Tuesday, December 28, 2010

House of Sharing

House of Sharing  (My 2nd day in Seoul)  

Halmonis hands      /         My hand n_n 

Updated 12/14/11
Before my trip Jo-Anna was really nice to plan something for us to do on the weekend we will be spending
together, one day she sent me an email asking me if I wanted to go to the "House of Sharing", I had no idea what this was but I was whiling to try anything new while in Seoul so I said yes, she put us on the list to go on the tour on Sunday, and I'm really glad we had the chance to go, let me tell you a lil bit about this "House of Sharing"

The House of Sharing is a museum and home to former "Comfort Women", this women were survivors of sexual slavery when the Japanese military occupied Korea during the Asia-Pacific War (1932-1945).
Some of the former Sex Slaves and their history

Before and during World War II, estimated 100,000 to 200,000 women were tricked or forced to serve as
sexual slaves for months or years by the Japanese military. More than 80 percent of women were believed

The first “comfort station” was established in Shanghai in 1932 and Korean women from the Korean mining community in Japan were victimized.

Former "Comfort Women" are women who were forcibly recruited into sexual slavery during WWII by the
Japanese military. The majority of "Comfort Women" were Korean, due to Korea's status as a Japanese colony at the time. The House of Sharing is a residence in Gwangju, Gyeonggi-do where 8 former "Comfort Women" live.

Representation of the Wednesday Protest
Wednesday Protest

The Korean Council started a "Weekly Wednesday Demonstration" in front of the Japanese Embassy located
in Jongno, Seoul at noon on January 8, 1992.

Painting made by one of the Halmoni
The first official admittance of the Japanese government’s responsibility upon the Comfort Women issue
was in April 1998 when the court Simonoseki ruled that the Japanese government should compensate three
former Korean comfort women, most of there Korean Comfort Women would not acept this compensation given by the Japanese Goverment because it was money gathered from private institutuons, and the demand was that the Japanese Goverment HAD to pay for this.

I have to say that before Jo-Anna sent me that email I didn't know anything about this situation, and after reading the Halmonies (Grandmas) testimonials I was touched, this women are not only really strong but brave, they survived but they also continue fighting for recognition and compensation from the  Japansese goverment.

So, sunday morning we woke up early to go to Gangbyeon (subway) Station (Line 2, exit 1), where we were supposed to meet the rest  of the group, once we were all there we cross the street to take a Buss (a 40min ride) then take off and take a Taxi... it was a long way to Gyeonggi-do province but it was totally worth it.

Once in there we all go to a room to watch a documentary and where the guides (Volunteers of the House
My blurry but yummy lunch
of Sharing who by the way are awesome!) gave us a small introduction about the "comfort Women" after this each one of us had to  introduce itself, we were about 40 but it was really interesting to meet people from so many places. After the introduction we took a lunch break, I had spicy pork/Tuna Kimbap and grape flavored water,  when we finished our lunch it was time to head to the Museum, this tour will start with to sculptures at the entrance/exit of the museum.

"That which we were forced to do must be recorded in history"
The first you will see is a picture of Halmoni Hak-Soon Kim where it says "That which we were forced to do must be recorded in history"

Kim Hak Soon, a former Comfort Woman, who testified in public for the first time in Korea that she was
forced to serve Japanese solders sexually. She was born in Manchuria and sold by her stepfather to a
Japanese military in 1941 when she was sixteen (Consider that Korean age is 1 or 2 years older than "universal" age)

According to an interview, this is the story of how her stepfather trade her, the life as a Comfort Women and how she ran away.

My father passed away when I was young. I was maltreated because people believed my father died due to
my bad luck. When my mother got married again, I was adopted at the age of 14. My stepfather sent me
a gisaeng school, female entertainer school, to learn music and dancing. He took me to Manchuria with
another stepdaughter to do business using us. We thought we would become a gisaeng when he treaded us.
But we were sold as Comfort Women to a Japanese platoon located in Northern China. I never knew that
I would become a plaything for Japanese solders.

I followed wherever Japanese solders went because I was so young. I didn’t have discretion even to  remember the name of troops or the commander. We were taken to an empty Chinese house located in front
of the troops and I saw three other Korean girls. At least I was relived to see them. I didn’t know their Korean names but they were called by their Japanese name, Miyako, Sadako, Sijiae. Five Korean girls became Comfort Women there and the oldest one was 22. Others were 17, 18, 18 years old and I was
sixteen. So I was the youngest.

I can’t put my life there in words. I tried not to think of my life there because it wasn’t a human being’s life. It was like a public toilet for the Japanese solders. I get frightened even now. When solders dashed to me…. I bit my lips. I ran away but got caught.

One night I ran away with a Korean man’s help when he came by the troops for his business. Every girl
got crazy to get his help on that day. They must have thought they could run away with his help. He
had a wife in Korea and did business to sell silver coins. I followed him and survived in China.  After the 1945 Liberation of Korea, I came to Seoul.

Just like Kim Hak Soon story there are plenty more, there are still many women that had never told anyone
they were Sex slaves when the Japanese occupied Korea so many stories will remain untold.

After the tour trought the museum we went to meet the Halmoni, the volunteers brought a piece of fabricm,
paint brushes and some paint so we all could paint something for them, they were there in the same room
with us, I wanted to talk to them for 1st I don't speak Korean and 2nd What was I supposed to say? "Fighting!"?, no ofense, but I just couldn't find words that expressed how I felt being aroung them, you just feel  like you wanna hug them and take care of them o_o , anyway, when we finish painting it was time to go,
the cabs had arrived and we had a long way back to Seoul.

For more information visit:  http://www.houseofsharing.org 
For Sharing House information in Korean visit:  www.nanum.org
Entrance Fee: 5,000 KRW
If you wanna go on of of this tours you can go here 

Here are some pics I took while being there....

Painting the halmonis make as therapy

Gifts presented by visitors

More Presents (Many of the visitors are Japanese)

Military Money and a Condom (that they had to wash before and after receiving a man)

All the dots represent a location of a "comfort station"

-Gisela V.

Painting made for the Halmonis

Ps. If you wanna see all the pics theres a folder on my Facebook, just have to add me :) 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Back and with TONS of things to say........

Today I was reading this blog from the 1st to the last post I've shared with all of you, it feels so weird that it changed to so much and it's even MORE weird (exciting) to read all those things I've posted about Korea and now say "I've done that... I've been there...." [Insert happy tear here] lol 

A trip to remember....
Blurry picture I know... it was a 24 hours flight! 
Looks sunny but it was COLD!!!

  So... I love it when people come and ask me "What's with Korea?, why you like it so much?, why did you wanna go there?, Is it a War Zone?" well.... I know it's not Paris, Brazil or some place like that, but if you only Google it and just look at the pictures, you'll see there's so much to learn, it's such a "new" country with a GREAT history, and even if you don't find it as COOL as I do...well..that's cool, you don't have to go, noone will force you ;) lol.....  actually Mexico and Korea are very alike in alot of things, specially THE PEOPLE, us Mexicans are consider to be really warm and very nice (or is it that we just wanna please them??) with foreigners, well Koreans are just like Mexicans, they take things like taking care of others one step higher, seriously, I had an AWESOME time in Korea and I hope to be able to show you how great this country/culture is trough this blog.....
Limusine Bus O_o

I'm actually very lucky because I got to experience both the Local/normal Live and the Tourist side of Seoul.

So, here's how everything started....

I got to Seoul and it was WEIRD, being alone in a country where you don't speak the language and you are not sure how everything will work out is SCARY, or at least it should be, right?.. well indeed it was weird/different, but in a GOOD way, I felt at home (pft I don't even know why), so I go ahead buy a ticket for my bus and I'm finally on my way to SEOUL!!.. I was so excited!, I took a bus to go to Sinseol-Dong bus station (Bus 6002), the ticket was only 10,000 KRW, wich I think it's a pretty decentprice if you consider it's a 1 1/2 hour ride....The day was SUNNY but COLD and when I say it was COLD I mean Effin' COLD! I was freezing!, I was wearing a 2 Jackets, scarf, hat, globes and still I was  freezing...O_o, Sooo, I was the last one to get off the Bus, the driver was super nice and helped me with my laugage.
I was supposed to meet Jo-anna there, she agreed to host me for the weekend, so I got to Sinseol-Dong station and called her, less than 10 mins later we finally met, I've been following her blog for a few months, and kinda felt like I already knew her (Do you know that feeling??...) we start walking to her house and I got to see the Cheonggyecheon river (Wich I was dying to see!!), so we get to her house, I took a quick shower and we go Off to her Korean Class near the Women University, we take the Subway and I got my T-money card (yay!!) the card is 3,000 KRW, this card is pretty good because it can be used to pay for the Subway, Buses, Taxis and some payphones accept this card, the subway ride is 900 KRW and I have to say.... I <3 the Korean Subway, this one is quite the opposit to Mexican Subway, it's really clean, well organized and most of the times you will find someone that can help you, either at the Information booth or someone nice enough to ask if you need help when they see your "scared/I'm lost face" lol... so you can expect a SUBWAY POST soon....  anyway, we took the subway from Sin-dang to Hanyang Univ. station and from them we had to walk just a couple of blocks and we get to the building, since I'm to shy to get into begginers class on my own I decided to go with Jo-anna to her Level 4 class, this was a class only in Korean so I was a bit (A LOT!) lost... after the class we went down and I met Jo's boyfriend and they introduced me to a few other teachers (Sorry I can't remember the names... shame on me), we go out to dinner... MY 1st REAL Korean food... I wasn't feeling very good (It was probably the Jetlag...) but I forced myself to get better, I took an aspirin for my headache and something for my nauseas... and then I was ready!, we had Bulgogi, marinated beef, rice, vegetables, Kimchi, Soju and Beer (Cass), I also tried the SoMack or Poktangju (??) wich is Soju and Beer mixed together... it's good, that way you
불고기 Bulgogi

don't feel the strong flavor of Soju going down trough your Throat O_o but I've heard that this is not a "good" If you know what I mean...lol, dinner was only 6,000 KRW each, a pretty good price, huh? I had LOTS of fun with Jo, Jo's bf and 2 other girls, Jo's bf is really funny and he can say a few words in Spanish....his favorite one?,,, PERRO ... Don't know why lol, after dinner the other girls went home and the rest of us (Jo, Jo's bf and me) went to a small bar to have Makgeoli 막걸리 (or Korean rice wine), there are different kinds so Jo and her bf, each asked for their fav one, I tried them and then I choose mine.. I picked Chop Sal Makkoli, 
Yummy Makgeolli
the name comes from the Kind of rice (CHOP) and SAL is RICE = Chop Sal Makkoli we also had a Kimchi Pancake (or Kimchijeon), is like a crepe, but thicker 
Makgeolli Bar
and made with Kimchi juice  all this for 4,000 KRW each :O , so I had a great dinner and drinks for 10,000 KRW!! After the bar we went to a ministore to buy food to take to the Sharing House on sunday, then we took a bus to go near Euljiro4ga station (I think?..lol I was tired and don't really remember) we went to pick of Jo's bf car and then went back to Jo's house, I was exhausted so I went to bed because sunday we had to get up early for that Sharing House trip,,but that my friends..is going to be another post because those Halmonies (Grandma's) deserve it...

-Gisela V.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Quick update!!

If you didn't know already..... I'm going to Seoul
So I won't be posting for a few days, but I'm sure I'll have LOTS of things to post when I be back n_n

Don't miss me too much!


-Gisela V.

Hallan nueva especie de dinosaurio en Corea del Sur

El koreaceratops era relativamente pequeño en comparación con sus familiares geológicos, medía aproximadamente 1.80 metros de largo y pesaba entre 27 y 45 kilogramos.

Un grupo de científicos revelaron que descubrieron un nuevo dinosaurio astado -que habría sido herbívoro y familiar de los famosos triceratops- en Corea del Sur, donde este tipo de hallazgos es inusual.

Los restos fósiles del dinosaurio, hasta ahora desconocido, fueron hallados en un bloque de roca a lo largo de la cuenca de Tando Basin, en Corea del Sur, en 2008, y bautizado como koreaceratops, indicaron paleontólogos de Corea del Sur, Estados Unidos y Japón.

Según la investigación, publicada en la revista Naturwissenchaften: The Science of Nature, el dinosaurio era de aproximadamente 1.80 metros de largo y pesaba entre 27 y 45 kilogramos, relativamente pequeño en comparación con sus familiares geológicos: los triceratops.

El koreaceratops tenía una cara parecida a la del loro, con un pico en parte frontal de sus mandíbulas, lo que indica que era herbívoro; bípedo, con garras en las patas traseras y gran capacidad para desplazarse.

Además, su cola tenía forma de abanico formado por largas espinas neurales, lo cual sugiere que también pudo haber sido un buen nadador y que habría pasado parte de su tiempo cazando animales acuáticos para alimentarse.

El género identificado vivió aproximadamente hace 103 millones de años durante el periodo Cretácico tardío.

Se trata de uno de los primeros dinosaurios conocidos en Corea del Sur, afirmó Michael J. Ryan, curador y jefe de Paleontología de Vertebrados en el Museo de Historia Natural de Cleveland, y quien es coautor de la investigación.

"Es un gran hallazgo", dijo Ryan, ya que el hallazgo de fósiles de dinosaurios no es común en esta región, aunque sí son frecuentes evidencias de huevos de dinosaurios y huellas.

-Gisela V.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Korean for Dummies 101 Part 2

It's time! Yup!, time for our 2nd lesson!, well, this one is not much of a lesson is more of a "Survival Phrases" post, because going to a country and not speaking the language must be HARD! specially if it's something we don't hear as ofter as English, right?, So, I've been looking for this survival phrases that I will be needed when I be in Seoul O_O

On the previous lesson we learned how to say "Hello, My name is___. Nice to meet you", but if you manage to say this in "perfect" Korean people might think you speak the language and this is where it gets complicated....right? ... So here are some Useful phrases like "Do you Speak english?, I don't understand, where is___?, etc"

And hopefully I'll have time to make more post before leaving to Seoul :O w00t!!

English 한국어 (Korean)
Welcome 환영합니다 (hwangyong-hamnida)
Hello 안녕하세요 (annyeonghaseyo) - frm, 안녕 (annyeong) - inf
여보세요 (yeoboseyo) - on phone
How are you?

I'm fine, thanks.
어떻게 지내세요? (eotteohke jinaeseyo?)
안녕하셨습니까? (an nyeong ha siut seum ni ka?)
잘지내요 (jaljinaeyo)

What's your name?

My name is ...
당신의 이름은 무엇입니까?
(dangsinui ireumeun mueosip nikka?) inf
성함이 어떻게 되십니까?
(sungham ee uttoke daesipnika?) frm
제 이름은 ... 입니다 (je ireum-eun ... imnida)
Where are you from?
I'm from ...
어디서 오셨어요? (Eodiseo osyeosseoyo)
저는 ... 에서 왔어요 (Jeoneun ... eseo wasseuyo)
Pleased to meet you 만나서 반갑습니다 (Mannaseo bangapseumnida) [frm polite]
만나서 반가워요 (Mannaseo bangawoyo) [inf polite]
Good morning/
안녕하십니까 (annyeong hashimnikka)

Goodbye 안녕 (annyeong)
안녕히 계세요 (annyeonghi gyeseyo) - you are leaving
안녕히 가세요 (annyeonghi gaseyo) - you are staying
I don't understand 모르겠습니다 (moreugesseumnida)
Please speak more slowly 천천히 말씀해 주세요 (Cheoncheonhi malssuemhae jeseyo)
Please write it down 적어 주세요! (Cheogeo jeseyo!)
Do you speak Korean?

Yes, a little
한국말 하실 줄 아세요? (hangukmal hasil jul aseyo?) - frm
한국말 할 줄 아니? (hangukmal hal jul ani?) - inf
예, 조금요 (yae, jogeumyo) - frm
응, 조금 (eung, jogeum) - inf
How do you say
... in Korean?
... 를 한국말로 어떻게 말해요?
(... reul hangukmal-lo eotteoh-ge maraeyo?)
Excuse me 실례하겠습니다! (shillehagessumnida)
How much is this? 이게 얼마예요? (ige eolmayeyo?)
Sorry 미안합니다! (mianhamnida)

Where's the toilet? 화장실이 어디예요? (hwajangsiri eodiyeyo)

-Gisela V.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The M-Wave Wordlwide *The only way to K-pop

 It's time for a new post! and this time it is dedicated for all of Kpop fans n_n


‘The M-Wave’ is the first and only music program in Korea that connects with a global audience in 188 countries. The show promotes the “Korean Wave” through the country’s top stars and connects with overseas viewers through interactive segments such as “SKYPE talk” and real-time interviews.

* MC: U-kiss Kevin & Alexander, G,NA
* Airing: Sundays, 18:00 (KOR)
* Guests: updated weekly on homepage
* M-wave Homepage: http://www.arirang.co.kr/TV2/Mwave/Index.asp
* Schedule (world): http://www.arirang.co.kr/tv/tv_index.asp?channel

International visitors to Korea can make reservations via the internet to attend a free studio-taping of ‘The M-Wave.’








So if you are visiting korea or live there... this can be really useful if you are into Kpop and everything ;) !

-Gisela V. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Guest Post:!!!!!!!!

Ok ok ok... maybe this isnt the "first" guest post ever but it's actually from someone I'm not related with... lol so I'm kinda excited to introduce you to WonTaek Chung from My Seoul Stories , I don't remember how I found this blog (probably trough TSS--thanks btw!!) but I've been reading his blog ever since.... and I asked him to help me with a Guest Post about E.via since he kinda introduced me to her.... so here it goes!!


E.via (Lee Ok Joo), is a Korean lyricist, composer, rapper, and pianist. E.via’s first EP, E.via aka Happy E.vill, was released on May 18th, 2009. Her influences include Eminem, Nas, UMC, and Deegie. She has recently garnered a bit of media attention and popularity for the music video of her song 일기장 (Diary), featuring Sori (소리).

E.via one of the few Korea female rappers out there in Korea. She is still not that well known in Korea. She did perform in few concerts but, her raps were not as appreciated by the Koreans as a lot of people were more into idol groups than rappers like E.via. She has around 7 years of experience in rapping.(well, this is what I read from the comments so not sure). She didn’t go with the name E.via at first. Her pet-name was napper during her early stages of her career. I assume that she liked sleeping! Her rap style was also dramatically different when she was napper. She rapped in a low pitched tone rather than her high pitch voice. Only after she became more publicized she changed her name to E.via and started singing in the voice we are more familiar with.

This is the rap style of e.via in the old days!

However, her career wasn’t so successful. Her first album(I am not sure) was banned cause it
had a sexual message. The title was literally translated as “Can I do it?.” Well, it had a double meaning. One was if she could rap and the other was if she could have sex with her lover?. Her next mini album featured “Shake.” Shake was quite popular except for it had too much exposure and the Korean government was not so happy about it going on air. In general, she had a bad girl side in her that made her raps only semi successful. However, this is the main aspect that I like about E.via. She might look as cute, innocent and guilty, but maybe she is not! She is a strong, independent female rapper who makes interesting music. She might not be as good as outsider or eminem (obviously) but, her fast paced rap is different and its like drugs to my ears.

New Video

Gisela's note: This video is just dedicated to a friend (Beeeric!!) just because he said he liked it lol well...also because it caused "controversy" due to all the "shaking" haha

Thanks WonTaek for this contribution!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You rock!!! n_n

-Gisela V।

Ps. I'm really sorry if the Videos don't work correctly I'm pretty "new" with this lol

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Korean for Dummies 101

Ok, so whenever I tell someone I'm stuidying Korean one of the most common questions I get (besides the regular "Why???") is "Is it hard?", well, maybe a little...specially if you are learning "on your own" for whatever reason (time, money, school availability, etc)...

I suscribed to Koreanclass101.com a couple of months ago because I just wasn't comfortable when I was going to group-classes, even thou it was Korean for newbies seemed like everyone already knew so much and I just couldnt keep with it... it was HARD!!! I felt so dumb because I didn't know the name of the letters (signs??) and because I didn't know any word in Korean except for annyeonghaseyo (안녕하세요!), so then I decided to hire a personal teacher...Good idea! at least for a while but it was really expensive so......the best method for me (at least!) it was the internet, I've found great websites with pretty good lessons, most of the times I use koreanclass101.com but Talk to me in Korean  is also agood resource, and actually the 2nd site was created by Keith a former koreanclass101 "teacher".
easy??   O_o
okokokok enough! it's time for the 1st class!! get ready to learn how to say HELLO and Nice to meet you (basically an Introduction) in Korean (I told you it was Korean for dummies!! lol)

Hello = annyeonghaseyo  - 안녕하세요
Nice to meet you = cheoeum boepgesseumnida - 처음 뵙겠습니다 (HAAAAAAARD!!! lol well...not so much)
I am ____ = Jeoneun (or more like choneun) Gisela-imnida - 저는 <--Jeoneun

so it wil be something like this:

annyeonghaseyo! Jeoneun Gisela-imnida. Cheoeum boepgesseumnida
Hello!, I am Gisela. Nice to meet you.
안녕하세요!, 저는 Gisela-입니다. 처음 뵙겠습니다      (right? hehe)

*Cheoeum boepgesseumnida literally means "I'm meeting you for the first time" but is translated as "It's nice to meet you" and it is used when meeting someone for the first time

(here comes the complicated part!)
so, why do we add an "imnida" after the name??...
The verb expressing "to be" - is 다 (ida). When 다 is conjugated in the present tense and
expressed for use in a formal context, it changes into 입니다 (imnida).

다 (ida) is the Korean affirmative copula. And is roughly equivalent to the English verb "to be. 다 (ida) is the most useful and basic way to identify people and object.

O_O I think  that would be enough for this lesson lol ....
At least now you can say "Hello, I am ____. Nice to meet you" right?....right??!!!!!!

So stay tuned for more lessons (or not)... or.. go to Koreanclass101/TalktomeinKorean n_n 


-Gisela V.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pepero Day!!!!

Ok, so it's about 10:12am on 11/10/10 in Korea right now!!,,, and I'm posting this about the Pepero Day 1 day in advance because?.... well.. because 1st of all I don't wanna forget to post this on the 11th since I've been wanting to tell you about this for a lil while!!! (Yes I'm excited so what??!!!) and 2nd because my sis is coming home from London tomorrow!!! and I have to pick her up at the Airport (hello perrow!!) and I don't think I'll have time to post it for 11/11/10 ...so... here's the post... Enjoy!!
This post is dedicated to all of my readers with a sweet tooth!, you might know know what PEPERO is because most people (outside Korea) call them Pocky (Japanese Version), well Peperos are the same as Pocky... a thin cookie stick dipped in chocolate (yuuummers!!!), who wouldn't like that?? lol Well I just found out that this sweet treat is "celebrated" on 11/11 :O in Korea in if you live in Korea there is a very good chance that you will receive a couple of boxes of Peperos *So I've heard and I envy you for that lol*

omg omg omg!!!!
The classic pepero sold by Lotte is a thin biscuit stick that is dipped in chocolate. Over time these have evolved into thin pretzel wrappers with chocolate inside (called Nude Pepero), Almond Chocolate, Strawberry, Blueberry, Nude Lemon Cheese, and then huge peperos that are the length of an adult’s arm. It is easy to get overwhelmed by the number of these strange thin snacks that swarm the Korea landscape on 11/11. So how did it start?

The Lotte Confectionary Company introduced Pepero to Korea back in the 1980s. Many people believe
that the company invented this day to increase their sales. If the Lotte Company did do this then  it was a huge success. It sells almost two-thirds of it’s yearly total of these snacks in the two months before November 11th (Source: Lina Yoon Wall Street Journal 2006). The Lotte Company refutes this claim because they say they only started marketing these snacks in the year 2000 after marketing personnel started to notice a yearly jump in sales around the 11th. Koo Ja-ryung, the branding manager of Pepero said "Actually, we didn't start Pepero day. The theory says it started when some middle school girls started exchanging the snack with the wish that they would become "as tall and slender as a Pepero."

Another theory of why is celebrated in 11/11 is that because when written as 11/11, it resembles four long pepero sticks.

Regardless of Pepero Day's origins, its celebration has become an annual tradition since 1994, and, each year as the day approaches, South Koreans stock up on these little confections to be ready to use them as an expression of their esteem and affections for those they hold near and dear. Couples will each put the end of the thin snacks and eat towards each other for a kiss.

While the regular pepero only cost 800-1000 won (about 75 cents to 1 dollar), these days many high-end bakeries and chocolaterias have been getting in on the holiday and have been making gourmet pepero. Some of these pepero include Italian dark chocolate and orange peel, white chocolate macadamia nut, and black and white sesame. The most visually awing is the giant pepero. Sure, they might look impressive but they taste like a bland breadstick covered in chocolate. But that’s not the point. You are giving this giant pepero tosomeone as a symbol of your love. It says, “You’re number one in my heart.” <--- Awww <3 lol

So, now you know,,, if you want to tell someo one you love him/her... say it with a Pepero!!! lol and have a happy Pepero day!! n_n
Awww the cutest peperos EVER!!!!

-Gisela V.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Shelly Hwang and Young Lee
Who hasn't had an amazing Frozen yogurt for dessert???, well if you havent tried Pinkberry... you should!! the "ice cream" is sooo yummy and you can find a great variety of toppings to make it even better, but perhaps you didn't know it's that Pinkberry was creater by a Korean-American's couple, so here's a little history about it....

Pinkberry is a franchise of upscale frozen dessert restaurants headquartered in LA, California. The first store opened in January 2005 by Korean Americans Shelly Hwang and Young Lee. The tart, frozen dessert has a groupie-like following who sometimes refer to it as "Crackberry". The company acknowledges its cult-like following by maintaining a "groupie corner" on its website

Hwang's first business venture was to open a formal English teahouse on a tiny residential street called Huntley Drive in West Hollywood, California. However, after the city refused to approve a permit for Hwang and her business partner, architect Young Lee, they decided to go with their second plan, which was a frozen yogurt concept reviving the craze of the 1980s. People were soon driving across town and standing in line for up to 20 to 30 minutes to get their fix of "the taste that launched 1,000 parking tickets."

In October 2009, Pinkberry opened its first overseas branch in the State of Kuwait at the Avenues shopping mall.

Pinkberry's menu consists of Original, Green Tea, Pomegranate, Coffee, and a few seasonal favors which include Coconut, Passion Fruit, and Chocolate flavored frozen yogurt style desserts in three sizes:
Small(150 ml),
Medium(240 ml), and
Large(380 ml).


Pinkberry is proud to host in-store fundraisers. For any fundraising event, 20% of all proceeds will be donated to your organization or cause. Everyone’s invited—gather your friends, family and supporters to participate in your event!

-Gisela V.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Michelin Star for Korean Cuisine

aww cute couple, huh? 
What is a Michelin Star?...does it has anything to do with the Tyres manufacturers?,,umm yes..sort of...
The Michelin Guide is a series of annual guide books published by Michelin for over a dozen countries. The term normally refers to the Michelin Red Guide,the oldest and best-known European hotel and restaurant guide, which awards the Michelin stars.

The Michelin Guide has been around since the early 1900s and started as a car and road trip guide. Andre and Edouard Michelin wanted to create a guide to the best restaurants and accommodations available along the travel route of motorists. The guide quickly became incredibly popular for its restaurant information as it highlighted the most exceptional chefs and eateries. It is now the oldest such publication and is now considered the most well-known and influential guide in the culinary world.

The guide awards one to three stars to a small number of restaurants of outstanding quality. 
~ One star indicates "a very good restaurant in its category, worth a stop." 
~ A two-star ranking represents "excellent cooking, worth a detour," and
~ Three stars are awarded to restaurants offering "exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey."
And I have to say.... it's a great way to indicate if a restaurant is good... will you travel somewhere just to try their food??... I'll do it!

Well.. a couple comformed by Duncan Robertson (33), a British chef who came to Seoul last year with his
Korean Girlfriend, Duncan is now the head chef at N Grill, the revolving restaurant on the top floor of  the N Seoul Tower in Mt. Nam, both of them plan to develop various recipes to promote Korean food, but for the time being their goal is to earn a star for N Grill from the Korean edition of the Michelin Guide.

Robertson was introduced to the Korean cuisine when he came to Korea with his 32-year-old Korean girlfriend in November last year and now has a Michelin star. "There are two restaurants, one in Sogong-dong and one in Sinsa-dong in Seoul, that can compete with any restaurant abroad in the Michelin Guide, and I can't forget the taste of rich bone broth and diced radish kimchi made my girlfriend's mother. "I don't know how to describe the taste, but I could feel such warmth from the food. That's what real food is all about," he says.

Chef Duncan With his girlfriend, whom he met in Paris, worked in an obscure restaurant called L'envie in the small French town of Brive, and it won a Michelin star. The Michelin Guide rates restaurants with five forks and three stars, and out of 20,000 premium restaurants in Paris, only 64 have one or more stars.

"I came to Seoul because I wanted to be close to my girlfriend's hometown and I wanted to get to know the place. I feel that people in Seoul are friendlier and more vivacious than in Tokyo and Shanghai," he says.

Hope they can get their Michelin Star soon   n_n
-Gisela V.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Museums again!!

This time is not a Korean museum, is the British Museum in London, where my sis is currently living at...she was kind enough to help me with this blog since she just went to the Museum (Actually she just sent me pictures of it,,,,but I asked her to write something for the blog lol) so...  Thanks sis!!!!!! :) luv ya!
For more info about the museum/exhibit click HERE

The British Museum’s (in London, England) collection covers over 5,000 years of Korean art and archaeology, from prehistory to contemporary, from ornate ritual objects to everyday folk arts.

The unique culture of Korea combines a strong sense of national identity with influences from other parts of the Far East. Korean religion, language, geography and everyday life were directly affected by the country’s geographic position, resulting in a rich mix of art and artefacts.

Objects on display in Room 67 at the British Museum date from prehistory to the present day and include ceramics, metalwork, sculpture, painting, screen-printed books and illuminated manuscripts.

A reconstruction of a traditional Sarangbang, or scholar’s study, is also on display and was built by contemporary Korean craftsmen.White porcelain wares, redolent of Confucian philosophy, form part of the collection as well.

The Korean peninsula – currently divided into the countries of North Korea and South Korea – lies between China, Russia and Japan in East Asia. This geographical fact has played a crucial role not only in establishing Korea’s diverse cultural heritage, but also in the development of East Asian culture and art.

In AD seventh century, the various states of the peninsula were unified for the first time under the Silla Kingdom (57 BC-AD 935). During this period, great achievements in historiography, mathematics, astronomy, metal works and technology of woodblock printing were made. Active cultural exchange and trade with China and Central Asia contributed to a more diverse society, whose achievements spilled over into Japan.

Religion has exerted a profound influence on the arts and way of life in Korea. Buddhism was introduced to Korea through China in 372 AD and soon many Buddhist temples and sculptures were built. The collection’s lacquered sutra box, used to contain Buddhist scriptures, exemplifies the significance of Buddhism and characteristic of the refined craftsmanship in the thirteenth century Koryo period. During the Choson dynasty (1392 -1910), Confucianism, with its tenets of frugality and self-cultivation, was followed by scholars.

"Dhratarastra, Guardian King of the East, a painting on hemp cloth, late 18th - early 19th century AD "

Hope you like it!!!! if you do, please let me know so I can ask my sis to contribute more lol

-Gisela V.