Monday, June 02, 2008


Picture taken in Hyeri Art Valley. At Hyeri, even a mailbox is an artpiece.

E-mail is like a magical mailbox. I never know what's next will "appear" in it or who will be next to write me a mail and for what purpose. There is always an element of expectation and surprise when I "open" the inbox of my blog's e-mail.

Sometimes, I get to answer queries,

"Just like you, I'm crazy about the Korean culture and language which is why I am going to Kyunghee to study Korean. I read your blog and saw many beautiful pictures of Korea!! They really make me look forward to going there.

Anyway, is it ok if I ask you some questions about the dormitories there? Right now, my friends and I are looking at which dorm to apply so we would like to find out more about the dorm that u stayed at. If I'm not wrong, you stayed at Osvill right? May I know how it was? Like how much did you spend on the dorm? How was the room? Was there shower facility in the room and also was the dorm very far from the location of the class?

I am so sorry for emailing you so abruptly but because we are rather clueless as to which dorm we should get or should we even stay in dorm. Thank you in advance for your help!"

Sometimes, I am pleasantly surprised,

"I'm a silent regular visitor of your blog. I sat beside you during the first Advanced 1 class in Singapore Korean School on Tuesday.

Actually I learnt the Korean language in Singapore Korean School from October 2002 to September 2003. At that time, the school only offered 6 levels (Elementary 1-2, Intermediate 1-2 and Advanced 1-2) and was using a set of textbooks called Korean Through English by Seoul National University. After completing Intermediate 2, I stopped studying for about 9 months. When I resumed my Korean learning with the school again in June 2004, I was advised to join the Free Conversation class (Singapore Korean School changed the course structure and the levels consist of Elementary 1-3, Intermediate 1-2, Free Conversation and Advanced 1-2). I stopped attending Korean language class again after Free Conversation course ended. In 2005, Singapore was finally made a test centre for TOPIK, so I self-studied for TOPIK Level 1 using the TOPIK book I bought in Kyobo bookstore and took the exam in Singapore Korean School. But, the TOPIK Level 1 that I took then was under the old format where there were 6 levels instead of the 3 levels now.

I just came back from 3-month of Korean language study in Sogang University about 2 months ago. I know if I stopped my Korean language learning again. I'm going to slowly forget what I had learnt previously, that was why I decided to continue my studies in Singapore Korean School again. But, Singapore Korean School is now using the book series by Kyung Hee University. Frankly, I was very overwhelmed after first class in Advanced 1. I went home that night and browsed through the first 4 chapters of the book. Since I've not learnt most of the grammar points cover in the first 4 chapters, I've decided to downgrade to Intermediate 2.

Hmm... I was kinda looking forward to having you as my classmate before Advanced 1 lesson started. I read in your blog that you are repeating Advanced one. But... what a pity, we can't be classmates liao..."

Other times, I am completely surprised,

"Not sure if you remember me from your early days in NUS-Extension Korean language class. I only took the class up to Basic Level 3 and stopped after that because of a switch of job and other commitments.

I recently chanced upon your blog and was sincerely awed by your determination and interest in Korean Language to have pursued it so far. Reading of your journey of learning Korean language has sort of stirred my interest in the language again. I'm still very busy with work... but I still hope to continue where I dropped off soon. :)

The main reason for this email is to praise you for your wonderful beautiful photos of your travels in Korea. You really do have a very keen eye for good composition and your photos are so clear, sharp and awesome.

Thanks for sharing them on your blog. I'll take my time to read and admire the nice scenes."

Thank you all for your mails. I really appreciate them.

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