All posts by Hannah

Super Tiny Update!

I just wanted to let you know I shall be updating (my!) tomorrow morning/lunch time. I went out last night, and didn’t get back until around 4-5am (although I did write a draft of the afternoon before and that morning…), but now I’m super tired. I shall write a proper blog post tomorrow 🙂


Instead right now I’m going to watch Sid and Nancy or like, 2 minutes before I fall asleep, haha!

Ying and Yang day

Yesterday was a really odd day.

We awoke to a text message from Alyssa’s mum, which said North Korea may launch the missile today. So I’m sure that, without me even saying anything, you can imagine how the mood was! We talked about it for a bit, discussed our options a bit. We then decided that, we should all go out and have fun anyway since the embassy hadn’t contacted Mad, and there was noting much we could do at this moment. It’s hard having to rely on news sites from America and the UK for news. Even harder when we’re hours ahead too.

We went out to Artbox, the shop near by I told you I see myself going to often. It’s full of stationary, some clothes, and home stuff. I got quite a bit but… A lot was presents so I can’t show you (for fear they might see it!). Instead you can admire my chicken pillow. Isn’t he awesome? He’s called Taemin (태민) after a SHINee member, since everyone draws him as a chick. No idea why, but I figured this pillow needed a Korean name anyway, so might as well use 태민!


Then we went to a toy cafe, Mustoy! You decorate “toys” while they give you a free drink. They were really cute, and there were some great designs in the shop. I drew me in the hanbok I wore on world date, since I was limited with colours. Alyssa drew her friend (for her friend) and Mad drew herself too.


We all decided on drawing two, so Alyssa drew Jonghyun (SHINee), Mad drew Key (SHINee) and I drew the world. Haha. I might have moved The Americas to be closer to Asia, and I might have made Asia a lot smaller and New Zealand giant. All for artistic purposes of course…

We then headed for a burger bar, which was pretty much a UK pub (with fancier food). Mad had fish and chips, Alyssa a burger, and I pigged out on – (that’d be a great pun if you ate bacon…) – mac’n’cheese and French fries. It was tasty, and only came it something like £5. Food is so unbelievably cheap here. Or, how much you get for what you pay!


We then planned to get our nails done, but couldn’t find a place with enough staff for all of us, and figured that communication was going to be hard so gave up. We went home, chilled for a bit, and just as Mad and I started to watch a TV show, Alyssa informed us that a club in Gangnam was holding a concert with a bunch of our favourite k-pop groups. We all decided we’d go out, and got dressed ASAP.

It went pretty downhill pretty quick. We were trying to get there ASAP, but it was 45 minutes away. Alyssa and Mad at this point didn’t want to go, and it was only me who was excited. Once we got there, the line was huge. Once we got half way to the door, Mad realised she’d lost her wallet and ran back to the station. We didn’t find the wallet, even though we asked the station information and looked everywhere we could. So we decided to go home. Then when I called down a cab, he mistook my Korean and drove us to the wrong side of Seoul. I thought it’d be really expensive, but even after all that, it was only about £12!!! That’s crazy! Crazy cheap!

We all got home and crashed into bed. We’re about to go out again, to where I’m not really sure. A zoo? We’ll find out soon I guess!

One Long but Short day…

Today nothing much really happened until this evening. Despite waking up quite early, we went out around lunch time. We headed to an area called Dongdaemun which is pretty much building after building (or in some case buildings under buildings) of markets. It’s a famous area for haggling for clothes, but none of us really brought anything. We all got lunch in an expensive mall, then headed to some underground market shops to visit a K-Pop store (and cap/hat shop). I got a Bibimbap, and the other two got crepes!


We did go back to same area as the dog cafe, to visit Everysing and Étude (since our local one doesn’t sell all the items). Everysing is the SM entertainment store, which sells CDs, ‘idol’ goodies, has a SM karaoke and a photo booth so you can “take photos” with your favourite SM star!


Mad and I tried the photo-booth as Alyssa already did that last time she was here. My “editing” time ran out so they looked really boring! But in a way, I didn’t really know how to edit them like I did with the H.A.M photos! (And I didn’t notice it got my bag in the shot too. It looks like Jonghyun is holding them for me in one photo! Haha!

Then we met up with one of the Unnies (“Older Sister”) from SHINee World Date, and went out to a sushi buffet place. It was really, really good, and despite having a lot of fish (obviously!), a lot was veggie-friendly too! We then went to a tarot cafe, because SuJee Unnie agreed to help translate! Because Alyssa and Mad are a lot better at Korean then me, it was easy for her and they picked up most of it anyway. For me, they called over one of the workers who could speak English and I got a slightly different reading then Mad and Alyssa. They had more advice-based readings, where as mine was more of a prediction based reading. According to our readings (in order of the readings), Alyssa has 7 guys who like her, but she’s shutting them out. Mad on the other hand will find success in her career, but will have to undergo hardships first. And me? Apparently I’m too conflicted right now, but need to focus on one thing and in 6 months a guy I’ve been waiting for (and more, unimportant ones) will show up to try and win my heart. (Pahahaha) Guess we’ll see in 6 months…

My new “T-Money” card! TOP!!

The cafe was really nice though. They had books to leave messages in, so I drew a few pictures and left some basic (English) messages. They gave us flower tea, and it was really refreshing. We just sat and talked, or drew and listened to music while we were waiting. It was really nice to just chill. We worked out that we’ve visited a themed cafe each day. Tomorrow, we shall go to a toy cafe! You paint a toy while you drink! (or drink while you paint a toy…).

On the way back from walking SuJee Unnie to the subway station, we stopped by 7-11. It’s kind of become our thing to go each night and buy our breakfast. (yogurt and fruit. Strawberry yogurt, bananas and banana milk for me!). Usually the banana milk I buy gets drunk straight away, but day I brought two as I realised that’d just be better! Yesterday, Mad and Alyssa bought me some yogurt and banana milk when they came back from their outing. I was really happy! ^_^! Mad and I ended up talking until like 2AM, which was really nice!

Now we’re going to wait SHINee before going to sleep for another great day tomorrow! Night~!

“너왜 너왜 down이야 기분이 오왜 오왜 척하면 척?” ♪☆

In all honesty, today has been a roller coaster of emotions. That’s due to my card problems, some news, and hormones making me over-emotional with everything. I’ve felt really bad for Alyssa and Mad that this should happen 2-3 days into our holiday, but I’ve tried my hardest not to be the miserable one or affect their fun in any way.

My day started off great at least; We had a lie in this morning! That was nice! We then made banana (scrambled) pancakes in the hostel before heading out to shop. Obviously I couldn’t, but this is what I mean when I tried not to be the miserable one! It was a shame because there was so many nice things, but I was too worried about when my card would work to be sad over them. Mad and Alyssa found lots of great things, and look just as amazing in each piece! Today they looked like two models, I swear. One model had just flawlessly stepped out of Gossip Girl while the another model belonged to an edgy fashion catalogue! (Yesterday, Mad even got snapped for a Street Fashion! piece! And stopped on the streets for being pretty!). I felt really insecure walking with them! Mad lent me her flower head band though, and it did make a good change to my outfit. The problem today was that it was really cold, and none of us were really prepared for weather this cold. (I know, I know. I’m English, aren’t I always prepared for the cold?). I decided on a basic but warm look, which while it wasn’t unfashionable, it wasn’t really comparable to what they were wearing.

Another highlight of today was that we – by complete chance – found a Veggie place! I got to try Korean Veggie food without any hassle! It was really strange actually. I’ve forgotten what it is like to enter a restaurant and have the choice of the full menu. Everything looked sooo good, but I went with the “Kimchi Fried Rice!”. It was really tasty, and you’ll have to take my word as I was too hungry to take a photo for you. (I’m sorry >___<;!!!) Afterwards we did more shopping, and I admittedly spent my last 5,000W on socks. (I'd spent the other on lunch). I didn't plan to - nor wanted to - but there were two disney princess socks I knew Sara and Judit would like. I then found the Korean and London socks I liked for only 1,000W each. (Elsewhere they were W2,000!). So I bought them and, to add to the total of 5,000, the cat socks. image

After shopping for a while, it started to rain and we all decided we’d head to the Princess Diary Cafe. We headed in one direction, but ended up going to another cafe. We used their internet for directions, but Mad found some alarming news instead. North Korea has warned Foreigners to leave South Korea. Just how serious is the threat? We panicked, and starting searching elsewhere. We emailed our Korean friends for their opinions, emailed each embassy and lastly our parents. I knew Mum would be just as worried, if not more, so it would be best to email her ASAP. Although right now, there is no real conclusion. The Singapore Embassy told us there is no threat, one friend told us she was worried too, one friend told us the international news is making a big deal out of everything so we shouldn’t worry, and the BBC state that Korea has always warned before they’ve done something, so this warning seems legit, and something is going blow (I didn’t even realise how awful this pun was in this context at first!) soon.

This best thing to do right now, is just keep checking updates, and always be ready to go home ASAP if needs be. Apparently the embassy will send warnings if the tensions/scenario worsens and we agreed that we shouldn’t risk anything. So in conclusion, the answer is to not worry, but worry (a little bit) and be ready for the worst, JUST IN CASE!!! The worst in our case should be that with have to get the next plane home. Which isn’t really the worst case scenario at all!

We stayed in that cafe for quite a while, as it then started to rain harder, before snowing/hailing it down. The snow/hail was short lived though, and we went out to find the Princess cafe.


It took a little while longer then expected, but we did it! We found the cafe! My was it cute! You enter, order your drink, then choose your dress. I had a Green Tea Shake, which was a little weird (but nice!), and Mad and Alyssa ordered Green Tea. They came in two adorable tea sets.


Only Mad and I were trying on dresses, but we still spent ages looking. The cheaper ones to hire looked really ugly, so we splashed out a little more. Considering I’d only spent 10,000W (About 6-7 pounds!) so far that day, I figured it’d be OK to do so. Alyssa kindly lent me the money so I could do so! I did try my card, but the lady told me it was blocked. Ah well, I thought, at least I finally found out that it was my bank that was being the problem. (As opposed to Korea not liking my card).


I choose my dress first, and the lady double-checked I wanted this dress. “No change!” she told me, and I nodded. Then I went into the fitting rooms, and she pinned it in place so it would fit a little better. I really liked my dress on, and she told me that it looked “so cute!” so I was pleased. Then while I was waiting for Mad, another lady came and fitted a tiara on me, so I was truly a princess… for up to an hour. Mad and I stayed in costume for about, 45 minutes? We took LOADS of photos and played around with the accessories. We took photos of Alyssa too! (When she wasn’t being the photographer that was).


Afterwards, when we were getting ready to go, a young couple came into the cafe. Mad mentioned how there were so many things for couples to do in Korea, and my mind flashed back to the dog cafe. We saw lots of couples there too, and there was one couple who wore matching clothes with the same dyed hair colour! It sounds cheesy and horrible, but they were both stylish enough to pull it off. But Mad was right; Korean couples do have so much to do. “No wonder they never get bored of each other!”

We all talked about date hot spots in our countries, and they were all were pretty short lists. With all the options Koreans have, they seem naturally romantic! Even more so when the guys agree to go to places like the Dog or Princess cafe. I imagined trying to bring a typical English guy to one, but failed to picture any agreeing without some serious judging. I guess it’s just because it’s totally different from anything in our own culture. Koreans also celebrate “100 days!”, and go all out on the celebration, which seems cute too. I prefer the celebration of “100 days!” for babies though. For some reason, that seems cuter. I’m not sure how I feel about couples clothing though. I think I quite like it, at least in some sense. Some people can pull it off well, some look better in one or two matching things, and sometimes simple things like “couples phone charms!” seem best. I really like the idea behind it though, and think it’s cute they want to proudly show they’re together.

Ah… but please don’t assume that this means I’m going to limit myself to Korean men! I hate when people do, even more when it’s for no apparent reason. I understand (to some extent) those who have heard me gush over Korean singers, but I gush over American actors just the same. (OMG that reminds me… The Borgias is on in a few days!). But to those of you who have asked me or wondered if I’m only attracted to Korean men/going to marry a Korean, the answer is I will not choose a guy via his nationality! If I lived here, I suppose it’d be more likely I’d marry someone from here, but not for their race. It’d be because I’ve met someone that I get on well with, who happens to be Korean. But the point I’m trying to make is, like yesterday, I’m just stating the cultural differences. There are always bad sides too, but that’s not always relevant to this discussion! Just like, how when I talk negatively about something, I try to remind everyone that it doesn’t mean EVERYTHING is bad.

I know this doesn’t seem many photos for the Princess Cafe, considering we spent 45 minutes there, but I used my main camera. I only took a few on my iPad for the blog! (Just like with the dog cafe!).

After the Princess Cafe we looked in a few more shops, and then came home. Due to the 8 hour time difference, and the need for wifi, I couldn’t sort out my card beforehand. That’s why I went the whole day stressed instead of sorting it out. I had to try many numbers, and area codes, but eventually found one that worked. I could’t help it, but with all the stress at some point I started to cry. My phone then died (despite being on charge), and when I did get through, I then had to wait a long time, and deal with a lot of “You’re speaking to the wrong person, let me forward you to…”. That was probably why, along with my tension headache, my mood didn’t lift right away, even though the problem was now sorted. I guess at least it shows I’m not Bi-Polar. Or.. something like that?

Alyssa and Mad were excited for going out and I didn’t want to ruin their night. Some time alone to just cry (briefly!) and get my stress out would probably be best I thought. And as Alyssa said, at least they can head out for BBQ now!


After I’ve relaxed and got some sleep, I can join them in being (somewhat -if we look past the N.Korean threats-) carefree tomorrow! I feel a lot better already. (Well, duh! You’ve sorted out your card! The weight has been lifted!). I guess another plus side would be that, at least this happened at the start of holiday. I’d rather begin with a bad note then end on one!

And the title is song lyrics! UP & DOWN by SHINee. They translate as;

“Why is your, why is your
Mood down, oh why, oh why?”

I was going to do a rollercoster title, but I’m pretty sure I did that with my old blog. Like, 99.8% sure.

And as for my photos, I’ve tried editing them to the right way around, but they refuse to work! I’m sorry… Look at it as providing neck exercises for you! Heh heh heh…

(*^_^*) Night!
(Or… Afternoon!)
(Depending on where you are in the world)
(Maybe even “Good Morning!)
(I’ll stop now)

Sunny Day to Heavy Rain, So Let’s Go to… the Dog Cafe!

So I’m sorry to say that, yet again, I’m super tired! I’m not going to go on about that, but I’m going to apologise in advance for any errors that come up! When I get home, I’ll re-go through all my posts and proof-read them fully (it can get a little hard on the iPad, even when borrowing Alyssa’s keyboard!), and lastly, I’ll add all the photos on my camera.

Due to a booked tour around SNU (Seoul National University) at 10.30, we all agreed to get up at 7.30am. I set my alarm but, we all woke up around 6am? Actually, I woke up before that. When I first woke up I thought “Waah I’m so hungry, but I’m still a little tired. Hope I’ve still got an hour to sleep some more”… before I realised that I’d only been asleep for 2 hours! D’oh!

Breakfast in the Inn is quite good. There’s bread (enough for 2 slices each), with numerous toppings, and an egg. There’s coffee and water for free, but you can pay to have another drink if you want. No-one seemed up when we went down, but while we were washing up, a girl from Essex came in. Apparently she’s teaching in Thailand, but decided to spend her break in Korea! I thought that was pretty cool! It’s our first time speaking to someone (staying here) too. Everyone pretty much keeps to themselves, which is a good thing I suppose. Everyone is friendly enough to smile and say hi too, which is good! I suppose we have only been here 2 days… although, in just those 2 days all the guests have changed!

Speaking of smiling and saying hello… in Korea, when someone looks at you, it’s not usual to smile back a ‘hello’. I’m so use to doing so at home, that I have to stop myself here. I’ve done it twice while on automatic, and at least one time the lady was already smiling (which is probably why I did). I’ve been pretty good to remember it otherwise. I don’t think it’s rude, though it may come across as such to other brits. I suppose the good side of it would be that no one fakes sincerity.

And speaking of sincerity… shopkeepers don’t tend to greet foreigners, unless greeted first. They follow you around though, and at first I was a little confused as to why. I’ve quickly learnt that, they try to follow everyone in case they need help, but as most can’t speak much English, they don’t bother speaking unless spoken to (in Korean), or if they NEED to speak English, and then it’s usually one-worded. This too is understandable though! I think it’d seem rude to those who probably think the whole world should speak English. Imagine someone coming into your work place who didn’t speak English. “They’re in England! They should speak English!”. Well, the same applies here. I’m in Korea, I should speak Korean! But, they don’t expect any of us to. Obviously it doesn’t apply with every shopkeeper, I must remind you, but this is just a general observation of mine.

Similarly, yesterday, when in Etude House (a make-up store), a girl was following me. She looked a little younger, and was there with a group of friends. I’ve never had that happen before! It was a little weird! I thought at first she wanted to look at the lipsticks, so I moved, and then she followed me. She was like RIGHT behind me, shuffling. Then I went back to the lipsticks, and she followed me again. Then I turned to look at her, and she ran to her friends. I think, it may be because of my hair and height. I’ve read a little of another blonde girl who lived in Korea, and she reported similar incidents because of her looks too. If that’s the reason I don’t mind, because I guess I understand. In the rare cases I see another foreigner, I’m like, “Woaha! A foreigner!” like I’m not one myself… I realised that I should probably stop thinking that! It’s not that I think I’m Korean, I just can’t see myself so don’t think about how different I look when we’re walking places or doing things.

Everything I’ve written so far seems negative, doesn’t it? And this next piece won’t help either… but, you shouldn’t see it that way! It’s more like cultural observations. I don’t think of them in a “oh, aren’t we a better society?” kind of way. I see everything in an “Oh, so that’s how it works here…” way. At the end of the day, I maintain the belief that culture doesn’t get in the way of your personality. It influences it, but in reality we are all humans. At the same time though, I think everything have a plus side and a negative. No culture in perfect, and it’s not rude or wrong to admit that. It’d be rude or wrong to admit that no culture but you’re OWN is perfect, because you haven’t experienced other ways of living. How do you know your culture is the best when you’re not aware of the other ways it could be?

So with this thought in mind… after we finished breakfast we headed to the metro and getting distracted a little with my story again, it is actually pretty easy to work! And super cheap! They have a card called “T-Money” that works a little like an Oyaster card… only it works for buses too! And instead of charging you stupid amounts, it only takes a little bit of credit each time! Luckily we were already on the right line, so just had to wait a few stops. Then, we switched onto a bus. Still pretty easy peasy! The only thing was… the bus was crowded. Seriously crowded. There was no space, and people were still trying to cram on. (This is where it seems negative again). It smelt of kimchi and smoke, but that was fine to deal with until it came to trying to push our way out of the bus. People would not move, and more people were trying to climb on. Alyssa and Mad were pushing me so we could get through, and it wasn’t easy. I was worried that while we were trying, we wouldn’t make it out on time. Thankfully though, we did!

It was a short walk from the stop to the University entrance, but WOW. From the entrance, the place was already 5 times the size of Winchester University, and this was only the outskirts, and bus stops. The University is so big, that they run their own buses around!

We arrived early, and were told to wait for a little while, before we were greeted by two University students! They were both really nice, funny, honest and helpful. Around the University there are so many cafes and shops and gyms and restaurants and parks for the students. I don’t think I’d need to join the gym considering all the uphill walking I’d have to do. Alyssa and I joked that a morning jog to our lecture halls and back would be enough!

After the tour we checked out a campus cafe, and the Iced Green Tea Latte was preeeeetty good. It was right next to the languages centre, so I told Alyssa that if we got in, we could practice our Korean afterwards over lunch!

We then headed back to our room, but took many a detour. We didn’t want to get squished in the bus, only finding after making this decision that the route to the station wasn’t a simple one. We decided that a break in Baskins and Robins would be a good idea, and then decided to head onwards. Suddenly we were in a really “local” area. The sort no tourists would ever go to, unless driving through. It was nice to see it all actually. I really like comparing simple things like “supermarkets” in different countries. I think there’s something fascinating in comparing how we (humans, in different societies) live. Even down to something simple like crisp flavours. I don’t know what’s so special about it, but I really enjoy it!

For instance, the area we ended up in had a stream down the middle, and next to that, a path for walking, and a path for cycling. Then, at a random point, there was gym equipment alongside a basketball court. I thought it was really nice. Actually, I’ve heard there’s lots of areas like that in the city, and on another sunny day I’d like to go to one. In some, they have pebbles in the ground as it’s meant to be good for your feet. I imagine that leaving in such an industrial city, it’s nice to have small areas for nature still.

We had to ask a man for some advice at a bus stop, but he gladly helped us. We actually missed our stop (the bus was so comfy and we were so tired from all the walking), but thankfully this time we were in view of the station still.


After that, we stopped to take some photo stickers together, and took three lots so we all ended up with a few. It’s really fun to choose your backgrounds, pose with silly head gear, then doodle or stamp the photos with things! We tried a few of the different machines, and I took a photo of the “Bling Bling” booth for you all to see! Cute right?!


Seemingly everything is seriously cute in Korea. Last night we walked past a contraceptive store, and even that had a bubbly pink and pop blue sign with cute cartoon drawings on the window. Then, outside the police station they had two cute cartoon statues wearing police outfits. And even a hospital had a cute cartoon skeleton with bandages on it’s wall. I quite like it though. I know some people don’t (not EVERYTHING is pink by the way!), but it sorts of gives the message of “don’t take life too seriously!’, and not in the bad way. I mean in a sort of acknowledged “bad things happen in life, so let’s add some good to it!’. Ah, no matter how I try to express it, somehow I can’t seem to right now. I’ll take some example photos though, and show you. Oh! And I just remembered, even the road-works signs were shaped like people with cute cartoon faces!

This afternoon things took a not-so-cute turn for me though. We went to Myeong-Dong to shop, but when I went to take money out of the bank, the machine told me “do not honor this card/action”. Alyssa told me not to worry, she knew another machine that might. But that machine didn’t “honor” my card either. Alyssa tried hers, and it worked. I was seriously worried and shopping was suddenly out of the option. I saw things for Alice and Eleanor and was annoyed I couldn’t get them. Even more annoying, the things I wanted for Alice came in the store that had the most freebies! And some of them were SHINee freebies! (grr!)(But why are you complaining? One of their other stores gave you a free SHINee poster!)

So since I couldn’t shop, I took to photographing some of the street scenes, but you can’t see them until I get home. It’s really interesting though. Businesses often share a building, and usually you find them stacked on top of the other. As it started to rain, we decided to go into a Dog Cafe!

… A Dog Cafe? What’s that? A cafe with a lot of cute cartoon dogs and themed sandwiches?


Oh no, it’s a cafe where somebody let the dogs out, and you can go join them with a free drink. When you enter, you have to wash your hands and then order your drink (another iced green tea latte? Don’t mind if I do!) and then get handed a card which tells you the dogs names, and which dogs are more aggressive and should not be petted. (One of them, a big poodle, climbed up onto the seat next to me at first and I was scared! Haha! What if it accidentally touched me, then got angry with ME for that?)


The dogs weren’t allowed to touch your drink, and were pretty good at avoiding your bags if you left them on the table. At first, they just liked to run around or bite the wooden shelf at one corner (even though it meant they got told off. Oh well, small price to pay for some tasty pre-chewed wooden shelf!). They like to run up to you, but will run away if you try to touch them. I wasn’t really trying to be as close with them as others. I was wearing a dress with see-through tights, and didn’t want to ruin them. I was happy enough just to watch them. Mad and Alyssa kept trying to pet them however, and eventually as the dogs grew tired, two climbed onto Mad and Alyssa’s laps. Getting fed up of feeling like a wall flower at prom (not exactly true, I was busy taking photos of Alyssa and Mad), I decided that maybe if I kneeled on the floor it’d be okay. One fussy dog befriended me, and let me pet it before following me. Woo! I finally made a friend! Then another fussy dog decided that I looked pretty comfy, so climbed on my legs. He liked leaning on my arm, but liked his head poking through my arms more! He was really cute, but a bad boy too. He kept leaving me! He was playing push and pull on me! He’d leave, then come back and sleep on me, or rest with me, then leave me again! Alyssa had a huge dalmatian sleep on her lap most of the time, but then my dog and another, younger, female version of him snuggled on her lap. Mad had a possessive dog too, but all the dogs liked her skirt so they kept coming over to sniff it! I wasn’t very popular, but finally the pug I’d been trying to befriend came over to me too!


It was actually a nice place. I wasn’t sure about the idea before I went. I didn’t dislike it, but I wasn’t like “YEHHHH! DOG CAFEEE!”. We’re talking about going again maybe, another day later in our holiday. It was really sweet to just sit and talk with a snuggly dog on our laps. If you’re wondering “what if they pee on you?” well, I was scared of that too. Thankfully mine never did, but Mad got peed on! She didn’t mind though, and we all fell about laughing.

When you leave, they offer a clothes brush, more hand wash and a scented spray. All were obviously needed, especially for Alyssa who was wearing black jeans that got COVERED in white and black dog hair! We stayed in total for about two hours we think, but it went by so quickly. (There were cute dogs, who’d keep track on the time?).

It rained harder on the way home, and had a much stronger and colder wind, but luckily in my “Mum Handbag” I had an umbrella!

Now I’ve finally finished this… I can go to sleep! Woo!

Tomorrow I think the plan is for more shopping… Let’s hope I can sort out my card! If we’re in the area, I would like to go to the “Princess Cafe!” tomorrow! Or maybe the toy cafe… then sometime this week, when the weather is nice, I hope we can see the Hanok Village and the Palace!

First Day In Korea~!

So it is now 22:46 and I have been here since… 08:10. That’s not bad at all but, I haven’t had sleep for a loooong time. I didn’t sleep on the plane (oh ho there’s a new one), but I left at 14:10 after waking up at 07:30 and going to sleep at 24:00… ahh too much maths! Let’s sum it up as; I’m tired!


I suppose I should start at the beginning… When I arrived! I arrived to a grand total of… 2 degrees! No difference from home… But thankfully, because it was still “early morning” (Dad might disagree), I knew it’d increase! (… And it did, slightly…)

I met Mad by great luck when walking to the immigration line. She was almost about to go through, which meant I got to jump ahead (woohoo!). Everything went pretty smoothly, and quickly, we found the right bus without hassle. It was great! Even better than that, it only cost 10,000w (about £6~7), took 50 minutes and was actually pretty comfy!

Mad and I pasted the time by looking out of the window, although there wasn’t that much to see except a mixture of water, occasional buildings and dry land. We also listened to Sistar and (sort of) sang along, in practice for our Noreabang outing!



Since Alyssa was due to arrive 7 hours after us, our plan was to go to our lodging, check in, get lunch, walk around a little and buy some beauty things before heading back to the airport to find Alyssa! And, it pretty much went like that.

We found our lodging easily, and discovered some landmarks to help us find our way (which have come in useful all day since!). Everywhere was kind of empty, and while I thought maybe that was because it was a Sunday, I found as each hour past, more people filled the streets. This may have something to do with our area being a student area, or may have something to do with the classic phrase “Koreans work hard, and play hard”. Everything seems to come alive at around 7pm! Lots of new shops, bars and street vendors open! We only had a small walk tonight in search of food places, but I did find an amazing store that no doubt will be one I visit often! Tonight I got some stickers, and cute Pajamas as they were on offer for 7,000W from 25,000W. That means I paid around a fiver for them… woooo!


Today was a pretty great start! There was a slight problem with language at a local restaurant but, that’s to be expected! She was still a super nice woman, and made me a BiBimBap without meat, although Mad and I wasn’t quite sure how to ask for that at first. The problem really came when she asked me “Why don’t you eat meat?”. I was thinking “Ur, how do I explain ‘morals?’. So I just settled with ‘I don’t like it!’.

That’s about it for today, as I’m super tired! Tomorrow we have to wake up early so I need my sleep! See you then for a much better post. Today’s post is more of a “I’m here!” for my family, so I apologise for that!

Seoul Bakery Review

So before I brought my new iPad mini, I went to Seoul Bakery in London with Min. Why does it matter that I went before I brought my new iPad mini? Well, my iPad mini has a camera on it. My old iPad did not, so I couldn’t use my iPad to take photos.

This is a good thing and a bad thing. It means that, my photos look great but, my blogging website doesn’t like them. It means I had to spend hours re-sizing a photo, which on my travels, thankfully I won’t have too. This also means however, that on my travels I cannot upload the most amazing photos right a way. But look at it this way; at least you get photos on-the-go!

But anyway…


Seoul Bakery is an awesome Korean dig in London. It’s really, really small though. Luckily, I worked out that when they just opened (12 o’clock Mr Wolf!) would be the best time to visit. Why? Because the place is so popular, about 1 o’clock people start queuing outside. And why do they queue? Because there’s about… 14 seats in the restaurant in total.(Told you it was really, really small!)

But if you don’t mind the possibility of rubbing elbows with a stranger or are up for making some new friends (possibly… depending on the friendliness of those next to you…), the food is so worth it. For me, the atmosphere really made it as well. That’s not because I’m  somewhat of a K-Pop fan (they do blast K-Pop out of their tiny speakers, but I recognized one song in the hour we stayed there), but because it was just so cosy and unique and… great! On the walls, you’re allowed to doodle or leave messages, and everyone more or less has. We of course, left our mark too. I wrote a confession on the window in a yellow sharpie (good luck trying to find and read it), along with a post-it note declaring my love for 비빔밥 (BiBimBap) and a typical “WE WERE HERE!” post-it note. Min kindly wrote many messages about her love for Kris, leader of the Chinese boy band EXO*.


 Embarrassingly, I wrote the wrong “and”. Go home Hana, you need to practice Korean.

As for the food, along price range, it was amazing. We paid £1.50 for 김밥 (kimbap) which is  probably easiest to describe as the Korean Sushi. We got two rolls for £1.50 people! That is amazing! Usually you get charged around £3 for half a roll.


True to Korean culture, we pretty much shared our food. I ordered (as already stated) the egg 비빔밥 (BiBimBap) which I believe was around £3 – £3.50? The most common 비빔밥 (BiBimBap) is made with beef instead of egg, but being a vegetarian I obviously choose the “egg”. There was 3 other choices for meat you could have in your 비빔밥 (BiBimBap) but I’ve forgotten them. I have to say though, I was in no way limited for choice. Min ordered two dishes and a side of rice, and while I can’t quite remember them, she allowed me to try some and eat the eggs. Her dishes tasted super, super yummy too!

It is also probably worth noting, you get a cold, tall glass bottle of water, and tiny silver cups for free. Instead of the £1.90 I got changed for a small glass of water at Maison Blanc. 

After piggy Hana ate some.
This isn’t even all of the food! Obviously I didn’t waste any time as I don’t have any photos of all of our food.

Had to take at least one 셀카 (Selca!) in there! 
셀프 (Self) + 카메라 (Camera) = 셀카 (Selca)

Lastly, we ordered their special 아이스녹차라떼 (Iced Green Tea Latte!). It costs about… £2.50, but was so good. So good I’ve been dreaming about it since. I actually wanted to order a special tea they sold there, but the lady told me it was sold out.

SHINee and Siwon from Super Junior have visited! I heard EXO have too, but they didn’t leave their signatures. Maybe it’s just a hopeful rumour or they weren’t important enough at the time
Odd angle because I didn’t want people to think I was photographing them eating! Haha…

Speaking about their staff, I think it’s important I write a little about them too! I’ve read a review that they didn’t speak English, which was not true when I was there. Our waitress was a Londoner, who was learning Korean. She spoke to us in English obviously, but would shout the orders in Korean. Behind the bar, they spoke in a mixture of Korean and English. They’re all really friendly too, so need to feel intimidated!

I didn’t write the two above messages, but I thought they were both super sweet messages.

I guess the last thing to add is; No, it’s not really a Bakery. Why? No idea. Ancient legend has it the store before was a Bakery, and the new owners couldn’t be bothered to change ALL of the sign. Realistically, who knows. Whooooo knooooows.


Seoul Bakery; 55 St Giles High Street, WC2H 8LH.
07763 278681.
Opening Hours; (Mon-Sun) 12:00 – 23:00
Price Range: £!

* There are two branches of the “EXO” boy band; Chinese and Korean. Both are produced by the Korean Entertainment company SM. Just to explain why she’s professing her love for a Chinese boy band in a Korean restaurant.

Update! 2 Weeks to Go!

So I keep playing around with things to blog about, but honestly, I want to blog about my upcoming travels… So I’m going to!

I’m really, really, really excited. There’s 2 weeks left, but I know the last week will go pretty quickly and I’ll suddenly remember there’s like a hundred and 20 things I haven’t done on my holiday check-list (I’ll get around to it… eventually).

I thought it would probably be a good idea to – before I go – give you an idea of what I’ll be blogging about while I’m away. I can’t say for sure what I will and won’t be doing yet, until the day it comes to look out the hotel window and judge weather conditions. But, here are the things that I hope to get up to while I’m away;

Seoul, South Korea

  • Eating lots of yummy (veggie) food.
  • Watching Alyssa and Mad eat lots of interesting food. (“Ooh, what’s that?”)
  • Visiting the 북촌한옥마을/Bul Chon Hanok Village, drinking tea in 인사동/Insadong and visiting 창덕궁/Chang-deok-kgung Palace. These are all traditional areas of Seoul. It’ll be interesting to see in comparison to the industrial parts. In some areas of 북촌한옥마을/Bul Chon Hanok Village, you look down a hill to see the industrial part of the city.
  • Touring 서울대/Seoul National University
  • Visiting Princess Diary Cafe (so unbelievably excited for this one! haha! Just wait until I blog about it! I don’t want to spoil you until then!)
  • 홍대앞(Hongdae) Student Art Market, generally 홍대앞 touring (we’re staying in this area), shopping, etc.
  • 엔 서울타워/N Seoul Tower – Going to cry at singleness with Mad and Alyssa as we look at all the couple locks, eat Ice-Cream and admire the general view.
  • Admiring the cherry blossom along the 한강/Han-River / Visiting the 청계천/Cheong-gye-cheon Stream.
  • Ignoring all the cute couples but wearing Animal fashion together (I’m not sure how else to put it? You’ll see what I mean…) in 에버랜드 리조트/Everland Resort Theme Park and Zoo.

Barcelona, Spain

It’s Saint Jordi’s day on the 23rd April! I plan to go into Barcelona and take a bunch of photos.

  • Au Pair day! Meeting up with Jo, who was the Au Pair before me, and Natalie, the current Au Pair, for a meal and general fun in Barcelona!
  • San Jorge Medieval Week in Montblanc! The locals dress in Medieval clothes and throw a week long Medieval festival to celebrate their heritage and it sounds great fun!
  • Eating lots of Olives and Ice Cream.

Hello.. New blog site…


I feel like I’ve just moved house and there’s so much decorating to do, but instead I’m ignoring it to throw a house party. Yet, my last blog was only temporary, so this is my first long-term blog which is a kind of exciting too. It’s like buying the house instead of renting it I guess. Maybe I should end it there with the house metaphor… Anyway! I’ve got some introductions to do!

Hello I’m Hana!
I love travelling, exploring new cultures, food, photography, food, history, music and food.
This Easter holiday I’m travelling  to Seoul (South Korea) and Barcelona (Spain), but to quote Dad; ‘there’s always a holiday planned’. This is my blog to write about said holidays, and anything cultural or interesting I feel like writing about when I’m not holiday-ing.

I update often when abroad, but in-between is usually pretty slow. It all depends on what I’m doing, and how annoying uploading photos is really.

Until next time!