Saturday, January 31, 2009

No Marriage;No Moving Out!

As I was teaching English to my small adults class, a topic came up that raised my eyebrow,
it was not permitted for women to move out of their parents home until they were married!

WHAT! With my Western (as well as European) liberal (though slighlty conservative) thought process kicking into gear, the first thing I thought was "this is crazy." Moving out of the house is a sort of freedom or a mandatory action; parents kicking us out or what not! I always thought, or "our western view," once you hit a certain age it's time to go. And, for some, once you pass the expiration age date of living with your parents you're viewed as, well, lack of a better word "sad." Now they're are always a few exceptions i.e. trying to save money, resting spot for the next "big" move but even these have their limitations.

I delved in some more, and found out that it is just frowned upon. It makes no sense to the families to leave or move away from them if you are not trying to form a life with your husband or wife. And there is no reason to either; families should stick together. So that means if a woman is in her mid 30's she doesn't not move out. That means one with an established career who can live on their own, won't. Now I am not speaking for all of South Korea, this is just what was told to me from my little section, Oedo, on Jeju Island, but regardless, it has taken me a little bit to understand.

I went out with a fellow Korean girlfriend of mine, she is 32, not married and lives at home, and we got into the moving out topic; as she was informing me her mother had called.

This is all in Korean but I'll give you a synopsis in English:

Mom: "Where are you?"

Daughter: "I'm out with friends."

Mom: "Why are you always out, you should be home."

Daughter: "I'm with my American friend, Lori."

Mom: "Oh, okay, bye."

My friend shut the phone, and she sighed. I had no idea what was going on, so I asked "Are you ok?"
"Yes," she said with a clear look of aggrevation.
She begin to tell my what happened, and evethough we laughed together about it, she explained how it can be very annoying but she really can't say anything.
Now I am thinking in my mind, uh this conversation would only be taking place if I was, I don't know maybe 18, but NEVER at 32?!
I understand the family bonds, for I come from a strong family unit that was very strict but very loving. Portuguese and strong, but at a certain age that hold on me was severed and now it was time to grow on my own, with occasional worries and caring from my family. Now at 25 I live away and go my own pace, and I am still very close to my family. To think about living home until I got married, I CAN'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT, not because of my family but because I would feel restricted.

My Korean friends tell me how they wish it was more like "my way," because there is so much they want to do, and others don't mind because it's of the norm...."to each its own" I think while I type. I learn something new everyday.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Cappucino with a smile...


I went to a huge dinner with friends and decided to make my own version!

1st pic- is all my sides, garlic, ginger, pickled garlic, rice. Hot sauce and soy sauce. Then the lettuce and bok choy, which you can layer on top of one another on use single leafs. And the last plate had tofu, shrimp, and tuna. You can have all different variations.

2nd pic- is the layer process, two leafs and whatever you want in the midle.

3rd pic- then you wrap it up and eat it like that!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Pizza Hut

I went out with some of my Korean girlfriends, and before we started our day eating was the first thing on our list. They turned around to me and asked "What would you like to eat, pizza or spaghetti?" Pizza being one of my FAVORITE foods in the world it was obvious to me what my choice would be..."Pizza!"
So the girls take me to Pizza Hut, a place in the states where I would never step into nonetheless correlate with good pizza, but... I didn't know this is where they were taking me until I approached the door.
I walk into see a very clean, and updated Pizza Hut (pic 1), this didn't suprise me to much because it seems everywhere else in the world has five star fast food places i.e. McDonalds in Spain, whereas the ones in the states, well, are just gross; but what did surprise me was the selection of the salad bar and the actual pizza.
Salad Bar: jello, fruit loops (?) sweet and pumpkin mashed potatoes, canned peaches, nuts, nachos, nacho cheese, very little salad, lychee fruit, and dressings.
Pizza: pizza 1) "the supreme" cheese, sweet potato spread (the yellow color near the crust) onions, black olives, red and green peppers, mayonaise drizzling. pizza 2) "potato" sweet potato spread, cheese, green pepper, seasoned white potato, and mayonaise drizzle.
I saw the food and knew there would be some stomach problems afterwards, but I got down anyway. To my surprise, it was pretty good!
I most likely won't head back again, but the experience was, uh, interesting.

Delivery Service!

So, you can order a full meal here for about 5 thousand won, i.e. approximately 4.50 us dollars, and get it in about 10 minutes or less.

To top it off, they send the food in actual plates, and when you are done eating they come back to get the dishes! You can leave it out in the hallway, like I did (I needed to sleep), or wait until they knock on your door to pick them up.

I gotta admit, I was shocked...

Thursday, January 1, 2009


This petal was in the hallway of my apartment, and stopped me in my tracks. Simple, yet captivating, allowing the combination to balance each other out.
I show this picture to you all, to remind you not to forget or look pass the small and simple moments in life; without them we would never know or be grateful for the more expansive ones.

So with my warmest blessings...
Have a Happy New Year

P.s.-live happy and new everyday, not just every year!

GWANEUMSA: Buddhist Temple

GWANSEUMSA: Buddhist Temple Continued