Winter Break

A lot has happened over winter break for me.

First, due to unexpected circumstances and a small (really not that big of a deal) family emergency, I went back to Seoul for the winter break.

I was only there for about a month, but the time flew by so fast that it felt like I was only there for two weeks or so.

I got to do a lot like shopping, meeting up with old friends from high school, noraebang, clubbing, etc. I was especially happy to be with my family again.

Even though it had been only a few months since I last saw my family, my little brothers seemed to have grown up so much! I still can’t believe my youngest brother will be in middle school next year, he still seems to tiny and like a baby to me.

Anyways, it was really nice to see my old friends again. I was reunited with two of my very close friends that I hadn’t seen in over a year, since I had graduated from high school. It was so great to see them again and catch up and talk like old times.

Especially one who is my guy best friend (who is also my girl best friend’s boyfriend) so we gossiped a bit about their relationship and reminiscing about old times of our high school trio.

I did a lot of karaoke in the beginning when I arrived. But after two weeks I actually got tired of singing because all the places have the same songs and it gets boring after awhile to do it too much in such a short amount of time.

I also did soooo much shopping. It was mostly makeup and accessories though, because for clothing, I needed summer clothing for the year-round hot weather of Miami, while in Korea it’s currently winter and still very cold. The boutiques only sold sweaters, heavy coats, and other winter clothing. I had no use for those and I couldn’t find any t-shirts or shorts so I didn’t bother with clothing shopping. Only very little clothing shopping.

Anyways, I will eventually do winter break makeup haul review later ~ I have the pictures and everything, I just need to stop being lazy and actually type up the review.

I also had some very nice encounters during winter break with some cute Korean guys 😉 I met them at an English cafe (not at the same time though, separately)  and from there, we went out a few times to grab dinner and chat for hours in a cafe. It was a lot of fun to talk with male Koreans and hear their questions about America and their thoughts and opinions about certain issues, such as in politics, music taste, relationships, etc. We are just friends, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think they are cute! hehehe

I thought I was adjusting well to my life in Miami, but being back in Seoul for the summer, and shortly later for the winter, I don’t know how I will survive these next few months. I want school to be over so I can go back to Korea for the summer and see all my friends (new and old) again! And the difference of an American and Korean lifestyles and cultures are just so huge, I really do prefer Korea over America.

I might need to make a whole separate post about that since there’s a lot I’d like to talk about with the differences of living in the USA and in Korea (more specifically, Seoul. Although I could also talk about living in the rural side of Korea since I also lived in the countryside before we moved to Seoul). Anyways, I will consider making a post about this or not.

So that was my winter break! I’m back in the US now for university, spring semester. I hope it passes by quickly and smoothly so I can see my family and friends again in Seoul!

Ethnic/Racial Cliques and Groups in School

I do not live in Seoul anymore. Extreme sadness to that.

Instead, I am currently in the United States attending university. My family still lives in Korea though, so I plan to go back to Seoul during the summer in 2012.

Through becoming friends with my current group of friends here in my first year of university, I realized throughout most of my life, my “clique” consisted of a random variety of types of people.

A couple weeks into school, I joined some Asian culture club and I was actually able to meet my close university friends through the organization. All the girls I became close friends with love K-Pop (especially Big Bang, DBSK, and 2PM!) and I’m so glad that the group I have is diversified.

My friends here consist of various races such as Caucasian, African-American, Chinese, Filipino, Hispanic, Jamaican, Indian, you name it! I just love how diverse our group is  because in my university (and probably in other places as well) most cliques are based on ethnicity/race. For example, whenever we hang out in the cafe, we’ll see groups of Hispanics or the Asians together. Even a small group of Caucasians every now and then. But then you look at my group and it’s like (quoting what my friend said, excuse the language) a “cluster f*ck of races” and I feel like that perfectly describes us. I wouldn’t want to trade my group of friends for anything, whether it’s a group of Korean or half Koreans. Not that I have anything against them, but I truly enjoy the little things I’ve learned about other races that i had no idea about such as discovering about Trinidad and the lives my friends had in their home countries (like Guatemala and Spain).

This reminds me of high school. In high school it’s the same thing, most groups stick together based on race. I would see so many various Korean cliques together: the preppy Koreans, the hip-hop Koreans, the gamer Koreans, etc.  and then the groups of Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, etc. (but mainly I would see Korean groups since that’s what a majority of my high school was made up of).

Then there was my group (back in high school): me (a half-Korean girl), my Vietnamese-Filipino best friend, half-Korean best guy friend, Korean gamer guy friend, Korean girl, and occasionally another Korean guy.

Okay, wait a minute. I just realized, most of my group on high school consists of Koreans or half-Koreans. But the thing is, we all seem so different. Like, I’m quiet and shy, but a bit more preppy while some of my friends were more sporty, others more nerdy, others into games. When I think back, we all didn’t have very much in common besides somehow clicking and becoming best friends (which I completely love them for!)

The point is, diversity is the best (whether through ethnicity or even just personality/hobbies). I’m grateful that I was able to find a clique in university that isn’t much of a clique based on race or ethnicity, but just on commonality like K-Pop, video games, being chill, and having the same classes.  I’m half Korean but I know I would never be able to fit into a group of full Koreans because I don’t look full Korean, can’t speak it fluently, and my personality is not quite like most Koreans, and I’m also half Hispanic. I know for a fact I wouldn’t fit in with a group of full Hispanic girls because I look and act too Asian (hahahaha, sad but true!). I also cannot speak Spanish AT ALL. I was so worried when I started school because I wasn’t sure if I would even be able to make friends. I love Asian (or more specifically, Korean-) culture so much but my school has an extremely low percentage of Asians and I hadn’t lived in America for a long time so I know the way I thought and acted wouldn’t be typical of most other Americans attending the school. I’m also not like most teens where I would drink, do drugs, party, etc. (or at least, not like the popular kids! hahaha)

In the end though, I was able to find people like me: displaced in the social hierarchy of school but still very honest and open to new cultures and experiences (plus we’re good kids! hahaha, not doing anything too crazy or bad on weekends~) So I’m also grateful that I didn’t get sucked into the wrong kind of crowd.

I am not at all judging groups that stick together and are of the same race/ethnicity, but growing up as half-and-half always made me displaced amongst cliques so I always usually had a diverse range of close friends instead of sticking with one kind of group. In a way I’m sort of jealous of groups of the same race because it seems fun to be able to relate customs, foods, language, and other commonalities with people who experienced the same thing because of the same culture. Nonetheless, I love being half-and-half and the life lessons I learned through it, such as not to judge others because of them being “different” and having an open mind to different cultures 🙂

So anyways, let me guys know what kind of clique/group of friends you guys have! I’m interested to know about others’ experiences with this as well 🙂 Also be aware that I’m loosely using the term “clique” in a way to describe a group of people. I am trying in no way to stereotype or judge.

So much in my head

Recently I’ve been depressed because of these reasons:

DBSK’s lawsuit and all the rumors circling around the issue

The cancellation of SMTOWN LIVE 0’9 in Seoul. I had green field tickets and after trying to see DBSK for a year, this was one of my few, only chances. And now it’s gone…

Moving issues. My dad wants to live in Seoul while I want to stay where I’m at. I want to graduate with all of my close friends instead of starting over at a new school. It’s selfish, but at the same time, the rest of my family also wants to stay where we’re at. It’s cheaper and better, yet my dad refuses.

Homesickness. I desperately hope to see my friends who live in the USA. I miss them all so much…they’re like family. We’ve known each other for years and still keep in contact, which I’m utterly thankful and grateful for. Plus, I miss my family in Florida soooo much. We used to visit them at least once a year, but since moving to Korea, that hasn’t been possible since it’d cost too much money for the plane tickets.

I already feel like an older person. I’m afraid I’ll get wrinkles from worrying too much XP Hopefully not.

Right now I’m listening to “Stand By U” by Tohoshinki and it’s definately lifting my mood 🙂

Haircut experience results with some DBSK fangirling

I was getting my hair cut the other day when I noticed a familiar song playing in the hairshop while the guy was cutting my hair.

It was killing me that I couldn’t quite place what the song was since it was super familiar, but halfway though the song it struck me; it was ‘Stand By U’ by Tohoshinki!

It was totally unexpected since this is a hair cutting salon IN Korea. I never expected them to play a Japanese song! Afterwards, I kept my ears open for any more Tohoshinki or J-Pop songs, but none. ‘Stand By U’ was the only Japanese song they played while I was there.

Reason I didn’t recongize the song immediately is because I actually haven’t heard the song in it’s entirety, nonetheless listening to it at all unless it’s on accident (because you know how the BigEast station will play it sometimes and when they’re on variety shows there will be a little preview of the song).

The reason why I haven’t heard ‘Stand By U’ yet is because I’m waiting to purchase the album. If I listen to a song online then I’m extremely tempted to download it and thus, I won’t feel like buying the album. I’m a fan who can’t help but want to buy the albums ^^

In Korea, DBSK’s Japanese albums won’t be released until nearly a month after the Jap. release, so I have to wait for the Korean ver. to come out before I can buy any of their Jap. albums.

On a random note, the guy who was cutting my hair started talking to me in Korean and although I had an idea of what he was saying, I couldn’t reply since my Korean is limited when talking (I can understand more than I can speak XP). It was funny since he asked me something in Korean and in English I replied, “Err…I speak English. Not Korean.” and I don’t think he understood, though maybe he got that I didn’t speak Korean? 

My mom was there with me since she’s the one who’s sort of like a translator for me XD (you know, since she’s Korean and speaks the language?), so he asked my mom why I didn’t speak Korean and she told him that I was from the USA. Then he asked her who she was to me (okay, bad wording, but I don’t know how to word it more politely. Only that he was asking what sort of relationship we had?) and she said we were mother-daughter. I think he seemed shocked since he didn’t expect a Korean woman to have a daughter who didn’t speak Korean XPPP 

And that was my haircutting experience here in Korea. It was fun since they served free drink and it came in glass cups shaped like a woman’s nude body (the boobs, butt, and everything XD Well, it wasn’t detailed, just sort of the outline of the body, but my immature little brothers found it hilarious. I would have taken a pic but I didn’t have my camera that time :()

Weird Korean English

So, for those who live in Korea, you should know that a lot of the English phrases that are on shirts, items, etc. usually makes no sense or is utterly ridiculous.

I remember once I saw a guy wearing a shirt saying “My boyfriend is hotter than yours”. Oh that poor, poor, boy. I’m 99% sure he had no idea what that shirt said XD

Another few instances was when I saw girls wearing shirts that would be a plain color and then in HUGE, BOLD letters the word “F*CK” or some other profanity would be spelled on her shirt. That was a pretty shocking thing too XD

The weirdes yet was when Helena and I were shopping, we saw a sweater that said “Abortion Clinic Staff”. Yeah, I’ve seen some pretty weird stuff, but this was yet the weirdest of them all. And so, to remember this forever, I took a picture! Yay ~

Helena holding up the hoodie.

Helena holding up the hoodie.

A closer look at the words

A closer look at the words