Monday, June 30, 2014

HAY I'M ALIVE!!

Okay, I definitely need to get some more professional posts out.

But just wanted to drop in and say that I. AM. HOME. And I couldn't be more thankful. I practically pulled an all-nighter on the plane, but I'm almost wide awake, and I just want to hug the walls and kiss the ground and stuff because I'm a #homegirl.

I like staying at home.

So, anyway, I'm alive :-) 

What are your summer plans?



Saturday, June 28, 2014

Random Adventures by Rcubed (Including some Poetry)

So, we're leaving tomorrow. Monday.

And we're arriving back home tomorrow. Monday. At almost the exact same time we left. Why? Because there's like a 13-16-hour time difference.

Yup. I'm living 16 hours ahead of you.

So I'm time traveling back in time 16 hours tomorrow.

If I lived in Korea, I'd get to have my birthday 16 hours ahead of time.

Unfortunately (or fortunately), I'm not going to live in Korea. I'm going back home!

Anyway, since we're not doing much, instead of the usual blurb on how we ate lots of food and stuff, I thought I might share with you some random adventures that I've had on this trip:

  • Teaching my mom the (correct) names in Hunger Games. She thought Katniss was "Candace" and that Peeta was "Peter." Oh, the humanity! (Don't know why I just put that there.)
  • A little kid shouting English profanity at us on a playground. It was terrible and funny at the same time.
  • My dad (desperately) trying to find Diet Coke in every 7-11 we came across. They only have regular Coke and Coke Zero. 
  • Sitting on the subway and a random lady next to me starts talking to me in Korean. Nodding and pretending like I understand what she's saying, while in reality I'm trying to remember what the Korean phrase for I don't know Korean is. 
  • A random guy on the subway asking where we're from (in English). 
  • Having cookies for breakfast. And cucumber-and-butter sandwiches. We had pretty weird breakfasts here.
  • Using these debit-card-type-things to scan ourselves onto the subway. SO KOOL.
  • Blowing my nose in the subway--really loudly--and having everyone look at me. Then my parents telling me that you aren't supposed to blow your nose in public places.
Speaking of the last point, as we were walking back to our apartment, I made up a couple of rhymes to make fun of my loud noseblowing habits:

On the subway and the street
This noseblower can't be beat
Made of all the finest mettle
Genetics, cartilage, and decibel,
Her instrument is quite impressive.
Some might say it's even festive!
Yet this beauty has one dark cloud
If only she weren't quite so loud!

Then there's my limerick, which isn't as good.

There once was a girl who blew nose so loud
She always attracted a very large crowd.
They oohed and they aahed
They gasped and they cawed
Until she became waaaaaaaay too proud.

Hope that cheered up your day :-)

So...I should probably go. And see you when I'm back in the grand ole' U.S.A.!

Oh. And if for any reason you'd like to read/reread some of my other posts about this trip, the links to them are below:









And, just in case terrorists hijack our plane and we crash-land (it's a possibility, although admittedly an unlikely one), I love ALL OF YOU GUYS and I'll see you all in heaven! 

I'm also bringing my waterproof bag on the plane, so if I have time before the plane crash-lands, I'll write you all a note and throw it out the window and hopefully the authorities will find it in the rubble.

Yeah, you're probably laughing by now. Beverly Cleary would do wonders with my imagination.

See you in America!













Friday, June 27, 2014

In Which I Bond With People Over Tetris [June 26-27]

Can I just confess something to you guys?

I am a Tetris geek.

Instead of AngryBirds, SadBirds, Flubby Bird, and Flappy Bird (I made half of those up), I play something called Tetris.

Yeah, I'm a really kool person.

Can I confess something else to you guys?

I really don't like walking.

[June 26]
We went on a ferry ride on the Han River. (I think it's the Han River.)

*everybody gasps and says Did you guys die?*

And no, we obviously didn't die. Unless I'm writing this from heaven. O.o

Anyway, we were practically the only ones on the ship, which was pretty sweet. And the view was great :-)




Afterward, we went to this restaurant thingamabob.



Mmmmmmmmm. It was really good ;-)

AND THEN we went to a cafe.


I had this watermelon Italian ice jumberdoodad that I forgot how to spell and say, so let's just call it watermelon Italian ice :-) 

When we went outside, we saw these dogs/coyotes/I don't know what they are:


My brother begged me to take a picture of them, so I gave him my phone and he did the honors :-) I was just afraid they were going to bite  and give me rabies, that's all. Perfectly logical.

(And considering how I am normally, you do not want me to have rabies. Especially when I've just had sugar.)

Then we had to walk around. A. LOT. We went and bought some touristy things to take for people back home, and while we were doing that I bought two mechanical pencils and a notebook. (You know me...doing that kind of thang...)

{Excuse me while I accidentally publish this post, and then go back and revert it to a draft so I can finish writing it}

We walked around this weirdly-shaped building that was all sparse and ethereal. Apparently it was built by an extremely famous architect; I was really tired, and my feet hurt, and I wanted to sit at my laptop, and type, and do stuff that didn't require use of my already-aching legs, and it was not fun.

But then we were picked up by somebody and driven to someone's house, where we had dinner. So that kind of brightened up my day :-)



I cannot even begin to tell you how much food there was. So I'm not going to try--I'm just going to say that there was so much food that there wasn't space on the table for all of it. Some of the plates had to overlap.

After, my brothers and sister went to the playground, while I played old-school Tetris. Like, with a controller (not a joystick, a controller) and on the TV. And the lady who lived in the house sat by me and watched me play.

I got to Level Five, which is pretty impressive considering my brothers didn't make it past Level One. And they're usually more gifted at video games than I am.

Maybe it's just a sign that I've been playing too much Tetris. Hmmmm.

And, on a random note, there was this pretty thing on the bathroom door:


It's not something that I'd hang on my bathroom door, but it's really pretty and, as a somewhat aesthetic person, I like it :-)

[June 27]

After the aforesaid snot bomb and the sleeping until 11, I ate chocolate-covered almonds for breakfast and then went to McDonalds, where I discovered that they did NOT have fresh salad.

May I just pause for a moment and say that Koreans do not like fresh vegetables? Oh, they sell it in the markets, but after they buy it they go home and stir-fry, pickle, or cabbagetize it until it does not resemble salad.

And I. LIKE. SALAD.

Oh, and I can I say something? I do not like McDonalds. After I watched the documentary SuperSize Me (where the guy eats McDonalds three meals a day, thirty days in a month), I loathe it. It is disgusting. I understand that they've supposedly "cleaned up" their act, and that their chicken nuggets are not made of human hair (I sure hope not!), but it disgusts me that they even needed to clean up their act in the first place!

Okay, so instead of a salad, I had a bulgogi burger.


For those of you who don't know, bulgogi is a form of Korean barbecue, and it comes in random strips of meat. So I was kinda hoping that the burger would have random strips of meat hanging out of it, just to prove its legitimacy.

Nope. I think the McDonalds people took a burger patty, soaked it in soy sauce, and slapped it between two slices of bread with mayonnaise and lettuce and called it a bulgogi burger.

See why McDonalds disgusts me?

And I hate that the actual stinkin' patty tasted GOOD. It actually TASTED like bulgogi! 

Ugh!!!!

Afterward, we walked around a bit and did some shopping.

It was really nice because A) the stores weren't tourist traps, and B) they weren't needlessly crowded. 

We made a couple of purchases.



Hoduk!!!!

This is like the fifth time we've eaten hoduk on the trip, yet I can't get enough of it. I ate two of them--which made me really full.

The kool part of this was that we got to see how she made it.


One bowl of dough, the other of a brown sugar/sunflower seed mixture. 


She took gobs of dough and pressed the brown sugar in the middle, then used a flatten-outer-thingy and pressed them into pancake shapes.

It was really good :-)


Then I bought these star earrings. ALL BY MYSELF. I had my own money, and I went up and paid for it by myself.

Of course, all without saying a word, because what was I going to say? 

I did say "Thank you" in Korean at the end. Not sure if it was understandable, though.



I really wanted this Minion backpack ^^ but it was kind of impractical, so I didn't get it :-(

After, we went to this Korean-style "cafeteria" of sorts.

It was really kool and really different. It was indoors, sort of, and it was one long narrow lane, with A LOT of vendors on both sides. Basically, you buy coins and a lunchbox...



...and you go to the different vendors and spend the coins, filling up your lunchbox!

It was really kool, only I was already stuffed full to the brim, so after I ate from the lunchbox I was uncomfortably full.

Still werkin' on that gluttony.


Anyway, I have to go, but I hoped you enjoyed reading this :-)



























Thursday, June 26, 2014

Life Is Tiring, or Our Trip To Lotte World

Life is tiring.

Last night (or should I say morning?), I fell asleep at 12 a.m., then woke up at 4 because I sneezed a giant snot explosion all over my face (is that TMI?). After I cleaned myself up, I fell back asleep and woke up at 11.

It's the latest I've ever slept. 

ANYWAY...the past couple days have been kinda busy. And I'm kinda tired. So this'll be a fairly quick post, only of June 25th, but with pictures too :-)

One of Korea's main theme parks is called Lotte World. It's kind of like a miniature Disneyland, except part of it is indoors. There are a couple of roller coasters, some little kid attractions, and a ton of food.

My family went there on Wednesday.



What can I say about Lotte World? It's a decent size, and though it's certainly no Disneyland it has enough attractions to occupy a person for a day.

My dad, brothers, and I went on this ride called GyroDrop. 




It was one of those tower things with seats all around, and basically the whole ride was going up to the top and just DROPPING all the way down.

If you think it doesn't sound fun or exciting, think again. The tower was as tall as the construction crane nearby, and when you dropped, you got a funny feeling in your lower-stomach area. A REALLY funny feeling...and for about three seconds, it felt like you couldn't breathe.

Then we had to wait like 45 minutes for the next roller coaster because there were no other roller coasters to wait for.

After lunch (I won't show you any pictures of it because it was pretty typical--mandoo, fried rice, etc.), we went on this balloon ride that took you through the indoor section of the park.


I didn't get the whole concept, because it seemed like we just went around the whole park, and then there was this random Egypt section with plastic pharaohs that lit up and stuff. 

I guess you were supposed to go through the countries of the world, but, um, it felt like we just went through Egypt.

After we came out of the balloon ride, we thought we might check out the parade, expecting it to be some sort of Disney-esque parade--but instead, it seemed to be some sort of Brazilian-themed parade, complete with dancers in glorified feathery bikinis and loincloths. Yes. Very edifying to those little kindergarteners we saw coming for a field trip.

Needless to say, we did not watch it.

I also found it ironic that none of the dancers were Korean, or Asian for that matter.

After, we waited 45 minutes for a water ride, which was kind of a disappointment because it was basically just two big drops with some floating in between. A plus to the ride was that you didn't get soaked.

Then, of course, we had to get ice cream.


It was better than the soft-serve I'd had at the old Korean village :-)

Oh, and then, of course, we went to another baseball game.

This time it was the LG Twins VS the Something-Dinos.

(I was really tired, so I didn't quite catch the company the Dinos was sponsored by.)


To be honest, I was so pooped that I literally just listened to music and tried to watch. But I ended up playing Tetris. (Nine innings is too long. Just saying. Unless it's an exciting game with teams that I actually know.)

The LG Twins--we were rooting for them--lost, 1-3. Or something like that.

So...yeah.

Needless to say, I was very tired.

And I have to go now; I'll tell you about June 26th later. We're going to McDonalds for lunch, and I definitely can't miss that :-)
















Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Dead Phones, Grumpy Tones, & Girl Meets World [June 23-24]

[June 23]

So, in life, there's this thing called a "cell phone." And usually the cell phone needs a "phone charger" that basically gives the phone energy so it'll actually be useful.

When the cell phone does not have enough energy, then it is not useful.

That was the case for me on Monday. Because it wasn't charged the night before, my phone did NOT WORK that day. Consequently, I have no pictures of Monday. Whatsoever.


You might be wondering WHY my phone was not charged. No, it was not a freak accident of nature.

Korean outlets have higher voltage (is that the word?) than U.S. outlets. In order to charge U.S. devices without messing them up, you need a little object called a converter. We only have a couple of converters, and all six people in my family have electronic devices that we need charged, and consequently some devices aren't as energized as others.

My phone, in a flurry of interspecific electronic competition, was bumped out of the race (perhaps on purpose) and THEREFORE, I could not use it, and THEREFORE, I have no pictures.

(If you did not get the "interspecific electronic competition," Google "interspecific competition.")

And wow, that was a really long explanation for something simple.

So, instead of a long list of play-by-play action, I'm compiling a list.

9 Random Facts From Monday in South Korea:
  1. We went to a mall. It was called "Times Square" mall.
  2. It had a food court on every level.
  3. I had a STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE FRAPPUCCINO from Starbucks. Which was really good.
  4. I also had a cheeseburger. Which was also really good. It had bacon.
  5. We were going to go see Edge of Tomorrow (you know, the atypical Tom Cruise dystopian movie?) but we didn't. 
  6. I still like vanilla frappuccinos better.
  7. It rained. A lot.
  8. We went to this place called the "Trick Eye Museum." I honestly cannot explain it, but it was REALLY KOOL. There are these paintings on the wall, and you have to stand in front of the paintings and do something to make it look like you're in the painting. If you take a picture a certain way, then it actually looks like you're in the painting! Click here to look at some really amazing pictures!
  9. We went to another buffet. With this AMAAAAAAZING chocolate fountain! I was in chocolate heaven :-) But I was DEFINITELY a perpetrator of gluttony :( When there's limitless food, including Korean barbecue and steak, you kind of tend to do that...but really, I'm just making excuses for myself.

[June 24]

Today (Tuesday) we went to this replica of an oooolllddd Korean village.


There were a bunch of demonstrations, like horseback riding, drums, acrobatics, etc. 


One of my favorite parts was when we looked at the old methods of punishment. They spanked people and put them in neck stocks. And I'm not being dark here, guys--I just thought that this picture (look below) was kind of funny. Grown men getting spanked. Yeah. Take dat, adults :-)


We also saw an old traditional marriage ceremony demonstration. There was a lot of bowing and they drank tea and alcohol and stuff. I wonder if the same actors get married over and over again. It must get really monotonous.


I don't want to get married traditionally, but I wouldn't mind doing this part of the ceremony. (look below) At the end, the bride gets to go in a box, and the husband has to ride a horse! Woop, wooop, calling the married ladies!



And you know me...total foodie. The soft-serve ice cream was good :-) Almost as good as McDonalds'!

And today, I guess, marked a full week in Korea. We arrived last Monday (even though we left on Sunday, #timetravel), and our first full day was Tuesday.

This vacation, so far, has been fun. But to be honest, I'm missing my data plan. (How shallow does that sound?) And our car. (We have to walk, take the subway, or hitch a ride whenever we want to go anywhere.) And the good ol' American food. And having a full bed to myself. (I have to share one with my sister.) And having an outlet to myself (with no converter). And having a room to myself. And having time to write and read. And being able to speak English with mostly everybody.

So yeah. I'm kinda missing 'murica. 

But that didn't stop me from watching the pilot episode of Girl Meets World! (YouTube. No, I don't have any ins with Disney...yet.)

Guys, I think I have a new favorite show. Rowan Blanchard isn't my favorite-st actress ever, but the writers wrote in some funny stuff for the pilot. Gus from Mighty Med (Disney XD) is now being rivaled by Farkle. SABRINA CARPENTER. Ohhmygargoylessss. I'm going to pretend you guys asked me who my favorite Disney Channel star is, because right now it's Sabrina Carpenter. She's an awesome singer, and her acting is much better than Disney subpar. 

So yeah. The pilot is really funny. I just wish Lucas had more of a personality. I detest the fact that Disney's love interests usually just sit on the screen and look good. The one thing of interest Lucas said was, "Hey, look! There's a pony!"

Mmmmhmmm. Let's see, Peyton Meyer. Let's see.