Category Korean Textbook Reviews

Category Japanese Textbook Reviews

1 In Japanese learning journey (:/ Korean learning journey (:/ Thai Learning Journey :)

Studying three languages a day

I studied three languages today and this totally deserves a celebratory blog post.

I did two lessons of EBS 초급 태국어 [Study notes here, videos on YouTube], read some stuff in Korean and started reading a Japanese novel (!!). It’s been a long, long time since I studied so hard, and come here to blog about it too.


I’m going to try to work harder for Thai this year, and hopefully to share more resources with everyone in the coming days. For those who know Korean, I do recommend the EBS series. I’m still working through the series, but so far I enjoyed it a lot and perhaps I’ll post about it again! These days, I’m working on grammar, as well as being able to parse Thai sentences without relying on any kind of romanisation. It’s kind of difficult, also because beginner textbooks will always come with the romanisation, and sometimes at the same font size, or even in bold *face palm* and this makes it very challenging not to look at it. I’m getting better at recognising the basic / high frequency words. When I’m studying, I tend to write out the sentences in Thai and annotate on the notebook instead of the textbook. Writing it out really helps me to remember and recognise the words.


I have a whole stack of unread Japanese novels at home, thanks to having Kinokuniya stores here in Singapore. I’ve been very bad at reading them, mostly because I’ll start one and a few pages later, I put them aside and weeks/months later, I’ll feel too tired to restart from the beginning because I can’t remember what I read. For now, I’m starting on a brand-new novel and hopefully it’ll stick. More like I have to stick to it. At the peak of my Japanese reading ability, I was reading more Japanese novels than I did Korean, but now I think I’ve read more Korean than Japanese. Time to do more for Japanese!


I guess I’m always the most consistent when it comes to Korean. But these days I’m reading for the fun of it, and not for a particular purpose and I realise how much I miss that carefree feeling. When it comes to the dilemma of whether to keep something you love as a hobby or turn it into your career or livelihood, I still don’t have an answer after all these years. 🙂 I’ve also been easing back into Korean dramas, which I’m super happy about. I finished watching 여신강림 (True Beauty) and *squeaaaaaals* I’m a sucker for high school / university romance dramas and even if the plot is rather cliche, I’ll still lap it up if there’s good acting and good chemistry among the leads. Please watch it. Highly recommended.

On a random aside, if you ever feel like your fringe is getting into your eyes and interfering with your work, please do not cut it on your own. Just don’t.

Because you’re likely to end up with uneven, overly short bangs.

Don’t ask me.

Just don’t.

I look like this now:

2 In Thai Learning Journey :)

3 years with Thai

In the blink of an eye, we’re already at the second month of 2023 and it’s the 15th year of learning Korean, 11th year for Japanese and my 3rd year learning Thai. Unlike the first two languages which I studied when I was still a student, I have very little bandwidth for Thai most of the time. I barely touched it in 2021, and it’s extremely hard to be consistent with it. I used to think that it’s all about time management, until I realised that it’s also about energy management. As an adult, I suck at both, so here we are, trudging at a snail’s pace for Thai.

I know that I cannot compare my progress in Korean with the progress in Thai. That said, I can never quite sweep away the disappointment in myself that 我不如当年了 (I’m no longer who I was back then). I can get strangely competitive with myself at times, so I constantly need to remind myself that this is a journey I should enjoy, and not trying to complete it within the shortest time.

It’s such an obvious truth, but it’s the obvious truths that we often overlook and need constant reminders!

Having stepped away from blogging for a long time, I realise that words don’t come as easily to me anymore. It’s like there’s a whirlwind of thoughts within me, but I can’t seem to string them into coherent sentences. Need to slowly get back to writing too.

I’m currently watching My School President แฟนผมเป็นประธานนักเรียน and it’s so cute. It takes a while for me to ease into the story because the plot at the start is rather thin, but it does get better. Or maybe they’re just so cute I can overlook any holes in the plot.

It’s interesting how Thai is starting to sound clearer to my ears. When you first start learning a language, all you hear are sounds somewhat melded together, but now each syllable and word feels a lot clearer, as if someone had adjusted the lens and everything is coming into focus. I love this feeling. 🙂

Till the next post.

1 In Korea 2022

Hello Korea #01

한국 잘 다녀왔습니다.

I contemplated for a bit if I should blog about the trip (lazy) but I thought I should make the effort to do so, as a memory keepsake. Once in a while, I’ll go back to read about my past travels and it feels different from simply looking at the photos. Each post encapsulates my feelings at that point, and it’s interesting to revisit the memories years later.

(I brought my camera to Korea and took a grand total of ZERO photos HAHA. I’m also too lazy to edit photos. Natural is the best)

This time, we flew via Air Premia. It’s a relatively new airline and if I remember correctly, there’s only one airplane plying the Singapore-Incheon route so at first, I was slightly apprehensive. But it turned out to be such a good decision. It hits the sweet spot between budget (in terms of price) and regular carrier (in terms of service).

We didn’t manage to find many reviews online, so I thought I’ll write a little more about it, in case it helps anyone who’s still considering. It was a smooth and enjoyable flight. The airplane is new, the toilets very well-maintained, and there’s ample leg space. They served complimentary water and a hot meal (!) during flight, with other beverages/snacks available for sale on the flight. Breakfast was a choice between porridge and scrambled eggs. The food was nothing to shout about, but still relatively decent.

There’s in-flight entertainment (mainly Korean shows and not many, but still alright selection), and more importantly, there’s a USB charging port. Unlike SQ flights, they don’t provide a pillow, but the blanket is so much more comfortable, so honestly I’m pretty pleased. In fact, I’ll probably fly Air Premia again for future flights to Incheon. 🙂

We bought the tickets during the promotion period, so we got to enjoy an hour’s lounge at Changi Airport. It helped a lot since the flight was at 3am, so at least I got a small (and free) bite before the flight. I actually didn’t mind that the SG-ICN flight’s at 3am. Thankful it wasn’t a 8am flight. I like taking red-eye flights for the SG-INC route, so that I can arrive at Incheon in the morning and have a full day’s activity. I didn’t mind that their ICN-SG flight is at 820pm too, you get more time in Korea hahaha.

The first thing to buy at the airport was my favourite SamDaSoo mineral water. hahaha I picked it randomly on my first trip to Korea years ago, and from then on, I would only drink that in Korea LOL.

Lunch was a random pick: 등촌 샤부 칼국수, which offers a “4-course” meal of vegetables in broth, followed by beef shabu shabu, knife-cut noodles, followed by fried rice. This is my kind of multi-course meal!

Broth boiled down a little too much it tasted like curry noodles

Everything was so good, but I particularly enjoyed the fried rice. It wasn’t wet, and there was a crusty bite to it that made it so shiok (enjoyable) to keep spooning in mouthfuls lol. I’m a glutton (in Korea).


We decided to spend the evening at Gwanghwamun. It felt so real to see King Sejong (statue) again. Friends would know that that’s my favourite spot in Seoul and there’s just sooo many memories associated with the area. So many good friends, many happy chats that happened here. 🙂

It’s amazing how I managed to visit Korea so many times and never visited Gyeongbokgung 경복궁. LOL. I didn’t go in this time too. There was a snaking queue because it was one of the rare times they were opened in the evenings and there were so many people wearing rented hanboks taking photos. Not my kind of thing.

This is totally me.

One of my must-eats is 설렁탕 and so we decided to try out this place which apparently has a long tradition. SO GOOD. No regrets at all.

Look at that milky broth. I always find it amazing how there are both noodles and rice in the soup, but hahaha just eat.

0 In 中文部落格/ 宅女心聲





看完了「風中奇緣」, 今天選擇看我最最最愛的「惡作劇之吻」。這部劇真的是我從小看到大, 怎麼看都看不膩。台詞我都差不多能背了。這部劇可以說是陪伴我走過不少人生起伏。它承載了很多回憶,也帶給我莫大的啟發和感動。其實我最喜歡的是整部劇的節奏。很舒服的節奏。




0 In Thai Learning Journey :)

How I incorporate language immersion into my workouts

In an attempt to be healthier and shed the pandemic weight gain, I’m starting to be a little more conscientious of exercising every (other) day. It’s horrendous to see how much I’ve let myself go in the past couple of years, and I would very much love to get back my discipline and a sharper jawline lolol. I always say my face is like a moon. 有时圆,有时又不圆。

*sings* 乌拉博士,来说明,十万个为什么告诉你

hahaha if you know you know 🙂

Friends would know that I generally don’t do much sports, and the kind of exercises I do are really just like mat workouts at home + dance workouts. Not that I can dance, but it’s just more fun. My favourites are of course The Marshall Fitness and Pamela Reif workouts, but just the other day, I decided to shake things up a little bit–by searching for Thai dance workouts!

It’s a good way to know more Thai songs and frankly speaking, I’m really more motivated to move /动起来/.

Here’s a couple I like:

I don’t really listen to English songs, so literally the ones I know well are associated with the workouts. Literally when the songs play somewhere, I immediately visualise the dance moves and can even remember the YouTuber’s voiceover at the exact bits lolol

These days I’m living a language-filled life and it gives me inner peace. ✨

2 In Others / General



這個部落格好似我的避風港。雖然因我的怠惰,讀者遠不如昔日的多,但是這裡依舊是我最喜歡的空間。它是我的分身,陪我走過人生起伏。很多的回憶在腦海裡淡了,但這裡卻很真切的紀錄當時的情緒和想法。這裡能讓我整理好雜亂的思緒,雖然前提是我能有精力寫下來哈哈。 往往打開新的檔案,還沒寫幾句就無法繼續了,也就只好刪了。希望這篇文能寫到最後。



0 In Korean learning journey (:/ TOPIK

81st TOPIK II 2022 Results

The last post I wrote was about taking the exam and now I’m writing about my results. This blog is collecting virtual dust ):

It’s interesting how the process of getting results has evolved over the years, and honestly I can’t tell if it’s for better or worse. I still recall those days where it was simply impossible to check results on a Mac device between the website insists on IE (lol) and you need to download (what’s that called again?) a script / program / certificate or sth for it to work. Well, in those days, smartphones was not really a thing yet. But it was very fast, and only on the rare occasion would the site be down, for a few minutes, at 3pm KST. But still it was like an immediate thing. AND they post the physical cert to you.

Somewhere down the road, the popularity of Hallyu and its ripple effects led to a surge of TOPIK takers which overwhelmed the poor system. At some point, there was a waiting-room system installed, similar to those where you camp for concert tix of the biggest stars. TOPIK is a megastar indeed, because in recent years, it’s impossible to check your results at 3pm KST. It’s not even an hour’s wait or something, it’s like HOURS AND HOURS.

I was quite entertained looking up the relevant social media hashtags and seeing people complain about how there are THIRTY THOUSAND people in the queue before them. Talk about megastars.

This time round, I thought I was already erring on the safe side when I checked it about 6 hours after the release time and yeah there were 1000 people in front and after waiting for the bar to inch forward, for a full hour, the site crashed again when it was finally my turn. lol.

So I ended up checking my results at 230am in the morning, about 12 hours after results release. Yeah and it was immediate. Okay, so all good. The good news is that somewhere sometime, they had upgraded their system so it’s possible to check on Safari on an iPhone. But I didn’t manage to download the TOPIK certificate on the phone, so boo. Oh in case you’re wondering, I was up at 230am not to check results.

So time for results!


This might been my worst score in a while. To think I felt rather confident for the writing heh.

But I always take TOPIK results with a pinch of salt, so I still don’t think I’ve in any way become worse in writing / listening / writing Korean. I’m terrible at speaking Korean these days too, that I would acknowledge.

Hope everyone got the results you’ve been aiming for!! xoxo

0 In Korean learning journey (:/ TOPIK

81st TOPIK II 2022 Experience and Tips

It’s the mandatory TOPIK experience post again! It’s a 3-hour exam but in reality, we have to spend about 4 hours at the exam venue and adding the commute time etc, it’s like my whole day is gone. I’m now typing this at about 930pm, 5.5 hours after the exam. In between, I spent about 3 hours on the sofa. I am this tired lol.

It’s my nth time taking TOPIK (lost count) and this is also my second TOPIK since COVID started. I last took it in Apr 2020. It feels weird that the pandemic is in its third year, and that we have to take the ART test, fill in a declaration form etc to take the exam.

I think there were lesser people taking TOPIK II this time round, compared to two years ago. No, it’s not that Korean is losing popularity in Singapore or whatsoever. My friend and I suspect that it’s because the test fees, which used to be SGD80 for the longest time, became SGD120. I don’t know if it’s a pandemic increase, or inflation or whatever, but omg I don’t know whether I want to spend SGD120 every two years taking a proficiency test that I personally don’t have much need for. My friend also conveniently reminded me that after a few more TOPIK exams and we’ll hit our forties. Maybe one day I’ll be taking TOPIK as a granny, and I think that’s pretty cool. My first TOPIK was in 2009 and I wonder when my last TOPIK will be . . . okay I digressed.

For those taking TOPIK II in Singapore, I recommend signing up for the exam early enough (they fill the big hall first and then the classrooms), and I prefer being in the hall cos it’s just airier and more space. It’s best to dress light (because outside damn hot please) and bring a jacket to the venue. I always bring a hoodie, which is great because the aircon was blowing directly at me (-.-) throughout the exam and I’m one of those people who hate that and I get a headache very easily. So the hoodie helped a lot!

We also have to surrender our electronic devices, so it’s best to follow the instructions and bring minimal electronic devices and leave the smartwatches at home for the day if possible.


We’re expected to be seated quite early (which I understand), but I got very restless and sleepy in the time that we had to sit there (without devices hahaha), so by the time listening started, my mind was pretty out of it. My concentration level is definitely not at its peak like 10 years ago lol.

Listening used to be a brain-cracking section as I had to concentrate a lot on the audio, as well as read through the options, but hahah this is my 14th year of learning Korean. What I do is that usually I read the options for the questions ahead. For the earlier questions where each audio is played once, I can possibly read about 4-5 questions ahead, but for those questions at the back where the audio is played twice, I could read about 7-8 questions ahead.

What I like to do is to underline the key parts in the options, so I know where to zoom in when the audio plays. I usually will only listen to the audio once, then when it plays for the second time, I’ll be reading the questions ahead! For those familiar with the exam format, you would know that for the later questions where an audio passage is linked to two questions, one is usually on “which statement is true / best described what the audio is about” and the other one about the attitude / feelings of one of the speakers. The first type of question is harder, so usually I’ll concentrate on the options / details for this question as the audio plays and I’ll answer this one first (even if it’s the second question). Then it’s easier to do the other question, which is more broad.

My problem these days with the listening section is that I have a very short attention span and there were really moments during the test where I literally just spaced out hahaha. Exams are a test of stamina, not just knowledge.

And I have no stamina.


Writing follows listening immediately and I was sooo glad when the listening was over. I shall not jinx it but dare I say that this was pretty manageable, a lot better than the two-years-ago paper? mmm can I just pretend that I miraculously got better at writing? hahaha. I guess we’re not supposed to share the question here, so I won’t (anyway I can’t remember exactly), but my problem was thinking about the points rather than expressing them in Korean oops. The essay question is usually about some social issue and it’s kinda like an expository essay.

I think I did fine for the the graph description writing. I think?

I finished the writing with about 15 mins to spare, and I managed to write neatly yay! A huge difference from my earlier TOPIK experiences, where writing killed me all.the.time. hahaha like I said, it’s been 14 years.

I don’t really have writing tips, just that the graph description write up can be very manageable when you read enough sample answers and also remember set phrases. So it’s possible to study for it. The essay is a better test of your core proficiency I think, and harder to “study”. I mean, you can technically study and memorize for anything, but I prefer to keep it organic (?) in some sense. Which means I am highly unlikely to study specifically for an exam. But that’s just me, and I also don’t face the pressure of needing to pass the language exams I take 🙂


Reading is always my favourite section in a language proficiency test and I always look forward to learning more from the passages and getting to know more interesting facts! It’s also the section where I *kinda* have expectations for myself and I hope to get a three-digit score HAHAHA. We’ll see. 🙂

Again, not many tips for reading, just that it’s important to read a lot during your free time and build the stamina of being able to read for 70 mins straight hahaha. I used to feel my brain energy fading away towards the end of the exam (where I can sound all the syllables and not understand a single thing) but that has gotten a lot better in the last few years!

So I had a lot of fun with this part hahaha.

Overall, it was great. Although sitting for 3 hours in an exam hall is not quite something that my poor bones can take. I have to rethink whether I want to take it every two years (it is valid for two years), and the cost really deters me.

If you have also taken the 81st TOPIK, please leave a comment and say hiiii.

I think the results will be out on May 19. So I’ll probably update on May 20 LOL. It’s impossible these days to check the results on the dot, cos the system keeps crashing and literally you have to camp to get into the system (like those concert tickets queue system) hahahaha. Sorry I’m too embarrassed to ask my friends to do that for me (Mac comps still have issues with accessing the system) and I’ll probably be too lazy to do it too, even if I could.

Till the next post! (sorry my blog reflects my mental state and these days I’m very much offline)

0 In Korean learning journey (:/ Others / General

The years in between

Tonight, I randomly came across a song which I used to love ten years ago and it spurred me to try to recall and find some of the gems of the yesteryear. It was honestly hard to remember many of them, the memories are too hazy. Sometimes, I remember the album cover, a particular scene in the MV, a line in the lyrics or a snippet of the melody. There’s a bit of lingering regret when I realize I might never be able to find them again. Some I managed to recall, which bring a sense of triumph and relief. And a couple more which I rediscovered by digging through the blog, which also bring back another wave of memories.

It’s interesting how songs that I used to listen on repeat daily simply fade out of my life one day without me realizing it. It’s like how people in our lives come and go. Of course, there are special songs that I’ve been listening to almost on a daily basis since I was 13, but the majority are like a phase, no matter how much I may love them at a certain point in time.

Rediscovering them years later again makes me reflect on the years in between. The years which feel like a passing blur. It’s a strange feeling, like you are in such a different position from your old self, and you marvel/lament the changes, although some things never change.

A lot of the Korean songs that I used to listen to are very strongly tied to memories of learning the language and the years of finding myself and growing. Thinking back, it has been an amazing journey instead, but not without its ups and downs. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

As I’m typing this, I’m listening to the songs again. They remind me a lot of how much I love Korean and I am thankful how this reminder comes to me at this point 🙂 Sometimes we do need reminders about 초심 / 初心 and I’m very glad for the reminder tonight.

I hope that reading this post might inspire you to also search for the songs that, for a period of time, meant a lot to you. Perhaps, it’s an opportunity to reflect, to recalibrate and hopefully to get some positive energy 🙂

Till the next post!

0 In Thai Learning Journey :)

It’s okay to have no time

Blogging on the go now and after a blissful couple of days of studying Thai, I’m back to having barely enough time. It was a much needed break to energise, to immerse and I came out of it somewhat more invigorated to get back to normal programming, albeit still not sleeping that well. But baby steps 🙂

I’m actually plagued by a bout of self-doubt these days, which I’m trying to work through. The past few days spent learning Thai was a much-welcomed respite from that abyss and now I feel more ready to face it head on again 🙂

It’s a little sad that I cannot continue the streak of studying, but it’s okay, I don’t need to berate myself. Instead, I’m going to try to watch a bit of The Gifted everyday. Hahaha. Nothing better than fangirling. It’s amazing that with every drama, I understand a little more:) I think that euphoria is what makes me come back for more (language learning)!

Anyway, that show’s amazing!! And there’s Nanon, whom I absolutely adore after Bad Buddy. I was thinking that the teacher in the show looks familiar, and he’s the actor playing Minton in Ugly Duckling: Don’t. OMG. Hahaha he’s become such a hottie. He’s such an enigma in the show, actually all the characters are. I have no idea where the show is going to bring us, but I’m just going to enjoy the ride!

I’m addicted to Bad Buddy’s OST. Ahhhh just friends 🙂 Nanon has such a great voice!