What’s Up Wednesday: New York, Weddings, & Lying Low

19046832_10154597347358862_921787931_n

What’s new?

I suck at blogging.

This What’s Up Wednesday thing was supposed to put me on a schedule so that I could start blogging regularly again. And then I missed a month worth of Wednesdays. Fail.

But I’m back. I imagine this is because I’ve just spent the last two days at home, lounging about in my PJs, trying to get over the last of my jetlag, so I finally have free time to just blabber on.

The biggest thing that happened in the last few weeks is that I flew to New York for my girl, Cerena’s, wedding.

I haven’t seen the professional pictures yet and I, stupidly, didn’t bother to take any photos throughout the day because I was too busy sobbing and then drinking and then dancing but I managed to snag one that the happy couple was tagged in on Facebook:

18982919_10154597349808862_1598585429_n

Continue reading

What’s Up Wednesday: Wedding Fever, Giant Moths, & Booktube

18159410_10154481555688862_336567168_o

What’s new?

I am in full wedding mode and it’s not even my wedding.

In 4 weeks time, I’ll be flying to New York for my friend Cerena’s wedding. I will be her Maid of (Dis)Honour. Let’s be honest, though – I’m doing a pretty shitty job of that already as I live on the other side of the world and can’t be there for any of the planning.

I will also be the token Welsh girl in a sea of New Yorkers. Me at 8am:

tumblr_mxx2shhES91qat0bfo1_500

Continue reading

Sunday Post: It’s All About Staying Calm

0abf9b9e-b7ac-4d59-b451-7eb7c64ea1b9_zps47hi5hue

It is with trembling hands (both literally and figuratively)* that I join the Sunday Post meme hosted by Kimba at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Blog. The Sunday Post is a chance to share news, recap the past week, and showcase books (and, for me, music) every Sunday and, as I’ve been a little off when it comes to blogging lately, I figured I’d give it a go.

What’s new?

I haven’t blogged at all so far this year. I’m not entirely sure what to talk about these days because I’m afraid that writing so publicly about my feelings will only mess things up.

So far, things are going okay. Everything’s smooth and steady. I spent 3 weeks travelling around India in January which was wonderful and horrible and incredible and frightening and good and bad all at the same time. I spent the last week relaxing in Rishikesh doing nothing but sitting in cafes along the Ganges river, reading, and making friends with the locals. That last week gave me a chance to be present and not have to worry about anything – Not my job, not my life in Korea, not my impending move, not an itinerary full of tourist sites to visit. Nothing. I just ate good Indian food, drank my weight in chai tea, and stuck my nose in a book.

I loved it.

Continue reading

I Suck at Moving

suitcase

In 28 years, I’ve moved house a total of eight times. Two of those were to a new country.

Generally, I have no problems living abroad. I get a kick out of immersing myself into a new culture, meeting new people, and getting to explore a place from the inside out.

It’s the build-up to it that I can’t handle.

Anyone who’s known me for years has probably been witness to my pre-moving breakdowns.

It starts with sudden attacks of insomnia … which, for a high school teacher whose sleeping schedule has been firmly stuck at 8pm-5am for the last year, is quite concerning.

You haven’t seen midnight for months and then suddenly, one day, you realise it’s 2.30am and you’re still wide awake

And then it happens again. And again. And again. And, each time, you’re staying awake later and later.

And suddenly you realise it’s been 4 days since you’ve eaten anything. No, wait. You had some crackers 2 days ago. Any other food sounded horrible.

You should probably eat so you gnaw on the apple your coworker gave you as you arrived at your desk this morning.

You google “no appetite and can’t sleep” and remember that googling symptoms is the worst thing you can do because the internet always loves to tell you you have cancer.

Well, I don’t.

This happens every time I move.

The crying fits, the mood swings, the lack of sleep, the lack of appetite.

By now, I tell my friends and family how I’ve been feeling and their reaction is something like this:

anigif_enhanced-buzz-1537-1377621562-19

They’re used to it.

Same shit, different country.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m my father’s daughter.

I wish I could be like my mother – Cool and laid back about anything and everything. Instead, I’m like my father. I get anxious and stressed and worked up and worried about everything.

My mind will actually feel pretty sound and calm and at peace. But my body will react differently.

I try to stay calm and enjoy everything leading up to it but who am I kidding?

It’s never going to happen.

I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I simply suck at moving and that I’m nothing but a hot mess in the months leading up to it.

hot-mess-5-1

The good news is that my students haven’t had to witness this. I haven’t taught for nearly 2 weeks because final exams are on the horizon and they’re all busy studying. (Ahahaha, “studying“)

My time in work is filled with preparing lessons for winter English camp and finalising plans for my winter holidays.

Ooooh, winter holidays. I can’t stop counting down the days.

In January, I’ll be backpacking solo around India for 3 weeks. After that, I’ll be heading back to the UK for 6 days to catch up with old friends and loved ones.

The combination of adventure and home comfort is too exciting. And a welcome distraction from everything that’s happening after.

Apart from that, there’s not a lot to report. I’ve been laying low lately (woo! alliteration!) to save money so in my recent hermit-like state I …

+ have recently developed a coffee addiction

+ have become addicted to the show Weeds

+ have finally found underwear here that will cover my fat arse (yayy for XXL Korean sizes!)

Don’t I lead the most exciting life?

Outside of the house, Naju is, as un-Christmas-y as every. Last year, it snowed for most of December which sent me into a holiday frenzy – turning my flat into Santa’s grotto and arranging a big Christmas Eve party.

This year? Barely a snowflake and I’m too lazy to put the tree up.

Maybe this is the year I’ll turn into a Scrooge.

throw-wreath-at-bean-bunny

18 months in Korea … The Highs & The Lows

gwangju

A week ago, I hit my 18 month milestone of living and working in South Korea. This is officially the longest I’ve ever lived abroad and it kind of blows my mind.

I look back on my 17 months in Mexico and have hundreds of memories that seem to span such a wide space of time. When I think back over the last 18 months here, it’s hard to conjure up anything that doesn’t revolve around the mundane, everyday routine.

Life in Mexico was just like the city I lived in – Fast, impulsive, and wild.

Life here is exactly like my rural surroundings – Slow, relaxed, and a little dull.

But that’s okay. This is a small pocket of time in a long life full of adventures. I’m fine with slowing down for now and being a little boring. My financial responsibilities come first and foremost. Once I’ve dealt with them, I can carry on to the next adventure and get back to the old recklessness.

Life has its ups and downs here but I’ll never stop being grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given.

And, like any good look-back post, I’ve gathered together some of the best and worst moments from the last 18 months.

Let’s get the bad ones out of the way first.

THE LOWS …

+ Getting THAT News

I never experienced a “honeymoon period” of life in Korea thanks to the news I received during my first few days.

Even though it was only 24 hours later that I was given the all clear and told that the hospital had royally fucked up, this affected me more than it probably should have.

It left me kind of shell-shocked and in constant fear that maybe the original results had been right all along. Even now I’m still too terrified to get a gynecologist here and go for the regular checkups us ladies need.

Stupid, right?

But it is something I’m working on trying to get over.

Continue reading

Temple & Shrine Hopping in Kyoto

What can I say about my week long holiday in Kyoto that won’t make me sound like a complete Japanophile creep?

Nothing. That’s what.

loved Japan. Everything made me smile: The architecture, the food, the people, the places, the weather, the music. I’m officially happy to be a Japanophile (I didn’t even know that was a real word) for the foreseeable future.

Or, at least, a Kyotophile.

I mean, I’m not claiming to be an expert here; I only spent a week in Kyoto. There were 2 days in Osaka tacked onto the end but, unfortunately, a huge typhoon hit so we spent our last afternoon having a quick nose around the downtown area and then grabbing some sushi and sake to enjoy in our ryokan-style hotel.

16153357325_09106a28c9_o

The world's coolest looking jewelry shop.

The world’s coolest looking jewelry shop.

15531014474_c6bfa4a318_o

Continue reading

That Time I Went to a Penis Park

16282929877_78cb48155d_o

There are places in life we visit and then forget all about. There are places that become hazy memories that are only reawakened by a picture or a song or a smell. And then there are those places that you can never forget, where every last detail is etched onto your brain whether you want it to be or not.

For me, Haesindang Penis Park is one of those places.

What is a penis park, you may ask?

In short, it’s a park full of penis.

16281381030_8aaaa91e6e_o

Continue reading