What’s happening in May …
So May is here already and it’s brought with it much warmer weather. I found a mosquito in my flat on May 1st! The first sign of summer! It will soon be time to put the mosquito net up too, even though it feels like we only just stopped using the ondol – underfloor heating! The blossom is almost gone now with just a few petals still clinging on to the branches for dear life.
There are a few special days this month in the Korean calendar. Continue reading “May 2013” »
The Boseong Green Tea Festival is held once a year in May after the first new tea leaves have been picked in April. Tea made from the new young tea leaves taste the best right now and the tea fields are at their most beautiful too, so we headed down to Boseong for the long weekend to sip tea and sight-see.
To get to Boseong we took the KTX (Korea’s bullet train) to Gwangju in Jeolla-do. (2 and a half hours from Seoul). We stayed the night in Gwangju and then got up early next morning to catch the bus to Boseong from Gwangju bus terminal. (90 minutes) Continue reading “Boseong Green Tea Festival 2013” »
sculptures this week at the Seoul Art Centre
I continue to be amazed at the pace we are going through the textbook of Chinese characters. I mentioned in the class this week how different it was studying calligraphy in Japan as there we concentrated on JUST ONE character over and over and OVER again until it was as near to perfect as it was ever going to get. Then when the teacher said so, we could move on to the next character. The general consensus in my class in Seoul was that that style would NEVER work in bali bali Korea. NOBODY wants to dilly dally. But I think all would agree that 16 characters to work on is very bali bali indeed!
Over 45,000 fans (and us) poured into the World Cup stadium in Seoul last night to watch 21 bands at this marathon K-pop event. It started at 6:30pm and was scheduled to go on till 11:00 pm! The bands performing were ..
SHINee, B2ST, INFINITE, 2AM, U-KISS, ZE:A, Girls’ Generation, KARA, 4minute,T-ara, SECRET, SISTAR, EXO, B1A4, Rainbow, Huh Gak, Girl’s Day, SPEED, BTOB, EvoL, and VIXX.
Outside the stadium are stalls selling luminous plastic bow headwear and wands. Water and soft drinks are on sale too (no alcohol allowed though) and KFC chicken burgers are doing a roaring trade.
By 6 pm the fans in the stadium are getting more and more excited. We actually had ground seat tickets nearer the front but the ground tickets don’t have actual seat numbers just zones. We should have been a bit nearer the front but after queueing up for the loo for half an hour etc we found ourselves here… Still good though!
The VIPs attending the event including the CEO of Hyundai Oilbank – the sponsor of the concert – are introduced to the audience and then we are ready to start …
Continue reading “This Weekend we went to K-Pop Dream Concert 2013 at the Olympic Stadium!” »
When I arrived at the Seoul Art Centre for my calligraphy class this afternoon, I walked right into the International sculpture festa which is on this month. I love the atmosphere there.
So we haven’t had a calligraphy class for two weeks, because last week, May 1, was Labour Day. With TWO whole weeks to practise the new 8 Chinese characters, I imagined that my work would be TWICE as good as usual this time.
BUT as today’s class approached, I realised something very important about myself: IF I DON’T HAVE CLASS, I DON’T PRACTISE I hardly did anything in the first week because I KNEW we had no class. Then I started again in the second week. So in the end I only did one week’s worth of practice spread over two weeks!
So why does having a weekly class force me to practise? I think there are two reasons. The first reason is the pace of the class. We are given 8 new characters to work on every week so if we don’t keep up we will fall behind. And the other reason is that we have to put our work up on the wall every week to get feedback from the teacher. Even though the teacher is very gentle with his feedback (and very positive) it seems that the simple fact of knowing that I have to put my work up on the wall is enough incentive to make me practise at home! There’s even more incentive now as this week we were given 16 characters to master! And I thought 8 characters a week was a lot.