Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!!!

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays, too bad it isn’t big here in South Korea.

As a former cosplayer, I always loved dressing up in costumes, and it the societal day to dress up with little to no judgement (back when I cared what people thought of me).

As a kid, I loved trick or treating, getting free candy, and going to people’s garages for those cheesy haunted houses. It’s amazing I haven’t been kidnapped.

One of my favorite places to trick or treat was the nearby Air Force retirement village. Those old folks always gave out full size and long size can’t bars. I did however make the mistake of bragging about it so the next year the houses ran out by the time I got there. 😦

As a teen, young adult, and even now I love watching horror movies. Halloween is such a perfect day to marathon. It really helps sets the mood. It a shame I don’t have many friends that like scary movies as much as I do.

So from me to you, Happy Halloween.


Jurassic World Exhibit!!!

So the most usual exhibit came to South Korea and is still currently going on. I mean I saw the advertisement for it on the subway and several bus stops, so apparently it seems to be a big deal. “What is it?” You may ask. Well, if you didn’t read the title, it is the Jurassic World Exhibit.

The exhibit was by the Gimpo airport, way out of the way, but it is probably one of the few spaces in Korea they can meet the energy and height requirement for the dinosaurs.

The gift shop was outside and had some nifty stuff. What they don’t tell you is that a lot of the merchandise comes from Universal Studios. You didn’t hear this from me.

The exhibit was split into a few parts, show casing dinosaurs, the DNA lab, among many other things. A lot of it was in Korean so Ali Just glossed over it.

The entrance was similar to that of the movie. There was some connection between the movies (both park and World Series) and also as an educational theme park.

There were many dinosaurs that were animatronic this bad boy was the first one you see as you walk in. It has scars from being attacked by other dinosaurs. The models were really detailed and quite realistic.

This bad boy was just a neck and a head but still took up a lot of space. It was one of the few dinosaurs where you could see the rope. Still, the feel of the zoo was apparent.

The T-Rex enclosure was one of my favorites. The noise and the lights added to the atmosphere. Hell, even the kids crying was a very nice touch. The kids were real and in my group.

Hammonds were the big bad of the movies. They had incubators, fossilized ambers of mosquitoes where they extracted the different DNA of the dinosaurs, and even an egg chamber. The eggs had QR codes that can tell you what dinosaur would hatch. They even had a create your own dinosaur. Mine is currently being emailed to me, so when it comes I will post it.

The T-Rex skull fossil was great to see as well. It was so big, it was bigger than most of the children in my group. I wanted to get a side by side comparison but no parent would allow it. My sisters better step up their baby making game.

Also there was a guy who allowed you to pet a baby Dino. He seemed so happy. Must have been the best job.

After the lab was the gyro sphere trail. If you remember from the first Jurassic world movie was the safari like tour, but the destroyed and endangered part.

Seriously. My photos doesn’t do this place justice at all. The ones I am posting are the cream of the crop.

There was also a raptor (my favorite Dino) enclosure. It was blue from the Jurassic World movies, but I couldn’t get a good photo or video. The adult male next to me kept pushing and shoving me out of the way so his kid could see. Plus the poor lighting killed that part of the experience.

Overall, I would have to save it was worth my money. It was a great experience to see dinosaurs and learn a little about them as well.

If I were to make a recommendation, go on a weekday to avoid the family crowd if you like photo ops.

Outside was a dinosaur theme cafe. It was really cute, and kind of pricy. I wish I ate there because everything looked so delicious. Maybe I’ll come back again before the exhibit leaves.


My Secret

One thing I love, is dancing. However, I am not very good at it. I have no rhythm. I always look awkward. My face looks uninterested. I have to work twice as hard to be half as good.

I always think its fun. I haven’t danced since first coming to Korea. I want to find a dance group, dance class, etc. but they are close-knit groups. The ones that advertised are for female and young students only.

(Spring 2011) My first introduction to dancing was back in college days. I joined to local anime club of my university to make friends. Yeah. I am one of those kinds of people. Please. Don’t judge me to harshly. Anyways, there was a girl that I liked who was in the dance group and I joined. I asked her out, but at the same time my friend Ivan asked her out too. She ended up choosing him. So here is a video from my very first performance ever.

Songs: Gee (Girl’s Generation), Drama (Daichi Miura), Hare Hare Yukai (Haruhi Suzumiya)

(Fall 2011) The following semester, I decided to stick with the group. I was having fun, to an extent at least. It was a great way to hang out with some of my friends, and get in some exercise. After all, I was a chunckster. My weight and body image has always been an issue.

Regardless, these  dances were a bit more intense. The leader of the group chose to use the easier parts of the dances. It took a whole semester for me to learn and you can tell I am not that good. I shouldn’t have wore my glasses (pre-contact and pre-lasik days).

Songs: Lucifer (Shinee), Neverland (U-Kiss)

After this semester of dancing, I had to take a break the following semester. Work got super busy and I had more responsibilities. I was in charge of a huge part of our “Outreach to Taiwan” series.

(Spring 2012) The semester afterwards, Gangnam Style got really big in the USA. Like, how? Seriously. It got big out of no where. Our dance group had to perform it, many, many, MANY, times. It was one of the easier dances I had to learn. I was even chosen as lead for the dance. I don’t know why I was the one chosen, but it was an honor in and of itself. I think I performed it over 13 times. the last time was at a maid cafe our anime club hosted. Again, don’t judge too harshly.

Song: Gangnam Style (Psy) – One of my better performances, even in such a tight space.

After this, I haven’t had a chance to perform or dance, like at all. Work, school, and life got in the way. Nothing I could have done about it.

(August 2014) I joined the TaLK Program to teach English in South Korea. I am a 13th generation scholar. Our orientation was on Jeju Island, where we spent most of the month of August. I won’t talk about what fresh hell that was, at least not in this post. Anyways, as a favor to our group leader, we entered the talent show. We had one night, roughly a few hours, to put something together. She was such a nice leader and person in general, so our whole group decided to do it, aside from a few people. Since I had dance experience, I was asked to lead the boys of our group. However, I am not a good dancer! We had a good time, but I feel like I did let our group down a little.

Songs (based on my memory): A (Got 7), Abracadabra (Brown Eyed Girl), No No No (A Pink), I Don’t Need a Man (Miss A), Mr. Simple (Super Junior)

I want to share and have a post for future reference, even if it just for myself. I want to find a way to get into dancing again. Maybe I will just look up dance practice videos and just dance in my room, where no one can see me. I do want to find classes, get trained, or something like that. This is something I think about a lot and want to pursue from time to time.

if you have any hints or leads please let me know.


Happy White Day!

Happy White Day!

A White Day message from my favorite idol from my Uta no Prince mobile game.

White Day occurs on March 14th, exactly one month after Valentine’s Day. It is celebrated in many Asian countries.

In America (and probably some western countries) Valentine’s is the day for lovers. Guys and girls exchange chocolate, cards, go on dates, etc. There is no right or wrong way to celebrate it. At least to my knowledge. I alwaya gave chocolate to my friends. Small tokens of friendship. When I was in relationships I would tailor this day to the person I was dating. No one wants to hear about those details.

In Korea and Japan, Valentine’s Day is a day where girls give chocolate to boys. This usually falls into two categories: like chocolate and obligation chocolate.

First, obligation chocolate is where girls give chocolate to their friends that are boys. These are usually store bought, small, and nothing to write home about. However, the guys receiving these chocolates may say otherwise. Some guys treat getting chocolates as a contest. Keep that a secret between us, okay?

Second, the like chocolate. This chocolate is handmade and given to the guy they like. I say handmade but that is rarely the case. Usually they melt chocolate and pour it into a mold. They hand wrap it and give it to them with their feelings. I am not a girl so I don’t know the whole thought process behind it.

With all that history, now you are ready for the point of this post, White Day.

White Day comes a month after and is when guys return the favor. The guys usually give candy, or some sort of small trinket, to the girls that gave them chocolate. However, there is a small catch. For some reason the White Day gift has to be worth 10% more than the Valentine’s chocolate the boy received. This might be an antiquated rule, but it was how I learned. At least the misinformation I spread isn’t as bad as the Anti-vaccines movement.

Well I forget the rest of what I was going to say.


Cambodia or How I Spent My Vacation

The last week of December was my winter vacation from my school/hagwon. With roughly 5 days off (not including weekends) I decided to visit Cambodia. It was a great trip, until the end where I got sick. A friend from a local university here is from Cambodia and told me about the place. I thought being from South Texas, where the heat and humidity are record breaking and off the charts, would prepare me for the heat. That was a big NOPE! Without further ado, let’s get started.

I spent roughly four days in the country, not including my flight. The only way to get around was by taxi or tut-tut.

A tut-tut is basically a carriage pulled by motorcycle. The recommend you change drivers frequently because if you book a person for a day, they can rip you off and cost more than you plan to spend. The guy outside my hotel had a sign of popular places to visit.

I was planning on going to most of the places, but it was great to know there were many people who wanted to go to these places too. All the tourist places were surprisingly busy (considering it was the Christmas season) but I learned a lot.

Also, Cambodia is not pedestrian friendly. There were hardly any sidewalks. The few I did see were few and far between. Everyone either took a tuk-tuk or drove a scooter/motorcycle. I didn’t notice any female drivers either. So, yeah. I am pretty sure they exist, just didn’t see anything.

Day 1:

The first day was the majority of my cultural experience. I went to the genocide museum and the killing fields.

The genocide museum was a high school turned prison turned museum that showcased a lot of the torture and crimes against humanity commited by the Khmer Rouge. The Khmer Rouge was the name popularly given to the followers of the Communist Party of Kampuchea and by extension to the regime through which the CPK ruled in Cambodia between 1975 and 1979.

During the audio tour I learned the history of the place and got to hear stories from the people who experienced it. Out of respect, I kept my pictures to a minimum. Some of the stories still haunt my mind.

After spending some time explore and reflecting, I had a quick lunch and headed off to the Killing Fields.

The Killing Fields were a beautiful sight before learning about all the history. To sum up, the Khmer Rouge used this places to continue and finish off their mass genocide. It was disguised as a Chinese/Buddhist monastery to cover up the exact crimes from the surrounding neighbors. We were asked to stay on the path and not touch anything on the ground. After all, rain and floods continue to surface some the remains that have been buried. Again, out of respect I kept pictures to a minimum.

Able to buy flowers to lay at the grave and able to pay your respect.

Day 2:

I stayed at my hotel by the pool relaxing and drinking. The first day was rather hot and depressing. I was on vacation to relax. So relaxing is what I did. Kind of glad I didn’t go out because it started to rain.

Day 3:

More cultural activities. I started at the National Museum. I snuck some pictures of sculptors and chilled at the cafe. I tried to get a picture of the courtyard but some couple in love wouldn’t get out of the way. They were taking pictures and selfies for 30 minutes. I am not even exaggerating.

These mo-fo walked around posing all over the courtyard and taking pictures for 30 minutes. I couldn’t get a clear shot. I may have photo bombed a few.

The museum showed the history of the country and its religious beliefs through the years. It was great to see, but I wish I got the audio tour to go along with it. I also stopped by the gift shop on the way out. I was tempted to buy a Budda head statue but did not want to carry it around with me all day. Now I am filled with all of the regret. ALL OF THE REGRET.

The next stop was the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda. It was beautiful to see, but I didn’t get a tour guide so the history was lost on me. However, the place was great to see.

This one is one of my favorite photos. It looks so good, it is almost fake. 



It got too hot afterwards, so I retired back to my hotel. I should have toughed it out. There was a lot more I wanted to see. Curse me and my weak hear constitution.

Day 4:

My last and final day I went shopping at Central Market. There I tried local foods (regret since I got hella sick the following day) and went shopping for knock offs. There was cool stuff. I got myself some belts and many souvenirs for my sisters. Shhh don’t tell them. Hell! I doubt they even continue to read or even check my site anymore. I did see some killer shoes but they didn’t have my size. The few they did were quite ugly. There is a reason I don’t wear white.

Well that was my vacation in a nutshell. Two days were used for travelling by plane. I hate flying quite a bit. Overall, I did enjoy my time and want to go back. I still have things I want to see in Phenom Phem and also got to check out Siem Reap. However, my next trip should be Thailand. If I don’t want to say money or pay back my student loan.

Thanks for reading!