Monthly Archives: March 2013

How traveling alone changed me.

This week I have been posting a lot of pictures and music that remind me of Mongolia. Mongolia will always have a special place in my heart, since it was the first country I traveled to alone.

I stayed in a Mongolian family for 3 weeks and traveled around the country with a Mongolian family 2 Italian guys and an Irish girls for a week. This was only made possible because of the Lions organization, which is a kind of rotary club that organize camps and homestays in countries all over the world to encourage dialogue between people from different countries and to create cultural understanding.

I was a very shy girl and very attached to my “friends” who treated me very badly now I look back at it. I have never traveled without my parents, outside of Europe or flown in my life. I was scared, I was afraid I would have a hard time communicating, that I would be lonely and homesick.

Thank god I had the best time of my life, I made awesome new friends, I realized my so-called-friends were not my friends and discovered who my real friends were. I became more confident and way more talkative. If you want a relatively cheap and save way to see a new country and you are within the age range of 15 and 21 I totally would recommend you to check out the Lions organization youth exchange program!

However, it wasn’t until 2 years later, the summer after my high school graduation that I really got to know myself and became the person I wanted to be instead of being the person that people thought I was.

I finally went to the country I always wanted to go to – Korea! I made a plan, calculated how much money I would spend and then started convincing my parents. My dad was easy-peasy, he really encourages me and my sisters to follow our dreams, my mom however was a different story.

North-Korea just sunk a South-Korean warship, my mom was scared and just rather had me stay at home. Luckily I was able to convince her and could start booking tickets and hostels. And then finally I spend an amazing 3 weeks in Korea.

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. I was shitting bricks however from the moment I stepped out of the airplane I fell absolutely in love with the country and it’s amazing people.

But most important I learned a lot about myself. I learned that it is okay to make my own decisions, that it is okay to have fun, that it is okay to be myself and people would still like me.

I became a happier, more confident version of myself. Korea still has this effect on me and that is probably one of the reasons why I like to be there so much even though I am in general a very happy and confident person nowadays.

After traveling alone I finally realized I shouldn’t take shit from people and stand my ground, that I have the right be happy and should be, because I am amazing and wonderful.

And so are you! and if you haven’t realized that yet I recommend you to travel alone, meet new people and do all the things you want to do and be happy, because you deserve it!

So I challenge you, within a year from now, travel somewhere, it can be far away, or really close by. Go alone, stay alone and enjoy and be amazed about all the things you can do!

Tell me, where would you go and what crazy things would you do if you were travelling alone?

Love, Wietske 

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Lenin

LeninIn Mongolia there are still a lot of reminders of their past. This one in particular, a Lenin statue, is a little reminder of the period in history when Mongolia was part of Russia. Something the proud Mongolians weren’t very happy about, but still, even after many years, the statue is still there.

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On My Way

PENTAX ImageWelcome on the main road from Ulan Batar to Darhan, a city close to the Russian border. On a 200 Km drive we crossed more horses, yak and sheep then we passed cars or people. A truly beautiful and one of the places that still has a lot of untouched places.

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Ulan Batar

Little red parasolStill a little reminiscence of the past I want to share some pictures of Mongolia with you. This square is something I saw everyday. My Host parents lived right around the corner and when we would go out and explore I would pass it. My photography skills back in 2008 weren’t that great, nor was my camera so the bright blue of the sky became a little faded but still, you can see how gorgeous UB actually is.

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Throwback Thursday – A-Sound Uyanga

You might know me as a Korea blog, it might seem that that is all I can talk about. It might seem that way, but you are wrong. The first country I ever traveled too was Mongolia. Kind of by accident, but it was the best mistake I ever made.

Back in 2008 I spent a good 4 weeks in Mongolia. I was only 17, I’ve never been outside Europe, I had never taken an airplane, I had never traveled along, but not once was I scared. I enjoyed my time in a lovely host family. I had crazy adventures together with my Mongolian, Italian and Irish friends. It was a holiday of firsts.

I stayed with nomads, sat in a car for days and still only saw about 1% of the country. I learned important survival skills such as how to ride a horse on the Mongolian steppe. How to shoot with bow and arrow, but most importantly how to use the bathroom when there is no bathroom, no trees, and no grass.

I showered in little rivers, I swam in a ginormous lake while the sun was setting, I picked wild strawberries, I had a watermelon throwing contest.

I ate parts of a sheep I didn’t even know you could eat. I saw the bad sides, the good sides. The poor and the rich.

A-Sound – Forever

That I discovered the band A-sound was also kind of an accident. I wanted to keeps the memories alive and for me one of the best ways is though music. I didn’t know any good Mongolian bands however so my friend pointed out this CD and that’s what I bought. I love their voices, either in English or Mongolian it doesn’t matter. I don’t listen to the CD often though, it makes me sad, and it makes me miss Mongolia.

I would love to go back someday, meet my friends and one of my friends lovely babygirl. I want to see the places again, smell that distinctive scent that lingers around on the mountain tops. Someday, someday I will go back!

Love, Wietske

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Korean Practise: Introduction.

After my first announcement of wanting to practise Korean together I got a huge response – thank you guys! – and I came to a realization. Practising and studying Korean together is going to be quite hard when you are miles and miles apart. I also realized that most (but not all) of you are beginners.

I figured out a way so while I revise everything I learned while teaching you Korean! I have plenty beginner and beginner intermediate resources, so why not share everything I learned, example sentences my teachers gave me and study tips for learning Korean.

I will especially focus on full sentences and sentences with the essentially the same meaning but just slight difference in the word use. I feel that’s the essence of learning a language, figuring out how so say something and if you don’t know how to say it one way around figure out how to say it another way!

Anyway let’s get started!

Let’s start with introducing ourselves in Korean.

General

Hello – 안녕하세요.

Nice to meet you – 만나서 반가워요.

You – 그쪽은    please note, 그쪽은 litteraly means that side, but is also use to to adress a person of which you don’t know the name. If you do know the personons name you can use the name with the suffics 씨. So for example with my names you can use 위츠커씨. You can also use more general words to address someone.

선생님 – teacher,

언니 – older sister if you are female,   Please note you can also use this term for someone younger if you don’t know that person and there is no visible age difference.

누나 – older sister if you are male       Please note you can also use this term for someone younger if you don’t know that person and there is no visible age difference.

오빠 – older brother if you are female      Please note you can also use this term for someone younger if you don’t know that person and there is no visible age difference.

형 – older brother if you are male         Please note you can also use this term for someone younger if you don’t know that person and there is no visible age difference.

아저씨 – middle aged male

아줌마 – middle aged women

What is your name?

What is your name? – 이름이 뭐예요. Please not that behind the word 이름 I placed an identifier particle. Click here for more explanation about the particle.

What is your name? (Honorific) – 성함이 어떻게 되세요? This sentence should be used when talking to a senior.

I am ….. – 저는 ….. 이에요.  Please note that the verb 이다 here changes if there is either a consonant or a vowel as the last letter. For example with my name which ends in a vowel it changes to 저는 위츠커요. While someone with a consonant at the end it would be  저는 마이클에요.

My name is …… – 제 이름은 …..이에요.  Please note that this time behind the word 이름 I placed a topic particle. Click here for more information about the particle.

I am called …. –  …. 라고해요.

Where are you from?

Where is your house? – 집이 어디예요?

Where are you from? 어디서 왔어요? Please note that behind the word 어디 I placed a placement particle 에서 shortened to 서. Click here for me explanation about the particle.

Are you a ….. person? …… 사람이에요? Can be used to ask if someone if from a particular country for example. Are you an American person? (Are you American?) 미국 사람이에요?

Where were you born? – 어디서 태어났어요? Please note that behind the word 어디 I placed a placement particle 에서 shortened to 서. Click here for me explanation about the particle.

Which country are you from? – 어느 나라 사람이에요?

I come from …. – …..에서 왔어요.

Yes, I am a …… person. – 네, ….. 사람이에요.

No, I am not a ….. person. – 아니요, …. 사람 아니에요.

I was born at….. – …..에서 태어났어요.

How old are you?

How old are you? – 몇살이에요?

How old are you? – 나이가 몇 살이에요? Please note that behind the word 나이 I placed a topic particle. Click here for more information about the particle.

May I ask how old you are? – 나이가 어떻게 되세요?

May I ask how old you are? (Honorific) – 연세가 어떻게 되세요?

When were you born? – 언제 태어났어요?

I am …. years old – 저는 …. 살이에요.

I’d rather not tell you how old I am – 나이를 말하고 싶지 안군요. (side note, I found this on naver and thought it was hilarious.)

I was born in…. – ….년에 태어났어요.  Please note that behind the word 년 I placed a time particle. Click here for more information about the particle.

To end it all, a little test:

안녕하세요,

저는 이민수예요. 저는 태국에서 왔어요. 저는 22살이에요, 만나서 반가워요.

그쪽은 이름이 뭐예요? 어디서 왔어요? 미국사람이에요? 그리고나이가 어떻게 되세요? 언제 태어났어요?

Please translate and answer the questions in Korean if you can. You can also just translate in English and give the answers in English if you are unable to type in Korean.

Word list.

  1. 저 – I
  2. 이민수 – Lee Min Su (name)
  3. 이다 – to be
  4. 태국 – Thailand
  5. 에서 – from (placement particle)
  6. 오다 – to come
  7. 살 –  age, years (counter)
  8. 만나다 – to meet, encounter
  9. 반갑다 – to be glad, happy, pleasant
  10. 그쪽 – you, the other side
  11. 이름 – name
  12. 뭐 – what
  13. 어디 – where
  14. 미국 – America
  15. 사람 – person
  16. 그리고 – and
  17. 나이 – age
  18. 어떻게 – how, what,
  19. 되다 – to be, become, to turn
  20. 언제 – when
  21. 태어나다  – to be born.

I hope you like this and it helped you a little bit. Feel free to leave comments about mistakes I made or things you think I should change, I would love to hear your feedback.

Love, Wietske

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Tasty Tuesday: Bulgogi Stew

Unfortunately this week I don’t have a recipe of my own to share but I still wanted to share a delicious recipe. So I present you with a video of Maangchi making Bulgogi Stew. There was a time in my life where after school I went to the kimbap jongkuk and order this for lunch – every day. It is so tasty and just looking at the video makes my mouth water. Now I’ve said in my previous Tasty Teusday  Kimchi Jigae is probably my favorite dish however it is not something to eat every single day. This bulgogi stew is defiantly something I could eat every day.

What is the a dish you can eat everyday?

Love, Wietske

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Music Monday: Rubber Duckie – Come On!

This week was slightly disappointing. I was so looking forward to infinites comeback but they didn’t even make it to my favorite list this week!

However there were still a few amazing new releases this week. My absolutely favorite is this girl group called Rubber Duckie with Come On. They start of really sweet but they ROCK! I can’t wait to hear more from them!

Another song that really surprised me was Get Up by EvoL. I can’t remember any songs from their debut album back in August 2012 which says it all, they weren’t very impressive. But this song, I like it. It somehow reminds me of Christina Miliams Dip it Low. EvoL might not be as sexy as her but they have got the potential.

I was very happy to discover that Ryu Seo Kwon realeased another song called Grown Up. I discovered him while I made my first Music Monday. I am absolutely in love with his voice, and I would love to buy his full album . I unfortunately don’t have a lot of money so until that time I’ll enjoy his music on his youtube channel.

Last but not least I would like to mention Spacecowboys It’s Over. They music reminds me a lot of Clazziquai Project while the minimalistic black and white clips give me the same vibe as a lot of W&Whale’s work although they tend to be a bit more colorful. Defiantly a song worth listening too!

Listen to all this weeks favorites here.

What was your favorite song this week?

Love, Wietske

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