Snippets of my everyday life

I’m spacing out as I’m typing this at 9:41pm on a weekday and I’m here typing away because I simply can’t concentrate and have no energy to do anything else.

Minus off the time spent working and sleeping, I simply have very very few pockets of time left. Let’s ignore my off days first.

A typical day is now left with commute time and the very few hours I have in between work and sleep. I am starting to realise that I’m most productive during my morning commute time, followed by the evening commute and then that few hours before I sleep.

I’m also doing a lot of things during my commute – which includes reading (and studying) Japanese or Korean, reading up on some of my interests (eg. photography), blogging, doing some work stuff or listening to a podcast etc. This has made me realise how important commute time is to the average adult and how it can actually be put to good use. I’m sorry to sound judgemental but I don’t know how people can waste such precious time on playing mobile games every.single.day.

Try as I might, I just don’t get the draw of games like Candy Crush or what not. Personally, I don’t even think games are relaxing or entertaining (purely my personal opinion) – they simply make me more stressed and uptight.

In any case, I try to spend my time more productively these days (in my own terms) and I’m starting to read again instead of just plugging in my iPod. For the past few days, I’ve been bringing 조선 임금 잔혹사 with me and it has been an awesome read so far.

I LOVE READING ABOUT THE JOSEON KINGS.

 

 

I don’t know why I’m sooooo drawn towards that era and I really really wanna be well-versed in that part of history. I guess i’m just weird.

I’m making it a point to spend some time before I sleep checking up all the difficult words and writing them into my k-notebook but it’s proving impossible (like now). I can’t go beyond 30mins without spacing out. I think I should make use of this time to exercise (but I’m so tired)…..

Recently I’ve been taking better care of my skin and I think my efforts are paying off. At least my skin is a lot better than it used to be.

Korea really does wonders for me. I was like a mess (in many ways) before this Korea trip but I’ve been A LOT better after coming back and I hope I can keep it up lol.

My mum wagered that I will lapse back 1 month after coming back but hey I’m still doing well hahahaha.

hahaha this post is getting more random.

Oh, I’m kinda tempted to dye my hair but I can’t decide:

1. if I should

2. what color / style

3. where to go

I have never dyed my hair in Singapore….. Any kind souls wanna recommend a place / stylist? :D

on another note, I’m also looking for photography blog recommendations (:

I’ve also been kinda addicted to looking at instagram accounts of k-models haha. I particularly loveee ireneisgood and I find her style and charisma amazing.

AND HER HAIR.

[Part 1] Sanghoon in Singapore! – Lau Pa Sat & Toa Payoh

SH is the only person whom I met as an online language exchange partner and has now become good friends with. It’s super amazing that we managed to meet in Seoul, Korea (he lives in Busan!) and now we met again in Singapore.

One of those times when I feel awed by how much learning Korean has brought to my life.

Really really happy that SH came! Took so many photos and went to so many places :D

Visited Lau Pa Sat at night for dinner/supper! A visit to LPS definitely had to include satays and I would definitely recommend everyone to eat in the outdoor area instead. Ordered from the famous store 7/8 and we got a complimentary ketupat :P Super happy about it!! SH really liked the food ^^

Ordered a suger cane drink for him and water chestnut for myself (the darker one). I think he was kinda o.O over the dubious color hahaha.

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Nothing’s ever complete without a selca haha.

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Met SH another day for a full-day touring and I decided to bring him to Toa Payoh, one of my favourite neighbourhoods in Singapore. Most tourists will usually tour the city area but I don’t think a visit to Singapore (or any country in the world) is ever complete without going out of the tourist areas to a normal neighbourhood.

Started the day with Ya Kun kaya toast! hahaha I don’t think soft-boiled eggs are his cup of tea.

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the coffee was

 

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Took a walk around the neighbourhood. It was a place I frequented as a kid and I really felt nostalgic. ><

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Really like the rustic feel of the place.

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Brought SH to my favourite coffee shop in the area to let him try rojak and popiah!

Did I mention that it was an eat-and-eat-and-eat-non-stop kinda day? ㅋㅋ

My favorite rojak store!

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haha SH was pretty game about trying new food :D

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popiah

 

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rojak

 

hahaha will you guys wanna try too? :D I assure you it’s good!

There’s a store selling really nice fried urm stuff in the coffee shop so we bought a goreng pisang (erm fried banana) to share! That store was there since I was a KID haha. I used to buy the fried tapioca cake (not a fan of bananas) xD

Happened to see a pasar malam (street market) so we took a walk around. It’s getting rarer to see one of these around Singapore. D:

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next up – SH in Orchard and Arab Street and City Hall! :D

p.s. SH is also featured in some of my Seoul 2014 posts!

Being a tourist in Singapore with Sohee

No, not the Wonder Girls’ Sohee, but my friend Sohee, whom I met during my recent Korea trip.

(blogging schedule is wonky, I should have blogged about that first lol)

I do love how meeting friends in Korea is so.. impromptu and random. A 카톡 friend (whom I’ve never met and seldom talk to) texted me that her friend, Sohee, is coming to SG and would like to introduce us to each other. In the end we ended up meeting as a group of 3 in Korea (and had a great time). Time flies and it was Sohee’s turn to visit SG!

Went to the airport to meet Sohee and proceeded to the city area!

Brought Sohee to my favourite spot – the rooftop at Esplanade.

Sohee brought along a selfie stick (!!!). First time seeing one of those in action and I must say it’s an awesome invention!

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Of course, we started taking selcas.

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Walked to the Merlion Park! :D I really really love the city hall area in Singapore.

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Some of the must-do poses at the park lol.

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Sohee unni being awesome

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Me being mild as usual lol

Love this photo hahahaha

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Later on the evening, met another 2 friends and we went to eat the famous must-eat Chilli Crab! Went to the East Coast Jumbo outlet (for those who are curious)

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I feel like a tourist myself – probably the first time in more than 10 years I’ve visited the ECP seafood place. lol.

Here are the food photos!

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Sambal Kangkong – a must eat

Satay! Grilled meat skewers :D

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Satay with peanut sauce dip

Fried Rice – we needed a staple. This is one of the most common type of fried rice – Yangzhou Fried Rice.

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And not forgetting the crabs! One black pepper and one chilli crab. For those who are ordering the chilli crabs, don’t forget to order a few of those delectable fried buns (mantous) to dip into the sauce. ^^

To be honest, I probably ate chilli crab less than 3 times in my entire life. HAHA. I don’t usually eat crabs and I kind of prefer of my crabs just steamed (bland tastebuds)

(following photo is from my phone because I was lazy to use my camera)

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In any case, I’m totally loving my x100s. It holds up sooo well even in dim lighting. Like I always say, if you see nice photos in this blog, credit the camera (not the photographer lol).

The people over at the next table were very amazed / amused when they saw the selfie stick and I guessed they wanted a part of the fun  :P

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Met up with Sohee again another day for a tour around the city area!

At Orchard with the must-eat ice-cream sandwich from the vendors along the street.

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Rounded off the night at Marina Bay Sands.

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I had loads of fun and hopefully Sohee had a great time too!

p.s. I haven’t been blogging because two Korean friends came to SG consecutively so I spent the week or so being a tourist in my own country. :D

As productive as a snail

No, that didnt make much sense but I think you get the idea.

The older I am, the less motivated I am. Dun get me wrong, Im a firm believer of lifelong learning but recently Im just so tired.

When I get home after work, all I wanna do is lie in bed. Sitting in front of the computer proves to be too much for me. So Im reduced to listening or watching stuff in bed on my iPad. I love technology.

Im addicted to Marriage, not dating. Lol. It totally wasnt on my to watch list but …. xD

I need romance 2013.
Can we love.
Can we get married.
Marriage, not dating.

Rofl. Says a lot about my tastes huh. :/

ㅋㅋㅋ

외롭다 ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ

Im really hungry right now.

[Seoul 2014] More food and a movie

I’m running out of creative juices to name my posts. Also, I have to apologise that I decide not to blog about the 별에서온그대 exhibition but follow the chronological order instead.

I’m very very grateful to SH for a number of reasons – one of them being how he actually spent the time and effort to reserve movie tickets for me. Because I really really wanna watch 군도, aka the first comeback movie for Kang Dong Won :D

I was really really hoping to get tix to one of those movie screening sessions where the main casts + director would come on stage either before or after the movie for a short greeting session. SH actually managed to reserve the last 2 seats of one of those sessions.

BUT. Life is always about the BUT (haha Giddens’s quote)

It was on the day of my return flight. :/ SH was very understanding about it and in the end he reserved good tixs for a screening on the premiere day!! /super grateful

Went to the CGV at 용산, which is also the place where I watched my first movie in Korea years ago.

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Isn’t this cool! I love how they have the queue number machine to buy tickets :D Alternatively, you can use the do-it-yourself kiosks!

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I was like !!!!!!! when I realised that there WAS actually the 무대인사 session on premiere day. Previously, we checked the site and it was all weekend sessions.

/no fate

認命。沒緣分。

In any case, I was very very happy to be able to watch the movie on premiere date :D

Treated SH to lunch at TGIF! ^^

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First time trying this place, only went to Outback the previous times!

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warm, soft bread for starters 

Both of us agreed that the drinks were awesomeee!! SH had the white wine ade and I had the red wine one :D 낮술 ㅋㅋㅋㅋ

You can really taste the alcohol ^^

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white wine and red wine ade

You can’t go to these places without ordering the ribs. And so we did.

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Some carbs to balance out the meat.

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Food was yummy! I simply felt very happy with good company + the fact that I was going to see kdw later (on screen)

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SH looking happy while I looked like I wanna attack the food lol

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THE MOVIE WAS AWESOME. >>> blogged about it here

It’s amazing how it’s a weekday afternoon and the theatre was FULL. o.O

I’ll happily watch KDW in anything – CF, movies, interviews etc etc

Till the next post!

You can follow the rest of the posts here :D

You can also follow me on Instagram and Twitter and Tumblr.

I’m also 等一個人咖啡

Those who know me well will know that I have an immense love for Taiwanese author 九把刀 since 2007.

It all started when GINO (from K-ONE), who was my one and only bias then, mentioned that he really loved this author.

That time my only thought was “why is the name so weird” (literally means nine knives) but I happened to chance upon his book in the library one day and decided to give it a try.

That one book began the 7 year love and I’ll save and scrimp just to buy his books. They were a source of comfort to me during my lows.

I can launch into a long story of why I love him and his books soo much but I’ll provide a short summary.

His books span such a wide range of genres and it’s totally brilliant how he can excel in all.

Also, I totally agree with his beliefs and ideas (cos they are so similar to mine). I get a lot of inspiration and motivation from him (:

说出来会被嘲笑的梦想,才有实践的价值。即使跌倒了,姿势也会非常豪迈。

梦想不是挂在嘴边炫耀的空气,而是需要认真的实践。等到对的风,我们展翅翱翔。没有风,只要拥有足够强壮的翅膀,我们照样拔地飞行。人生最重要的,不是完成了什么,而是如何完成它。天空见。

<3

When he first came to SG many years ago, I’ll go to alllll his scheduled talks, meet the author sessions hahahaha. Ive never displayed such loyal fangirling to anyone else haha.

Super happy when he still recognised me when he came again 1 or 2 years later (spoken like a true fangirl).

In any case, Im extremely excited cos the first book I read (and my all time fav) is turning into a movie and will be released next month!!

等一個人咖啡。

There’s really no point in describing how I feel about this book. Cos i dunno how to do it.

All I can say that this book has inspired me so much and it’s my go to book when Im feeling down or need a pick me up.

It taught me about respecting difference, diversity, finding the best in people and the importance of being genuine and true to yourself.

It’s no self-help book lol (:

The movie adaption is no new news but I deliberately kept away from it to avoid spoilers and dying of anticipation.

(okay I gave in and watched the trailers!)

I think it’s one of the movies that you will enjoy even more if you have read the original novels first. The trailers may seem a little haphazard to those who are not familiar with the content but… /thumbs-up

Ohh 九把刀 is ALSO the director — TALENTED MAX.

Now it’s gonna be out in theatres in SG on Sept 4!!

Anyone wants to watch it with me?(:

p.s. I also wanna meet someone like 阿拓 ^^

Allow me to fangirl

As per the title, please allow me a moment to gush and fangirl ^^

Thank you.

I think being a working adult has changed my writing style. I’m forever thanking people, apologising for inconvenience caused and trying to cover my ass justify doing things by citing people or proving that I’ve received permission.

In any case, IOIL (It’s okay, it’s love) is such a GREAT drama. I know there are people who don’t like it, either finding it boring or finding the writing bad and unrealistic. I firmly belong to the camp that loves the drama – the tone, the prettiness of it all, the story and the CHEMISTRY.

I’m not a huge fan of either Gong Hyo Jin or Jo In Sung but I’ve to admit they sizzle together. So far I’m liking everybody in the show and genuinely interested in following every story.

One grip I have is that the “cases” of patients are not really weaved into the story. I don’t find myself caring about any of them – which is strange because I’m always invested in such plotlines in other medical dramas. I’m glad they are not really doing the “one week, one case” style but I wanna care about the cases!

Music wise, I’m loving all the stuff that YG is putting out.

WINNER has finally  debuted and I bought the album off iTunes and have been listening to it on repeat mode everyday. To no one’s surprise, my favourite song is of course Mino’s solo 걔 세. The lyrics and tune is just my style. <3

To be honest, I don’t think the MV is fantastic and probably you won’t like the songs/the boys right from the start. But if you have been following them since WHO IS NEXT (the reality show), you will have loads of love for them lol.

One thing I love about WINNER is that everyone has such distinct looks, personalities and voices.

Also, B.I has released a new song too!!!

sigh I love TEAM B so much – their teamwork really stood out.

I’m faithfully waiting for them to debut (:

/okay fangirling over

Thank you for reading this. Really appreciate it! ^^

(for real!)

I need to get back to learning Japanese. I’M SCARED I FORGET ALL MY GRAMMAR

[Seoul 2014] Just loads of food

Congratulations. I’ve outdone myself and I’m soo behind my blogging schedule for the Korea trip (lies, there isnt one) that I barely remembered what I did in chronological order.

In any case, it would be a tad creepy to have all of you know what I did everyday so Im going to blog about certain things I did.

Which essentially translates to eating and shopping and watching my only love’s movie comeback.

Let’s talk about the food.

For two days, I hanged out with a new friend SH whom I met online as a language exchange partner. SH’s from Busan so I was super touched he made the trip up!

SH rented a car at City Hall and Im very very impressed with how easy it is to rent one!! You make the booking via an app and you just have to go to the nearest pickup point (ours was a carpark in a random office building). You have to return it to the same place though so that may be inconvenient for some.

However I was very unimpressed by Seoul’s traffic conditions. I don’t drive but even I know that it’s ridiculous to take over an hour to get to a place that’s probably like 15 mins away on foot. The GPS system lied to us lol. We made the turns according to instructions and all we managed to do is to still circle in that vicinity.

SH was rather flustered and sorry that we had to spend a large part of the afternoon in the car but I was just so amused and rather enjoyed sitting down in an air-conditioned car. We finally managed to reach the place for lunch after 1hr I think.

It’s apparently quite a traditional restaurant and quite famous too (haha sorry don’t ask me where it was)

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They have different set courses and depending on the price level, the amount and type of food will vary slightly too. It starts from 15,000, followed by 22,000 and 33,000won (I think). We got the 22,000won per person set and omg it was like a king’s feast!

THERE WAS SO MUCH TO EAT.

Did I mention that we got a private room to ourselves? I love sitting on the floor :D

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This is just 1/4 of the food we got.

The two plates besides the bossam contained my favourite side dishes!! The top one is oyster and the bottom one is octopus / squid!!!

They go super well with rice!

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The food just keeps coming!

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Love the crab!!!!!!!

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I love 계란짐 (steamed egg). Egg is like a staple in my diet.

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Photo-taking time! I think the waitress was very amused at how excited I was.

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영양밥! I love the rice and I finished it all lol.

The meal was really good but it’s impossible to finish all the food. I’m no small eater but I still can’t finish them all.

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I always look THIS happy in Korea. I never look like that here!

By the way, I didn’t put any filter or photoshop the photo ok (taken on my phone’s front camera). I always feel insulted when people ask me that. I know I don’t look like that here in SG tsk!

In any case, we decided to return the car after lunch (because there’s no point, the jam’s terrible) and proceeded to tour around a few places.

Dinner at a random 부대찌개 restaurant in Hongdae that SH found online!

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super yummy side dishes

At first I was quite skeptical because the shop was empty save a single customer but it did look very pretty and quaint.

THE FOOD WAS AWESOME.

Now I know you can’t judge a restaurant by the number of patrons haha.

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The stew was excellent (this coming from a person who doesn’t like 부대찌개)!! We had seconds for the banchan and both of us polished off 3 bowls of rice together. I can’t believe I ate 1.5 bowls of rice. It was that good.

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Decided to rent another car and go on a drive again – it was much more pleasant at night since the traffic was better! Nothing very eventful, we wanted to go to hangang but ended up just driving past. The photo above was taken along 반포대교, which is my favourite bridge along Han River. I had very good memories walking across the bridge with a friend 2 years ago – after having a picnic by the river and visiting the floating platform buildings (the lighted up ones in the photo).

aww memories <3

I stupidly suggested to go to 팔각정 because it’s supposedly good for night scenery (google 팔각정 야경). I don’t know much about the scenery part (it was raining, I couldn’t see anything) BUT I never realised how high up it was until we started circling up and up. I’m very glad SH is a good driver.

The stupid thing is that I didn’t know I would have breathing problems in high altitude (to be honest it wasn’t that high……) But yeah, I couldn’t breathe properly in the car on the way up. x.x Now I know I can never climb mountains…

Back to Hongdae for supper!!

I love how it’s so normal to be spontaneous in Korea and meeting friends means going to 2차, 3차 and so on. The day never ends :P

Went back to a 술집(?) that I frequent quite often during my Korea trips! My camera takes excellent photos in the dark lol. The shop was so dimly lit!

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Had a beer (which I barely drank because I wasn’t feeling that good)

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I love this 안주! Never know what it’s called but yumms.

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We had seafood pancake (which was ok only) and super yums fruit punch thingy (sorry I have memory problems – anyone wants to remind me what is it called??)

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Okay, so much for saying that I don’t want to describe my entire day to you guys. I just did it. lolol. Oh well, at least I’m not going to number it Day XX.

So that was how I spent 2/3s of a day in Korea :D

I hope you will read this really slowly (and re-read it lol) because I don’t know when I’ll have the mood to blog again :P

Next Korea blog post should be about the “Man from the stars” 별에서 온 그대 exhibition that I went to!

 

Getting some good karma points!

 Hellooo! :D

My friend, Ariel, is doing her PhD dissertation and she is looking for Korean learners to participate! Please try to help if possible – those of us who have written some kind of thesis or done coursework would know that it’s really super hard to get participants. (I completely evaded the problem having based my research on signboards lol)

In any case, earn some good karma points ^^

A lot of time, I think the best and most interesting research requires data that are hardest to get :/ You just have to strike a balance between reality and research, I dunno. haha.

In any case, the details in italics below are provided by Ariel!

———————-

My research focuses on how impoliteness and politeness is discursively constructed by analysing cues found in the text-based digital communications (e.g., Kakao Talk, Skype, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) of Korean language speakers and learners. A key focus of my work is how cues are interpreted to construct meaning (… did that person mean to be impolite/polite?) during conversations in which the primary language used is Korean.

What I am asking participants to do is provide me with a regular record of conversations they have had and are having with friends in Korean. The conversations provided are of the participants choosing and do not have to contain 100% Korean language. I am happy to see any data so as long as it contains some Korean. The choice of communication tool is totally up to the participants as well. It can be communications through Skype, Email, Facebook, Twitter, Kakao Talk, or any other form of text-based communications. Data collection is set to last for 6 months so I really hope participants will stick with it until then.

I guarantee the task of providing me the data won’t interfere with your life J Simply gather your Kakao talk, Skype chats, Email records once a week and email them to me, in strict confidence^^ Ideally, it would be great if the chat records are continuous conversations with the same friends, but they don’t have to be. Finally, I want to stress that you will be completely anonymous in my research. Everything you send to me stays with me, and only me.

Step-by-Step Guide:

 Step 1: Ariel and her participants meet first time. (I think online correspondence is fine!)

Step 2: Ariel will send ‘Participant’s Background Information’ and ‘Consent form’ to each participant

Step 3: Ariel’s participants begin sending regular chat records.

(Over the 6 months, Ariel and her participants have informal discussions about the data provided and its context)

Step 4: Ariel will compile the data chronologically and start the analysis.

Step 5: The data will be used as part of the PhD thesis and the findings will eventually be published in Applied Linguistics journals.

Step 6: Ultimately, this work would be of great benefit to language learners generally, but most especially learners of Korean and practitioners in the field of Korean applied linguistics and language learning. This work will make language learning better and more effective for a lot of learners!

Please drop an email to arielized@gmail.com if you can help!

24/7 in 2008

Morning! Feeling grateful that some of you guys have been enquiring after my health (glad it’s not jaekyung style)! Im still not all recovered but I consider it a positive sign that im at least out and about, instead of lying in bed allll day.

Listening to SE7EN’s 24/7 album and that is bringing back soo much memories.

I have a tendency to put an artist/song/album on repeat so some songs get strongly associated with a certain period of my life.

24/7 was the album i listened to when I first started self studying Korean. Listening to it again reminded myself how hardworking and passionate I was back then ><

I worked really hard then. :/

I just cannot do the same these days. I dont really think the spark for Korean is gone but rather the spark in me hahaha. Im just not motivated enough to do anything

Need.to.change.

Baby steps.

Im gonna go home and read 2 articles in Korean, make some progress in the new novel I started and if I have time, write something in Korean. (:

Ohh funny (kinda) story to share.

I usually buy novels out of a whim and not because Im looking for that title in particular. Many many years ago I bought big bang’s autobiography without even knowing who they were lol.

The previous trip I bought a book titled 한손에 잡히는 초한지. 초한지 was in a much bigger font so until the other day, i kept thinking that the book was titled that. It looked like a historical novel and the book cover caught my attention so I bought it.

Read a few pages and names such as 劉邦,
項羽 cropped up. I was damn confused on why names in Chinese ancient history are cropping up and I belatedly realise that 초한지 is actually 楚漢志!!!!!!!

Hahahahaha and now Im even more confused cos that’s supposed to be an ancient Chinese novel and Im left wondering if the events did happen cos the characters did exist in real life.
><

In any case, im enjoying the book (:

P.s. nothing beats the fact that I bought a Korean-translated parenting book (back in those days when i couldnt even read a book title in korean lolol)