Monday, May 28, 2012

Daegu: Of Summer, Life, Happiness, Korean Photo Studio and KNU Festival

This will be my last post of the month, exam's nearing and early preparations are essential to achieve my desired results. Now, it is summer in Korea, there aren’t any cherry blossoms to be seen blooming or cool weather to be felt anymore. It is also highly unlikely that I can wear my favourite outer every time I am outdoors.

Goodbye Spring...

Exercising under humid and warm summer weather has become a physically demanding routine. I felt I am now at my peak of physical capability. I used to run 12 km every day. My love for sports and running began after I realized I had grown a lot fatter since arriving to Korea in 2009. 

My weight was 76 kilos and in just less than 2 months, I ballooned to 82 kilos (Argghh)! Then, I felt I need to do something about myself. I started walking, and walking, and finally running. Now, I am 67 kilos but I used to be 64 kilos. What about you? There's nothing to be embarrassed talking about weight. ^^ 

The worst thing about losing weight was I couldn't wear most of my cloths. Every cloth I have now is either new ones or bought after I shed kilos. In Korea, the most common concern for the men was height issue. The taller you are, the better your "status" is. 

However, it's very amusing to see some people who purchased elevator shoe just to look taller. When I see short guys wearing basketball sneakers, high heeled boots or shoes with padding, just to look taller, I can only wish for them to be contented with whatever features they have.

Platform shoe

I am taller than the Korean national height average of 1.74 m but even if I am shorter, I couldn't care less. My height? Ahem, secret. When I was in high school, I always dread going to the school assembly because I felt teachers are always looking at the tall guys first before looking at others. Come on! Isn’t it so obvious? 

So, I learned to discipline myself by paying attention during assembly, this leads to paying full attention in classes and somehow, not liking to be distracted while focusing on a task. Frankly, I am also not very tall but during my "formative" high school years in Malaysia, I was among the "above-average" or "tall" in height. I never knew height was such an important issue until I was in Korea.

The Spiciest bun ever eaten in Korea! 

After living and mingling with the Koreans, I discovered that most of them are generally more sensitive and more concerned about how they present themselves to others - Are they good enough? Are they comparable with others?, etc. This is why Koreans are very obsessed with rankings. 

Rankings among the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries as the most technologically advanced country, ranking on YouTube on the latest pop culture (The K –pop), and the nomination of Jeju Island as the seven natural wonders of the world and so forth. They are very proud and happy.

However, by being too engrossed in the chasing after rankings and material wealth, they do not know how and when to be satisfied with what they had. Not many Koreans would like to be farmer because they always assume farmers earn very little. However, once they obtained high paying jobs, they are still dissatisfied because of the unending monotony of their job. They also work long hours. 

But they are never happy. Yet, they want their children to get high paying jobs like they themselves. How ironic isn’t it?

Recently, I attended a class but instead of normal lesson, we watched a video on a lecture about “Happiness” conducted at Harvard and a short slide on happiness. I was attracted to the slide presentation more than the video. It was about “What is Happiness?”. There are 3 types of happiness. 

The first one is “The Pleasant Life”, it is about being in a place and spending your time doing things you like. The second is “The Good Life”. This means doing something you are good at and when you lose track of time such as spending time with the people you love or your job. Finally, it is “The Meaningful life”.

Lets have a meaningful life... 

This means knowing your strength and using them in the service of something higher than yourself such as volunteer service. There are many occasions whereby I am happy because I am doing things I like, being on special place and helping people. 

When I think of “The Pleasant Life”, I felt I am always happy when I am inside my room, looking at the greenery outside the window just after it rains and eating a variety of cakes - fruitcakes, layer cakes and chocolate cakes. Yummy..


In Korea, taking photos is an essential activity for many occasions. 100-day boyfriend-girlfriend anniversary, class picture and even a plain-looking group shot are all taken in a photo studio. In Daegu, I would suggest going to a photo studio at Banwoldang Subway Station (반월당역). It is located at W427 near the Hyundai Departmental Store and opens from 10 am till 9 pm.

PhotoFun - Taking photos is fun? I don't think so..

"Hey, remove that ugly pimples!!!"..

What's next? Photoshop!

This studio is highly recommended because the price is affordable and for around 4~5,000 Won each person, you can get a set of photos. However, my only problem with Korean studios is that they photo shopped most photos all the time! 

Most of the time, they will make a fat guy appearing thinner on photo, a chubby lady suddenly having a coca cola bottle looking slender waist, dark skinned to a fairer skin (Sigh…), and some other basic retouching like removing wrinkles and pimples.

Tadaaa!!! (Don't ask why I had to pose this way... -_-") 

I love and very contented with everything I have.


Stalls (주막) selling you-can-get-them-cheaper-elsewhere alcohols and food

From the top of my dormitory, wow! 

KNU festival was held from last Wednesday to Friday, I attended on Wednesday but fell ill on Thursday and was too exhausted for Friday. I slept early but I watched the fireworks display on the most romantic spot in my dormitory. The open space on the highest spot is where you can see stars, moon and sun, if only the girls can enter the guys dormitory… 


Cindy Lee said...

Hi! I was completely smitten by your blog. you know what? I'm a korean and have lived in DAEGU my entire life since I was born. Actually I don't know exactly about my hometown, DAEGU. Even though you aren't a native korean, you know better than me. That's why I want to ask you to be my freind. If you want to, just answer me ASAP. Take care!
MY email :

widhi adrianna said...

Annyeong ^_^
It's nice to found your blog. I posted many things about Daegu and KNU. Are you KNU's student, isn't it? Me too, I was KNU's student last year, then I moved to another place. But, I wonder... where do u come from?

have a nice day ^_^

Racing Raisins said...

I really like your blog! Very interesting. Keep it up! Will be moving to Korea this Fall for study, too, as a KGSP scholar :)

Yong Jiayee said...

Hi! I'm Jiayee and i am also a Malaysian. Can I ask u some question about study abroad at Korea..??
1. Where do you register to study at Korea?
2. Is there any agency that can help us to go to study in Korea?
3. When do you start your studies in Korea? After form 5 or after pre -u(foundation, a level, ...)?
4. What should I do if I want to study in Korea after my secondary school? *before I get my SPM results..?
Sorry if any inconvenience cause.. Hope that you will reply this message. Thanks. ^^

kyle said...


Hi!! 만나서 반갑습니다! 제 이메일은 kyleandlittlemoments[at]gmail.com라서 연락하세요 ^^

Widhi Adrianna-

Yes, I am a KNU student and you too? Wow, cool! I am from Malaysia. Hope you are doing fine!

Racing Raisins-

Hope to see you soon, and enjoy your stay in Korea aight!

Yong Jiayee-

1. I am sponsored by the Korean Government, hence, I do not register to study there. Nevertheless, if you are interested to study at KNU (hopefully...), you can ask the uni's international office for the procedures - I think the application process is the same in other universities.

2. I am not sure, sorry.

3. I start my studies in Korea after STPM.

4. After Secondary school before SPM results? My advice would be to apply only after your results are out. Without SPM results in black and white, I think it is impossible to apply anywhere. Don't rush.

Everyone, Thank you for reading! :)

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