Update

It has been a while since my last post.

Meanwhile, I travelled to Japan and Taiwan.

My time in Korea came to an end and I flew back to Germany.

I changed my university, found a new apartment and will soon move to Berlin.

A lot is happening.

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I, Frankenstein (2014)

Spoileralert!

I won’t summarize the plot but I’ll give my opinion about the movie and mention plot twists or the ending if needed. If you want to see the movie and haven’t done it yet, better stop reading now.

I, Frankenstein

A movie I’d never watch if not for my guy friends. I was at a friend’s place and the guys-girls ratio was too high to have a say in which movie to watch. Since I read the original Frankenstein book, I was a tiny bit interested but mostly I was scared to watch the movie. I’m chicken-hearted, action movies are okay sometimes, horror movies are definitely a no-go! I, Frankenstein was just barely doable because I watched it with many people together. The special effects were impressive, much better than Maleficent even though I watched that on a big cinema screen and this one only on computer. The story though. First, I was very annoyed by the fact that everybody, including the monster himself, referred to Frankenstein’s monster as Frankenstein. Even after the monster was named Adam, people still called him Frankenstein. He’s not Frankenstein! Frankenstein is the dude who made him! Also that blonde scientist chick. Aren’t you a bit too young to be a famous world’s best scientist? Why would you keep doing stupid stuff then? The one cool female gargoyle died early in the movie and all the other women seemed to be dumb. Especially that scientist. Can’t you be cool for once?

Rating: 3/5 only because of the special effects

Cry Me A River: No tears shed on this one.

Walking along 청계천

Cheongkyecheon is a stream that runs through downtown Seoul. It was covered during the post-war economic development but luckily it has been renewed again in 2005. It’s one of my favourite places in Seoul because it’s one of the few green spots in the metropolis. I can walk along the streams for hours and enjoy the wildlife, flowers, greenry and observing other people.

#100happydays recap

It’s almost 2 weeks ago since I’ve finished the #100happydays challenge. Some days I had 100 reasons to be happy and wanted to upload 100 pics at once. At other times, when I felt down or just had an average boring day, it was hard to come up with something. But I hung on and did all 100 days and I’m proud that I accomplished the challenge. Here are some of my favourite moments/pics, a lot of them including food. Because food always makes me happy.

Maleficent (2014)

Spoileralert!

I won’t summarize the plot but I’ll give my opinion about the movie and mention plot twists or the ending if needed. If you want to see the movie and haven’t done it yet, better stop reading now.

MALEFICENT-poster

Maleficent

A remake of the classic fairy tale Sleeping Beauty. Not sure how I feel about remakes. I went to the cinema with a friend to watch it and it was disappointing. Disappointing is not the right word since I had no expectations but I felt dissatisfied when the movie ended. Maleficent is one of my favorite Disney villain and Angelina Jolie did her justice. The story was just really weak. Occasionally, I was so bored I looked at my watch to check how much play time I got left. Not a good sign! If Frozen hadn’t happened, the ending would have been acceptable but it happened and so I found the ending utterly annoying. After sisterly love, it’s motherly love now? Oh, come on! I think it’s nice they try to change the whole „a prince came and rescued her“ thing but it was just so… lame. I really wished the raven would have been Aurora’s true love instead, I mean he was always by her side and protected her. His part deserved a bigger significance! I think the whole movie was a bit too focused on Angelina Jolie. I understand the movie is named after her character but they could have made the other characters more interesting. Aurora’s very boring and shallow, she just smiles a lot. There aren’t even hardly fairies to be seen despite the fact most of the movie takes place in the fairy world. At least the dragon was cool.

Rating: 2/5 for Jolie’s effort and the raven/dragon dude

Cry Me A River: Before Maleficent gave Aurora the saving kiss on the forehead, she was reflecting on her actions. It wasn’t sad but she cried so I cried.

7 hours Dragon Hill Spa

찜질방 (jjimjilbang) is the Korean sauna. The entrance fee is usually between 5000-10000 won, depending on the facility. Big ones include several sauna rooms, various spas and other features such as a nail studio or a gaming centre. 찜질방 are opened 24h so you can stay overnight. It’s a nice and cheap place to stay when you’re traveling. My job and 고시원 stressed me as much as the finale exams stressed my friend. It was high time to treat ourselves to a nice relaxing day at the 찜질방!

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entrance

We met at 용산역 in front of H&M, next to a gigantic O. Right on the right side is the Dragon Hill Spa entrance, you really can’t miss it. When you pay the entrance, you leave your shoes at the shoe shelves and get your 찜질방 outfit which you should wear for the common area. The changing and the bath area are gender separated. You’re supposed to go into the bath area completely naked which is shocking for many foreigners. It’s quite a strange thing to see so many people walking around naked but you’ll get used to it. After you changed into your stylish orange two-piece, you can go to the other floors and explore the facility. Our first target was of course the restaurant to get lunch. If you’re only a bit hungry, I suggest to get some typical Korean 찜질방 snacks: Hard-boiled eggs, 빙수 (shaved ice), sweet potato chips and some 식혜 (sikhye) which is sweet rice dessert drink and super delicious. Except the 빙수 we got all of them. We also treated ourselves to a manicure. It was my first time to get one and I felt very girly. After we spent a few hours like this, it was finally time to enjoy the actual sauna.

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the main hall

There are several different rooms: Mineral rooms, salt rooms, hot-like-hell rooms and an ice room. Be sure to read the instructions on the doors of each room so you won’t overexert your body. After all the sweating, it’s important to clean your body. Time to get naked! 목욕탕, the bath area, is floor beneath the changing area and very wide. Again, there are several different bath tubs: A hot one, a super hot one, a hot one with massage streams, a cold one and some with mineral water. They say, you get the best effect for your body and skin when you get into the small saune there first, then the hot/cold tubs and at the end the mineral baths. I say, whatever floats your boat. However, be careful with the hot tubs! We went into the bubbly hot tub a bit too long and got dizzy. Also we couldn’t hear that well for a while, someone explain me why, please. Better to go for hot and cold baths alternately to stimulate your circulation. After 7 hours 찜질방, our bodies were pretty exhausted from all the heat and cold. It was time to shower and get back to normal life. We both spent 41000 won each for a full day relax-program. A fair deal, I would say!

Price:
Entrance – 11000 won on a weekday
Food at the restaurant – 8000 won
Manicure – 15000 won, pedicure – 30000 won
Snacks – 2000~4000 won

There was more stuff to do but we didn’t explore everything. PC방, professional massages which I’d love to get but they were so expensive, 노래방 (karaoke), game centre and more…

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game centre

Subway: Line 1 용산역, exit 1

치치s choice: Hard-boiled eggs and 식혜 like in a K-drama. And 목욕탕 because it’s the most relaxing part.

Store signs in 인사동

Insadong is one of the less interesting parts of Seoul for me. It’s one of the typical destinations for tourists and therefore very crowded. The only times when I go there is to buy some more or less traditional souvenirs or when I pass through to get from 삼청동 to 청계천. I do, however, like the store signs. For some reason, all stores have to write their signs in Korean. Maybe it’s to preserve a more Korean look. In any case, stores like Starbucks, Burger King or Etude House that usually display their names in English have to transliterate into Hangul. It’s just a minor change but it makes the stores look cuter. I don’t drink coffee at Starbucks, I drink coffee at 스타벅스커피!

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