Friday, October 31, 2014


Today I was in a bit of a fluster, having just decided last night to commit to the costume for Halloween tomorrow. Sarah was coming for dinner so I had about an hour to find something after school.

For some reason I just knew it was going to work out. It was a feeling I had deep down, despite all my coworkers scoffing at the idea of me finding fur close to home.

I headed out to the subway station close by, and sure enough there was a giant fur coat section in a vintage store there. Jackpot! Or so I thought. They were all hundreds of dollars.

Not yet defeated, I looked through racks of smelly second-hand clothing at the store next door and I found the next best thing for less than six dollars. All I had to do was settle on some stripes from E-mart upstairs and I was home.

Once again, my gut feeling didn't fail me. I can't wait for tomorrow night!

Lovely additions to the neighbourhood mural.

I made this and it was good.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


I am going to really miss Korean food. Like, a lot. I crave kimchi, and galbi, and pickled radish, and spicy, spicy meat.

So this evening's galbijim excursion was a real treat. It had all of those things!

It wasn't even the best quality, but it filled our bellies and made us happy enough.

This was last night's dinner. So good.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


A cute moment happened today. Jungjin ran out the door at the end of the day in her usual hurried fashion, yelling, "Annyonghi keiseyo!" behind her and then a quick wave and, "Byeeee!" for my benefit.

She was back a few seconds later however, because she had forgotten something. It was just a happy coincidence that at that precise moment I was struggling to get my coat on so my hands were up in a giant 'V'.

Jungjin seized the opportunity to give me a surprise hug and it was very precious.

I don't normally get that into the whole hugging thing, but this one caught me completely of guard and charmed me into grinning.

Also, this is my favourite celebrity friendship.

Monday, October 27, 2014


This morning Lucy and I watched Never Been Kissed while lying in bed with our PJ's on. It was one of the most beautiful things we could've done. I absolutely love those lazy movie days. Films are just more fun in your jammies. And all the better to share them with a good friend.

It was even better because it was Never Been Kissed and she'd never seen it. Her reactions were absolutely priceless. I really had to work on my poker face because she couldn't stop asking if this or that was going to happen. It was fun, I tell you.

She really was impressed at the old guy's efforts to improve Majang-dong

This stuff was like nectar

Sunday, October 26, 2014


Lucy finally made it to my gaffer this morning and we had a great time staying at home. That's a lie. We ventured out to the shop across the road twice.

Basically we chilled, watched movies, ate food, and had a brilliantly lazy Saturday. It was exactly what I needed.

We also got badass tattoos and tricked friends and family. Seriously, why would either of us get the Star of David???

Saturday, October 25, 2014


Disappointment of the century tonight. Lucy couldn't get a train. For some reason (Seoul Nike half marathon), they were all completely full. Dejected, she went back home and I put on a movie. We were practically hanging out though because we were sending voice messages the whole time.

I had a bit of an adventure with a pumpkin. It was intended for pumpkin soup but upon closer inspection I decided it was too stringy. It also didn't taste that sweet. I was pretty annoyed until I realised it was basically spaghetti squash so I whipped up some curry for the top. Boy did it go down a treat! Best meal I've made in a while.

Love when a night turns itself around. It's usually food related, tbh.

This hot lunchbox thing is amazing.

This guy was so annoying.

Friday, October 24, 2014


I used my voice a lot today. Suyun was sick so I tried to take the majority of the classes today so she didn't faint but then after lunch she was feeling better so we were chatting for over an hour in the office. It was about everything from indigenous people in various countries, to the NZ flag, to child poverty, to racism and prejudice, to teaching practices.

I am so lucky to have a co-teacher that really cares about these things and wants to create policies to protect underprivileged children. It's rare to have a coworker who aspires to more than just getting a steady income.

Not to self: NEVER AGAIN with the coconut milk.

Thursday, October 23, 2014


This morning, just for a treat I made myself some cinnamon apples and they were the best, best thing in the world.

It's amazing how some flavours can combine to create so much comfort on a chilly Wednesday morning.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


I don't know what sort of mood I was in today but it was pretty chirpy considering I had a full day of fourth graders. I think I was getting a little cheeky, but hey, it was going down a treat, I'm pretty sure.

I ended up at the wig store again with Sue and Suyun after school. I'm just not completely convinced to be quite honest, but Sue really wants some extensions, so I'm being suportive. I think she has beautiful hair as it is.

Suyun and I were really only along for the ride because we were promised soba noodles from a little Japanese restaurant afterwards. Unfortunately it was closed so we settled for another place across the road. Suyun was pretty devastated because she's literally dreamed of that soba since last time.

It was great though, and I'm glad I went out instead of going home to the same old routine.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


This afternoon I utilised the newly installed office wifi for an unplanned wee Skype with Lucy Collins. What a lovely Monday afternoon perk-me-up!

She looked and sounded so familiar (duh), but it was just what I needed. I've missed her lovely friendship quite a lot.

We only had a few minutes while the others were at a training. I kept looking over my shoulder to see if they were walking down the corridor. I heard them coming back and we had to hang up really quickly. She was still saying bye when they came in the door.

Ahhh I really should Skype more people more often.

Monday, October 20, 2014


Today has been very refreshing. It was one of the best days I've had in a good while. I feel like I say that often, but I swear this was a real highlight.

It started with an impromptu brunch with Keke and Mariyah, two people I wish I could see more of. I always feel better in mind and soul at the end of a date with them. Of course, the food wasn't bad either. But really. It was like I was letting out a big sigh of relief afterwards.

Going to different churches makes it difficult to hang out with them as often as I'd like. But as annoying as that is, I couldn't give up Jubilee for anything. Today was another cementer of that.

I've never heard a message like it from the pulpit. When I discovered it was on gender, I was very apprehensive. I've never listened to one that didn't make me cringe. There's too much of telling men and women 'how they are' in the church. I don't think gender is so rigid like that.

Anyway, it was quite emotional to say the least. I was challenged and encouraged to hear a pastor affirm women without and patronising. I look to my future and wonder what I can be. One of the main things that holds me back is my gender. Can I really do that? Aren't men just better at it? Would a woman in that role be respected?

I'm calling BS on all that nonsense! And I think the Church has been involved in oppression games for too long. I've certainly felt it.

Listen to it here if you're interested. Highly recommend. It's the one called "Invaluable, BOTH Male and Female".

Proud moment: I took apart my laptop with cuticle cutters and a knife so I could plug the battery connector back in. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014


I helped at a kids programme at church today while the parents were being rewarded for serving. There were some very cute little ones and I even got to hold a baby!

All that didn't make me really want to do kid's ministry again too fast. It's so tiring! But it was nice to be good at it. They made some awesome crafts. The kaleidoscopes were the best part of the day. I kinda wanted one.

Afterwards I met up with Claire who was attending Servant's Day and we were about to go home but then decided to have some tea and coffee, and then we decided to go and watch the rugby at the Kiwi Bar.

I know it's not really my thing, but it was incredibly fun to be surrounded by Tui-chugging Kiwis screaming and cheering. Actually, after Googling the rules, Claire got very into it and a lot of the screaming was coming from her. It was quite cute.

It was a good game to watch though. It all changed in the last 2 minutes. Nail-biter indeed!

I think the whole atmosphere, lamb dinner, and wine helped it along too. We made some new friends at the table and then Jo, Emily's cousin came and hung out.

We met some of her friends too and played a very tame drinking game with Tui bottle cap questions. It was hilarious and so NZ-related.

Saturday, October 18, 2014


I had a chilled Friday night. It was out and about but it wasn't late or strenuous at all. In fact, it involved two new friend, even!

I met Keke and two girls from New Philly (her church) in Hongdae at an art shop. I bought some gold pens to decorate my shoes and they got some proper art supplies for proper art projects.

Afterwards we went to shabu shabu for dinner and ate up a storm with our own little pots. It was pretty good. The conversation was better though. I forgot I like to meet new people. Interesting ones. Rachael and Sarah are adopted Korean twins. They spoke about their lives growing up and then coming back to Korea and meeting their biological family here. Crazy stuff, but very cool!

Then I came home and decorated my shoes while I watched New Girl. Successful evening, I'd say.

I bought myself a thermal lunch box last night and it may just have been the best investment for a while.

Friday, October 17, 2014


It was a surprise when Sarah texted me and asked me if I was coming for dinner tonight. You see, in my excitement to be communicating in Korean when we set up the date, I said Thursday instead of Friday. Never fear though, because tonight I was free and ready for some homecooked (by someone else) food.

We just ate and chatted and practiced some Korean and lounged about, really. It was very nice. She's even got a wee dining table. What a  treat!

Also, she made me a pumpkin spice smoothie for dessert and it blew my socks off.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


We had a very cute little flea market at school today. It was a right carnival atmosphere. I really got into it and bought a few items of clothing. Suyun was my chief bargainer and she got me some deals.

I got a sweet jacket for $3! The steal of the day was a brand new trench coat one girl got for a dollar. It was beautiful.

Monday, October 13, 2014


It was sad to think that today was my last few hours with Em. She's been an amazing host and a beautiful encourager to me.

She took me to a super authentic yum cha place close to where she lives. It was so so good. So not Paleo, but worth it. We ate various types of dumplings and buns. Different kinds just kept coming out. We persevered and were about to burst by the end. When I calculated the conversion (not the easiest task), I was surprised to see it was about $12 altogether. Wow.

A quick stop at Muji for some delightful Japanese linen and I was on my way to the airport. I think I'll be back to this crazy city soon though. I just might come volunteer for a few weeks after my contract. Who knows!?

Sunday, October 12, 2014


Today was Em day! We started it with some awesome chats and a lovely breakfast together at her apartment. We sat at a real table, with coffee and food. I can't really express how special that is. Just to share breakfast with someone in a home. It's unheard of these days.

Afterwards we made our way to the mid-levels where we took the world's longest escalator up and up and up. Stubbornly, I refused to get off because I thought we could ride the whole way up and explore on our way down, but we found signs to the cable car up the top so didn't even end up going down. That'll be something for next time though.

The ride up to the peak was incredibly steep and being in a cable car made it pretty thrilling, I'm not gonna lie. Once up there I got the most amazing bubble tea. Coconut flavour with these popping mango bubbles. Holy moly it was good and perfectly refreshing for out in the hot sun up the top. We listened to the audio and took selfies while admiring the view of the crazy city.

Afterwards we ate some food and a really good Portuguese egg tart before going home to doll up before drinks with the Crossroads gals. There were lots of laughs and it was cool to hear about all the goings on there. The drama was all too familiar and I was very pleased with my decision to leave church all over again.

Possibly the best part of the day was the Marmite toast, tea, and dance party with Em's new speakers in her living room. We were incredibly tired but we talked until 3am. It was so good to have a foundation of friendship and commonality to draw from. Even just culturally. I've missed good old Kiwi banter!

Saturday, October 11, 2014


Today was my solo-adventure time around Hong Kong. I took in all the sights in Kowloon, especially in Tsim Sha Tsui (TST). My first impression of the place, as I surfaced from the subway, was a man leaping at me with a spiel about cheap knock-off handbags. Out of fright mainly, I clutched my bag tight, avoided eye-contact and boosted in the opposite direction.

There was so much to look at. Giant big brand stores like Gucci and Burberry lined the main road. The side roads were mazes of neon signs and lightboxes with tangled wiring and peeling paint. I got my Jenny's Cookies, thanks to Claire's tip, and right next door was the Chungking Mansions. I've wanted to visit ever since studying Chungking Express for my Hong Kong Cinema paper.

It was super seedy, and I was a little apprehensive so I wandered about the first floor amidst money exchanges, phone stores, and wafts of Indian food, declining to go up the shoddy stores to the next level.

I walked along the waterfront and revisited my HK Cinema knowledge on the Avenue Of Stars before I went in search of an egg tart. It was a very successful expedition! On the way back to the subway in Mongkok I stumbled upon the protests. The atmosphere was incredibly powerful. It really felt like something real was happening. People were just chilling in the cordoned off streets. They'd brought mats and one old guy even had a whole bed and a newspaper.

I was witnessing history. It made me so grateful to have a voice in my own country. I may not have liked the outcome of the last election, but at least the people made a decision.

I made my way back to the waterfront to have a little think and while away the time until Emily came for the light show. More impressive than the actual laser display was the bright orange sunset between the two shores. It was the perfect pensive hour to reflect and make a new Korean friend, of course.