Jeju // 제주도

27 11 14

Sneak peek

26 11 14

It's been awhile since I really focused on drawing. I still feel like the wedding just happened and in fact it has been over a month. Today I worked on a couple of new projects. What you see here is something for a future blog post about the time when I was introduced to the ancestors. Goodnight!

National Hangeul Museum

13 11 14
Neat little books

The national Hangeul Museum opened in October and last night the bloggers from The Korea blog were invited for a guided tour. 

The museum is located right next to the beautiful National museum of Korea (I already posted about their impressive collection and the Korea bloggers welcoming dinner that was held there). The permanent collection of the National museum and the entrance to the Hangeul museum are free. So when you go there to visit you might as well do them both. (Ichon // 이촌역 subway station, exit 2 or the exit for the National Museum.) 


If you are new to what Hangeul is this is the place to get started! Hangeul is the alphabet used for the Korean language. It's actually very simple to learn and if you want to learn Korean, learning Hangeul is the first step. 

Young children will find many activities to playfully learn about Hangeul. And grown ups can easily learn the Korean alphabet here as well. There is also a lot information about it's origins and history available. The museum is not that big so after you visit the National Museum you can do this one as an extra.

Personally I was really charmed by the old printed books, posters, letters, documents etc. There are also a bunch of old typewriters, stamps, and board games. Old stuff, yay! 

It was really nice to meet up with other Korea Bloggers. One of them even brought authentic Belgian waffles-instant homesickness. (Waffle-baker Guy Kusters's blog: K-mood)

~And as always a big thank you to The Korea Blog for organising a nice evening out!



Fire trees

12 11 14

Seeing the seasons change in Korea is very impressive. A lush green landscape turned into a varied colour palette in just a few weeks. I'm perfectly content kicking around leaf mountains and collecting pretty shaped nuts. And fall also means the return of my favorite street food; egg bread (계란빵). So simple yet so delicious and great if you are feeling a little chilly. 

Fall in Korea // Sky park

06 11 14
On a beautiful October afternoon we went to Sky park
Although I can appreciate each season for their own character (especially in Korea where the seasons are really defined) I appreciate autumn just a little bit more. A time to cool down from the hot Summer (again especially true here in Korea). Fall has this cosy little attitude. And in October there were so many gorgeous fall days like when we visited Sky park. 

Even thought there were many visitors, the park was big enough to not make it feel crowded. There are many beautiful views on Namsan, Bukhansan, and Gwanaksan mountain and Seoul of course. I recommand it with an Autumn sun and a coffee. 

Rustle, rustle

Subway stop: 
World Cup Stadium Station  Line 6, exit 1

Address:
95, Haneulgongwon-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul 
서울특별시 마포구 하늘공원로 95 (상암동)

More information here


Our Korean wedding

01/11/14
These days Korean marriages are usually a mix of Western influences and Korean tradition.
I've been away from this blog for quite some time. But October was a hectic month with the wedding and family visiting because of that. I have some catching up to do. Let's start with the wedding! I know a couple of my Belgian friends really regret not being able to attend because of work, adult life and expensive air plane tickets. But ladies let me tell you that it was so frigging fast and hectic, this recap will provide some solace. :p

Just to compare: An average Belgian wedding starts in the morning at church, in the afternoon there is a reception with appetisers and drinks. In the evening we sit hours upon hours at the dinning table. At night there is dancing and in most cases until the early hours. 

We have enough group photos to fill two albums
A Korean wedding takes 4-5 hours! It goes like this: First make up & hair,-picture time!- rush rush- To the altar -picture time!- rush rush change to hanbok -Thank God these heels are killing me- go to the dinning hall where everybody is eating, go greet all the tables -Smile, smile, Thank you thank you -picture time!- rush rush to the traditional ceremony- serve tea, smile, great! -picture time!- get changed go downstairs to eat -omg, I'm starving- guests have left what? Have dinner with the close family in a big empty hall with a majestic buffet. Stroll home. 

Another big difference is that instead of presents guest bring money. At the entrance accountants wrote down in a book how much every guest paid. And depending on how close they are to the family they give more money. It made me feel a little awkward to invite people. I don't really have close friends in Korea yet. And I was a little conflicted if it's polite to ask people you don't know that well but you'd like to attend. But then they have to pay to attend... It's a little weird, Min Jae felt the same in deciding on inviting or not inviting some people. 

So everybody who came, thank you very much!

While Min Jae was out there greeting everybody I had to sit in this shiny box so everybody could come say hi and take a picture.
The bling bling part:

About the dress: My mother, my mother-in law and her friend and I went out together to rent a dress. Renting a dress is very common in Korea, in Belgium buying is the most common (and maybe your daughter can wear it after you, if you have the same size and taste).  I never really dreamed about getting married and finding the perfect dress so renting seemed like the most logical option. I originally wanted to get something simple but that was a no-no

They literally told me the church was boring looking so I should make up with some bling bling. Which the people of the shop totally agreed with. Disagreeing would have been impossible. And somebody advised me to just go with the flow which is exactly what I did. Besides trying on a bunch of  sugarcoated, pearl-princess dresses was pretty fun. In the end we settled for something with a lot of bling but not crazy over the top. Everybody happy, only downside was the lack of oxygen and the balancing act I had to perform on a 10 cm heel. >___<

The church service was nice and short. 40 minutes maximum. 

After the church service I got to put on my hanbok and we went to the dinning hall to greet the guests. Then it was time for the Korean ceremony.

The wooden birds are Mandarin ducks, who unlike other ducks mate for life.
The traditional part // the Korean Pyebaek (폐백) ceremony

This part was done in a separate room and only open to close family and friends. And it felt just a little more special. We changed in a hanbok wedding attire for the ceremony.

Originally this ceremony was for the bride to pay respects to her family in law, as she used to live with the groom's family after marriage. This part has been modernised a bit.

Pouring drinks for Min Jae's parents
The ritual started with Min Jae and I pouring out tea for his parents. They drank and ate some dried fruit, meat or nuts from the centrepieces.

Then we bowed, they gave their blessings, advice and some money. 
Some kids please!
We held up a cloth and had to catch the nuts (for boys) and dates (for girls) they threw at us. The amount we caught represented the number of children we are going to have. We caught them all and are going to have 12. We better get started :/ We did the same ritual with my mother. 

This ritual really emphasises the union of the two families not just that of the couple.
Except for the children throwing part we did the same ritual with my aunt and brother, and many more uncles and aunts. I thought it was interesting when we bowed for my aunt and brother, my brother had to stand up because he is younger than us. All gave blessings and money. By the way, the aunts who came from the countryside who are all respectable old ladies pulled of the hanbok game the best.

"Don't eat it" 
After that Min Jae and I poured tea for each other and he put a date between my teeth. "Don't eat it" he whispered. Then he took it out of my mouth and ate it. We ended with him carrying me around on his back 

And that's how you get married in Korea!
The ending:

Quickest wedding ever, like I said when we came down most guest were gone (this is apparently common) and we had the buffet to ourselves. We walked home and my aunt bought us a huge Ice cream pie from baskin robbins. You guys, the Belgian wedding is just going to be a casual BBQ, okay?

Thank you family and friends for taking many pictures and video! 


More pictures on my facebookpage


Mamrie

06 10 14

(/^▽^)/ Almost here \(^▽^\)

01 10 14
My younger brother is on an airplane right about now...
We made sure the house is all ready for a warm welcome!
I may have overdone it just a little bit.


September snacks & snippets

30 09 14

Korea has a thing with gift boxes. And I must say it's a very handy present to receive. Now we have enough oil and mouthwash to last us for years

The gift boxes with ham & oil and tuna & oil was a gift from my parents-in-law. The dental and haircare box was a gift from the styling lady who is going to do my hair and make up on the wedding day. She is also a friend of my mother-in-law. 

One of the best things of living a new country is exploring new favorite things to snack on: 

1. I mostly just bought this because  I thought it was butt-man. It's supposed to be a cheeky peach though. It tastes like apricot with cream nothing super special but I'm a sucker for cool/cute packaging. 2. Totally healthy, look at his healthy smile. You should drink one everyday. 3. These are just amazing. Probably better made from scratch, but these a great for a quick sugar-fix 4. New magical ice cream flavors, pretty cheap and a perfect snack.  5. Sweet traditional rice drink 6. And then for the salty cravings there is seafood flavored chips. Again, I mostly love the packaging.

Bonus points for being from the same birth year as me
In case I'm a little homesick bread and pies from Ours Blanc always cheer me up.

October is almost here which means it's going to be an exciting month with the wedding and family visiting! My younger brother will be here in two days >__<  I have to hold myself back not to go to the airport already, I'm sure I will go there 6 hours early to pick him up.

Seoul zoo is awesome

10 09 14

Let me first tell you that the entrance fee for adults is 3000 Won. 3000 Won which is 2.24408809 Euro. That's right. Or 2.90100 USD. Holy cat that is cheap. 

Secondly if you go on a lazy Sunday (and the day before Chuseok) there are noticeable fewer visitors; as in some paths were deserted and it was awesome. 
Located close to Seoul Grand Park line 4 exit 2. ~Seoul Zoo official website in English


It's an incredibly beautiful park surrounded by mountains. There are many shaded picnic spots along the stream. You can bring a mat or buy one at the entrance of the park and lunch under the green lush. They have every kind of animal; fluffy, creepy, nocturnal, winged-ones, crawlers wet and slimy they are all present. Many of the birdcages you can actually enter and admire the birds up close. There is also a huge area secluded with a net were you can see big birds like pelicans up close. Honestly it's worth 10x the asked price, a big recommendation!


That creature in the upper right corner is the most ugly cute thing I have ever seen.