ones, but looks about five times better. I’m so excited to get them!
Time really just flies by - she is 4 months already!! She is laughing lots, smiling even more, and loves is when I tickle her neck. Some days she suddenly cries for seemingly “no reason” - a heartbreaking cry that makes it obvious that she is in some kind of pain.. My guess is that she has started teething - usually they will start getting bothered by it several weeks or even months before you can even see any tooth. Today I bought some kind of pain relief that we can put on her gums (a mild one, safe for babies of course), so hopefully that will work! We have tried feeding her some porridge - just small portions to get her used to it, but she is still very skeptical of it. She’ll keep the porridge in her mouth for a good 10 seconds or so, and then spit it out when it has gotten all soggy.. it gets quite messy, to put it that way haha.
It has been two and a half months since we moved to Sweden, and Christmas is getting closer. We are planning a trip to Norway to visit my family in the end of this month, and we will return to Sweden in the middle of December as B’s visa expires just days before Christmas eve :( talk about bad luck - I had really hoped to spend all of Christmas and even New Year’s eve in Norway this year. I guess we just have to have our own little celebration here in Sweden, just the three of us. Mina’s first Christmas<3
I mentioned earlier that I made a really delicious brownie the other day - pretty much the most delicious one I’ve ever had actually. I first had it at my cousin’s place and thought it was so delicious, so I asked her for the recipe! She told me I could easily find it online by searching “konditorens brownie” (the confectioner’s brownie). The recipe is in norwegian though, so I thought I’d share it in english! It is really easy to make and is done in less than an hour after starting. I’d say anyone can make it even with little or no experience in baking!
Start by setting the oven to 165 degrees. Whip the eggs and sugar together for a while till it gets kind of “fluffy” - this step is important for the brownie to be a success!! (the first time I made this brownie I barely just mixed the eggs and sugar together, and the cake was all sunken in the middle.. lesson learned). Melt the butter, take it off the hot plate and mix in the chocolate till it has melted. Now, mix it with the whipped eggs and sugar. Use a sift and add the flour and vanilla sugar, and stir till everything is mixed in well. Put this whole mix into a baking tray with tall edges (what are they called in english?? haha), and bake it in the middle of the oven for about 30 minutes. I like baking it till it’s “done” all over, meaning no sticky and almost fluid-y parts (typically in the middle of the cake). Let it cool a little before cutting it! When I make this for me and B, I halve the recipe, which is actually still around two portions for each of us. We put the leftovers in a box in the fridge to eat the next day, and it almost tastes better then haha.
The finished brownie! Here we already had each our portion. Doesn’t look like that much, but it’s more than enough for at least three people :)
Taking a family photo with a baby is not always that easy…
But we got a good one in the end! Yesterday Mina was 100 days old, which is kind of a big deal in Korea and would normally be a day of celebration. So for the occasion we took some family photos and I baked a delicious brownie! I might share the recipe here later, it’s super easy to make. B and I are definitely gonna eat the leftovers today hihi
I love carrying Mina around in a carrier, and she always calms down when I do. I don’t go anywhere without at least one of my carriers so that I can use it “for emergency” if she cries for no reason and nothing seems to calm her down. My first carrier was a meitai that I had sown myself, which I will be using much more when Mina is a little bigger. The second one is a boba wrap elastic carrier that can be used from birth, and I really love this one. It’s so cozy for both of us and it takes basically no time for her to fall asleep. Mina has had some colic-tendencies and whenever she was crying for hours straight because of stomach pain, I’d put her in the boba wrap to calm her down - which was also a great relief for my arms. I can’t imagine having to just carry her in my arms the whole time she’d be crying, it’d be way too tiring.
B sporting the meitai carrier I made! He also loves carrying our daughter around. A big plus about this kind of carrier is that if baby gets hungry you can feed her right there in the carrier. Breastfeeding is also possible while having baby in a carrier, but I guess the elastic wrap carriers are better for that. I’ve done that a few times too, but only in the boba wrap pictured below! The only downside to that carrier is that it gets insanely warm after a while having all that fabric wrapped around me in addition to a baby producing heat too haha.
A few weeks ago I was looking at some Ergobaby carriers online since I’ve heard so many great things about them, and I thought it’d be a good investment. They are a little pricey in scandinavian stores, about double the price of the actual cost, so I tried finding a store in another country that would ship to Sweden instead. I ended up ordering a beautiful Ergobaby carrier from the german Ergobaby store for almost half the price I’d have to pay for the same item here in Sweden! The only downside of ordering it from there, is that the shipping was super slow. It took about three weeks before they actually sent it (I have no clue why), and another week or so for it to get here.
As I ordered it when Mina was still way too small to use it, it didn’t really matter a lot that I got it this late. It can be used from about four months of age (unless you use the infant insert in it), but I have used it a few times with Mina wearing a thick winter suit. I am so in love with my Ergobaby carrier!! Not only is it ergonomically good for baby to use, but it also looks really nice. Also, it is organic which is a nice plus! It has a weight limit of about 18 kg which means we can use it for a looong time, but I don’t think we will be carrying Mina for that long (at least I wouldn’t do it as 18kg is way too heavy for me haha).
My baby is 3 months already! These days she is blabbering on with all her cute baby sounds, and she especially loves talking to the owl in her activity gym haha. She can now lay there playing by herself for 20 minutes or more, compared to between 5-10 minutes before. She has started taking interest in looking at the pictures in some children’s books with strong colors, and she loves watching her daddy dance (and of course whenever he sings to her she is super happy!). She is so amused by peek-a-boo games with a cloth, and now she is starting to like all her toys a lot more. She still has lots of gas pains, but not even nearly as much as before. Phew! My favorite time with her is definitely in the morning when she wakes me up with her giggling, squealing and all her smiles! I’m so blessed for getting to be her mommy :)
I feel like such a housewife some days! Actually that’s basically what I am haha. The picture above is from my laundry day last week. Laundry day means going to the shared laundry room in the building beside ours to do laundry at 7am, and then spend the next few hours going back and forth to get the clean clothes and put on another machine to wash. Then of course hanging them to dry in our apartment - except towels and bed sheets that I tumble-dry in the laundry room (I simply don’t have anywhere to hang them to dry in here!!). Tomorrow is another laundry day, which means getting up at 6:30am or so to prepare the laundry and get ready. That’s why I’ve decided to go to bed really early for once, so that it wont be that hard to get up so early tomorrow morning! Actually it would be ok if I had continuous sleep from I went to bed till 6:30, but I’m breastfeeding Mina on and off from when she wakes up around 4-5am until 7am when she decides that it’s morning, meaning I don’t get much sleep during that time. I’m lucky though, as B gets up every day at 7am with Mina so that I can sleep for maybe two hours more! I don’t know if I’d have enough energy for anything if I couldn’t have those two extra hours of sleep.
Other than that I have one day a week (actually around every 5 or 6 days) where I vacuum and clean the whole apartment, and of course clean the bathroom properly. I also bake rather frequently, as it’s so easy with my KitchenAid machine! Mostly it’s either cinnamon buns, bread with ham and cheese inside, or some times a brownie cake or some muffins for “snacks” during weekends. B is really satisfied with my baking, but I still feel like I can improve a little! Same goes for dinner-making, which I do every day. Having an almost 3-month old baby equals to not that much time to make dinner. So a lot of the time I just make something simple, and I shamefully admit that I have made instant type of food several times..! I really want to make delicious dinner from scratch every day, but most days there’s just not enough time. On Saturdays I always take the time to make a yummy pizza though- usually with mozzarella, ham and tomatoes!
This is my new sewing machine, my first one ever that is actually mine. I’ve been sewing since I was maybe 7 years old, both with and without a sewing machine, but I’ve never actually had my own. A few days ago I ordered some fabrics and patterns online, so from now on I will be attempting to make baby clothes!! I’m so excited for it, and I think after putting Mina to sleep every night I will be spending most of my time with the new sewing projects! I will show my creations here when I’m done with them of course.
Another thing is taking care of Mina - I’m always the one putting her to bed, cleaning her bottles, bathing her and of course breastfeeding her at night. B usually feeds her with a bottle many times during the day and is also great at entertaining her, playing with her, carrying her around when she is feeling fuzzy, and last but not least taking her for a walk in the stroller so that I can get some me-time! Anyways, she gets around 50/50 formula and breastmilk, but I wish I wouldn’t have to feed her any formula as there wouldn’t be any bottles to clean and sterilize! Well the important thing is that she gets full, grows well and stays healthy!
So those are some of my housewife chores haha. I often feel like 24 hours a day isn’t enough to do everything that I need and want to do. Good thing B always does the dishes, otherwise I’d be stuck doing chores most of the day!
Going for a walk in our town, trying out Mina’s new sleeping bag! It’s from a norwegian brand called Voksi, and I’m so extremely glad we made this investment! She can use it till she is 3 years old as it “grows with the child”, and she sleeps so well in it. Before, it would take a long time for her to get calm in the stroller and only sometimes she’d fall asleep. Now she lays there really fascinated with all the little dots on the sleeping bag, and then after a little while she falls asleep as it’s so warm and cozy in there!
So happy! looks cozy in there, right?
At a café in our town. Went there the other day to get some coffee, and to just take a break from our small shopping trip! I just love it when B holds Mina and cuddles her, it’s really great to see the two of them together.
This picture was taken this morning after B had spent about an hour singing chinese songs to her haha. A few minutes after this, she was sleeping like a rock. I’m so glad that we have gotten into some good routines with Mina now, it makes everything so much easier and every day becomes more predictable. I will write a blog post about this soon!
Late on Friday night, B finally came to Sweden after almost exactly 6 months apart. It’s crazy to think about the fact that we had only been together about two and a half weeks in total this year.. It’s definitely not what I had expected at all! Anyways, the most important thing is that we are finally together, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.
The first time Mina saw her daddy, she just looked at him with big curious eyes. Call me crazy, but she almost seemed to recognize him. Well, she had seen him on Skype many times, but I have no clue as to what she actually paid attention to haha. She loves being carried around by him, and B is really such a good father to her.
B brought my Canon SLR camera that I forgot in Korea, hence the much better quality of the pictures in this post. I will mostly be using that camera from now on! He also brought some korean skincare products from Innisfree - my favorite makeup/skincare store in Korea. Nothing beats korean beautyproducts - I guess there’s a reason why the korean brands are famous at least all over Asia.
I put Mina to bed at 6:30pm, as she was super sleepy. She fell asleep right away. And B went to bed around 9pm, I guess due to jetlag. So yeah, I’m sitting here alone watching tv and updating my blog haha. I will be going to bed within half an hour though. Tomorrow we will prepare all the documents needed for applying for B’s recidence permit!
Mina was two months old a few days ago! She can hold her head up for a really long time, she can grab some toys and wave them around a bit (assuming that I put the toy in her hand first), she can entertain herself with the activity gym for 10 minutes or more before getting tired (yay, gives me some time to do the dished etc!), and she smiles so much. Here are a few recent pictures of my daughter:
How I carry her when she cries and cries because of stomach pains. The wrap carrier is called “boba wrap” and it’s so great for calming her and making her fall asleep.
The back of Mina’s head haha. I just thought it was super cute. Oh and she has gotten a small patch where her hair has gotten thin since she always lays on her back while sleeping (with her head rubbing against the mattress).
Since Mina is sleeping and I have already finished all my “household chores”, I will use the opportunity to post some pictures of our new apartment here in Sweden where we will be living for a while! It’s a good sized apartment for the three of us (46 square metres). The livingroom and kitchen as well as the hallway are all in one room, which makes it look very open and nice. The bathroom is of decent size, and the bedroom fits our big bed as well as Mina’s crib. The only negative thing I have to say about this apartment is that we don’t have our own washing machine. There is a shared laundry room where we have to book hours in advance, and even though I thought it seemed very inconvenient at first, it’s actually fine.
The new sofa and the lovely coffee table(s) I bought at IKEA! it’s from the Stockholm collection - a little expensive but very worth it.
This is the dining table, and also where I get creative with my new sewing machine! I’m so glad I bought a good sewing machine (Husqvarna Viking Emerald 118), since sewing has been a big hobby of mine since I was very little. I believe I started practicing on my mother’s sewing machine when I was 6 or 7 years old or so. Till now I have been making pretty much everything but clothes, so from now on I will start making some nice clothes for Mina and then take it from there!
The little kitchen, with my beloved KitchenAid machine in the corner. I do wish that I had more space for cooking and such, and it would have been great with a dish-washer - but B and I are used to doing the dishes by hand from Korea where practically no one has dishwashers anyways..
Our new TV (40”) and you can see Mina’s Skip*Hop activity gym as well. Most of the furniture in our apartment is brand new, so I feel like I’ve been using so much money lately! It’s a good investment for the future though, and I’m glad I didn’t buy the cheapest of the cheapest IKEA furniture. Most of the furniture are from IKEA, but i didn’t really consider the price when buying - I just chose what I really liked.
This is where we change Mina’s diaper, and the dresser is also hers. We had to put it there since there was no space for it in the bathroom where you’d normally change a baby’s diaper haha. And the basket on wheels is where she sometimes sleeps during daytime - this has been in our family for generations, and both me and my brother (and most of my cousins and some of their children) have slept in it when they were babies!
Our simple bedroom~ I didn’t decorate much in here yet, so it looks very plain. I’m planning on at least having a nice cover blanket for the bed as well as some big pretty pillows! Maybe I’ll also get a nice bedside lamp!
The bathroom with our old-style shower (haha) and Mina’s bathtub next to it. The round white carpet is something we had to have as the floor is super slippery!
And that’s the end of our apartment-tour! All in all I really like it here and I think it’s just perfect for our little family :)
I’ve had a long break from blogging, simply because of stress and lack of time. A lot of things have happened recently, the most significant one being me moving to Sweden..! And here’s why; B was supposed to come to Norway on a student visa to learn norwegian language, and the processing time was supposed to be 2 months (around the time Mina was born). However, the UDI in Norway suddenly changed the processing time to 6 months, and they told me that on the fourth phonecall I made to them to ask about his visa - and that was after 13 or 14 weeks!! Also, they used about one month just to register his application.. so basically that meant I would have to wait till December or so to be together with my husband. Unbelievable. That same day I made the decision to move to sweden, and a few days after I had gotten an apartent already!
Why Sweden? Well Norway is known to make a lot of trouble for those who marry foreigners, and it’s very difficult (and a lengthy process) for a norwegian to get their spouse into the country on a recidence permit. Amongst other requirements you need to have a high income in order to support your spouse so that they won’t have to «live off the state», and not only do they look at your current income, but your income the previous year needs to be high as well, and you have to prove that you’re likely to have the same income the next few years. This makes it very difficult for students, who at the most have been working part-time, to be able to live together with their spouse in Norway. It’s ridiculous, I know. There is one other way though. If you are an EEA citizen who has moved to Norway for work or something, then you have the right to bring your family with you (this has no ridiculous requirements). As a norwegian citzen, I don’t count as an EEA citizen, but I will become one if I move to another EEA-country for 6 months or more (Sweden being the easiest option since it’s so close to Norway and the language is similar). After that period of time, I can move back to Norway with the same rights as an EEA citizen, meaning I’ll have the right to bring my husband with me and apply for a recidence card for him!
It’s been really hard being apart from my husband for 6 months straight, especially since I gave birth to our daughter in July and really needed him to be here. In total this year, we have only been together for two and a half weeks in total..!! If I had known it would turn out like this, I would have done the whole moving-to-Sweden-thing a long time ago. We are planning to stay in sweden for probably a year and a half, if not more, and I might even start my bachelor degree here! It’s already been two weeks since I moved into my apartment here in Sweden and I have to say I really love it here. The apartment is great, this town has such a nice environment, and the people here are are so kind. It’s a small town with lots of nature, which is perfect for us. So now my daughter and I are just waiting for B to come – he applied for the visiting visa 4 days ago, and they said they will try to process it quickly. I’m really hoping he will get it on monday or tuesday! I can’t believe that the day we’ll finally be meeting again is so close, it just seems so unreal. It’s been a long process, but our love is so worth fighting for<3
The past week I’ve been busy adjusting to my new life as the mother of a newborn baby! Our daughter Mina was born on 13.07.13 after two tiring days of being in labor. When she was born I thought she looked just like B, but now I see that she is a good mix of us both. She kind of looks like the asian version of me as a baby sometimes!
Anyways, since B is still waiting for his visa (why does it have to take this long, really???), my mother was the one who came with me to the hospital for the birth. We spent the first few days there before being allowed to go home.
Our baby Mina is very healthy, but the pediatrician who checked her wanted us to get an ultrasound of her heart. It turns out she has a ventricular septal defect (VSD), which basically means that she has a tiny hole in her heart. This is the most common heart defect and it sounds really scary, but at least in our case it’s not dangerous and for most babies the hole will disappear within the first year. The only thing we have to make sure of is that Mina is eating well, gaining weight normally, doesn’t breathe too quickly, doesn’t have cold sweats etc (because these could be symptoms of heart failure, and even though in our case it’s highly unlikely to happen, we still have to be aware of it just in case). Of course we will have to go for regular check-ups because of her VSD till the hole has disappeared.
Anyways, she is a lovely baby and as perfect as can be. She eats really well, loves being snuggled and carried (especially in the meitai carrier I made for her), and sleeps a lot. In the daytime she mostly just eats and sleeps, and is more awake (and cries a lot) at night - resulting in some quite frustrating nights for me with little sleep. However it seems she is settling in more and last night she was only awake for an hour and a half at nighttime! I’m loving this new chapter of my life, becoming a mother is such an amazing experience. I do admit it’s a little tiring to take care of her by myself but I guess this will all be easier to handle when B finally comes here to be with us. Hopefully he will be able to get his visa within a week!
being pregnant. Today I am 38 weeks along, and baby can come basically at any time.. However if she decides not to come just yet, I might have to be pregnant for another 4(!!) weeks! And I’m just not seeing how that will work out haha. It is getting more “heavy” nowadays, but I still keep active and go for long walks and such. Speaking of being active, I recently bought the Wii Fit Plus game! I have the Wii U console, but regular Wii games works with it as well. Wii Fit U is coming out in December and will be using the same balance board as the previous games (and I will be getting that game as well), so I thought it was a good idea. B and I like exercising together, and it will also be useful for me to get back in shape after baby is born.
These two pictures were taken a week ago at 37 weeks - just because I’m too lazy to get up and take a 38 weeks picture haha. And also my face was strange in the second picture, so I blurred it.
I went to see a movie with a close friend earlier this week. It’s called Safe Haven, and was a nice movie, pretty good actually (although a little cliche). Afterwards we went to a coffeeshop to just relax and talk. It’s funny how every time I drink coffee, baby moves around like crazy because of the caffeine (and also because of the sugar possibly? since I only drink sweet coffee drinks). I don’t drink coffee often though, as it’s not supposed to be very good for the baby. Next week I will watch the new movie with Johnny Depp, The Lone Ranger, together with my brother. I’ve been waiting for this movie for a while, and am really excited for it!! Lets just hope I don’t go into labor before then..
I wrote earlier that I’d show the other things I made for our baby in another blog post, so here it is!
First of all - baby’s blanket! It measures about 90x90cm, here it’s folded in four to show the crocheted shell edge better. I was so bored knitting this, as it felt like it was going to take forever, and there’s no pattern or complicated stitch. I mostly got this done while watching tv (I have a thing for crime series these days, really cant get enough of the excitement! my two favorites at the moment are Bates Motel and the new Hannibal series).
Baby bibs! I think I made a total of 8 or 9 of these. They will probably be quite useful in a few months when she starts eating solid foods.
Pacifier clips! Assuming she’ll be using one. Just thought they were cute and also really easy to make. As you can see, I use the same fabrics as two of the bibs. I especially like that purple fabric, it was bought in Korea last time I was there!
A giraffe and a bunny. These are not my designs by the way, I find inspiration online and then draw the patterns out myself!
This one I finished just an hour ago. I think this elephant is adorable, but I made it’s ears way too big haha. I think we’ll have to name him Dumbo!
I will soon be done with my first knitted baby sweater (the other things I’ve knitted have all been socks, little hats, mittens etc). Other things I’ve made but don’t have a picture of right now includes a nursing pillow, bed sheets, a sleeping bag for the stroller, and two other animal toys (one knitted and one crocheted). As for the little knitted baby hats I mentioned, I will show them later with our baby modeling them :P
It’s been a little while since I wrote anything here on my blog. Just because there’s nothing happening these days - I’m still on a sick-leave from work, and my days basically just consist of a lot of waiting. Waiting for our baby, and waiting for my husband to get his visa so that he can come here. It could be approved after 2 weeks more, or if we’re unlucky; 5 weeks.. So we still don’t know if he will be able to come here in time for the birth, it all depends on when he gets his visa and when our little girl decides that it’s time to come out. I really really miss him a lot now as it’s been around 3 months since we last saw each other.. Needless to say I’m so excited to see him again. I’m curious if I’ll be picking him up at the airport with a big belly, or with a little baby haha.
I love this picture of B, it was taken during our wedding photoshoot!
The past few months I have been preparing so much for baby’s arrival, and everything is ready now. My most recent project was to wash all her little clothes and blankets etc, folding them neatly and putting them back in the dresser.
A small bit of her clothes on the drying rack. I do have lots of pink and girly clothes for her as well, but I really like colors that are more gender neutral. I’m very fond of purple though.
I even packed a bag with everything I need that we will bring to the hospital when the birth starts. It contains some clothes for me and baby, her blanket, my boba wrap baby carrier, some snacks that I can eat during the birth if I get hungry, and some toiletries. Baby just recently turned to lay head down (phew!!), so these days she keeps kicking me in the side (and whenever she does, her butt sticks out on the other side haha, it’s hilarious). It’s especially easy to see when she stretches her feet out and my belly becomes all lopsided. Baby has gotten so strong!!
A pair of socks and infant mittens that I knitted for her two or three months ago. I also knitted some more socks and mittens, baby hats, a hedgehog toy, and almost done with a little sweater, but right now I’m focusing on finishing her baby blanket! Hopefully I’ll be able to finish it before baby comes out. I made some cute things with the sewing machine as well, I will show everything I made in a separate blog post later.
Belly picture from almost one month ago. I’m slowly getting bigger, but I still don’t feel that it’s particularly “heavy” being this pregnant. I try to keep active and go for long walks whenever I can, as I don’t wanna make it more difficult for myself than necessary to get back into shape after baby is born. Now it’s about a month until my due date, but I do have a feeling that she might come a little earlier.. We’ll just have to wait and see!
Of course baby will sleep in the same room as B and I till she’s old enough to sleep by herself, but basically half of the room is for her haha. I don’t like buying very gender-specific things, firstly because what the ultrasound showed is never 100% trustable, and secondly because we can re-use everything for the next baby (when that time comes!). So Most of the things are quite neutral, and honestly I like it best that way anyways. I’m not a big fan of very girly baby pink colors, nor the typical baby blue.
This is the dresser we keep all her clothes in, and the height is just right for it to be used as a changing table! I really love this dresser as it is just big enough to fit both the changing mat thingy, plus a little basket on the side for all products and such.
Baby’s bed! She’ll be able to use this for a while - when she grows bigger we can move the bottom part with the mattress down and also remove the thing in front to make a nice bed for her till she outgrows it. The thing stashed on the side of the bed is the Skip*Hop activity gym! It is super cute, but I won’t be setting it up just yet. I will write about it once she gets to actually try it out.
Where she will sleep. Quite cozy, right? I bought a lambskin especially made for babies to sleep on (in Norway it’s quite nice to use even in the summer as it doesn’t really get that hot here) - and only norwegians will know this, but it’s from a store called Nøstebarn. I really love the quality of it, it’s super soft and I can imagine it will be so good to sleep on. I’m thinking of actually sleeping with it in my bed for a little while so that it will have my smell and everything - I read babies will be more comfortable and fall asleep easier then.
And lastly, a picture of my new maternity dress that I recently got in the mail! I ordered it online from Asos maybe 5 weeks ago, and it did arrive 2 weeks ago but we had them re-address it to a post office closer to where I live now. A few days ago I finally got to pick it up and it fitted perfectly! I really cant wait to use this in an upcoming “family gathering” (well not really, in Norwegian we call it “konfirmasjon”, but I have no idea how to explain this in english haha).
My new kitchenAid machine~ I’m so glad I decided to buy it (despite it being quite expensive here in Norway..), cause it makes baking so much easier…! I tried making both foccaccia bread and wheat buns with it - and it really works like a charm haha. I love baking, especially things like bread and buns, but I haven’t gotten to do it very often as I really hate working the dough with my hands.. it’s so tiring, super messy, and the result never becomes as good as it could have been. I love just plugging my kitchenAid in and letting it do all the hard work for me :D
Anyways, this week I went to IKEA to look for some things for baby’s nursery. I bought a cute crib with a really nice (and quite expensive!) mattress for her, a changing table (which is actually a dresser with three drawers, about the same height as the regular changing tables that they have), and some other smaller things. I have to wait till the weekend to put everything together, as I’m in the apartment in the city during weekdays and I need to prepare the nursery in our house at the island, but I will post pictures of it when it’s closer to finished. I also shopped some cute things online that I’m waiting to get, like a skip*hop Dash Deluxe diaper bag and a skip*hop Treetop Friends Activity Gym. I’m so excited to get everything ready in good time, just in case baby decides to come a little early! Oh and, I also decided on which baby stroller to get, but I won’t buy it until a month or so from now.
I had another doctors appointment this Monday, and was shocked to see that I’ve gained closer to 10kg in total!! But I’m a little skeptical to the weight in the doctors office, as all other weights shows about 2kg less than that one.. From now on I will be going to a midwife for checkups instead, maybe the weight that they have there is more accurate? It should be fine though as long as I continue to go out for walks every day and maybe start doing prenatal yoga or something. I haven’t been overeating or even eating lots of unhealthy things so far - rather the opposite (at least till week 20 I felt nauseous just thinking about chips/candy/fast food etc), so hopefully it’ll be easy to get rid of my pregnancy weight after baby is born!
I also talked to the doctor about being so exhausted because of my work, and as a result I’m now on a “sick leave” from work. My work is way too busy and tiring for me to do anymore, and I’m so glad to not have to stress at work anymore or have horrible backaches from standing all day..! Recently we’ve had quite a bad weather here in Norway - even though we’re close to the middle of April already, we haven’t been seeing much of Spring yet. Last week it was snowing like crazy, but the past few days have actually been much better (with almost spring-like weather!). I just hope I’m not catching a cold again, cause I can feel my throat hurting a little..
It’s been a little over two weeks since we got back from Korea, and I’m already looking forwards to going there again! I really regret not shopping more for baby while I was there (shopping for myself was difficult anyways, since I don’t fit into most normal clothes anymore). I just hope that next year when we go back to Korea again, I’ll be back in my original size so that I can get a lot of nice clothes for myself haha. As of now I’m soon 26 weeks along, and have gained a little more than 7kg in total. As far as I know, that’s not too much. I’ve almost only gained weight on my belly, so if you look at me straight from the front or back, you can’t actually tell that I’m pregnant hihi.
Anyways, I’m spending my days basically just working, and relaxing when I don’t have any work. Since I work at a carecenter for the elderly where I mostly have to prepare meals and organize activities for them, I’m usually either standing up or jogging around to help/assist the elderly all day - some days I only get to sit down for a short 20-30 mins lunch break. So basically working makes me really exhausted and especially makes my back hurt a lot. Also, my blood pressure is a little low, so I often feel faint and sometimes it even feels like I will pass out. I wonder how much longer I will be able to work..
Oh and yesterday I got a tax settlement notice (it shows whether you paid too much or too little tax the previous year, and if you paid too much then you will get that money back.. but if you paid too little then you will have to pay that amount of money). Of course I belong in the latter category, and was not aware of this at all.. and I will have to pay almost 6000NOK in extra taxes this month..! Actually, it’s not a big deal as the money was originally not supposed to be mine, and it just means that I paid less taxes than I was supposed to last year.. but it’s not fun when it comes as a surprise since I didn’t know I had paid too little lol. So yeah, I was in a really bad mood last night after finding out, and decided to do some comfort-shopping for a Kitchen Aid machine on the internet, that I’ve been wanting for a long time! As soon as I get it, I will be practicing to become a good housewife haha. I have promised B to make him lots of nice cakes, buns, bread etc. It’s a good thing that I have some time to practice before having to show off my baking skills to him :D
Oh I really miss him too much.. Now we are waiting to find out where he will be studying - till then we can’t really plan anything. We might end up having to live here in my hometown, or in another town a few hours away. Only about a month till we find out and he can start applying for a student visa!
So I just got back to Norway yesterday, after a really nice week in Seoul with my family! We got off on quite a bad start as our flight from Norway was canceled due to really bad weather in Germany (the whole airport had to close..!). After a few hours of waiting, we got booked on a different route to Korea; through Denmark and then Beijing - meaning we’d have to transfer twice. I was ok with this though, as I just wanted to get to Korea as soon as possible, and didn’t want to wait till the next day. The flights went quite well, except for a two-hour delay for our flight from Beijing.. We were quite tired when we finally arrived at Incheon airport! B was there to meet us, along with his parents and another relative that were going to drive us to our hotel. My parents were very happy to finally meet B’s parents, and they got along very well from the start despite some communication problems. Basically B and I had to translate everything they wanted to say to each other, as his parents only speak chinese and korean, and my parents obviously don’t haha.
We checked in at a hotel in Gangnam, and had a nice big hotel room for the first few days at the hotel where my family stayed. But because of all the trouble with our flights, we arrived at our hotel around 10pm, and basically lost one whole day of our vacation. I was a little stressed about this, as my original plan was to find a wedding dress the day we arrived.. I was really worried that I wouldn’t be able to find a nice one in time!! Originally, I was supposed to wear one of the many dresses they had in the wedding hall, but all of them were very sparkly, glittery “princess” style with a tight waist and a big skirt - I wouldn’t fit into any of them being 23 weeks pregnant.. Also, I didn’t actually like the dresses that they had, none of them were quite my style. I like more simple dresses, and I’d rather have an empire waist wedding dress.
The next day I did end up finding a beautiful empire waist dress, and I was so glad I didn’t have to stress about it anymore.After that we went to a hairsalon down the street for B and my brother to get their hair cut. I was very surprised to see several people smoking inside the salon, and I had trouble breathing in there (I hate the smell, plus I’m really not supposed to be breathing it in since I’m pregnant), so we got out of there and went somewhere else. The rest of that day was spent in Myeongdong where I also met Yijing again! We all got to do some shopping, and we had a nice dinner together at a japanese restaurant.
That night I spent at the place Yijing was staying at, it was so nice to spend some time with her again! We went to bed early as we were both very tired (I had only slept about 4 hours or so the night before). However, at 5am I was woken up by a phone call from a norwegian telemarketer or something, I was so annoyed and just told him I’m not interested before hanging up. Of course after that I had no chance of falling asleep again, so I was dead tired when we went outside 9am in the morning. We ate breakfast at a nearby coffeeshop, and then spent an hour and a half in a big department store before going to meet my family in Sinchon. We all ate a nice lunch, and then went shopping mostly in the big Uplex shopping mall. We ended the day in Insadong, where they could buy some nice korean souvenirs and such, and then had a really good dinner at an italian restaurant there. B and I went to bed a little early, and I finally had a good night’s sleep!
The day before our wedding, we started with going to Gyeongbokgung Palace, and had a long walk there while taking pictures and such. Then we went straight to meet B’s parents for lunch at a korean barbeque place, as they really wanted to treat all of us for some delicious korean food! We all had a great time together and the food was so delicious, however B and I were super busy translating for everyone haha. I’m so glad our parents got along so well, despite cultural differences and difficulties communicating. After his parents had left, we went shopping in many small stores from Sinchon to Edae, while looking around a little in the area at the same time. Then we went to a department store to look for a nice dress for me to use when having a family dinner the next day, but there were no dresses in empire waist style.. So we went there for nothing and we were all so tired haha. We bought some ice cream and then took the subway back to our hotel.
I went to fix my nails at a nail shop down the street, cause I wanted my nails to look nice for my wedding day! B came with me, he was seemingly quite bored but just wanted to spend time with me. He’s the best, really. We had a quick dinner and were supposed to go stay at B’s parents’ apartment for the night, but I got worried about my family having to get to the wedding hall alone the next day as it’s at least a one-hour drive and they don’t know any korean.. Plus there are quite a few strange korean taxi drivers who will scam foreigners! So we ended up staying another night at the hotel - B stayed in my brother’s room and I was with my parents. I got up really early in the morning (I think it was around 5am?) and got ready as me, B and my mom were gonna leave at 6am to see his parents first and then go to the wedding hall to get our hair and makeup done. I was super stressed that morning with getting ready in time and having to pack everything, plus I was really sleep deprived and tired, and full of hormones.. so when B came to our room to help me with the luggage, I just started crying and couldn’t stop..! I think I was sobbing half of the taxi ride as well before I managed to calm down haha.
We went to see B’s parents first, and I got to see both my wedding ring and my hanbok for the first time! Both were perfect, just as I had imagined. I love my ring, and my hanbok is really beautiful! When we went to order the hanbok in january, B’s mother told me I had such a strange taste and that I should pick the traditional colors for my hanbok instead (which are typically green and pink or yellow and pink etc). But what’s fun about having the same hanbok as everyone else?? I wanted a special hanbok in colors that I love, and I really think I made a great choice. His parents drove us to the wedding hall, and from 8am we started getting our hair and makeup done. It took about two hours in all, and after putting my wedding dress on, I went into the so-called “bride waiting room” where everyone could take pictures with me. I remember sitting there with people taking pictures with me and all I could think about was where B was, and how thirsty I was haha.
After a little while B came in, and they prepared us to enter the ceremony hall. We entered to a big applause, and I don’t really remember much from the ceremony other than feeling very faint when standing in the front.. I was so tired, thirsty, and just wanted to sit down. Luckily it all went well and I didn’t faint or anything, actually I was quite worried about that beforehand as I knew we would be standing for a long time! I think my blood pressure has gotten much lower now that I’m pregnant so that may be the reason why I keep feeling faint. After taking lots of pictures in the front with both of our families plus our friends, the guests went downstairs to the buffet to eat while we went to change into our hanboks. Then we went down to where the other guests were, to cut the wedding cake and have a “love shot” haha. I was so sure they had given me wine so I was really worried, but it turned out to be some kind of sparkling soda/grape juice.
After that we went back up to a room where we had to wear some other traditional korean clothes as well as heavy headpieces, and did a lot of korean marriage rituals. For example, we had to sit on the floor holding a small white cloth between us, and then the groom’s parents throw some kind of nuts from the other side of the table and towards us. The amount of nuts that land on the white cloth represent the number of kids we’ll have. Another one is that the groom’s parents give us a red envelope with “vacation money”, and then the two of us have to hold hands and walk two rounds around the table while waving the envelope around haha. That’s basically all of the whole ceremony, so after that we just joined the guests downstairs to thank them for coming, take some pictures with them etc. All in all, I was happy that everything went as planned that day! I only have a few pictures from that day though, as I’m waiting to get all the professional pictures the photographer took that day. I will post some of them on my blog later!
Around 3pm we went to take a taxi back to Seoul, and husband and I (hihi) checked into a really fancy and super nice hotel, just the two of us. The hotel is called Sheraton Hotel and is located on top of a big shopping mall/theatre - I think it was from 27th to 41st floor or so. Our room was on the 35th floor and we had the most amazing view. It was a big room with a big tv and a nice bathtub, and the bed was so comfortable - we both had such a deep sleep both nights.
The night view of Seoul from our room.
Both mornings we went to eat breakfast in the breakfast buffet on the 41st floor, it was quite expensive but definitely worth it! I probably ate for three haha.
The beginning of my breakfast the second morning~ I ate a lot more than this..!
Also, I ordered room service for the first time in my life, and had this amazing beef pastrami salad! I actually had this upon arriving in our hotel the first day since I was really hungry after barely having eaten anything before or after the wedding ceremony.
we had a great time there, and I’m so glad I decided to book a room at that hotel for our wedding night plus my last night in korea, so that we could have a nice kind of “vacation” by ourselves before having to part again. Our last day together was spent by ourselves walking around in the shopping mall doing some shopping, eating a delicious shabu-shabu lunch, and just enjoying each others company.
The nice shabu-shabu restaurant we went to.
That night I packed everything so that I wouldn’t have to stress about that on the morning of departure. B came with me to the airport and had some lunch with my family before we all said goodbye. I was really sad to leave him as I know I wont be seeing him until at least 4 months from now, so I really hope the time will fly by quickly!!
Next week I will be going back to Korea already! This time I will only stay for a week, and it will be quite a busy time for me as we have to prepare everything for the wedding ceremony and all - I don’t even have a wedding dress yet..!! Actually I’m really really nervous and worried about not being able to find a wedding dress in time.. I have to find one that has an empire waist so that I’ll be able to fit my belly in there haha. I’m really looking forwards to the trip though, as it’s been over two months since I last saw B. I bet he’ll be surprised seeing me now, my belly has grown so much! When I left korea, I was around 13 weeks pregnant, and when I see him again I’ll almost be 23 weeks haha. I’m so excited for him to feel baby’s kicks and everything though. Recently baby has been kicking quite a lot, especially when I try to sleep at night.. She sure knows how to keep her mommy up till late at night~!
Picture taken at a little over 21 weeks ^^
It’s quite sad that the one week I will be spending in Korea is the only time I’ll have together with B before baby is born.. And then next time we see each other, he’ll be meeting his daughter for the first time as well. I would of course have loved to have him here the whole time until the birth, but he wants to work and earn some money in Korea till this summer (before coming here to study in the beginning of August or so), and that’s fully understandable. He wants to provide for his little family~ I miss him a lot, and I’ll probably miss him even more when my belly is much bigger and everything becomes difficult.. He’s always so sweet to me, helping with everything and making sure I’m not tired etc, so it would really have been great to have him here. Oh well, hopefully we’ll have a lovely week together in Korea, and I’m sure time will pass by quickly till this summer.
By the way, this is the first time I’m not traveling alone to Korea. Cause this time my family is coming with me! I would have wanted to have a little more time to show them around in Seoul, but since I’ll be quite busy preparing for the wedding ceremony, I’m not sure how much time I’ll actually have for that.. And on top of it all, I’ll be seeing Yijing for the first time in a year, so I will be spending some time with her as well. She’s coming back to Korea to attend my wedding and I can’t wait to see her! She is pretty much the closest friend I had during the time I spent in Korea, we have so many good memories together and she was always there for me. I almost feel like she’s my “long lost sister” haha. It’s too bad we have to live so far away from each other now!
An old picture I took of Yijing when we were at a cat café maybe a year and a half ago. Cats somehow always remind me of her!
It’s late and I have to get up early in the morning to go to work. Of course baby is having a dance party in my belly right now, so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to sleep at all.. Anyways, I’ll keep everyone updated on my return to Seoul!!
I do realize that I’ve been horribly bad at updating my blog lately, and I will promise to do something about that! I actually started writing this post about 2-3 weeks ago but never finished it. So now I will~!
Obviously, we haven’t had our wedding yet (not until later this month!), but we had our so-called wedding photos taken about two month ago. Pretty much every korean couple getting married, usually get this done in good time before the actual wedding, since the photos are supposed to be shown to the guests at the actual wedding ceremony. It’s becoming more and more popular in other asian countries as well, and I heard from our photographer that especially a lot of chinese couples travel to korea for the purpose of getting their wedding photos taken in a nice studio like this one. There are many many different studios in Seoul where you can get this done, and you can either contact them yourself, or get some discount by contacting them through the wedding hall where you’ll be getting married. Most wedding halls cooperate with at least 4-5 different studios that you can choose from based on some sample albums.
Anyways, the day we went to take our wedding photos was apparently the coldest day in about 30 years or so. We were litterally shaking when walking to find the studio, and it didn’t help that the directions we were given were really bad so we had to spend a lot of time just wandering around in the cold.. In the end we had to call the makeup-lady (who was waiting for us at the studio) to have her explain again how to get there, but she had some kind of accent making it difficult for me to understand her. She was also speaking really really fast, I’m not sure she was aware that I’m a foreigner haha. So it ended with us giving the phone a random girl passing by us, who spoke to the makeup-lady and then explained to us where we had to go. When we finally got there, it was a bit after 8am.
The actual photoshoot was not until 10am, we were gonna get our hair and makeup done and get dressed before that. It was really cold inside the studio as well, so I remember thinking I didn’t want to change into a dress haha. At 10am we got to meet the photographer, he was so nice to us and kept making jokes to get us in a good mood. He obviously knew what he was doing, cause every pose that we did (down to the position of my little finger) was directed by him. It was my first time doing this kind of thing, so I had no idea what to do - but it was actually super easy because he always told me what angle to turn my head, how to put my legs, how I should place my fingers etc. Literally anyone can take great pictures if they have a photographer like the one we had~! In between the shoots we had some small breaks, and used them to heat up a little by drinking hot tea and coffee.
Then when we were almost done, came a big surprise.. The photographer told us we were gonna take the last couple of photos OUTSIDE in -20 degrees celsius…! I had pretty much just gotten over a cold and didn’t feel like freezing in just a dress outside, but since I’d only get this chance once I thought I’d regret it if I didn’t do it.. So all of us went out, the whole crew wearing thick winter jackets, B wearing his suit of course, and me wearing my uggs-like boots under the wedding dress (haha) and a thick blanket around me that I briefly gave to the helper-ahjumma every time we were gonna take pictures. I was so relieved when we got back inside!!
The helper-ahjumma (elderly lady) was there from beginning to end, almost never leaving our side, giving us hot drinks, running everywhere to get things for us, fixing my hair once in a while and helping me change every time I had to etc. I changed dresses about 5 times I think, plus changing into a hanbok at the end. Anyways, she was so kind and nice to us, and both her and the photographer really made the whole experience great. We were at the studio from 8am to around 3pm, so it was quite tiring. I think in all he took around 500 pictures of us. When we were finished we chose a date to come back and choose the 100 best pictures, and amongst those we had to choose another 25 to be inside our wedding album. We got a CD to take home with all 500 of the pictures on, but the album won’t be ready until after our wedding I think. I had been looking forwards to doing this for a long time, and it was indeed a really interesting experience!
It’s been a long time since I wrote anything here on my blog, and a lot has happened since then!! B and I were actually busy planning our wedding, which will take place in Korea in March. We also used a lot of time getting the paperwork (for getting married) done, since we want to get it done in good time before the wedding. We went to get our “wedding photos” taken in a professional studio - these pictures will be made into an album for us and will also be shown at our wedding etc. The photoshoot was really fun, and I will write more about this as well as the process of getting married in Korea later! Also we will be having a baby this summer, and we’re so excited about it! For this reason, I’m now back in Norway (and have been for about a week). Because if you are pregnant in Norway and work for 6 months before the birth of the baby, you’ll be able to keep getting your working salary for about 11 months while staying at home with the baby. I think it would have been stupid of me to not take advantage of this haha. So right now I’m back in the apartment living by myself (not for long though, since my parents are on a vacation but will be living together with me once they get back). B is still in Korea, studying and preparing to apply for some schools in Norway. Hopefully he’ll be able to come here to study in August. I’m crossing my fingers!!
Even though I’ll be in Norway for a while, I will keep blogging. However from now on, my blog will mostly be about this new chapter in my life - being a wife, having a baby, and after a while becoming a student again. I will be back in Korea in march, and many many times after that since B’s family lives there, and during those times of course I will blog about Korea. Anyways, I hope everyone will continue to read my blog and follow my journey in this new chapter of my life!
Here’s a picture post from my short Japan-trip! I stayed for 4 days, and came back to Korea just in time for my chinese classes to start. My cousin, her husband and their three kids are staying in Japan till the middle of December, so I went to visit them and had a really nice time there! I kind of regret not staying a few days longer so that I could see more of Tokyo, but I must admit that it was so great to get back to Korea again where everything is familiar and I can communicate with everyone without any problems!
A flower shop down the street.
Upon arriving in Japan, I felt the exact same way as the first time I came to Korea without knowing any korean.. So lost and so foreign! I pretty much only know “thank you” in japanese, and that doesn’t get me very far. I was gonna take the subway from the airport and to the place where my cousin lives, which seemed easy enough, but was very very complicated. I didn’t have any japanese cash on me to even buy a regular subway ticket after getting off the airport line (I paid with my visa card for the first ticket), and the ticket machines did not accept my visa card, and neither did the only ATM nearby.. At that moment I was very lost and frustrated, and every japanese person I asked for help either knew no english or just one or two words. Finally a japanese girl approached me to help; at first she offered to pay the ticket for me (but I declined, cause I’d feel bad), then she helped me find an ATM that accepted my visa card, and then helped me buy the ticket for the right place. I had probably been wandering around there for 40 minutes or so by then, and was very relieved to finally have a subway ticket! I got off at the right stop and my cousin met me there.
I don’t remember what this place was called (was it Shinjuku maybe??), but there was this huge building with several floors selling everything related to sewing and knitting - so we spent a few hours looking around in there!
Tokyo by night.
We went to Harajuku one day!
A busy street in Harajuku. I was hoping to see lots of crazily dressed people (like you’d typically see in pictures from Japan - people dressed weirdly in all kinds of strong colors who are either super scary looking or overly cute with twenty-five different pastel-colored hairpins only in their bangs), but I think we only saw two or three of them during my whole stay there.
We saw a few of these kind of waffle stores before we decided to try one (this was at a point where at least I was super hungry, and would eat just about anything). I ordered the pancake with cream, banana and chocolate sauce - and even just by looking at the picture I could tell this would be way too sweet for me.. So if I could speak japanese, I’d tell the guy to go easy on the cream haha.
What I ordered. Basically a thin pancake (which tasted nice), with A LOT of cream and three slices of banana. The cream made me feel quite nauseous actually, it was just too much!
The weather was a lot milder than in Korea!! Recently Korea has been around -7 or so.
The entrance of some kind of subway stop.
Picture taken from the subway train.
Saw these two little girls in their school (kindergarten?) uniform probably on their way home, thought they were quite cute!
A donut shop close to my cousin’s place. We tried to go there one time and arrived one minute after closing time (8pm..!) so they wouldn’t let us come in. The night before I went home we went there again, but we came a little late, so they didn’t have much to choose from. The donuts were delicious though!
It has gotten so cold outside lately. Autumn can’t have lasted more than a few weeks at the most, which is a little sad as I love Autumn.. Some trees still have a few leaves hanging on, but most of them have fallen to the ground. They’re beautiful and colorful on the ground as well, but I’d really wish they’d stay on the trees a little while longer!
Nowadays whenever I go outside, I’m freezing cold even though I’m wearing my thick winter coat from last year. I was planning on going shopping to find a new one, but I just didn’t bother yet. I think my first priority should be to buy a pair of warm boots for the winter - cause I can’t feel my toes after just five minutes outside when I’m wearing my TOMS shoes (as seen in the first picture).
One thing I really hate about the winter in Korea, is that basically any building you enter is a sauna. The bank is the worst, in my opinion. It’s ridiculously hot, as in 30+ degrees of “dry” heat that makes your eyes dry, your head ache and makes you really really tired. I just don’t understand how koreans are comfortable with it..! And I’m not entirely sure that they’re aware about the fact that it’s not good for ones health when the difference of the inside and outside temperature is too big - supposedly you’ll catch a cold much easier.
On another note; I’m leaving for Japan at the end of this month. I’m gonna visit my cousin and her family who are going back to Norway in the middle of December. I’m really excited to go to Japan since I’ve never been there before, and this was just the perfect opportunity to go. And most likely, I’ll be going to China again in a few months to see Yijing - I’m really really looking forwards to it! By then it’ll be almost a year since we met the last time. I’ve been practicing some basic chinese with B, and I’ll be attending chinese class starting from the beginning of December. Since chinese basically is B’s whole family’s mother tongue (even though they are korean by blood), it’s quite important for me to learn it. Most of them do speak korean very well, so it’s not about me needing it for communicating with them or anything, it’s just expected of me to learn it. And that’s more than fine with me, as I’ve been wanting to learn chinese for a few years already!
Knitting is not really a “common” hobby in Korea (neither is sewing, but that’s another story), but it’s increasingly becoming more and more popular. Especially a lot of korean girls learn to knit for the purpose of making a scarf/sweater for their boyfriend etc. There are some places where you can buy yarn in Korea, and the shop/café I’m gonna write about here is probably the best place to go for that. It’s called needle story (바늘 이야기), and is located in Edae. I think there are several needle story stores around Seoul, but as far as I’ve heard, this is the biggest one. Recently, a lot of small knitting cafés (a small room with some tables/chairs for when they have knitting classes, and a wall or two with yarns) have popped up everywhere, so if you don’t live in Seoul it’d be a good idea to try to find one in your area! Also, there are some yarn markets - I’ve only heard about the one in Dongdaemun, but I’m not gonna write about that in this post.
What the knitting shop/café looks like from the outside! from Edae subway station exit 6, you just continue down the street until you see it on the left.
The front part of the place is a two-floor coffeeshop where people can sit and knit/crochet on their projects (either alone or together with their friends). I’ve heard rumors that there sometimes are gatherings for foreign knitters/korean knitters etc in the coffeeshop, but I’m not entirely sure about this.
They have lots of colors to choose from, though they don’t have much of a variety when it comes to the type.. Most of the yarns are in merino, mohair and cotton blends etc, but they hardly have any alpacca..! I love using alpacca for my knit projects, so that was a little disappointing to me. So these days I’ve been using a mix of mohair and merino wool - it comes out quite nice if you mix them (in very similar colors of course) - makes a soft and warm fabric~
This section has all the tools you’ll need for both knitting and crocheting. You can find everything from very cheap korean made knitting supplies, to japanese imported things, to the KnitPro brand. Right by this area is a hallway with some rooms for knitting/crocheting classes that you can sign up for! It’s not super expensive and they welcome anyone from beginner level to advanced.
And they have so many pattern books!! most of them are in japanese, but they also have many in korean, some in english and some in french. I usually find my patterns online, but I really want to buy some pattern books from here!
I tried ordering from their online site as well - it’s really easy and the delivery is quite fast. The site is called banul.co.kr. I liked doing it this way because it seemed like there were more yarns to choose from (and I found some alpacca ones as well). The colors might look a little different in real life than what it looks like on their website though; for example some of the colors I ordered were a lot darker than what they seemed like on the website picture.
Knitting lots of pretty things with these nice colors (and more). I love knitting nice mug-warmers, beret hats etc. My next projects will be mittens for me and my first attempt at socks (for B)!
Coffeeshops are everywhere in Korea (unlike in Norway were you only once in a while can manage to come across one), and they’re wonderful places for friends to sit down and talk together, for two people to have a romantic date, for coworkers/classmates to discuss projects/work/class over a cup of coffee, and last but not least for people to sit and study by themselves. It’s very common for coffeeshops in the areas around universities to be packed with students the week they all have their midterms or finals. Basically, korea loves coffeeshops. There are many of the bigger chains like Holly’s coffee, Starbucks, Tom’n Toms, and caffé bene, but if you’re looking for a better coffeeshop experience - try to find some of the little korean coffeeshops with the cute interior and lovely atmosphere. I have to say I think the drinks taste a lot better in those kind of coffeeshops, and in addition they usually have a far more interesting menu than the big chains.
A place I came across about a week ago; the inside was really nice too. See what I mean?It just has a whole different feel to it than let’s say Holly’s or Starbucks.
Another coffeeshop I walked past last week - quite cute, isn’t it? I really like the little drawings on the windows of the glass door, and the text on the actual window that says “I feel like a coffee.” haha
A nice place close to where we live. We came here a few times, and sat down right there by the windows so that we could do some people-watching when being bored of studying/knitting. people-watching is quite interesting; I love looking out the window and just observe everything that’s going on outside~
The inside of the place. It’s small though, and somehow every time we’ve been there, there haven’t been many others there (actually, it’s usually empty).
I caught myself looking at this little coffeeshop (the green door) every time we’d pass it (since we go that way when going to the subway etc). So one day we went there to study, and it’s as nice on the inside as it is on the outside. It’s super small (about 10 seats or so), but I like how they took advantage of the space and made a small level above as well (you can see it in the picture - an additional 4 seats I think? they’re floor seats so you have to take off your shoes before going up).
So cute. It was a bit too expensive though, and we were the only ones there except the owner and her boyfriend, so I kind of almost felt like we were invading their space, silly as that sounds haha. I mean, the place is so small that whatever you say can be heard by everyone in there.
Pretty, hot chocolate. It did taste really good.
Another coffeeshop that I’ve written about before; Paul Pauls.
The interior is really simple, and it’s wide and open, but still I came to like this place a lot. I wonder if it hasn’t been that long since they opened? it seems so. Anyways, the people working there are so nice, and they make really good drinks! I especially love their milk tea.
Vanilla latte and milk tea, a typical order for B and I. As mentioned before, I’m trying to stay away from caffeine these days, so I’m trying out some other nice options on the menus whenever we go to a coffeeshop. my favorites would have to be milk tea and hot chocolate. Other nice caffeine-free options are green tea latte, sweet potato latte, various types of ordinary tea, lots of smoothies, juice, and so on. Some coffeeshops even have the option of adding “bubbles” (tapioca pearls - it’s what they put in the bubble tea) in your drink. Other than that, most coffeeshops also usually have a wide selection of other things to order, like brownies, cookies, cakes, bagels, sandwiches, salads, honeybread (the big chunk of sweet bread with lots of syrup/cream/fruits etc etc) and so on. Not every coffeeshop has all of these options though, and they’re almost always a little over priced if you’d ask me.
B and I ordered this berry yoghurt a few days ago - I think it cost about 4,500won and the amount was maybe the same as the yoghurts you can buy for 700won in the grocery store. expensive, but delicious.
I’m also gonna add two pictures from the last time I was in korea; the first one is a hot chocolate and a delicious chocolate chip muffin from a random place I went to. The second one is from a coffeeshop I used to go to a lot, where they do some really nice coffee art! Doesn’t it look nice?
Most coffeeshops have an “unwritten rule”; it’s expected that everyone order one drink each (although ordering a piece of cake or something is ok too) - this especially goes for the smaller coffeeshops with limited seating. I don’t think this rule goes for adults who bring children though. In the bigger chains it would probably be ok to order one thing and share it with a friend who didn’t order anything. Oh, on an important note; if you order take-out, you usually get a discount. Many of the small coffeeshops have 1000won discount when ordering take-out. And another thing; always remember to ask for a stamp card if you see yourself coming back many times!! they’ll give you a stamp for each drink you order, and once you reach 8 (or 9 or 10, depending on what coffeeshop it is), they’ll give you a free drink of choice! pretty great if you ask me :)
Studying at Paul Paul coffeeshop. I love going to coffeeshops with him - it’s a nice shift of environment (even though I don’t mind staying at home for a whole day, I’d go crazy if I didn’t step foot outside for several days in a row). We just sit mainly in silence (unless he’s asking me for help about his english assignments), while he’s concentrating on his studies and I either do some knitting, or read a book. And then we take small breaks once in a while to play games on our phones haha.
B got a vanilla latte, I got a milk tea - which by the way is the best milk tea I’ve ever had.. I’m trying out a lot of caffeine free options these days whenever we go to a coffeeshop, since I think I’m a little weak for caffeine.. Luckily korean coffeeshops have lots of other options in addition to coffee! I’ll write an individual post on korean coffeeshops soon btw.
A few days ago while B was studying, I was writing a letter to Yijing - my close friend who isn’t in Korea anymore. I’ve been preparing a little box to send to her, including a hand knitted beret hat, a coffee sleeve (warmer for the takeout coffee cups), two kinds of her favorite hand cream, and some small cute korean things. since her birthday is coming up in a few weeks, I need to send it soon!
We also took some long nice walks in random areas we both haven’t been to yet. I like the idea of getting on a random bus, getting off whenever you feel like it, and then exploring that area. It’s kind of a little adventure, almost.
This little cutie was sitting in the window of a pet-shop we passed by the other day. Koreans are very fond of coloring the hair of their pets (and so are people in Japan, I’ve heard), and what’s being done the most is probably coloring the “cheeks” of the cats. It is quite cute, but I’m not sure I’d do that to my pet..
And I’ve discovered the joy of internet shopping!! It’s always so exciting to open a package with some things I’ve ordered~ My favorite site for shopping korean clothes is Cherrykoko - I’ve bought a lot of my clothes from there. It’s really simple to order, you basically just need to have an address in Korea and a bank account of course. They do shipping to other asian countries as well.
Recently the weather has became a lot colder - it’s definitely autumn here now! Another week or two and the trees will have strong beautiful colors. I soon need to look for a thicker jacket and some warmer shoes, and I’m planning a knitting project for a pair of mittens that I hopefully can get done before winter is here!
Now B and I are gonna go have some pizza for dinner at the little pizza place down the street, they make delicious pizzas!!
The entrance, and the bathroom. We bought some genius hooks that we can just hang on the door (instead of making a hole in the wall, cause I don’t think we’re allowed to do that). So now we have plenty of options for hanging our jackets and such~
We bought this for hanging all our clothes since the little closet is way too little for all of our clothes.. and the bottom half of the closet is for shoes, so there’s not that much space in there anyways.
Our little table and the floor pillows that we sit on. Our place is pretty much korean style, since we sit on the floor and sleep on the floor. I actually have come to prefer sleeping on the floor - I think it’s really comfortable and very convenient (I don’t have to make room for a huge bed, we just lay out the folded mattress at night before we sleep). Sleeping on the floor is also supposed to be good for your back.
Our little kitchen!! I love it~ lots of storing place and just enough space for cooking. In the corner you can see our new wonderful pink rice cooker!
Our washing machine in a little corner next to the fridge. The window over it is huge, so it’s good for drying the clothes after hanging them.
It’s not a big apartment, but I like it! I think we made it so cozy. And not to mention I really love the area we live in ^^
I usually hate taking the subway because most of the time it\s underground and the lightning inside is super strong (meaning I’ll easily get a headache and get tired), but it’s really fascinating looking out when it goes on ground level!
A bubble tea store they have pretty much everywhere now, we’ve gone there quite a lot and they have a lot of interesting tastes. Especially the ones with honeydew or coffee flavor are really nice, I think.
This, however, is by far my favorite bubble tea!! I want to go there every day!
B’s father had been on a short business trip with his boss and some other people from work, and came back with a big gift-box full of delicious ddeok (떡) treats. These are quite expensive, and look really cute~!
I like taking random pictures - this one because I thought the little boy in grey’s pants were super cute! not everyone has this on their butt..
What we see when we look out our kitchen window. A big tree with lots of orange fruits that I’m not sure what are.. persimmons, maybe? either way it’s a nice view.
I thought the little shop with the squid was kind of interesting. I’m not a big fan of squid though, so I’m not intending on going there any time soon haha.
I love these kinds of stores! This one is called 10x10.
I’ll post some pictures of our new place tomorrow!! We’ve moved in properly and I think it looks quite nice now. It’s not very big at all, but it’s more than enough for the two of us - and most importantly it’s clean and convenient.
Oh and, for those who want to follow me on Instagram, my username is: marimari512. I post pictures there daily!! :)
Here are some pictures from around the place we moved to a few days ago! I’ll post pictures of the new place as soon as we’ve moved in properly~
A tiny milk shop. This morning the little milk truck was parked right outside, but the driver parked it so close to the shop that he had to struggle a lot to actually get back into the truck again haha.
A little coffeeshop a few minutes walk from where we live. Yijing used to live in this area before, so we went to this coffeeshop a lot to study together when we were in the KLI.
A korean supermarket down the street.
Another little coffeeshop that looks really nice! I haven’t actually been there but I’ve walked past it many times thinking “next time I wanna go here”
That’s it for now, now I’m gonna make myself a cup of hot chocolate and watch a korean drama! B is out for a few hours, but when he comes back we’re gonna go to the supermarket to buy everything we need for cooking etc. We need rice for our new pink rice-cooker, and ingredients for the korean soup I’m making for dinner!
I’m in Korea! my flight went well, and the plane food was really nice this time, but as before I didn’t sleep at all. I had a window seat with two buff russian men (I think?) on my left side - needless to say I was a little skeptical at first, but they were so nice helping me lift up my heavy bag to the overhead cabinet thing, and they were both out of their seats at least half of the time so I was really quite comfortable. I spent most of the time watching a few movies and series, listening to music etc. It was so nice meeting B again! He came to meet me at the gate, all handsomely dressed up.. My heart was beating so fast upon seeing him again, I was so excited!! That day when we got home, I slept for 3 hours or so, and then we went to buy some things that I needed (like shampoo and conditioner, hairbrush etc, things I didn’t bring from Norway).
We had so many plans for the next day, but that morning I woke up with what seemed like a mix of a cold and a flu - I really wasn’t feeling well. So we ended up staying inside the whole day, me just laying down most of the time, half sleeping, and eating medicine for both my cold and flu. I hardly ate anything that whole day, but last night I woke up in the middle of the night and realized my appetite was back.. so B, being the wonderful boyfriend that he is, went to the market at 4am in the morning to buy yoghurt and some bananas for his super-hungry girlfriend to eat! I was quite touched~ I’m still not feeling that great today, so I’m not gonna go anywhere until tomorrow.. so basically I’ve been bored staying inside for two days straight while really really wanting to go out and have fun and explore a little now that I’m finally back. Today I comforted myself with some internet shopping though hehe. Hopefully I’ll be feeling well enough to go outside tomorrow!
I’m leaving for Korea tomorrow!! I’m super excited to finally go back to the country I’ve so much fallen in love with, and I promise to blog quite often from now on! Actually I’m looking forwards to the flight a little - because even though it’s a really long and tiring flight, I’ll be sitting there with butterflies in my stomach (just like the two other times I went there), counting down the hours to arrival, and imagining how amazing it will be this time around. It’s quite interesting how I’m just as much (if not more) excited to go to Korea this time, as I was the first time I was gonna go there at 18 years old with barely any experience traveling outside of Scandinavia. I guess it has something to do with the fact that now I really know what Korea has to offer, how much I enjoy living there, how much I like the friendly and helpful people, and how much I’ve grown to like korean food (including some very spicy dishes!). In other words, I know exactly what to expect, which somehow gives me a kind of comfort. I guess the first time (even though I was really really excited to go) there were a lot of insecurities - I didn’t know whether I’d like the food or not, whether I’d make any good friends or not while I was there, whether I’d really feel like I “fit in” as a blonde blue-eyed foreigner in Korea or not. After a few months I realized there was nothing to worry about; I just liked it all.
Just one month left before I go back to Korea!! I really wish I could just go on that plane right now..! To be honest - I miss korean food more than anything. I never realized until now how boring norwegian food actually is (I mean, we pretty much only eat sandwiches all day), and what I wanna eat the most right now is one of the spiciest things I’ve eaten in Korea, it’s called dalkkalbi (닭갈비). My mouth waters just thinking about it! so yeah, I only have to wait another month until I can continue my life in Korea - this time with a little more freedom, more money, and a wonderful boyfriend!
(Last picture taken at work, in my lunchbreak - hence the very comfortable shoes)
Speaking of B, he’s leaving for Korea already on Sunday (what?? 3 months have passed already??) so we’re trying to make the most out of the time we have left before he leaves. We’ll only be apart for around 3 and a half weeks, so it’s not for as long as last time - but still, we’ve grown extremely attached to each other, to the point where I miss him like crazy after just a long day at work.. And also, lately I’ve been a little scared to live by myself, which is quite strange as I moved out before turning 17.. and I really thought I had gotten used to sleeping alone for all those years but it seems I was wrong. So I’ve asked my mom to come stay with me at least a few days a week after B has left. I’m actually quite excited about her coming to live with me, since we have a lot of fun together.
Recently, other than working and having lots of fun with B, I’ve been knitting and crocheting a lot. I just bought everything I needed (and some really nice yarns) in the city two weeks ago, went home and taught myself how to knit through the internet. I already knew how to crochet since I taught myself how to last year (in order to make Yijing’s birthday present - the ballerina bear pictured on my blog a while ago), but I learned how to do some other nice crocheting stitches as well~ My next project is to make a warm beanie for B, as I promised him I would. Since I was little, I’ve always loved sewing and using my mom’s sewing machine, but it’s way too big and heavy to take with me to Korea, and way too expensive to just buy one to have there (although I probably will buy one when I finally settle down there in a few years). So I thought, why not take up knitting and crocheting as a hobby? I can still make lots of nice things, and it’s easy to bring with me! that’s how it started, and now I just really like it. I love making unique things, things that not every other person has!
My current project; I’m making some sort of soft blanket :D
Let’s face it, I’m not a good blogger when I’m in Norway. That has a good reason though - my life isn’t much interesting when I mainly just work, so i don’t really have a lot to blog about! In another month from now boyfriend is going back to Korea, and I can’t believe how quickly two months went by already!! I’m going back to Korea in the beginning of October (already have my plane ticket), and I’m looking forwards to it so much. I’ll be arriving in Korea in my favorite season (autumn), when the hottest weather has passed by already (all of September is usually really hot, but October is so nice).
I’m super excited about a lot of things, really. First of all, boyfriend and I are gonna rent an apartment together, and we have decided to adopt a kitten. B is gonna take english classes to study for his TOEFL/IELTS exam, and I’m planning on taking some chinese classes (as well as spending time sowing, hopefully baking a little, attending yoga-classes, reading books and of course blogging). Basically this time my stay in Korea will be leaning more towards a long vacation, which is what I really need! By the time I leave Norway in October, I will have worked for 5 months straight to make the money I need for my Korea trip. I’m super excited to go!
Pictures above taken when out on a date with B the other day, celebrating our 6 months together. He’s carrying my backpack for me(one of the many advantages of having a boyfriend hihi).
Some recent Instagram pictures.
For now I’m spending most of my free time with B going on random dates, playing games together, watching Friends-episodes (we’re on season 4 now), going for walks, cooking, reading etc. Sometimes we go to my parents’ house in the countryside where we don’t really use internet at all, and basically just relax the whole time. When we went there last weekend, we had a good time visiting my grandparents and eating delicious homemade pizza at my cousin’s house. On monday we’re going to my parents’ house again, since it’s my father’s birthday. I promise to blog more once I’m back in Korea, after all that’s what this blog is about; my life in Korea!
Boyfriend has been here for three weeks already, and everything has really exceeded my expectations! We’ve had so much fun together during this time, and I realized I didn’t have to worry at all about him adapting to life here or whether he’d be fine with norwegian food or not etc. He’s adapted so well and is happily eating sandwiches every day haha.
We had a few really nice and summery days till now, especially the day we were in the boat in the lake.
He did so well rowing the boat, even though it was his first time ever!
Boyfriend dressed for typical norwegian weather.
Anyways, I was so excited the day I went to meet him in the airport, and the 45 minutes I sat there waiting felt like several hours.. When he finally came out my heart was thumping like crazy and I ran over to hug him. I remember thinking that his suitcase was so small and was wondering how he fit all his things in there. When we arrived at my place he opened his suitcase and at least half of it was filled with instant coffee..! I had asked him to bring a small pack of some korean instant coffee since I missed that a lot, but little did I know he had stuffed probably around 500 of them in his bags.. he’s so silly hihi. He had also brought me an Isa Knox skincare giftset, and some things that I had left behind in Korea due to my overfilled suitcase.
I made korean kimbab for him a few days ago and he told me it was the best he had ever tasted. Not sure if he really meant it but it did taste quite good :D oh and, if anyone wants to follow me on Instagram, I go by: marimari512
I’ve been working about 4-5 shifts a week, and he always comes with me and sits by himself studying english in another room while I work. It’s really nice to get to eat lunch together even though I’m at work! Sometimes he comes to help me when I’m baking something for the coffee break (which the elderly have around 3:30pm); a little while ago I was baking delicious chocolate muffins, and while they were in the oven boyfriend and I were dancing together to a really nice song playing on the radio (ignoring the one ahjumma who always sits in her chair half-sleeping all day, once in a while glancing over at us) hihi. However, upon checking the muffins in the oven, I realized they had been way too overfilled and was about to become just one big chocolate cake instead… so in the end we just removed the muffin paper and made it look like it was supposed to be chocolate cake - it was very delicious. I need to get an oven when I go back to Korea! oh and, boyfriend hadn’t actually seen an oven before coming to Norway, and was so amazed when I cooked salmon dinner for him by just preparing it and putting it in the oven for half an hour. Speaking of things he had never seen before; when we first arrived back in my apartment, I was putting some things in the dishwasher and I noticed him looking at me really strangely. Turns out he had no idea what a dishwasher was, and after I explained it to him he looked at me with a suprised look on him face and asked “does that mean we don’t have to wash the dishes by hand???!” hihi so cute.
Playing Gamecube together one of the first days after him coming here.
We’ve been at home visiting my parents and other family members as well, and I’m so happy to know that they all like him a lot. Boyfriend and I spent my days off going for long walks, playing tv-games (one of our mutual hobbies), hanging out with my brother in the city, watching movies, rowing a boat in the lake, fishing by the boat house (and he got a fish on his very first try!), playing bingo with the old people at work, laughing really hard while practicing my bad chinese and his adorable english. The other day when we were sitting in the sofa he suddenly turned to me and said out of nowhere; you are a happy elephant. I still have no clue what he meant by that but I thought it was hilarious at that time hihi.
With my cousin’s baby! so cute.
I really feel like I fall in love all over again every time I look at him, and it’s the best feeling ever. I don’t understand how I’ve managed without him before, he really is like my other half♡
I’ve been back in Norway for a month already, and during that time I’ve mostly just been working. I’ve had a few days off to spend with family and friends though. I’m quite tired and stressed these days, I guess because of work (I’ve been taking every shift I can), but from next week on I won’t be working as much anymore. I’m going to the airport to meet boyfriend on tuesday night, which I’ve been looking forwards to pretty much since the day I left. I’m super excited, and I have so much to show him - so much I want to experience together with him here in Norway! anyways, here are some pictures;
In the airport (Incheon), waiting before going to my gate.
Normally I don’t go to Starbucks a lot, but I bought some iced chai latte and a yummy macaron to eat before boarding the plane. The flight went very well, but I didn’t get to sleep at all so it was quite boring.
Back in Norway:
I made korean food here in Norway :D I found most of the things I need for this soup in an asian store downtown, so I was quite happy with that!
Chatting with boyfriend on skype~!
some recent Instagram pictures:
I just finished baking some bread, so now I will prepare to go to bed. so sleepy haha. I need to get up quite early for work tomorrow!
Today is my last day in Korea, and I won’t be coming back until October. I’m leaving a bit early because of some troubles with my visa (I was originally gonna leave in the middle of June, but suddenly got a phonecall from the immigration office saying that I’m still in Korea on my student visa, and since I’m not studying right now I need to get out of Korea as soon as possible. I thought that since I went to China, I’d come back to Korea on a tourist visa - but I was wrong). I called the flight company and asked to change the return date of my ticket, but they said it can not under ANY circumstances be changed.. so I ended up having to buy a new ticket. Boyfriend is also coming to Norway and will be staying for 3 months, but he will be leaving Korea in the middle of June on the date when I was supposed to go (originally we were gonna go together). So yeah, I’m leaving tomorrow afternoon, and it hasn’t really sunken in yet. Going back to cold, windy, rainy Norway - yet I’m somewhat excited. I went shopping last Friday to get all the things I will be needing while I’m in Norway (isn’t it funny how I used to go shopping in Norway for what I needed during my stay in Korea - now it’s the opposite lol). So I spent quite a lot of money on the makeup and skincare products that I use, plus some clothes and such. Now I’m well prepared for 5 long months in Norway!
I’ve been back in Korea for about a month or so now, and the first week I was pretty much just studying for the TOPIK test and spending some time with the boyfriend. Then I had the TOPIK test - which went ok, but not great, thanks to the ridiculously scary ahjussi teacher who kept talking during the whole first half of the test, and yelled at someone every 5 minutes. I couldn’t concentrate very well at all - I’m sure the teachers are not allowed to behave like that… So after getting the results in June, I will decide whether or not to take the test again.
Still hooked on bubble tea - I’m trying out all the delicious flavors~! so many new bubble tee stores have opened up all around Seoul lately, so nice!
Boyfriend and I got new pretty couple rings to celebrate our 100th day together in advance. Since I have to leave Korea a little earlier than planned, we won’t be able to see each other on our 100th day which is a little sad.. Korean couples always make a big deal out of the 100th day, but for boyfriend and I we’ll just get the rings and then we’ll celebrate properly once we reach 6 months!
Recently I’ve spent a lot of time with the boyfriend, hung out with some close friends, and just had a good time in general. Boyfriend and I went to Busan for a 3-days vacation about a week ago, and it was so nice! We spent lots of time on Haeundae beach where we had sort of a picnic (with fruits and ice cream hihi) while watching the ocean and talking. The first day we went to the beach, the wind was super strong, but the second day the weather was so perfect. Did I mention that the weather is super summery here in Korea these days?? it’s been really hot for a little while..
We also spent a few hours at a huge super-nice sauna (jjimjjilbang), where I went once before together with Erica the last time I was in Busan. It’s located inside a shopping mall, and looks so nice on the inside. The entrance fee is a little expensive, but definitely worth it! I especially enjoyed the outdoor footbath area~!
For transportation we took advantage of a free shuttle-bus service for foreigners, which I’ve used once before when I went to Kyeongju, and I’d recommend this for all foreigners in Seoul who wants to visit Busan or Kyeongju! The bus is so nice and comfortable!
Also, me, boyfriend and his cousin spent a few days showing his cousin around a little in Seoul, and one of the places we went was the president’s house (at least that’s what I think it was.. lol). The security was so strict there..!
Picture taking by boyfriend’s cousin while we were looking at the president’s house. can you guess where I am? haha
I’ve written before about my korean penpal whom I lost contact with a few years back, and how I wanted to meet her now that I’m in Korea.. Well a few days ago I finally heard from her again - she was quite surprised upon getting to know that I’ve been in Korea since 2010 studying korean! We decided to meet once before me going back to Norway, so we met for the very first time today. It was so nice to finally meet her, and we had so much to talk about! we had a really good time walking around in Daehangro talking about everything, laughing, drinking bubble tea, eating delicious waffles and looking around inside the campus of Sungkyunkwan University where she studies. I have a feeling we’re gonna become really good friends, and can’t wait to meet her again when I come back to Korea in October!!
Now I need to pack the final rest of my things, get a good nights sleep, and then go to the airport tomorrow. Excited to see family and friends again, but little sad to leave Korea this soon.. I’ve really had the best time ever this time in Korea!!
It’s been over two weeks since I came back from China, and it was a really nice vacation. I saw and experienced a lot of interesting things, had a really good time, but also a few moments of frustration in situations where communication was a problem. Chinese people are way worse than koreans when it comes to speaking english; most of them either don’t know more than a few words of english, or just nothing at all.
Pretty Yijing when we were out sightseeing.
I was determined to see “dragons”, and waited quite some time before it started, and then realized they were only lions.. It was fun to watch though, and interesting to see how the guys inside of the lion were doing it.
We found a really nice place with a lake in the middle, and the lake had lots of colorful fishes. We sat down on a bench by the lake for a while, feeding the fishes and talking.
A tiny magazine-shop by a subway station, covered in all sorts of magazines.
A cafè called RBT, we went there quite a lot of times for bubble tea and snacks etc. I drank quite a lot of bubble tea during my stay in China - it’s fairly cheap and comes in all kinds of flavors, tastes really yummy! I love the bubbles~! As mentioned before, chinese people don’t seem to drink much coffee, so they have lots of other types of drinks. Bubble tea has recently became quite popular in Korea as well, and while I was gone in China two new bubble-tea shops opened up in Edae, plus one in Sinchon!
Chinese crosswalks - I can imagine a lot of people lost their lives on them. I thought korean drivers were crazy, but that’s until I saw chinese drivers..! They really have no patience whatsoever, and does not care if the light is green or red - they’ll still drive right across the crosswalk in full speed. Some roads that people cross a lot doesn’t even have crosswalks, quite scary if you ask me.
tall tall buildings.
Yijing and I went to visit her rich aunt and uncle about a 3 hours drive from her hometown. We stayed for a few days, and every morning we’d hear exercise music from outside - the morning exercise of the students in the school right nearby. Quite fascinating to watch them all in matching clothes, synchronized as can be. This is something chinese students apparently have to do every morning.. I remember I hated gym class at school, and that was only twice a week - I can’t even imagine having gym class every morning!
The view from her aunt and uncle’s apartment, they were living on the 13th floor. Despite them being super rich (her uncle’s shirt costs the same as what I pay for one months rent here in Korea), they still had hole-in-the-ground toilets inside their house.. Actually most of the toilets I came across in China were hole-in-the-ground toilets, and very very few of them actually provides you with toilet paper. If you ever go to China, bring a pack of tissues with you wherever you go, cause you’ll be needing it for sure!
We also went to a Zoo, and I was quite disappointed upon getting to know that there was no panda there at that time.. it was still fun though.
Inside the zoo. It seemed like the day we went, was class-field-trip-day, cause there were so many groups of students there! I felt a little like the kids were looking more at me (the foreigner) than at the animals… There was a lot of pointing and wide eyes haha. And again on this part too, it’s a lot worse than in Korea.
A man in the zoo were selling these tiny turtles in small boxes for a cheap price.
Meat on sticks from 7-eleven down the street from Yijing’s house, we ate these quite a few times whenever we got hungry.
One of the quite poor neighborhoods we passed by.
My flight back to Korea went fine, and I was picked up by the boyfriend at the airport, all handsome dressed in a suit. I’d definitely go back to China for a vacation in the future, though next time maybe to explore a different place.
Wednesday last week was graduation day for the level 6 students in the KLI, all my closest friends were graduating. This graduation was the 200th one in the KLI, so it seemed like they put a lot of effort into making it good, and it was written about in the news as well. It’s a little sad that I won’t be graduating as I’m not gonna do level 6, I’d really love to have an occasion to wear a pretty hanbok for.. Yijing, Diana and Erica were all so pretty in their hanbok, and boyfriend was really handsome in his suit.
Early in the morning on Friday last week, I went with Yijing and her boyfriend to the airport. They were bringing so many things (five suitcases plus hand-luggage), and since my suitcase was only about half full, we filled mine with some of their things as well. Yijing apparently shopped a lot the last few weeks since she won’t be coming back to Korea for a long time. We boarded the flight just in time, after having run across the airport to find the right gate, and had a nice 3,5 hours long flight. After landing in Guangzhou, we were picked up by Yijing’s father, and then drove for about an hour before getting to her place. Her place is quite nice - a lot bigger than I expected.
Yijing and her boyfriend walking their two cute dogs.
The weather here is so warm and summery (sunny and 25 degrees celsius), but it’s a little cold inside her house.. the other night I slept in tights, two t-shirts and a thick sweater, and despite all that a mosquito managed to give me several bites all over my legs.. I have to say chinese mosquitoes are a lot worse than the korean ones that I hate so much - chinese mosquitoes are tiny tiny and cause so much harm (swollen red bites that itches like crazy).
The first day in China I did pretty much nothing more than eating all day, and I was ridiculously full by the time I went to bed. The second day we went to the super market to look around, and then looked around some more inside some shopping malls etc. I only bought candy and some gum that whole day haha.
There’s a lot of yummy food here, but most of it is quite oily. Also, Yijing’s hometown is known to have lots of sweet foods - even the soups taste sweet..! The other day we ate sweet foods pretty much the whole day, and when they wanted to go get ice cream I thought I was gonna throw up. I miss spicy korean food :(
I also miss cute korean coffeeshops. Chinese people don’t seem to drink much coffee at all, just tea all day long. for every meal. at least four times a day. Once in a while you can come across a Starbucks, but that’s pretty much it, apart from the strange fruits/juice-cafés. Chinese people seem to eat their meals at very settled times of the day - people were looking at us really strangely when we came to eat lunch in a restaurant around 3pm, and there were no other customers beside us there.
In a 7-eleven nearby. I like going there to buy milk tea~
Tomorrow we’re going to another city a few hours away from here, gonna stay till Thursday. We’re gonna be doing some shopping, and maybe go to a zoo to see pandas :D excited!
Level 5 final exams are over, and I think I did pretty well. No more stress about exams - until April 15th when I have my TOPIK exam (Test Of Proficiency In Korean), and I’m also planning on taking a Hanja exam (writing Chinese signs often used in Korea) in May. I’ll have to study hard for my TOPIK exam while I’m in China, as well as when I get back to Korea again! Recently I’ve gained a lot of interest in cooking, so the last time I was at my boyfriend’s house I made some korean as well as chinese food for him - it was very successful and super delicious!! Yesterday boyfriend and I were feeling a little adventurous; we got on the subway and got off at a place we’ve never been to before, then explored a little before taking a random bus and getting off at a place that seemed quite interesting. In the end we found a huge mart where we spent probably an hour or so walking around just looking at things and joking around. The weather yesterday was so nice, perfect for being adventurous like that. It seems like spring has finally arrived, I’m thrilled!
A random street at the random place where we started our walk after getting off the subway.
The two pictures above were taken in Sinchon last week.
Friday last week our Hanja classmates decided to meet at night to eat dinner together. In total we were about 10 people, including our cute Hanja teacher. We really had so much fun!! I’ve met so many nice people after starting level 5 in the KLI, it’s been so great. Especially my Hanja classmates are really fun to hang out with, we decided that we need to have several more meetings like the one we had. We started with eating dinner; grilled fish and dwenjangjjigae (some kind of soup, a little spicy but so delicious), and then we went to play pool at a nice place nearby. It was my first time playing pool in Korea (I haven’t played much in Norway either), most of us girls didn’t know much about how to play it but some of the guys taught us - and it was so fun!
The dinner, which kind of looks a little scary.. but it’s so delicious, one of my favorite things to eat here in Korea!!
I also went to another korean wedding, as my boyfriend’s cousin was getting married. My boyfriend is originally korean, but grew up in China with his parents. He has almost all of his relatives here in Korea. This wedding was quite similar to the one I went to the last time, but I thought it was funny how after the couple were officially wed, they walked down the aisle to some nice music, and then turned and went back again for taking pictures haha.. Oh and also, my boyfriend was singing at the wedding and I was probably more nervous than he was, but he did really really well!!
Today boyfriend and I went to a bookstore to buy a TOPIK book for studying for the exam (I already have mine, so he wanted to get one as well), and then we sat in a coffeeshop for a few hours just talking and having fun together. I ordered milk tea, and was quite amazed when I saw that the barista had drawn a tree in my tea..!! I have no clue how he did that, but it looks really nice, doesn’t it?
We also ate some Taiwanese pineapple cake, which he had gotten as a present from his Taiwanese classmate. I really love these, they’re so yummy!!
I’m leaving for China on Friday, and I’m really curious as to whether it’ll be as exciting as when I first came to Korea. This will be the last time I can spend together with Yijing before she goes to the UK for studying, so it’ll be nice to have over two weeks with her in China! These days I really feel like I’m at the top of the world, that’s how happy I am. So many fun and exciting plans and adventures to fill my days with, I have the best boyfriend and some wonderful friends who genuinely care about me, and everything is just right~
I only have three days left of school, and knowing this is my last semester, of course I’m a little sad about it. I can honestly say I’ve had such a great time in the KLI, and met some amazing friends while studying there. The classes have also been fun, and I’ve achieved my goal of learning Korean. My next goal is Chinese!!
Happy one month for boyfriend and I! After class we ate delicious lunch at a chinese restaurant, then went to see a movie, and then spent some time in this cat café. This one is located in Sinchon and was quite nice. In addition to one drink each (he had iced-tea and I had chamomile tea), we also bought a little snack thingy for the cats to eat. It’s funny, cause when we first walked into the café all the cats were half sleeping and just taking it easy, but the second they smelled the snack we had bought, we were suddenly surrounded by all of them haha.
hahah he really wanted to pet the cats, but they kept escaping from him. This cat café actually had a few Norwegian Forest cats!! interesting.
I ate something called “dong bang” not long ago, which is a little bun with some kind of filling inside. The name basically translates to poop-bread, and the little bun itself is shaped as one.. the manager person working there also had a huge poop-shaped hat on his head haha.
Anyways, I’ve had another busy week so far - I haven’t even had time to go to yoga class.. At school tomorrow we have a debate about death penalty which I have to prepare for before going to bed, and final exams are next week already! Time is really flying by super fast. Also, my China-trip is approaching, I’ll be leaving on the 23rd this month. I’m really really excited!!!
so I had pretty much the best valentines day ever. Valentines becomes so much better when you actually have someone to celebrate it with haha. The day started totally normal; baiwei called me in the morning and asked if I had arrived at school yet, to which I replied that I was gonna be a little late. We decided to meet after the second class as usual, and I figured since I was already quite late, I might as well take the time I need to prepare before going to school. However, when I finally got outside, baiwei was standing there waiting for me with a bouquet of flowers..! so unexpected, I really had no idea at all (cause when we talked on the phone earlier he said he had arrived at school already). I felt a little guilty upon realizing he had been waiting for me in the cold for over half an hour.. He gave me the flowers, a box of chocolates, and he had also got me a really pretty bracelet. He suggested we’d go on a date instead of going to school, and of course I agreed.
My breakfast on valentines day in a random coffee shop in Edae where we discussed what to do for the day.
What he had got me for valentines <3
some of the chocolates I made for him (I made probably 10 of these packs of four). I occupied the kitchen in the place where I live for probably more than 2 hours to make these chocolates,and people who wanted to cook something were waiting for me to finish, so in the end I just hurried to finish up and went to my room to decorate them prettily haha. I guess it’s a trend here in korea to make chocolates by hand and give them out on valentines, lots of girls are doing it.
Anyways, after eating a simple breakfast, we decided to go play games for a few hours in a multibang (so much fun!!), before eating delicious lunch nearby. Then we went to an ice-skating rink together (the one where Lotte World is).
After that, we just wandered around for a while inside the mall, pretty much just to drag out the time for as long as possible. I really didn’t want the day to end!
Other than that, last Sunday I went to a korean wedding, which was quite an interesting experience. A lot of korean weddings are not held in a church, but inside a wedding hall. The place was really pretty, and there were so many nice pictures of the bride and the groom.
The bride was my classmate in level 2, she’s japanese and the groom is korean. When we first got there, we all got to take pictures with the bride, and then we went to the big room to wait for the ceremony to start. The whole thing didn’t really last for very long, and the man who wed them kept talking about how they should raise their kids to make a happy family, that they should give their kids lots of pocket money and have them play different kinds of instruments etc. At the end, the groom sang a song for the bride, and then they posed for pictures with family and friends.
After taking pictures together, the bride threw the bouquet for a pre-decided girl to catch (lol the camera man basically said “now we’re gonna throw the bouquet, who amongst the bride’s friends has a boyfriend?”), and then we went down one floor to eat at a wedding buffet. About an hour or so later, the bride and the groom came to the buffet area to thank us for coming to their wedding.
Earlier this week I went with my class to come kind of small korean palace nearby where we learned how to make and drink korean traditional tea, and could try on a korean hanbok. I was quite excited about this as I have never worn a hanbok before, so I volunteered to try it on. They only had the yellow and red hanbok which is the color combination that unmarried women used to wear in the old days, but nowadays there are so many other pretty color combinations.
Me wearing the red and yellow hanbok, and a girl from my class.
We also did some kind of origami, making what’s supposed to look like the korean hanbok. It turned out ok I think haha.
Today I went to do two hours of yoga in the morning, before trying to finish my questionnaire analysis thingy in korean (for which in advance I had to interview at least 15 koreans about a self-selected topic..!). Tomorrow I’m going to baiwei’s place again, so I need to wake up a little early!
I realize it’s been quite a while since my last post, which is mostly because I’ve just been really busy in every way. It’s been freezing cold lately; the other day the temperature went down to -17 degrees Celsius..! walking outside, it felt like my face was gonna fall off, and I definitely couldn’t feel neither my fingers nor toes. please come a little sooner, will you Spring??
Last week I had fun with my friends pretty much every day; going skating, bowling, singing karaoke (three days in a row!), playing Wii-games in multiroom, eating delicious foods, sitting in coffeeshops either studying or just chatting etc. I had so much fun to the point that when Sunday came, I was almost exhausted haha..
This is called Bossam, and it’s super yummy. The kimchi there is amazing!!
At the ice-skating rink.
Karaoke time! usually we go to a place that looks much nicer than this one though.
Bowling with some of my classmates~ me, two other girls and one guy. The guy was the one who suggested we’d go bowling, and the rest of us agreed even though neither of us didn’t have much of a clue about how to bowl. It ended with him having to buy all three of us girls coffee afterwards, because we won a bet about beating his score in the second round (all three of us girls’ scores against his haha).
On Saturday the weekend before that, I went to Baiwei’s house again, and we had a lot of fun! As usual his mom cooked lots of delicious chinese food for us, we watched a really nice korean movie together, played some games on his computer, before deciding to go out for a little walk.. which ended in a 45mins long walk to E-mart where we bought ice cream that we ate while looking around. I found a little childrens’ book called “The little Prince” which I never had the chance to read when I was younger, so I’ve been wanting to read it since a long time ago. Thought it was a nice idea to read it in korean! so far it’s quite interesting.
This week I’ve been super busy studying for midterms, which I had yesterday and the day before. I’d say my exams went really well, even though I could’ve probably done better on the listening exam. I managed to catch a cold a week ago so I was really not feeling very well during a couple of days, however I forced myself to go to school since it wouldn’t be smart to miss a class right before my exams. Yesterday I took a long nap after coming back from school, then took a nice walk outside with Baiwei right before it got dark, went shopping with Yijing and two other mutual friends, then the four of us had dinner at the chicken place in the second floor of the building where I live. So yummy, but we ordered a lot more than we could actually eat, so we got the rest packed for take-out (this will be my dinner today haha).
A coffeeshop where I went with my classmates last week for planning our class discussion. Anyways, the guy working there gave us two slices of cake and a giant cookie as service~! such a nice surprise, and it all tasted delicious!
Enough of my rambling for now~! I’m gonna watch a few episodes of a really exciting korean drama series, eat dinner, and go to bed a little early. I’m still quite tired, as there have been so many things happening lately. Next week will consist of more fun, since the exams are finally over!