Differences between Korea and Belgium

To commemorate the start of my 8th month in Korea I decided to write a little post for my dear friends and family in Belgium!

Free water

It’s one of the things I love most about South-Korean food culture! You always get free water when eating in a restaurant. Same for the side dishes, you can always get free refills. Aren’t you jealous, my dear fellow Belgians? 😉

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Public toilets

First of all, they are everywhere. In every train station, subway station, bus terminal, almost every park, every rest stop along the highway, etc. Secondly, they are almost always clean and well-maintained. And last but not least, you NEVER have to pay any money to use a public toilet. 50 cents like they do in the movie theater or the train station? Forget it! It’s always free. 😉

Designated seats for old people and pregnant women

Every subway carriage has special seats for older people, people with handicaps, people with young children and pregnant women. As you can see in the picture below, busses also have these special seats. The yellow seats are for Korea’s senior citizens, the pink seats are for pregnant women. Respect for the elderly is an important part of Korean culture and as Korea faces a rapidly aging population, I definitely love these ideas. (On the other hand, it does seem like Korea’s social safety net could still use some improvements.)

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Crazy city busses

One of the things I dislike about Korea is the way Korean bus drivers drive. You thought that taking the bus in Belgium is crazy? I can assure you that Korea’s driving culture is 10 times worse. Up, down, left right, suddenly hitting the breaks… I honestly think I might just die one day while taking the bus! Taking a city bus is also quite challenging if you don’t speak Korean well. It is difficult to find any explanation in English and most busses have no specific time schedule.

Well-organized inter-city busses

Taking an intercity bus however, isn’t nearly as scary as taking a city bus. In fact I never had any bad experiences! You buy a ticket at the bus terminal, you wait for the bus at the right platform, you scan your ticket or show it to the driver, you take a seat (seat number is indicated on your ticket) and off you go. The busses are almost always on time and because there are special bus-only lanes on the highway, taking the bus is sometimes faster than going by car! I love taking Korean intercity busses! Wish they had such a good system in Belgium.

Impossible to find unsweetened snacks

I’m telling you, even the “normal” western style snacks are slightly sweetened. My Korean friends say they can’t taste it, but I definitely do. It is extremely frustrating ㅠㅠ I want my normal pringles!

Expensive meat

Meat is so expensive in Korea. Especially beef. Two weeks ago I made a nice bulgogi at home and I payed almost W10’000 (approximately 8 euros) for merely 200g. ㅠㅠ However, finding meat substitutes isn’t the easiest thing either, as Korea is still quite new to vegetarianism.

Cheap oysters

You cannot imagine how cheap oysters are in Korea! I made a little trip to Boryeong (west coast) and I ate so many oysters that I nearly got sick. (No worries, I didn’t actually get sick)
It was delicious and not expensive at all compared to Belgium!

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Mountains! Everywhere you look!

Okay, to some people this might seem like a rather dumb thing… but for a country girl from Flanders, seeing mountains is something special. That’s why every time I look out of my window or walk to school, I’m still amazed by all the beautiful mountains that surround me! Although I adore “le plat pays qui est le mien”, seeing the sun disappear behind the hills just makes me tear up every time.

Being attacked by church people

While I was living in Belgium, I didn’t care about religion that much. Some of my friends consider themselves christian, others muslim and I’m an atheist. Me and my friends never really cared or paid much attention to religion. Churches in Korea however, are crazy! They approach you while you do your grocery shopping or while you wait for the bus. They hand out leaflets and free little gifts (eg. tissues or hot packs) and use all kind of tricks to get you in their church. Plus, there are sooo many different churches and they all just try to get more members and more money. I despise these churches so much! I don’t care about your religion, just LEAVE ME ALONE! Or else I will start telling you about our holy Flying Spaghetti Monster 😉 R’amen!

Ending my post with this rather sensitive topic might not have been the best idea, but well… 😛
Anyway, although I’m missing everyone in Belgium (and neighbouring countries) so much, I’m really having a blast here in Korea! Let me know what you think about these differences and come visit me so that you can experience it first-hand! ❤

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Korea D-15 : visa, flight ticket, instagram

My Korean adventure is coming closer, which means lots of stress to get everything ready in time.

13987713_10154437070903713_1193991364_oNow, the main things have been taken care of. I’ve got my visa for the first year and I’ve got a flight ticket bringing me from Brussels to Incheon.

I’ve also realised how much I will miss my friends and family in Europe. The fear of being lonely, especially during the first few weeks, suddenly struck me and made me feel a bit insecure. I could have expected it, but being busy as I was, I actually did not give it much thought. However, I am too exited about moving to Korea to be very sad. After all, it isn’t the end of the world.

I also decided to finally get myself an Instagram account! I haven’t completely figured out how it works though 😀 But if I’m not mistaken, you can find me via my profile name misty_eliane.

Lots of love,

Misty (Eliane)

Crayon popping in Sardinia

A few weeks ago I traveled Sardinia (Italy) by scooter. Our little Berty – yes, we named the scooter – brought us to such wonderful places!  I had never been to Sardinia and I had never ridden a scooter, but it was a great experience. ❤ Sardinia is simply so beautiful! Those beaches, those mountains! The colour of the water, the warm sun, the good food,…

As it was my first time riding a scooter, I couldn’t resist making a Crayon Pop video parody while wearing that funny helmet. My boyfriend and I filmed the video by the side of the road while taking a rest, so we did not prepare anything beforehand. We couldn’t even play the music. That’s why the choreo is pretty random and the ‘ group members’ make quite some synchronization mistakes… But we had so much FUN while making the video! 😀 So I still feel pretty happy with the result.

 

So here it is… My (very short and very unprofessional) impromptu Crayon Pop “bar bar bar” parody!!!

Lots of Love
Misty

 

I’m moving to Korea!

Oh my… it has been two full months since my last post! However, not working on this blog and focusing on my exams has paid off. I got really great results for my finals and moreover… I’m back with some wonderful news!!!

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I’m moving to Korea in September! 😀 😀 😀

I was selected for the Korean Government Scholarship Program and will be studying in Korea for thee years! I’m so exited, happy and grateful.

So of course I will be sharing this adventure with you! 😀

Lots of Love ♡

Misty

Euroball: Roaring twenties gala

In February my boyfriend and I went to a ball organized by the Trainees Committee of the European Institutions in Brussels. The theme was “roaring twenties” so I got really exited! I love both dressing up and vintage fashion so I immediately started searching for information. I actually think the flapper style is really pretty. It looks glamorous but chic and sophisticated at the same time.

Most of the information I found on Glamour Daze. It’s a vintage fashion and beauty archive and really one of my favorite fashion websites! They provide so much interesting information about the history of fashion and combine it with many beautiful pictures and drawings. Go and take a look!

Now, I had all the information I wanted, but I didn’t have a lot of time left to put together my outfit. On top of that, I didn’t want to buy any expensive items that I wouldn’t be able to wear afterwards.

The dress

2016-04-20_11.25.06I actually borrowed a dress from one of my sweet friends. It’s a lovely grey dress with great fringes from OBJECT collectors item.
According to Glamour Daze “the fringy mini-dress- so often seen as the typical evening gown from the 1920s, is a popular misconception brought about by the 1960s revival of certain 1920s fads. In fact the normal hemline rose to just below the knee.

Indeed, the hemline of my dress reached a bit above my knees. So although it wasn’t completely perfect, I still got many compliments and I felt really good while wearing it. In my opinion, that’s the most important thing! I was able to mix flapper and contemporary fashion by wearing this cute dress and I had an amazing evening, what more could I have wished for? 😉

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No more water polo for girls in Belgium

 


Just venting my frustration…

The Belgian Swimming Federation (KBZB) just forbade mixed teams in water polo youth competitions. But in teeny-weeny Belgium, most swimming clubs don’t have enough girls to form a full all-female team! That means that those girls – formerly playing in mixed teams – are no longer allowed to participate in competitions! 

Their reason? They want “to protect the integrity of the girls” because the “physiological differences” would become to big and this would pose problems. This really made me think of the recent debate concerning girls’ dress code in schools.  ⇒ The guardian  Continue reading

Introducing: The Scabs

On Sunday 7th February Berre Bergen passed away. Another sad moment for the Belgian music industry. Bergen was a very talented musician and producer and he used to play the bass for a really great group called The Scabs. So no Korean music this time, but instead I want to introduce this Belgian punk rockband to you. I won’t post too much information, but I’ll just recommend you two songs 🙂 Continue reading