[School] Week 15: 16th to 17th June

16th June: A day to slack in the dorm packing my stuff to make space for Gwen when she comes! Really just slack in the room and catch up on all the dramas haha.

17th June: went over to Seoul to put some of my stuff at Zhuwei’s apartment and do some shopping at Myeongdong πŸ˜› Had takeouts for the whole day, thank goodness Zhuwei they know how to speak Korean ^^

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[School] Weekends: 14th to 15th June

BEOMEOSA TEMPLE STAY!!!!!!

We attended the temple stay to end our exchange study trip at Pusan National University. Actually the duration of the temple stay is only 22 hours, though it felt longer πŸ˜› We totally had no idea what was installed for us!! haha (:

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We learn the proper way of bowing for Korean Buddhism and how to great the other monks, as well as people, in the temple. During our opening ceremony, Osong Si-nim and Jungmyun Si-nim read out the first line of each of the FIVE PRECEPTS, which be observed in order to lead a happy life. We had to say the rest of the lines while we all bow 3 times.

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After the opening ceremony and the temple manners, we headed to the river for our first meditation. it was hard to find a proper rock to sit on as we had to sit on it for 10 mins. The river water was calming but it was hard for me to focus >.< Though I had no more exams, I just seem to have endless thoughts and worries πŸ˜› At the end of our meditation, we had watermelon!! OMG it has been so long since we had watermelon. In Singapore, we have watermelon 365 days since it was summer all year round. The foreigners and Koreans were surprised and kept saying that have watermelon is so good!! haha (:

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Jungmyun Si-nim brought the foreigners on a Temple tour to introduce Beomeosa to us. He explained each of the buildings and what stand for. My first proper tour of a temple where I got to understand each feature of the temple properly, especially since the translator could speak fluent English. I guess it is because temple stay was first created in 2002, thanks to World Cup in South Korea, so as to intro a part of Korea and accommodate the influx of foreigners.

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The dinner was like dorm style, but surprisingly it tasted better πŸ˜› We were afraid that we had to eat using the four bowls, which included a step — using the radish slide to clean all the bowls after you have finished your food and eat the radish slide. Thank you they made it easier for us (:

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After dinner, we went up to the drums to observing the drum ceremony which was used as a signal for the monks to gather and start the praying service. Some of the participants from the temple stay program joined the monks in the main prayer hall to pray. Jungmyun Si-nim was one of the monks to do the drumming and he drums really well. His psychomotor skills is really up there, as both hands are drumming at different beats!

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We were supposed to see the full moon but it was too cloudy so we could not see the moon. However we still meditate by lying down and observing the night sky (: We also did a drawing to remind us that we are the buddha and we need to find it inside us.

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The view at 5am in the morning is really pretty! However this would probably be the rare occasion where I wake up so early in the morning πŸ˜› But because Beomeosa temple is facing the East the photos will be dark, so I had to use light colour effect to take a picture of the temple and the view from the temple. Β I was walking around the temple waiting for Osong Si-nim, when I noticed people are already in the main prayer hall praying!

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After our breakfast and morning mediation, we hike up about 500m to the smaller temple on the Geumjeong mountain. It was such a hike for me in the morning. This is shorter than the usually hike for temple stay, which is hiking to the tip of Geumjeong mountain and it takes 2.5 hours. Thank God ^^

When we reached the top, Jungmyun Si-nim explained to us about the rooster-looking stone that is facing the East towards the Sunrise. He also mentioned able the rooster observing the invasion of the Japanese into South Korea in 1500s. The monk who helped to create Beomeosa temple was looking for a smaller temple when they heard the rooster’s croak in the morning calling the monks to begin their morning prayer. They discovered the small area on the mountain and created that as part of the Beomeosa temple, called hermit temple (something along that line).

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After we came back, we were resting for about half an hour and the girls start attacking our hair. They braided both Weiqi and my hair, but since Weiqi fell asleep half way both attached my hair and my handphone >.< However I must admit that their artistic skills are quite good (Y)

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The last activity of the temple stay was threading 108 prayer beads. The best part … we need to bow each time we thread one bead. 108 BOWS!!!!! Surprisingly my knee didn’t make the crack sound as I thought it would. I ran out of wishes after my 6th bead, so I kept repeating my wishes. Towards the end, I kept praying for it to end because it was tiring to keep bowing πŸ˜› At the end it was all worth it (:

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To end the temple stay, they served us Omija tea (5 flavour tea) with ddok. Omija tea is so refreshing, no wonder Weiqi keep recommending it to us but we have a hard time finding at the streets >.< Even though the ddok had a lot of nuts, it was still very deliciously and I finished the whole thing as I was really hungry after all the hiking and bowing.

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We took photos with everyone, especially the Si-nims, before heading back to PNU. Weiqi kept singing songs as she was kind of deprived of singing during the temple stay. When we arrived back at PNU, Wei Fang insisted on eating Omurice as it was our last week at PNU le. It was a reward after our 2d1n of temple stay (:

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I would recommend temple stay to the others, but of course would need to detail some stuff that they have to expect when really going for it. It is worth it for one visit. I don’t think I will go for a second stay though πŸ˜› hahaha hehehe ^^

[School] Week 14: 9th to 13th June

On Wednesday (11th June), we decided to treat ourselves to Spa Land @ Centrum City after all the finals and presentations,! We can only stay up to 4 hours and it cost 13,000 won on weekdays & 17,000 won on weekends. We headed to the outdoor foot bath first. I am so amazed at the elaborate interior design of the whole place. There is even a hot and cold foot bath. There is also like 13 different types of room to go for the Jimjibang! We tried the rice drink and the boiled eggs. will tried seolbingsu the next time (:

They even have massage-looking chair that has personal tv, so I ended up sitting there for an hour watching the highlights of the baseball matches from the day before (10th June). After Spa Land, we went to eat dinner at the basement of Centrum City. I had burger from Johnny Rockets after such a long time >.< So delicious (:

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On Friday, Wei Fang, Weiqi and I met up with Professor Ryo and his fiance for dinner. We joked about wanting to eat the walking octopus that Professor Ryo told us previously and he really brought us to eat Octopus and Chicken. Weiqi and Wei Fang had a hard time cutting the octopus as they are kind of bad at doing this kind of thing, since I usually do it. But since they were sitting at that table with Professor Ryo, they decided to give it a try and do the cutting.

We got along quite well with his finance and starting talk about Singapore, Japan and Korea. As Professor Ryo mentioned about bringing his finance to the ulu and not so nice part of Singapore, we decided that we should bring her around when they arrive. haha(: We would bring her to Orchard road and see our school!

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[School] Weekends: 7th to 8th June

Cafe-hopping on Saturday!!!! I would probably be up the whole night now πŸ˜› HAHA!!

Doo Coffee Roaster @ North Gate

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Cafe Elfin @ Main Street

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Droptop @ PNU Station

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Hands Coffee @ PNU Station

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We decided to go on a day trip to Gyeongju before our school term ends(: We got up early and took a bus from Nopo to Gyeongju. We headed to Bulguksa temple first as it was the furthest from the intercity bus terminal. Bulguksa temple was created in Shilla Kingdom andΒ was designated as a World Cultural Asset by UNESCO in 1995. There is really a lot of stone stacks found around the temple.

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The pond is really pretty but the water look pretty stagnant πŸ˜› haha! I didn’t take a lot of pictures as I was going to go back there for another 2 more trips (with my cousin and Fang they all).

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The buildings here have a very rustic feel which is very pretty (: This temple is very nice and not that crowded (Y)

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We walked past a few buildings and we found this building surrounded with stone stacks! on the ground, on the tiles and even on the door ^^

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We headed back to the downtown area and found a random restaurant for lunch. We ordered the lunch set and found too much food !!! The amount is comparable to Han sik lor!! We couldn’t finish all the food >.<

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We decided to ride bicycle around the historic area and since Weiqi couldn’t ride, we decided to get a twin bike. It was okie ~~ but tiring haha. Need to ride together to get the twin bike to work (: Sing Yee tried teaching Weiqi but kind of failed Β because Weiqi keep losing balance πŸ˜› In the end, I rode with Weiqi as I could offset her weight and ride easily. We rode for 2 hours or so, before heading to the tomb of the past kings (:

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We also visited some Hanok houses and saw how the interior of the old houses look like. We can totally imagine Family outing scene there! There was a house that belong to a Choi family for 12 generations and they still live near the hanok house.Β 2014-06-08 15.15.57

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[School] Week 13: 2nd to 6th June

Had a dinner gathering with my buddy group on Tuesday. We went to a nearby stall to eat Korean sashimi. I finally got to try live octopus! OMG! it is really scary … at first ~~ haha! I can totally fill it moving in my mouth, so I had to chew it fast to prevent it from sticking to the sides of my mouth. After dinner, we went to Cafe Bene for desert and just continue chatting random topics πŸ˜› The patbingsu we had was really huge!!

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On Wednesday, I decided to go cafe-hopping as there is way too many cafes and I have not been to most of it. I managed to visit 3 this time — ‘Noh’s Coffee’ , ‘ Sleepless in Seatle’ & ‘ Slowly coffee and roaster’. I also had my first try at Americano and I still can’t figure out why Koreans like it πŸ˜› According to my classmate, it is just to keep them awake in class. It just taste too bitter and there is so many other types of coffee available lor πŸ˜› Haha! Shall head to more cafes this weekend (:

Noh's Coffee

Sleepless in Seattle

Slowly coffee & roasters

At night (on wednesday), I met up with my Business History classmates, Weiqi and Wei Fang for dinner gather. We did not take a lot of meat but we were very full from it. We also mentioned a few secrets that would be kept amongst us only~~ shhhhh~~~~ haha (: They are really the most comical group of Korean friends I have met on this exchange. We felt like packing them with us and bring back to Singapore with us πŸ˜›

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