Sunday, March 31, 2013

K's Taekwando lessons

It started off just like the movie 'The Karate Kid'. K used to press his nose against the glass window of the Taekwondo studio & watch with wonderstruck eyes the kids inside practicing their martial arts. He learnt a few moves on his own, by just observing them practice. Before long, he was pestering us to sign him up & we finally did. And just like the movie, he's pretty awful at it & hopefully will improve until he turns into a little Bruce Lee by the end of the movie :) For now, he's nowhere close to catching flies with chopsticks!

Which reminds me - have you watched this video on YouTube on the most intesnse taekwondo fight? :)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Where we stayed

I don't think I've written about a hotel before on my blog; but that's because I don't get easily wowed by hotels. They're usually just places you stay at when you travel. Today though, I'm going to blog about one in Seoul. 12 6 Mansion is a small B&B in the most beautiful & artsy part of Seoul. Its run by 3 sisters - one is an artist, another an aspiring screenplay writer for korean movies - both very interesting girls we quickly made friends with. They live with their mother, who makes delicious Korean breakfast & a cute dog named Shiru. There was something very personal about the experience of staying here. Hyun Chung was our friend, guide, translator & introducer-to-great-Korean-wine; and Su caught little K's fascination*. The place is designed with a lot of Su's own artwork & some great kitch design. We loved it!

*Btw, K was considered very exotic in Korea - people came up to us all the time to click pictures (sometimes without our consent) of K - and while most often we had no clue what they were saying, their gestures suggested that they were taken in by K's eyes or eyelashes. Maybe he has a future in K-Pop!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Jeju Island

We knew Jeju was going to be pretty. That was a given. But there were a few surprises about Jeju. Firstly, it wasn't the cosy tiny island we'd imagined it would be - its almost 3 times the size of Singapore (but less than half the population as Singapore). Secondly, the weather forecasts in Jeju were deceptive. They said Jeju would be warmer than Seoul - and it was - but the wind straight from the South China sea - that wind was underestimated by us! We now know what all those woolen neck warmers & ear warmers are for :)

Jeju is a volcanic island created by an eruption some 25000 years ago & has some interesting looking seaside landscape (including pillar shaped rocks, rocks that come out of nowhere in the middle of the sea, and of course the very Asian rocks-with-folk-legend-stories-attached-to-them). We did little hiking trails (as much as we could do with our lazy 3 yr old). The most famous trail in Jeju is the climb atop the massive volcanic crater; we managed to go only half way up there. But the highlight for us was our first glimpse of the cherry blossoms :)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Seoul was unexpectedly romantic & charming - and though this sounds corny I'll go ahead & say it- soulful. We came here expecting a bustling Asian city - the likes of HK or Bangkok; but Seoul turned out to have a quaint charm about it steeped in culture, with a great art scene & the friendliest unpretentious people. It probably had to do with the fact that we stayed in the old part of the city away from the shopping & residential areas. We stayed between the two gorgeous palaces in Seoul & spent our days walking aimlessly past the little cafes & hanoks; the antiques & artifacts market in Insa-dong; the heritage homes of Bukchon & the tiniest of coffee shops which surprised us with design & aesthetic charm beyond their street-side norm. The food was amazing & the calories consumed far outweighed the calories burnt by walking.

We are in Jeju now & will write more about our days here (cherry blossoms!!!)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tuesday, March 05, 2013


Finally watched the movie & enjoyed it heaps....but what the hell is an 'exfiltration expert'? Could that really be someone's real job?

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Soul set on Seoul

We are going to Korea in 2 weeks time & its been fun planning this holiday! Our first stop is going to be in Seoul & we've been checking online for places to stay. That's how we came across the traditional hanok inns of Korea- I haven't seen one yet, but just from the photos I'm in love with their earthy, minimalistic & oriental look & feel. H isn't much of a fan of the idea of sleeping on the floor though. So maybe we'll book ourselves in one just for a night or two. Also, thought the traditional ondol floor was an interesting concept!