When you’re too busy looking down…

It’s sunday morning and I was going through my Facebook newsfeed when I saw the above video. I kinda got struck by its message because you can say, I pledge guilty haha.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Youtube, Ask.fm… I have’em all! My Instagram, Tumblr and Ask.fm is connected to my Facebook and Twitter account. I even have -two- Twitter account. A public and a private one. Whenever I am bored the first thing I would do is check my Facebook -> Twitter -> Tumblr -> Instagram. If Facebook doesn’t have anything new (because, duh, after 20 minutes or so, there just won’t be too much new stuff to see?), I would jump to Twitter and be stuck there by surfing around the different accounts just to keep myself busy.

Of course I am well aware, that looking at your screen might seem very antisocial, especially when you are in a larger group, or even just amongst your friends, but many people (including me) must have forgotten how to keep themselves busy except for looking at their phone. There are times when I am talking to a friend and get a bit irritated when this friend is looking down at their screen and just nodding their heads to show me that they are listening while scrolling through their Facebook newsfeed or Twitter timeline. Especially when they’re like ‘Oh haha look at this!’ while showing me their phone, after I have finished talking. Some people disagree with the ‘Technology is dooming us socially’ quote, because they believe, that those Social Media greatly helped us to socialize much faster than we could before. At some point, it might be true, but everything must be limited to a certain amount and importance.

There was a time, when I started writing every single thought I had on Twitter, while being on the train or wherever I was. It was literally a brain striptease as I would also write down my emotions when being way to emotional, which I tried to lessen and then stop all together a few months back with the thought of, instead bringing people’s mood down by being emo, only giving them positive things to enlighten their mood. Sometimes you just get too caught up with all those social media’s and you don’t even realize it.

Me being in my semester abroad right now, I have started a ‘project’ to upload a picture per day, so that I can look back at those memories in the future and keep my family and friends updated. But I realized that I could just write/post those memories inside my diary, which I am trying to maintain right now anyways, or send my family/friends those pictures personally. Why do I have to show the whole world my life? What do I talk about when I get back without the other people being like ‘Oh yeah I saw it on your Instagram/Facebook!’. The “We are utmost happy with an experience we share. But is it the same if no one is there? Be there for your friends, and they will be there too, but no one will be, if a group message will do.’ quote pretty much sums it all.

As long as you do not ‘rape’ your social media’s but only use it for its purpose, which is communicating with friends, whom you do not have the opportunity to meet in person, you will be able to experience your life in REAL with the people around you, and not with those who you don’t even know.

“Being alone isn’t the problem, let me just emphasize, you read a book, paint a picture or do some exercise, you’re being productive and present [..] you’re being awake and attentive and putting your time to good use, so when you’re in public and you start feeling alone, put your hands behind your head and step away from the phone.”

Once again it’s easier said, than done, but it’s worth a try, if you think about what you will be able to experience by appreciating your surrounding and not the display of your phone.

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How to get to the Seoul Immigration Office

Hello everyone! So this is just a short blog post on how to get to the Seoul Immigration Office for your Alien Registration Card. You must note that there are two different Immigration Offices for the different districts, so the one that I am going to cover here is (especially for those who are living in the Seodaemungu area) the main office. Other districts that are being handled by this office are the below

Gangseo-Gu, Guro-Gu, Geumchun-Gu, Mapo-Gu, Yangcheon-Gu, Yeongdeungpo-Gu, Gwangmyeong-Si, Gangnam-Gu, Gangdong-Gu, Gwanak-Gu, Gwangjin-Gu, Dongjak-Gu, Seocho-Gu, Seongdong-Gu, Songpa-Gu, Yongsan-Gu, Gwacheon-Sie, Seongnam-Si, Anyang-Si, Hanam-Si

If you live in another district (eg. Jongno-Gu and the northern part of Seoul) you may go to the Sejongno office. I am saying this, because I made the mistake/was not fully informed and went to the wrong office, after waiting for almost a whole day, I was told, that I was at the wrong office as they do not handle my district. So I basically waited and wasted a whole day for…nothing.. *sobs* (I’ll try my best to get a way description for the Sejongo Office later..)

So, for those who want to register for an ARC card (which is necessary for everyone who will stay in Seoul for longer than 3 months) should go to the Seoul Immigration Office with every necessary document. (As for me who is going to the KLI Language Institute, I had to bring my Passport incl the Visa, a pass picture, confirmation of acceptance into the Program, confirmation of payment as well as the filled in form which you can find in the office)

Address: 319-2, Sinjeong 6 dong, Yangcheon-gu, Seoul.
Phone number: 02-2650-6211 /6215

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri 09:00-18:00 (closed during Lunch time 12:00-13:00)
Sat,Sun & Holidays CLOSED

Direction:

You take the Subway Line#5 to Omogyo Station.
Once you get off, you will find the sign Seoul Immigration Office Seoul (Exit 7)

From the Hana Bank (하나은행) you walk straight ahead for around 5-7 minutes.

You will pass Audi on your right and an Angel-In-Us café on your left before you see the church on your right side.

Stay on the right hand side of the street and walk straight ahead towards the church.

After a few meters you will be able to see the building of the Seoul Immigration Center on your right side.

Just cross the street and you can find the gate to the building.

The office for the Alien Registration Card is on the 2nd floor for those who live in Seodaemun-Gu. It takes around 3 weeks until your ARC is processed so I would recommend to do it on the first days of your arrival. If you are arriving on the start of a school year, you should wait a few days, since all students/renewal candidates will be there and you might have to bear with waiting times for >5 hours.

If you have any other questions, I am more than happy to answer if I can 🙂

Good luck!

Getting comfy in Seoul

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Wow~ I’m late in posting something here on my blog~ I wanted to post regularly from the time I arrived here, but it got so busy that I actually did not have any time to write down everything~ aish~

Buuuut~ I finally settled down and now I can start posting 😀

For those who don’t know, I am attending the regular korean course at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, and am going to stay here for the next 7 months (until the end of September). Before coming to Seoul, I was in the Philippines for 2 months, as my friend got married at the beginning of the year, and it was too much of a hassle to book two flights (VIE-MNL-VIE and VIE-ICN-MNL), when Seoul was only 4 hours from Manila away. So I decided to spend the gap in between with my family in the Philippines.

I’ve been here in Seoul for a bit more than a week now. I looked for a room to stay, met up with friends, went to a concert, got everything I needed for the the upcoming 7 months that I am going to live here. The past week was quite adventurous and truly amazing! Since I’m here by my own, I didn’t really know how the first days will be, but some awesome people helped me get through it ❤

Actually, the only thing I planned before coming to this country, was my first three days, which consisted of me looking at different rooms. I booked a hostel near the Hongik Station (and also pretty near Sinchon Station, where I would need to find a place to stay in) and made appointments with various realtors and landlords who were offering rooms near the Yonsei University. As my korean is still pretty much limited, I had to take the service of english speaking realtors and landlords, to avoid misunderstandings. I must have had pretty high expectations as none of the rooms I looked at really satisfied me. They were ‘ok’ but nothing I would want to live in for more than 2 months. On my last day, I decided to take a risk and went into a ‘normal’ korean realtor agency which I happened to pass by while going from one (also rather spontaneous) meet up to the next appointment. I won’t go into details, except the fact that I am a lucky girl and that someone up there was nice enough to send me to the right people at the right time, but I got the perfect room with awesome (and probably the most kind) conditions~

After finishing up the contract I was ready to spend some time to realize that I am actually in Seoul right now. The feeling is different than the last 3 times I went here. It was not for leisure only. Not for sightseeing. I had to take care of -official- stuff like going to the immigration center for my Alien registration card or going to the bank for a money deposit. Doing groceries, not at the 7/11 or GS25, but at a supermarket. And I realized that even though I’ve been here for so many times already, I still don’t have an idea about the korean life~ Even when we stayed here for 2 months, it was nothing like how I spent my time the past week.

I was lucky enough that one of my austrian friend, who is currently studying in Japan, decided to have a 3-weeks vacation in Seoul, so I got to meet her during her last week ❤ It was something I kinda needed to settle down. If I were to spend my first days alone, I think I would’ve felt a bit uncomfortable, but the time spent with them really made everything easier for me.

The first night in my room was quite crazy though. Since I put all my luggages inside the room right before we departed for Busan for one night, I did not have any time to buy bed sheets, covers or a pillow. When we arrived from Busan the next day (or more night as we had to take the last bus with arrival at 1.30am in Seoul) I had to sleep in the cold room by using my towel and coat as a blanket, since I also did not know how to turn on the heater. It was all sorts of crazy. I woke up at 6am in the morning trembling due to the coldness, haha. So what I did first in the morning was buy myself a bed sheet set.

It’s my first time living alone, so I was kind of excited buying all the things I needed for the household. Even more excited when I bought the furniture for my room! And in one day, I was already comfortable in the location ❤ It’s crazy how everything went so smoothly. Now all I need is get myself a phone number and at the end of the month, I can finally pick up my Alien Registration ID and I will officially be ready for Yonsei \O/

Since my course will start in April, I will take some time to post some ‘how-tos’ in case some of you are also planning to attend a language course here in Seoul or you’re just interested about my time here 😉

Sharing this song, just because it was the first thing that my iPhone played as soon as I saw the lights of Seoul ❤

HD B1A4 – Seoul (서울) Member Color Coded…

The thing about comfort zones..

It has almost been a month since I departed for my long journey and I was able to get so many new perspectives in life. Traveling alone makes you realize many new things and it strengthens your personality but also makes you feel very lonely at times.

I tried to remember all the thoughts I had while driving through Manila/Philippines or talking to strangers, but there were just too many discoveries, that I can’t possibly point out everything.

While I was driving to my relatives in the province, I encountered quite a few moments, where I thought ‘You are one lucky person.’
It takes about 8-10 hours by bus from my aunt to the place, where my mother grew up. It’s quite a small village up in the mountains. They don’t have internet, malls or those kind of stuff, where you could keep yourself busy while being there. Since my mother and my uncle are both working in Europe and my other aunt is quite a businesswoman in Manila, they tried their best to establish a nice home for our grandparents. I remember there were cockroaches everywhere, no internet, brown-outs etc.. when I went there 4 years ago, so I was quite redundant about how long I should stay there. Seriously, if it weren’t for my grandmother, I wouldn’t have gone there in the first place. Luckily, before my grandfather passed away, my uncle made sure to ‘clean’ the house. Eg.: Get a specialist to take out all the cockroaches, expand the front yard, get an electricity battery in case of brown-outs etc.. so I was comfortable staying there. However, I realized, that growing up in a city like Vienna, in a clean house, it’s difficult to not come off as a fussy person. Like how I couldn’t go to the toilet for I don’t know how many days, because they had no toilet paper nor a flush…
I travelled alone with the bus, which was a first for me, and even though I’m usually a brave traveller, when it comes to places such as the Philippines, I am quite scared being in a bus over night. Since I don’t even really know where to get off (a/n: they don’t have general stops, you just shout to the bus driver, if you want to get off) it’s like a ride into nowhere haha! What’s more scary is having to wait in a JEEPNEY at like 4.30am until there are enough people so the driver can depart. It took almost 2 hours till the first person arrived. I was lucky, cause the driver was quite alright. He told me about how he was screwed, while applying for a job abroad, and how he lost so much of his hard-earned money just because of that. I felt pity for him, but then quite angry/hurt, after he said ‘You live in Europe, you have so much money. Why are the rich one’s always the most greedy one’s’, because I didn’t want to pay the extra money, so I wouldn’t have to wait for other passengers to join the ride.

Then I realized, it was a thing to think for the people here in the Philippines.
When I came here 4 years ago (I was 18, just graduated and worked hard to have the money for my graduation trip to Korea), I was expected to pay all sorts of stuff, like, food, gas etc.. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to do it, I was more than happy to treat my grandparents and the people who accompanied me for a lunch/dinner, but the fact that they EXPECTED me to, just because they thought I was oh-so-rich being able to travel to Korea after my graduation, kinda ruined it. Yes, I graduated. Yes, I lived  in Vienna with my parents. Yes, I had money. But I did not see any reason, why it would give them the right to think that I would be there, just to cater for them. I worked hard to save up the money I needed for my well-deserved and long-awaited vacation, to an amount, where I did not have to ask my parents for any help, so it took me quite by surprise, when they gave me the feeling, that a part of your family was only happy to see you, because they hoped you would give them money… I love my family, but when it comes to that, it is unfortunately a reason, why I fear seeing some of my family members.

However, this year, it’s a bit different, cause I promised myself to just ignore that feeling and just do whatever I please, and it’s been going very well so far~

Another moment I realized, how much I love Vienna, is whenever I have to commute. While staying here, I learned, how to not act like a foreigner. Due to my hair- and skincolor (I dyed my hair to lightbrown-ish and my skin’s pretty fair compared to other filipinos) it’s quite obvious that I did not grow up in the Philippines, but I tried to just go with the flow. I tried my best to show people that ‘You cannot screw with me just because I might not be as knowledgeable in seeing when someone tries to fox me’ which I accomplished so far. When it comes to commuting, I still am quite anxious. I could never get past the ‘MoA-border’ by my own, because everything that is past that, I’d rather avoid commuting, if I don’t have to. But I’m pretty confident in going from one mall to the other within those limits. Except for the thing, that it takes you almost a lifetime to get from one point to the other, it’s not that bad, as long as you know the direction. If I were in Vienna, and you’d ask me to come to where ever place it might be, I’m totally in for everything. There’s no scary place to go to within Vienna limits (or even Austria limits actually..). That is probably one of the things I miss the most.

It’s very easy to stay in the town you grew up in. To stay with the people you were with more than half of your life. But sometimes you just really have to get out of everything, to appreciate the things you have. How can you appreciate your life, if you never experienced it any other way? You have no way to choose, how you want to live it, if you never saw the other side, right? This way, you may realize ‘Oh hey, my life is actually pretty awesome!’ when everything you did was to complain before. Of course, everything has its downsides (I would probably never be able to have such a luxurious life such as get a massage every other week or sleep in a hotel because I feel like it, back in Vienna) but hey, whats the fun of doing it, if you have the privilege to do it in your everyday life?

I have also realized, that I am a person who doesn’t communicate too well with strange/new people, because I rather be with people I already know and am comfortable with, than ‘become friends’ with new people, who I know will not stay too long in my life. It’s because, I like the thought of spending time with people where I don’t have to think, how I am supposed to act in front of them. But then I realize, that I seem to be the only one who’s stuck while my friends are going forward, leaving me behind. And I have yet to find out, what exactly it is, that stops me from moving on and if I need to keep on looking for the those who are/will stay at the same wavelength as me.

But be it because I’ve been pretty content with how I live/who I am at the moment, or because I still haven’t found something that makes me want to change, in the end, won’t be the you changing yourself just be a ‘moving on to something new which is even more comfortable’? I believe I’ve done it quite a lot of times already, to the point, that I don’t even know anymore, when I have left it..

The first week into the new year

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It has been a bit more than a week into 2014, and I can already say, that I really look forward to this year.

My year started off with a real bang. I flew off to the Philippines on the 1st of January commencing the new year with yet another journey. Even though the last days of 2013 were quite stress-y due to my visa for Korea, the first days of January were just beautiful. I got to travel to my birth country with someone I have known for a very long time but couldn’t meet the past years as we somehow just had drifted apart. It was so much fun spending some time together and having company during this long flight definitely made the journey way easier.

We attended our friends wedding which was on the 4th so we had about 1 ½ day to relax and overcome the jetlag.  Except for the heat I didn’t feel like I left the country as I was surrounded by german language and the place we stayed in looked like a house in Europe. Only when you step outside, you realize, that you really are far away from your home country.

The wedding was beautiful. Despite the disappointments the bride had the days before, in the end, her special day was really beautiful. And I really pray, that she had an unforgettable day. Times like those, made me really look forward to my own wedding, haha. Even if it might be far away from now. Even though I got the bouquet and my ex-classmate (whom I had a huge crush on back then btw haha!) got the strap, I think it will still be a long time until it is my turn. So I just enjoyed that feeling. (Or am I the only one who always wanted to know the feeling of catching a bouquet?) And I love pretty dresses, so if I can wear nice long dresses, I would attend any occasion!

Seeing one of my best friends marrying off made me feel quite old. But then again excited because it feels so surreal. It just felt like yesterday, when we were talking about, who would get married first! How time flies by… Before you know it, your surrounding has moved on in their life, and you’re still the same like you were years ago. I’m not saying I did not improved or moved on, but when it comes to relationships, I definitely have not. But I guess you can’t have the one (traveling and studying abroad) with the other (having a relationship) so I’m living a, so to say, happy single life as of now.

“If you cannot take care of yourself, then it is not the time to think, that you can be in a relationship where you have to take care of one more person other than yourself.” That is what I keep on telling myself, and it helps me strive for more excellence, so that I can be the best version of myself, for me and my future better half.

As of now, I will just enjoy my current life. Traveling, studying and discovering things I haven’t been able to see yet. And I really hope, that 2014 will be a year, where I can look back to and say ‘I do not have any regrets’ if I were to die the next day.

I will be staying in the Philippines for another 7 or so weeks, and I can’t wait to see what is ahead of me.

2013 Recap

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First of all, I wish all of those who might read this a happy new year!

I know I’m quite late with my recap of last year, but the past days of 2013 was hella stressy~ Getting ready for my ‘journey’ and all~ But everything went well, and I already look forward to 2014!

2013 was a very adventurous year. I got to experience a lot of emotions. And I learned how important it is to show those feelings, to the people that are important to you. I got to travel to a lot of places. Like.. A LOT! I’m usually called a ‘jetsetter’ already and am quite known for traveling a lot amongst my friends, but I guess, this year was -the- year of discoveries! I got to travel to places I’ve been before like the Manila, Seoul or London and places I’ve been to before, but couldn’t remember as I was too young back then, like the Czech Republic, Hungary and some cities of Austria. It was more of a Europe tour I guess. Working at a travel agency, I got the opportunity to travel those places and it surely helped me get to know myself even better.

I guess the past year has helped me very often to take that leap of faith in a lot of ways. From getting more confidence in performing on stage through the ANKPS to having the courage to speak my mind, even though it is still difficult for me at -every- occasion.

I got to travel all by myself, going sightseeing without feeling lonely and even enjoying it! Going to a concert all alone and meeting new people on spot and having fun with strangers, who let you just be yourself.

I realized, that even though friends are important, family is even more important. I have been disappointed by many friends throughout the years, maybe it was just because I have high expectations? Or maybe it was just me, but I was wondering many times, why it is so difficult to find true friends? Then again, it came to my mind, that maybe I was also just a difficult person to deal with? I tried to find out, what a real friend was. Their traits. And tried to see it in myself. So I’m in the midst of finding out, which people are worth it. I have met a lot of people, and I’m starting to get a bit overwhelmed. Everyone tells you to get to know as much people as possible. But then again all I can think of is, why? Why do I need to meet so many people just for the sake of knowing them? Why is it so difficult getting close to them? When did I start mixing up acquaintances and friends again? Probably when friends started being acquaintances again?

One of my wishes for 2014 is, that there will be a clear line between friends and acquaintances for me again, which will probably be a bit difficult, as I will be out of town until almost the of the year… Having entered 2014, means, that me turning 23 is just around the corner, and together with my new year’s wish I hope that my being 23 will be even more adventurous and notorious for my soul and mind. As I’m still far away from knowing what I want, I am pretty sure that I still have to take that leap of faith in a lot of situations. And I hope that everyone of you will be able to answer many of the questions you have in life and remember, that everything is just one step ahead, you just have to take that one step.

26 days left…

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..until my flight to the Philippines. Yes. I will travel back to my home country for 2 months. After this vacation I will head to Korea to attend the Yonsei KLI Regular Program (Spring – Summer 2014).

It is finally time! I have been planning this for I don’t know how many years already, and it makes me so excited to finally say ‘I will go there’ -FOR SURE-.

It took me a lot of effort and a lot of courage to remind myself, that I still have so many things I want to accomplish. I have started working in a travel agency not too long ago (around 1,5 years) and I really love what I was doing. But I just have the feeling that I need to do what I want to do at this point of my life, rather than later, when I really cannot back up anymore. Not that I am old (I don’t even feel old!), but I think the later I start with this, the more difficult it will get.

So yes, I finally applied for Yonsei University, and I received my acceptance letter a week ago. It was probably one of the most tensed week I had, because there was just many things to do at once and it seemed like I always had the wrong timing haha… 

My journey will start in the Philippines as one of my best friends is getting married at the beginning of January, so I took the chance to combine this trip with my language course (save flight fare yay!). My flight will go after a happy and hopefully not too crazy new year! What an awesome way to start your new year, isn’t it?

My trip to Seoul will be at the end of February. A bit more than 1 month before the placement test.

At the moment I am just doing my best to study korean as much as I can to get the highest level in the placement test. I don’t know how far I will get as I am quite rusty when it comes to studying (and I’ve never been a good student to begin with hahaha but psssshhhht) so I just hope I’ll be good enough to reach a higher level. 

I still cannot believe that I am doing this, and I am quite afraid that I am going to miss Vienna and my friends as I will be there all by my own. But I do tell myself that I don’t have to fear because I’m more than experiences in travelling. Especially when it comes to Korea/Seoul, it’s like my second home already ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ

I will do my best to update this blog at least once a week while I am in Asia and I will try my all to give some information and help to those who are planning to attend a Language Course in Korea, as well as some travel tips for the Philippines and Korea!

I know there are many many many blogs already, which has information and tutorials about such stuff, but I think you cannot have enough updates on how it is -now- as some of those entries are quite some years old. So here I am to update those who plan on going to the Philippines/Korea in the next year. ^o^