29 June 2012
An official application paper from the Road Traffic Authority.
After 3 attempts of road tests, I finally got my Class 1 Manual driver's license (equivalent of Canada's Class G)
No, trust me. Taking a driving test in downtown Seoul- using a manual shift truck was not an easy challenge.
I'm proud that I drove on a street that's as busy as New York City, after spending only 6 hours for practice!
28 June 2012
My high school friend Nora has finally came to the far east again (after her first visit last fall)!
She's planning on staying for about three weeks, and perhaps the two weeks
will be spent on traveling to find the best places and attractions this nation has to offer-
with me and another Korean friend whose attending Carleton University
How thoughtful is it to give presents that contains the art scene of her city (:
26 June 2012
Online shopping in Korea is quiet popular. People use internet to not only compare price but order any product from grocery to... whatever you could possibly think of. You can even use the waiting time of subway to do a grocery shopping with your smart phone and receive the delivery in the same evening (Homeplus: Subway Virtual Store).
Few days ago, there was a series of limited time sales event on the shopping website, auction.co.kr. They sold the 31,500 won (28 canadian dollar) logitech wireless mouse for only 8,900 won (8 canadian dollar). I thought it was a good deal and apparently other thought so too. limited number of 5,000 mouses were sold out within 30 minutes. Luckily, I was able to purchase it for the price that I will never see again. I was overjoyed to get a descent product in such a price- and once again, felt blessed to have such a blessed market-consumer system (shipping usually don't cost!).
One thing though, I started to doubt if I really needed a mouse after all.
21 June 2012
When I was 5 years old, I used to spend most of the time at a kindergarden or my grand parents' home- because my parents both had a full-time job. A full weekend with my parents was something that was worth waiting for a whole week. Being a serious railroad enthusiast at the time, my mom took me to the railway museum, literally every weekends.
I remember walking around the same corridor. Nothing has much changed here ever since it was built in the late 80s. It seems that there has been a little bit of update for exhibits related to the high speed train, but the place, overall, was same as if the time was frozen.
There is an artist named 'Adam Normandin' who paints everyday things that many not be recognized by most as beautiful. He chooses subjects that fascinates him and paints them in truthful and soulful manner. His recent topic has been freight trains, industrial machinery, and old tools.
"Years of use and exposure to the elemnts imprint a sense of tireless duty onto these objects. They are purely functional and have a "no-nonsense" existence that resonates with my own way of working", says the artist.
According to his artist statement: “Freight trains are particularly intriguing to me because they are travelers, relentlessly moving from one place to the next, year after year. Many have been in operation for several decades, without rest. All the layers of rust, numeric codes and graffiti give the surface of each train a unique character. Accumulated details reveal truthful and compelling stories, transforming an ordinary object’s nature into something full of history and inherent beauty. If something mundane and functional can communicate such richness and complexity then perhaps we can find meaning within the most ordinary aspects of our own lives as well.”
Looking at these freight trains reminded me of what he said.
This is my tribute to his painting style and the ideas.
In Seoul, you go to a museum to see a generation old subway car.
In Toronto, you only have to get on the Bloor-Danforth line.
Opening of doors. People flowing out and in. Constant squeaks rattling of metal.
Imagine how many years this train would've spend time on rails, moving people days and nights.
20 June 2012
17 June 2012
Back in January 21- I heard this soft and alluring song during a grocery shopping. With absolutely no information gathered (genre, lyrics, vocal style, etc), I haven't been able to find the title. I even wrote a blog post and called several people to ask for any clue based on my melody humming. Some did recognize the melody but couldn't exactly tell which song it was. Several days and nights were spent on intensive search but it was not successful and I eventually moved on.
Just yesterday when I was on a car, listening to the AFN radio as usual (American Forces Network - one of the few all-English station in Korea), the long-forgotten melody came out. When the strum of guitars and drum beats repeated, my heart started to beat- and when the fragile voice of her came out, I had to open up my smart phone to use the sound hound. When the title and the name of artist came out, the unknown feeling that was stored deeply in my heart was gone; It was a moment of ecstasy that only some would understand.
There are just too many visuals to relate to the song.
The Cranberries - Dreams (1993)
Oh, my life is changing everyday,
In every possible way.
And oh, my dreams,
It's never quite as it seems,
Never quite as it seems.
I know I've felt like this before,
But now I'm feeling it even more,
Because it came from you.
And then I open up and see the person falling here is me,
A different way to be.
14 June 2012
Keynote speech from the Mayor of Seoul, Wonsoon Park.
I'm currently working for Intel Korea, as part of the corporate social responsibility team (:
This summit is co-hosted by the company, with collaboration of the Hope Institute and Seoul Development Institute.
12 June 2012
8 June 2012
"Taking pictures is savouring life intensely, every hundredth of a second."
When you search a famous photographer's name on google, it mostly shows work of the person rather than the face. Even when people don't recognize the name of an artist, famous works are remembered as an image itself.
The power of timeless, visual narrative photography is truly astonishing.
2012 Exhibition for Land, Transport, Maritime Affairs R&D
Good thing about summer break is that you can spend whole days on things you are interested in.
It could be traveling, learning, chilling, friends, sports, entertainment- and I decided to
invest the day exploring my academic interest, like a sir.
There were more government-funded research organizations in Korea than I previous thought. Apparently there is a huge demand for science background students with fluent level of both Korean and English- who can presents and communicate with various institute around the globe. This could be one of my options for future.
Keynote: Eco-cities, Coastal Cities and Economic Sustainability
Richard Register, Founder of Ecocity Builders
Session1: 유망해양산업과 해양기술의 미래
Kenneth Sherman, NOAA U.S. LME Program Director
Kuse Hirohito, Professor at the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology
Mann-Eung Kim, Korean Register Green & Industrial technology Center Director
Session2: Smart City, Compact City, Human City
Michael Trieb, Professor at the University of Stuttgart, Urban Planning Institute
Charlie Catlett, Senior Computer Scientist at Argonne National Laboratory
6 June 2012
My dad, sister, and I visited the cafe with our cat Jerry today.
Little bit of entrance fee can gets you free refreshments and hours with more cats!
I spent some hours on books, learning how to take good care of a cat. Jerry is a new family member that I didn't expect, but over some time I wish to become a better friend and a caretaker.
Being raised apart from other animals, Jerry wasn't so easy with socializing with other cats.
There was a crowd of fancy and different cats in the cafe, but I couldn't stop thinking for Jerry.
5 June 2012
My dad is involved in a venture IT industry that working hours is not as norm as the other professionals. Through out weekdays, it's not so unusual to see him for only 20-30 minutes per day and shares little chit chat in the morning. It's been long time since I've had a dinner with him on the table, because he often works pass midnight and even beyond. An article from BBC shows that my dad, and perhaps many other Koreans, could be one of the longest and hardest working people in the world.
Ever since I've go back in Seoul, I noticed the constant phone calls from the R&D lab, asking for his advice; long weekend was not an exception either. It often breaks my heart to see him, slept desperately for short hours after coming home, trying to put a shirt on only to go to the same place. It's the feeling that I never want, and should forget, as I'm responsible for putting a burden of international student fee on his shoulder.
This morning was just like any other day, but my dad stayed in sleep longer than usual. As I prepared to leave home for a driving school, he slowly woke up and offered me a ride. I first refused it but he insisted that he could drop me off on the way to work. When we arrived at the school, he came along into the office to help me register for it. When the registration was over, he took me home. A lot of thoughts have passed in an instance, but I couldn't say much other than "than you."