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!!
Our new place!
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!
Preview of tomorrow’s blog post when I finally can use internet on my computer. Apparently I can only post one picture when using my phone.. anyways, we found a cozy little place and have been busy moving and such. This picture was taken right down the street from our new place~
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.
My next post will be from Korea! stay tuned~
One month left until Korea~!
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!
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