Sunday, December 28, 2008

무지무지 사랑해

무지무지 사랑해 is a cute Konglish expression which means I love you muchy muchy. It came out in the music video below, so that's how I got to know about it.

죽도록 사랑해 is one of my favourite songs recently. Not only does it make me feel warm, it is also sung by two of my favourite Korean singers - MC Mong and Lena Park.

MC Mong is one guy who is very humble and down-to-earth. Fame has not gotten into his head. If you happen to walk past him in the street, you probably won't even know that he is a star. With an average look, you can be forgiven if you don't take him seriously. His "매력" (charm) only shines when he starts to rap. While he may have this "stone" look, he definitely sings and raps with his heart and soul. That's why his songs are able to touch the heart of many people.

As for Lena Park, she will be holding a joint concert, titled "Sweet December", with the "romantic guy" Alex on 30 and 31 Dec. I am thinking seriously of attending her concert. It shall be a dream comes true to hear her sings live.



Saturday, December 27, 2008

올림픽공원

Frosty lake at the Seoul Olympics Park

Another view of the frosty lake

Outdoor ice skating rink

Green giant christmas tree at the Seoul Olympics Park

Thursday, December 25, 2008

메리크리스마스

Teddy Bears Christmas Tree

Last night, the news reported that it is going to be a white christmas in Seoul today. However, the snow didn't fall as forecasted. Christmas day in Seoul today is both sunny and windy. Still its Christmas. Merry Christmas!

Snowman and White Christmas

새로운 시작

We were wondering what does the "N" in N Seoul Tower stand for while we were walking down to the cable car station. Does it stand for "Namsan" or "New"? It could probably be both, though I prefer it to be "New". The Tower may be called Namsan Tower previously but what I saw was the N Seoul Tower - same tower but with a totally different interior. Similarly, here in Seoul, I am the same old self but is ready for a new start ^^

Friday, December 19, 2008

순백의 겨울

Cheonggyecheon is lighted up this evening in cool white lights

"Nanta" is back again cooking up a storm at the light-up ceremony

"Nanta" is always interesting to watch

The Brass Quartet performed a medley of 007 theme songs

They are both musicians and entertainers. Very entertaining performance.

The Brass Quartet are all so cool. They swing, dance and march around.

The emcee of the light-up ceremony

The Seoul's Mayor hopes the lights will brighten up Korea's bleak economy

The presence of Korea's poster boy, Park Tae-hwan, attracted lotsa attention

Fire and fireworks display after light-up

Cheonggyecheon after light-up

This is YTN News reporting from Cheonggyecheon

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

쁘띠프랑스

Petite France is located at Gapyeong (가평, 加平), Gyeonggi Province, and at close proximity to the famous Nami Island. The place is built on high ground and has a good view of the same river that wraps around the Nami Island. It was opened in July this year.

The Petite France's shuttle bus will drop you right outside the main gate. The first picture you will take at the place is probably under it's beautiful signboard.

[Petite France's signboard just outside of the main gate. Your first photo at Petite France will probably be taken underneath it.]

The adult's admission ticket costs 8,000won. Once you enter the premise, the first thing that will catch your attention is the round amphitheatre. The amphitheatre will be your starting and ending point.

[The amphitheatre is round although it looks like a semi-circle in my picture. The bottom of the amphitheatre is a good place to take "look-up" pictures of Petite France.]

Activities that will occupy your time at Petite France are taking photos, watching performance and walking through galleries and exhibits. Trust me that the single activity which take up most of your time will be photo-taking. Petite France is not a very big place. You can probably cover it within an hour. But with all the activities you can do there, you will probably need 3-4 hours.

[The Studio displays marionettes (string puppet) and you can handle and play with the puppets.]

[Some of the Cockerel exhibits at the "Gallery" building.]

[You can view and listen to these nice Orgels at the "Orgel House". Demonstration by the curator will be at the 40th minute of every hour and it will last for 10 minutes. Very nice music is produced by this 19th century instrument.]

[The white wall of some buildings are beautifully painted. You will spend quite a substantial amount of time trying to get all the paintings into your photos.]

[If hunger pangs strike, you can enjoy your coffee and waffle while looking out at scenic view. Sorry that the "scenic view" is not included in the picture. You are supposed to see it for yourself. There is also a dining place called "Bistro" which serves buffet lunch for 9,000won.]

[The main selling point of Petite France is its "Little Prince" theme. The novella is very popular in Korea so it is not a surprise that such theme park exists here. There are many familiar wall paintings and figurines of Little Prince to take picture with.]

[In the eyes of the Little Prince, grown-ups like the king, geographer and drunkard are all absurd people. The king gives commands because he feels he has to. The geographer records things he has never seen. The drunkard drinks because he is ashamed of his drinking habit.]

[Le Saint Exupery Memorial Hall. The full name of the author of The Little Prince (Le Petit Prince) is Antoine Marie Roger De Saint Exupery. That was what I found out after visiting the memorial hall.]

[This building is the souvenir shop. There is a snack shop beside it and a fountain in front of it. The snack shop and fountain are not captured in the picture.]

[They are the real-life "Little Prince" who will smell flowers, look at stars and will not know how to count numbers.]

I would like to end this post with the secret which the fox told Little Prince.

"내 비밀은 이거야. 아주 간단해. 마음으로 보지않으면 잘 볼 수 없다는 거야. 중요한 것은 눈에 보이지 않아."

"Here is my secret. It's quite simple. One sees only clearly with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes."

P.S. I am glad I am no longer the street lamplighter whom the Little Prince met at the fifth planet even though the planet may be blessed with one thousand, four hundred forty sunsets every twenty four hours.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

베토벤 바이러스 촬영지

Petite France is one of the filming locations for the popular Korean drama - Beethoven Virus. This give people another good reason to visit the place besides the French and The Little Prince's theme.

강마에 작업실 (Kang Ma-e's Office)

The room used by Kang Ma-e in the drama was quite crowded during weekend. It was hard to take a picture inside the room without someone blocking the view. The working desk of Kang Ma-e, in particular, was the most sought-after spot for picture taking. People had to queue to sit on it, I kid you not. The room may be small but there are lotsa nice picture-taking spots.

A nicely decorated room with pictures of great musicians and maestros.

Weekend crowd inside Kang Ma-e's office. People queuing to be Kang Ma-e.

Table used by Kang Ma-e. The most sought-after spot for picture taking.

Level 2 of Kang Ma-e's office - A gallery and a rest area.

Put your head behind these 3 figurines and you will have a good pciture.


연습실 (Practice Room)

The multi-purpose hall (다목적홀) at Petite France is the practice room for the musicians in the drama. The corridor outside the hall is a very good picture taking spot provided there are not too many people walking up and down it.

You will feel so much more cultured walking down this corridor.

Flute performance inside the multi-purpose hall. 분위기 너무 좋다!

Monday, December 15, 2008

쁘띠프랑스에 가는 길

Here is how to get to Petite France.

[Upadate May 28, 2010: According to a comment left by an anonymous, shuttle bus to 'Petite France' now operates out of Cheong-pyeong Station (청평역) instead of Daesong-ri Station. Departure times: 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 14:30, 16:30, 17:30. On weekend, additional departure times: 13:00, 15:30]

Take a train (Chuncheon Station bound) from Cheongnyangni Station (청랼리역, 淸凉里驛) to Daeseong-ri Station (대성리역, 大成里驛). You are advised to take the train that departs Cheongnyangni Station at 0740, 0920 or 1120 so that you don't have to wait too long for the connecting shuttle bus service. On a weekend, you can also take the train that departs at 1020. The train ride takes about 50 minutes and cost 2,500won.

Take a train to Daeseong-ri Station. The train ride costs 2,500won.

If you know your way, you may want to take Bus no. 765 (Daeseong-ri bound) from the bus-stop just outside Cheongnyangni Station. The bus comes at every 20mins interval. The bus ride to Daeseong-ri takes slightly over an hour and cost 1,800won. The bus will terminate at Daeseong-ri bus terminal and you need to walk another 5mins to get to Daeseong-ri train station. This is how you can get to the train station from the bus terminal: once you get off the bus, face the main road and then walk down the road to your right.

Wait for the Petite France shuttle bus at this sign if it is not already there.

Whichever mode of transport you take, one important thing to consider is to match your arrival time at Daeseong-ri Station with the departure time of the free shuttle bus service to Petite France. Below is the shuttle bus schedule departing from Daeseong-ri Station to Petite France:

Weekday: 0910, 1100, 1300, 1500, 1640
Weekend: 0910, 1110, 1200, 1300, 1400, 1500, 1630, 1730

I have recommended 4 train departure times from Cheongnyangni above. Once you put all the timings together, you should see that the waiting time for the shuttle bus is less than 1 hour.

1. Dep CNN: 0740, Arr DSR: 0832, Next Bus: 0910
2. Dep CNN: 0920, Arr DSR: 1012, Next Bus: 1100(WD)/1110(WE)
3. Dep CNN: 1020, Arr DSR: 1113, Next Bus: 1200(WE only)
4. Dep CNN: 1120, Arr DSR: 1214, Next Bus: 1300

Just to be complete, below is the shuttle bus schedule departing from Petite France to Daeseong-ri Station.

Weekday: 0830, 1010, 1210, 1430, 1600, 1720, 1820
Weekday (1 Dec ~ 28 Feb): 0830, 1020, 1220, 1420, 1600, 1820
Weekend: 0830, 1010, 1130, 1230, 1330, 1430, 1600, 1700, 1820
(Note: Shuttle bus service that departs at 1820 will terminate at Cheongpyeong Terminal instead of Daeseong-ri Station.)

The free Petite France shuttle bus waiting outside Daeseong-ri Station.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

쁘띠프랑스에 갔다왔다

I went to Petite France today. A very nice and beautiful place located at a remote corner of Gapyeong (가평,加平) and by the side of a river. Not going to write about the trip yet, as I have tomorrow's placement test to prepare. Here are just some photographs. Shall update on the trip tomorrow or when I have time. I think there is a lot to write about and a lot of photos to upload ^^


Saturday, December 13, 2008

습관 때문에

Beautiful sunset as seen from Hangang Park at Apgujeong

I was at Hangang again today. The park at Hangang gave me some quiet moment for self-reflection. I am still adjusting to life without work. I want to work. I didn't want to quit. But when the only motivation to work is the next paycheck, I knew its time to call it quit. The truth is, I didn't quit my job so that I can come to Korea. I quit my job because I can't see my future in it. I might not have liked what I was doing previously but I still miss working. 습관 때문인 것 같다.