college, personal, Uncategorized

It’s Ridiculous

…That it’s taken this long for me to post anything on here. Ri-dic-ulous. I am proportionally ashamed of myself because I’ve been busy with moving to a new city and applying for exchange and falling in love and all that. When I start reflecting on my 2015, I can identify all the new joys and richesse that has stripped me of my routine and the hobbies that I identify with myself. Another year has passed, and voila, I somehow find myself here in 2016. Time is unwarranted. It keeps going whether you take hold of it or not.

Currently, I am back home in Harare, Zimbabwe after spending almost a year and a half alone in South Korea. It’s great to be back. A couple of nights ago I met with some of my highschool classmates and it felt good to be able to talk about the powercuts and the ridiculous requirement of you having to go fetch the firefighters AND provide them with some water in case of fire. These are the little ideosyncrases that I can only fully enjoy with these special peoples, because explaining to any others will only result in gasps of shock or sympathetic ‘aws.’ It’s a sad state, but there is so much more to life and richness to our lives that cannot be enveloped by pitiful headlines that makes the international news.

The last year I believe I’ve changed a lot. I have more concrete ideas and beliefs on the things I feel passionate about, and have found more confidence in standing up for it and defending my position. I’ve also made important steps, participating in the little joys of being an adult and leaving my nest. I’ve lived about a year alone now in my own apartment, experiencing the infinite freedom of dancing around only in my underwear, to wishing death upon myself for leaving the food waste rubbish to last minute. I’ve learned what it means to fall in love, the ups and the downs, and what it means to share yourself in a way a little different to before, how it’s been with my family or any of my friends.

As I sat down at my desk, jotting down all the new years resolutions I made (e.g. STOP PROCRASTINATING. FIND 3 HOBBIES AND STICK BY IT. (FIND AN EXERCISE ROUTINE DEMMIT etc), I realized that all these things really amounted to one thing. Call it an idealistic existential crisis if you will, but this is the year I really want to discover myself. Get really in tune and more importantly comfortable with who I am and who I want to be. When I look back in 2016, I hope I can nod and be really satisfied and marvel at my spiritual and emotional growth. Already a lot is in store for me–I’m heading to Australia for a semester of exchange. How did I even pick this country from all the other options? Simple. I was inspired by a vlog I watched, I did some research and I was inspired. I put it as first choice. Surprisingly, I got in. So that’s what it is, I guess.

This is another thing that I’ve come more to terms with me. My carefree personality. It used to stress me out not knowing what I was going to do and always felt guilty about making big choices on a whim rather than the meticulous check lists and research that my friends delved into. But as I say, hey, it’s gotten me this well this far. It must be work pretty well for me!

I hope to write more often.

Cheers to that, and to the new year!

x

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5 Things

I’ve been working for about a week now as a sub teacher, so today being a national holiday I decided to treat myself to some products that I’ve been eyeing for a while. (Also I was encouraged by the final season of Parks and Recreation where Donna and Tom Haverford do what I like best, under the universally accepted declaration- TREAT YO’SELF!)

Plus, everything was on sale. It was just a winning combination.

I haven’t started using any of these products yet but I did sample what I could in store so here is my honest review:

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These cute little egg shaped puffs (what a jumble of words) I got from Tony Moly with no obvious reason but that I needed something to apply my etude house blur cream. I like that the packaging comes in a sealable bag, which I might use to keep these things clean should I be on the go. I like the feeling, it’s very soft and moist almost, but the smell! Phew. It smells strongly of plastic. You can smell it mostly when it’s right by your nose, which, unfortunately, is where these little bitties are supposed to be used. It’s durable. It could be better.

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Next, the Tony Moly back gel eyeliner! I’ve finally jumped into this bandwagon. I’ve continuously heard that this little magical eyeliner pot right here is one of the most affordable and beloved eyeliner products in Korea. I was looking for something softer than my bold black liner, so I picked up the common brown one right here. I like how they smell the little pots of product without the top (which is a brush) for cheaper. They had various shades of basically the same thing, three versions of brown and three versions of black that didn’t really appeal to me. Just a straight brown. All I need.

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Makeup shopping in Korea is impossible for the indecisive ones since nearly all the shops are side by side, each blaring their 30~ 50! 70% sale signs! After hesitation (and exiting the store) I returned to get this little eyeshadow here. It’s in the shade ‘tea rose’ and to me it’s a beautiful mixture of pink and brown that I think will be perfect as a base or a simple and light eyeshadow look.

IMG_9842The design imitates pantone’s color palette chart. It’s pretty cute. If anyone wants to see a swatch leave a comment and I’ll get it for ya.

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Next! (The rambling continues) I got the Missha Professional eyelash curler. They offered two types but the assistance promised that this one was muuuuch better. I believed her. It comes with two extra black rubber things to replace it with. I got it because my plastic Innisfree one broke and I heard that this was the cheaper Shu Uemura option. I believe it. It fits my Asian eyeshape perfectly, lifting up my stiff lashes into a gentle c curl. However, it is a little stiff and small on my hands, which I find hard to believe because my hands are particularly teeny. It might be challenging for people with even normal sized hands to use it with maximum comfort.

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Next are some fashion pieces! I got this beautiful lace clutch bag in the Accessorize sale. It’s got a clean silver chain which I’ve tucked away inside. I think it’s perfect to add some class to evening events.

IMG_9831IMG_9832The bracelet with the cute tassels I received as a gift from my cousin who stayed with me for a couple of days. I’ve been loving the tassel detailing in the jewelry nowadays and the sweet soul actually remembered me saying this. The handmade bracelet is vibrant and should be a perfect pairing with my affinity for dainty silver jewelry.

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I got this white doctor’s coat looking shirt/jacket from a Valleygirl sale. It’s clean cut and professional looking in the front, but I love the parting on the back with the little lace detail that shows through. I thought it would be perfect for a summer dress cover up or with the casual skinny jean.

Finally, one of my favorite products, a folder of Princess Mononoke by Hayao Miyazaki! His productions are the summary of my childhood, and though I was mostly startled and afraid of them, my mom would only rent out his animations, perhaps to make me feel more close to home. Anyway, Princess Mononoke, even at a young age, I knew was a straight up #girlboss.

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And that’s all folks.

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HRE Zimbabwe// Day amongst the flowers

Confession: I have a strong affinity for flowers. So imagine the delight when I finally returned home to Zimbabwe for a sunny winter, quite different from the shivers in Korea! I visited the local organic market held nearby my house where the ordinary parking space was dotted with homemade pastes, cookies, meringues…homegrown flower pots and all the sort!

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Passed by a beautiful flower shop in Arundel village that’s been open all throughout my childhood

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Right next door, in a beautifully quaint cafe we ordered some deliciously frothy chocolate milkshakes and croissants filled with fresh vegetables. An aesthetically pleasing day all round.

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100 Things to do in Korea (a constantly evolving list-edited!)

Hi everyone! So it has been 2 weeks since I moved to Korea for varsity. The whole reason why I chose Korea to spend my varsity years in was to really explore and grasp the culture and the core to my existence. My nationality. I have yet to decide whether this really is my ‘home’ to which my friends and strangers refer to when they enthusiastically assure me: “Oh, you’re going back to the motherland.”

I decided to create an evolving list of things that I want to do in Korea, not only to explore the land and the people and the culture but to also revel in my identity and get a full grasp of who I am, and what my place is in this world. This post will be edited to add new things that I want to do, and check off the tasks that I have achieved. Anyway, here we go.

1. Attend a large scale sporting event, choose a team, wear there gear and support like my heart and soul depends on their rock and roll.

2. Speaking of rock and roll, attend a music concert where I can veni, vici, and rave.

3. Attend a lowscale, indie concert preferably in a small, dimly lit basement with strange drinks and fascinating people. Probably somewhere in the vibrant college town of Hongdae.

4. Take a profile picture in the famous Cherry Blossom festival.

5. Go backpacking in the authentic beauty of Jeju Island.  Also refer to goal 36.

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How majestic? It is described as : the “Island of the Gods,” and is a popular vacation spot for Koreans and foreigners. It remains the top honeymoon destination for Korean newlyweds, and is also regarded as one of the top honeymoon destinations in the world.

6. Learn another Asian language: this is not something particular to Korea, but what better chance to learn a neighboring country’s tongue? I’m thinking of Chinese.

7. Visit the World’s biggest church: Yoido Full Gospel Church here in Korea! I wonder what the sheer magnitude of the congregation will feel like. All people gathered to Christ. 800,000 members. Also, the biggest cathedral in Myeongdong.

8. Visit the Seoul Museum of Art. 

url Let’s see the formal collection of art.

9. Visit the only Kimchi museum in the world. I love Kimchi. Which also happens to be situated at COEX. I love COEX. COEX Mall is the largest underground shopping center in Asia. Just so you know.

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10. Do a Temple Stay. Not going to do this for the religious value, but rather to experience a (forceful) time without any electronics or outside distractions. I also feel like it’s something that you can wholly experience in Asia.

11. Boryeong Mud Festival. It looks super fun to have full blown mud fights and have mud therapies.

12. Visit the Cheongyecheon River. Apparently a common landmark amongst Koreans, I still haven’t had the chance to go.

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13. Seoul N. Tower. Another Seoul landmark that I haven’t been to–this one includes writing my name on a lock, including my boyfriend’s name and throwing away the key, symbolizing our eternal love. I think I’ll save this for a future lover.

14. Han River. Cycle along it, drink a beer or two with friends.

15. Visit the Charlie Brown and Hello Kitty cafes.  url-1 images-4images-3

16. Go to the Owl Museum because I once had an infatuation with owls and the scars run deep.

17. Be more athletic and take up some form of sport, even the ‘lazier’ kind, – yoga.

18. Visit Seoul Bukchon Hanok Village.

19. Floating Island, as described by visitkorea.org, is “located near the southernmost part of Banpo Bridge, is the nation’s first-ever artificial island that floats on the surface of Hangang River. The Island is comprised of three flower-themed islets, Visat, Viva and Terra, with different functions.” That sounds pretty high tech and mystical at the same time.

20. Nami Island. Apparently a popular dating location, this small island, rumored to be stunningly beautiful has tried to maintain as much of it’s ‘natural feel’ and have even built telephone poles underground.

21. Lotte World: largest indoor theme park in the world.

22. http://www.dialogue-in-the-dark.com/. This looks really, really interesting.

23. Pentaport Concert. International Rock Concert? Seems like it’s definitely my thing.

24. Silent Disco in Hongdae, where you put on headphones and rock out to the music only in your head.

25. Visit all five of Korea’s historic palaces…and take lots of photos.

  • Gyeongbokgung
  • Changdeokgung
  • Deoksugung
  • Changgyeonggung
  • Gyeonghuigung

26. Drink Soju/Beer/eat Ramen at one of those convenience stores, just like they do it in the movies. Hahaha. Not the grandest of plans but.

27. Visit the UN memorial in Busan, paired with extensive research beforehand.

28. Have tea at a traditional tea house… and be part of the original tea drinking experiencePreferably with the chrysanthemums. Love it.

29. Get some banana milkApparently this is something pretty rare in other countries? Lemme at this delicacy.

30. Visit the DMZ. One of them perks? *sarcastic laughter*

31. Write on the walls of some famous cafe because I’ve seen some speciality restaurants do this and I want to leave my mark!

32. Spend a good few hours (or all day) at Haeundae Beach.

33. Same for Dadaepo Beach.

34. Watch a 4D movie.  (I ended up watching the Martian and decidedly swore to never be so foolish ever again)

35. Work at a book cafe/study cafe.  Get them study vibes.

36. Attend the Jeju Canola Flower Festival. Refer to goal number 5.

37. Snap some photos at the Trick Eye museum.

38. Go biking in the city. Any city.

39. Attend the annually held mega electronic party – UMF

40. Watch the Script live!

41. Take a stroll through beautiful Seoul Forest.

42. Lock a love lock at Namsan Tower

43. Volunteer at an orphanage/welcoming foreigners campaign

44. Travel to Japan

45. Travel to 3 other neighboring countries

46. Go road tripping …in a caravan

47. Maybe first go sleep in a tent pitched in Han River

48. Go to a waterpark and feel confident about it.

49. Learn how to make pottery

50. Learn how to drive (and get that international license!)

51. Earn a unique certificate 

52. Publish a photo journal

53. Open an AirBnB

54. Learn how to make 5 traditional dishes

55. Join an internship of choice

56. Adopt a dog/cat.

57. Learn about Korean art history and visit famous pieces.

58. Watch one of those TV programs, live as the audience.

59. Watch a movie from a car underneath a bridge somewhere.

60. Take the 내일로 train and travel around the country.

61. Create something as an ode to the city, be it a book/movie/magazine.

62. Participate in an art fair.

63. Learn how to make Kimchi.

64. Join an international/expat hobby group.

65. Sell something, be it in an open or online market.

66. Participate in a conference that is held in a hotel. (Like the one last week where Obama came to visit.)

67. Learn more about Korean politics.

68. Get that TOPIK (Korean Language) Certification.

69. Discover an unexpected and quirky part of Korea.

70. Create/participate in a social project that benefits a community.

 

This list is on going and edited frequently 🙂

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College Stresses.

Here it hits again. Feeling of utter confusion… I feel lost. What am I going to do with my future? I don’t know why I’m getting this sinking feeling again… I mean, I just crawled out a steamy bath that smelt delightfully of rose petals. (Truth be told, I forgot to open the bathroom windows and nearly passed out haha). I have somewhat decided that I want to go to university in Korea, despite my dad’s urges for me to go to the States. 

I am so confused about the many colleges in Korea that do or do not offer courses entirely in English. I want to stay in Seoul, but many of these courses are outside it. I also worry about how well I will adjust- I know there is a tendency for Korean students to have a thing against international students (for they are getting somewhat of a benefit for living abroad, for sure.)

How will I adjust, for I am headstrong and proud, and refuse to be controlled by others? I know that in Korea there is a lot of submission to those older than you; but that’s not me. I am a strong believer that you earn the respect that you gain.

Where am I going to go, what future does it hold for me, how am I going to make it?

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