2 days in Seoul

Yep, flew in Sunday evening and woke up at 4:30am Wednesday morning to catch a flight out to HK.  So it was two full days filled with meetings in Seoul.  Not bad for a work trip, if I don't say so myself :)  When we arrived, I got off the plane and walked into an airport that looked strangely familiar … even though I've never been to … so I guess the designers for Changi Airport can only do one kind of design lor :P  It is a real pretty airport though 🙂

After an hour on a mini van we reached our hotel which was a great place.  Not too expensive for a comfy bed, a small kitchenette, a washing machine (which I didn't get to use) with free broadband … what else can you ask for? 

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It had a Starbucks close by and a major subway station.  Totally would recommend it to anyone who's looking to go to Seoul but make your reservation through www.hotelwide.com … it gives a better internet rate. 

In the 2 days I was there I realise Seoul is quite the city that doesn't sleep.  With a major road running in front of the hotel, everytime I looked out of the window the traffic was heavy.

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So on the first night, Michelle, Chee Wee and I braved the cold and headed to Myeoung-Dong for dinner.  We followed Michelle as she confidently navigated us through the slightly confusing station.  She told us when to get off, which platform to change to and which train to transfer to and viola … we've crossed the Han River and arrived to a young hip part of Downtown Seoul … well, at least from what I saw it came across young and hip to me.  It even had a stage for hip hop performances … made me wonder what tourists think of Orchard Road in Singapore.

Oh well, the 3 hungry  Singaporeans found the first place that served also vegetarian  dishes and went right in.  I had a typical Korean noodle dish with a whole bunch of fresh veggies with Korean chilli sauce.  It was yummy but so very spicy … so spicy I had to 'wash' my noodles in the soup 😛 but so yummy I couldn't stop eating it.

The next two days was filled with work so most of what I saw of Seoul was through office windows or the window of our mini van … and I'm pleased to report the Koreans seem to like us enough.

And on the last night there I ventured on my own to check out a vegan bakery and a vegetarian restuarant.  I had a vegan chocolate chip cookie before dinner … it was yummy and started to wonder why they don't have a branch in Singapore.  Then I navigated the subway station on my own and found a quaint little vegetarian place which served a traditional Korean fare veggie style.  It was buffet style with all-you-can-eat kimchi, fresh veggies as well as Korean style stir fry.  I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the meal :)  My favourite bit was the rice … sticky wtih beans for extra protein!!

After dinner I walked around a really sweet art-sy district.  It was filled with cute little local designer shops as well as fine art galleries to roam through … and then you turn the corner and there's street art too 😛

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So when we rose before dawn to catch our flight, I thought I should come back to Seoul for fun soon.  For now though, I was glad to say goodbye, the chilly spring where temperatures ranged from 2 – 10 degrees is not my style … I'm truly a tropical city girl 😛

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Music & Lyrics and Letters from Iwo Jima

It's been a while since I did two movies in a day so after a dearth of movie watching, the movie gang decided Saturday will be the day :)  Actually, just Jules and I caught two movies … everyone else watched one or the either.

So we started the day of with Music & Lyrics, one of those romantic comedies that can't go wrong especially with Hugh Grant who was as charming as ever.  Drew Berrymore was sweet and cute as she often is but I'm realising she has a standard templates of looks she does for romantic comedies, complete with the cute puppy dog look while sucking on a straw … very successfully cute though.  If I was a guy, I'd fall for it.

The best bit about the movie was the beginnging where they did a fantastic 80s MTV.  Gosh, they had it all down – the dance steps, the cheesy edits and the acting … it was hilarious …For everyone who doesn't do romantic comedies, the movie is worth it just for the MTV.  Reminds me of the good old days in  the 80s, when weird poofy hairstyles and over big ala American footballers type shoulder pads were in.  I'm not looking forward to when it all comes back but it's always good to relive the memories every once in a while.

Then Erv joined us for lunch at some Ramen place in Cuppage Plaza, actually he was the one who recommended it … all in celebration of Jules' JLPT2!!!!!  Congrats Jules!!

After which we had some dessert and it was back to Cineleisure san Daph for Letters from Iwo Jima … hmmm … what can I say … in a nutshell, I'm glad it didn't win the Best Picture at the Oscar's.  It was very Clint Eastwood i.e. slow which only worked with Unforgiven.  So very overrated but if you don't watch it on the big screen, you're quite likely to fall asleep.

Every time I watch a war movie, the whole pointless nature of it all is more obvious than ever and I start to wonder if women ruled the world … would there be lesser wars, if any 😛

But I have a new Jap crush, nope not the guy from Arashi but Tsuyoshi Ihara

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Vox Hunt: Deserves to be heard

From JulesAudio: Share something extremely rare that deserves to be heard.

Here's my 'rare' find … from Merril Bainbridge, Australian chick … kinda one-hit-wonder type … Being Boring is from her album, The Garden but it wasn't this track that did it for her  … on the contrary, I don't think much was thought of about this song i.e. 'rare' … but it's the one I like 🙂

I like this song mostly coz it brings me back to carefree days in Perth where the biggest stress was getting a paper in on time and having the time to read on a grassy knoll.  So for that it deserves to be heard.

Kinda like how Like A Virgin immediately makes me Primary 6 again and remember trying to figure out if I was old enough to have crushes on A-ha or was young enough to be still into Strawberry Shortcake.

Hang on a minute … I'm still into Strawberry Shortcake.

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Organic Farming

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Ever since I became vegetarian some 5 and a half years ago, I've been learning more about organic produce; its importance to the environment and health has kinda made me a strong advocate of organic farming.

So whenever I have time, I go check organic farms out … coz you know an organic label doesn't really cut it for me … yes, I have trust issues :P  Anyway, A and I have pretty much checked out all the organic farms there are in Singapore and in fact order our weekly dose of fresh veggies from Green Circle Eco-Farm, so when we heard of this really huge organic farm in Negeri Sembilan … we packed out bags for a quick weekend getaway to check it out.

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I'm happy to report we had a lovely time and the Titi Eco Farm Resort is a nice place to getaway for the weekend :)  In fact, they actually have simple cabins for people to stay over with activities to learn about organic farming as well as nutrtional vegetarian cooking.  They do have a lot of different veggies but most of them can be found in Singapore too, and they don't deliver to Singapore coz we're a little to far away for the organic veggies with no perservatives to survive.  Makes me wonder about all this organic produce from Australia and the US that I find in our supermarkets in Singapore … …

Anywho, like all good organic farms they make their own compost so nothing goes to waste :)  All organic trash goes into a bin that is sorted and later turned into yummy nutrients for the soil which is important as a lot of the factory farmed veggies are grown on weak soil and so technically don't have sufficient nutrients we need.  And man, you can tell by the taste of the fresh veggies, I had corn raw freshly plucked from the plant … and they were the sweetest thing ever … first time I've ever had raw corn … and ladysfinger, fresh from the plant, it's sweet with no slime … cool, right?  The papayas though were the best thing I've eaten.  It was really too good to be true 😛

Made me want to go out buy land and become an organic farmer … then reality sets in and I remember the time when I was in secondary school and my parents were going away for a holiday.  My Mummy had a simple task for me – water her plants.  My Mummy, for the uninitiated, was born with green thumbs, fingers and toes … and unfortunately, I didn't inherit any of those genes so even though I watered her plants, they met their untimely demise.  So I'll stick to what I do better – shopping for organic produce 🙂

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You have a choice

That's what I was told by the policeman who stopped me on the highway back from Malaysia. 

So here's the low down, I went to an organic farm over the weekend which will be dealt with in another post.  Anyway, I drove up and back and like the good girl I am, I remember what my Daddy told me, "Don't drive over the speed limit … it's 110km/h and if you go about 120 it's ok but not above that."

There I was going consistently at about 115km/hr – 120km/hr … ok, maybe I did do 130km/h while taking over some truck but honestly, I wouldn't say I had sped at all.

Then I see all the cars slowing down at a police stop … and I notice the first two cars being pulled over in front of me are Singapore cars and so is the one behind me.

And here's a conversation I'll probably never forget, note: for the sake of comprehension, his English has been edited:-

Policeman: Hello, mamm.  License please.
Me: (struggling with my wallet) Here … any problem?
P: Do you know you were going 145km/h?
M: (with an incredulous look on my face) No lah
P: So I can give you summon and you can go to police station to pay.
M: (still looking at him with my incredulous look)
P: Or you can pay me now.
M: (incredulous look completely replaced with my lost face) Huh?  (I was truly confused)
P: You have a choice.
M: Huh?
P: I can give you a summon and you can pay RM120 at the police station or you can pay me RM50 now.
M: (still looking at him completely lost) I can pay you now?
P: Yes
M: (looking in my wallet and there's only RM30 … still clueless on what he's trying to get at) And there's a police station in JB?
P: Is this your first time?
M: (smiling as sweetly as i can) Yes.

A beat.

P: Ok I'll let you go with a warning this time.
M: (the lost look comes back) Huh? So no need to pay at all.
P: Can go.
M: (smiling again) Thank you.

As I was driving away, it hits me, "Hey!! He was asking me for a bribe … and there was like 10 cars they stopped."

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Move over Yul

Ok, no one can seriously blame me for being moving on … it's the land of TV crushes and Yul Kwon, sole survivor of Cook Islands is beginning to fade and only because my sister has dealt me with the complete season one of Prison Break.

By now everyone else has probably watched the whole series, I on the other hand have only seen the odd episode here and there … from what I've seen … all I knew then was I had to get my hands on the DVD as soon as I can and now I have 🙂

So the low down of a younger brother getting the blueprint of a prison tattooed on his body so that he can break his older brother out of prison is no longer the latest news but my crush on Wentworth Miller is … at least on my blog it's news 😛

What's there not to have a crush on?  And his voice … totally yummy.  Ok ok truth be told, the story is pretty compelling … lines still a tad cheesy but I've never been to prison so my view can be quite naive.  Honestly though, I've always been a sucker for conspiracy tales so a story of an innocent man set up by the 'big brother' is really up my alley and that's a good reason to stay up all night watching Wentworth Miller … now if it was a reality TV series … I bet Yul Kwon would be able to get the people to work with him and breakout of the prison with the guards patting his back too 😛

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