The queen is back! Jun Ji Hyun is starring in drama “Mount Jiri” alongside Ju Ji Hoon! The script of this mystery drama is written by none other than Kim Eun Hee, who wrote numerous hits like “Signal”, “Kingdom” and “Phantom”.
Other familiar stars like Go Min Si,
Oh Jeong Se,
Sung Dong Ill, and more, are part of the cast as well.
Jun Ji Hyun will act as Seo Yi Gang, who is a ranger at Mount Jiri that knows everything about the mountain. Ju Ji Hoon will act as Kang Hyun Jo, an ex-army captain who works as a rookie ranger at Jiri Mountain National Park.
As we wait for this to-be-hit drama, let’s take a look at Jirisan and hiking culture in South Korea!
“Jiri” is the name and “san” means “mountain”. This mountain, “Jirisan”, is the second-tallest mountain in South Korea after Jeju Island’s Hallasan, standing tall at 1915 meters in Jirisan National Park. The park itself is the largest in the nation, stretching across three provinces- North & South Jeollado as well as South Gyeongsangdo.
The mountain is also famous for housing seven major Buddhist temples, including the most famous Hwaeomsa temple, as well as various stone artworks from 600-900 CE which were designated as national treasures.
Jirisan is visited by nearly 300 thousand people every year, with many choosing to visit it during summer and autumn, as the two seasons are most apt for sight seeing and safe hiking. It is also known for the ten sceneries- “Sunrise from Cheongwang-bong peak”, “Chilseon Valley”, “Royal Azalea Blossoming”, “Buril waterfall”, “Full moon at Byukso-ryung”, “Piagol Autumn Leaves”, “Nogodan Sea of Clouds”, “Yeonha Sunkyung”, “Banyabong’s Nakjo” and “Seomjincheongryu”.
It is also the habitat of over 1500 types of plants, which is a number only behind Mount Halla, also known as “Hallasan”.
Hiking culture in South Korea
Hiking/mountaineering is called “deung-san” in Korean, which literally just means “to climb a mountain”. It’s a pretty widely loved sport and hobby in Korea among people of all ages.
As much as deung-san is loved, deung-san bok, or hiking wear, is also very popular in Korea, as you can see from the year-long deungsan-bok advertisements and commercials on billboards and TV.
Especially on weekends and over long holidays, it’s easy to see people in Korea clad in deungsan-bok and sporting backpacks, some holding deungsan sticks, climbing mountains all over the nation. Some hike solo, some with friends or family, and some with complete strangers from the same deung-san club, chatting about life and sharing snacks.
Deungsan backpacks are often filled with snacks like these:
Many people choose to pack light meals to eat at the top of the mountain, and of course, we Koreans go for kimbab. Nothing in the world tastes better than ice water and kimbab after a long climb!
Often after a long deung-san, we go to the “mok-yok-tang”, the Korean bathhouse. In a bathhouse, we take showers first, then immerse ourselves into the hot, steaming baths with our fellow bathhouse visitors.
Then we head to the “jjim-jil-bang”, the sauna house, which is often just upstairs/downstairs or connected to the bathhouse. There, we first don the comfy jjim-jil-bang clothes and put on a “yang-meo-ri” (literally meaning “sheep head”) using a towel.
At the sauna, we relax and lie down on the heated wooden floors or on the mats, watch TV, chat, and of course, eat 1-2 (or more of) “jjim-jil-bang eggs”, which are known as “Korean Sauna Style Eggs”. Check out this post on “My Korean Kitchen” for a look at how to make these heavenly eggs!
Such a trip to the bathhouse and sauna, and then return home, completes the journey of a deung-san! Writing this post really makes me miss Korea- when covid’s really over, I’m looking forward to the day of going on a hike, and taking a trip to jjim-jil-bang and mok-yok-tang!
Actress Kim Se Jeong and actor An Hyeo Seob are set to star in romantic comedy drama “Official Blind Date” (literal title) based on a 2018 webtoon of the same name!
Kim Se Jong will act as Shin Ha Ri, an ordinary office employee who by chance ends up in a blind date with her company’s CEO, Kang Tae Moo.
An Hyeo Seob will act as Kang Tae Moo, the male lead.
As we wait for this much-anticipated drama, let’s take a look at how “blind dates” in Korea work! 🙂
Blind dates are called “Sogae ting” in Korean, with “Sogae” meaning “to introduce”. It’s a portmanteau of hanja “Sogae” and the English word “meeting”, referring to a 1:1 blind date between a man and a woman.
Blind dates in Korea are quite common and usually happen on the basis of people introducing two of their friends/acquaintances to each other. The two people involved in a blind date usually go to a diner and have a chat over a meal. If both of them are interested in finding more about the other, they set a date for an “after”, aka, a second date, which could lead to a third, fourth, and perhaps even an “official” romantic relationship between them.
Unfortunately, the possibility of success in a so gae ting is quite low. According to a survey conducted in South Korea, the chance of a so gae ting leading to an “after” was about 4 out of 10 on average. This is why the general advice is to go for a so gae ting without much expectation and treat it like an opportunity to simply have a meal with a person who could even become just a good friend or an acquaintance.
More recently, the terms “yuh so” and “nam so” have come about as well. “yuh” of “yuh so” refers to “woman”, and “nam” of “nam so” refers to “man”. The “so” is the first word of “sogae ting”, so you guessed it- yuh so and nam so respectively refer to introducing a friend/acquaintance to a woman/man.
University students in Korea often opt for “gwa ting” as well. “Gwa” refers to one’s university faculty, and “ting” is from the English word “meeting”. gwa ting is a university version of sogae ting and quite often involves at least 2 pairs of men and women.
Actor Yoo Seung Ho and actress Hyeri are set to star in KBS historical drama “When flowers bloom, think of the moon” (literal translation) in the second half of 2021, hurrayy!
Yoo Seung Ho will act as Nam Young, a supervisory officer of firm principles with good looks. Hyeri will act as Kang Ro Seo, who sells alcohol to pay off her family’s debts.
We all know how Yoo Seung Ho’s visuals shine in saguek (historical dramas)-
and Hyeri has shown developments in various dramas & tried her first saguek movie “Monstrum” as well.
The drama is set in the backdrop of a period in Joseon when there was prohibition of alcohol- an interesting period of Joseon that has never been a significant part of a plot of a K-drama/movie. Before we enjoy this new drama in the second half of 2021, let’s take a look at the historical backdrop of this drama! 🙂
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Alcohol Prohibition in Joseon
Alcohol ban was called “Geum Joo Ryung”, referring to a law in the Joseon era that prohibited people from drinking alcohol when the country was going through major draught or natural disasters that made harvest difficult.
In this ancient period, difficulties of the nation like draughts and natural disasters were considered to be signs of gods’ anger. To appease the gods’ anger and cut down on unnecessary costs, a ban on alcohol was imposed. Even during rites in the royal palace, tea, instead of alcohol, was used.
Alcohol consumption was allowed in certain exceptional cases, such as when foreign ambassadors visited the royal palace and during weddings or ancestral rites of the commoners. The ban also did not apply strictly to poor commoners whose livelihood depended on selling alcohol.
Due to all these exceptions and the practical difficulty of imposing a ban, “Geum Joo Ryung” was carried out less like a ban and more like a nation-wide effort of refraining from excessive alcohol consumption.
Twenty-something year old Lee Do Won is a medical student, the mother of a 2 year old baby, writer and YouTuber. She motivates her subscribers with her dedication and hard work, truly spending twenty four hours like forty eight hours.
2. 써니랩Sunny Lab
써니랩Sunny Lab features Park Yeong Sun, doing her PhD at Harvard University. She uploads calming vlogs of her daily life routine, her study tips and occasional study-with-me videos at a library at Harvard itself!
Jo Hae-In is interning at Samsung Seoul Hospital and is the face of the legendary “Life of a Korean med student” video featuring her doing nothing but studying, eating and then really studying again as a then- medical student. She uploads study vlogs that really make me feel like I need to sit at my desk and open my books.
deemd really is the epitome of a productive, fruitful life. Through her vlogs, she shows herself studying overseas (e.g. London, Beijing), mastering her Mandarin, spending time with her lovely family, studying in Pinterest-worthy clothing, cooking and buying groceries. There’s nothing much special about her vlogs, but there’s something about them that made me- and 375k subscribers- hit the “subscribe” button.
Min Yeong, known as “Darcie”/”Dal-cie”, is a university student and a YouTube content creator under a content creation company ,”Youniv”. True to her known MBTI ENFP, she shares her experience transferring from Sunkyungkwan University to Yonsei University, her outfits of the day, make-up routine and everything in between with her bubbly, outgoing personality.
Twenty six year old Han Woo Ri, also known as “Hanu” in the channel, uploads various vlogs of her daily life- make-up routine, going to school, interning, and now, going to work. She’s not a full time YouTuber, but she uploads quite regularly.
An So Hee, actress and member of “Wonder Girls”, true to her nickname of being called “dumplings” for her super cute cheeks and lovely demeanour, quite regularly uploads vlogs of her daily life, some of which feature quite a few familiar faces- like Sunmi, and Park Jin Young (CEO of JYP Entertainment) himself!
Nakajima Suisan Grilled Fish at Ngee Ann City (391 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238873), has been a go-to food outlet for my family for a few years now.
Nakajima Suisan to me is the kind of the celebrity with so many charms that you’d like to be part of that small, special fanbase and you don’t want him to get too famous- but then again you do want him to become more popular and loved by many more- this is how I feel about actor Na In Woo! 🙂
The long snaking queue in front of Nakajima Suisan at just 11:09 on a weekday, just 9 minutes after its opening hour, probably shows that it’s become popular quite long ago, though. If you want to quickly grab a seat, you’ll have to queue latest by 10.45/50!
My favorite set’s the mackerel + rice set, and it seems to be the favorite of many as well. The mackerel always tastes fresh, the salad is crispy(?) and fresh, the tofu’s soft and smoothly glides down my throat, and for $8.50, this Saba Shioyaki Set gives an enormous amount of rice and miso soup.
For long as I live in Singapore and for as long as this outlet exists, I’ll visit it time to time knowing I’ll get a good hot meal. 🙂
I got the “Romand Juicy Lasting Tint #06: Figfig” tint a few days ago as a gift. It looks like this:
I have lip tints and lipsticks of at least 5-6 different colors that I’ve received as gifts, but so far haven’t been able to find a color that really suits my preferences.
Putting on anything like foundation, concealer or eye-shadow really makes my eyes bloodshot, prickly and super dry within 5 minutes. So the only three things I can do to my face are: fill in my eyebrows with a pencil, put on lipstick and a bit of sunblock.
In other words, I really don’t know much about make-up. So I’ll just give my honest and raw review on this product, “Romand Juicy Lasting Tint #06: Figfig”.
Lip tint color is really a matter of preference, but for me at least, I can say for sure that Figfig’s color is, among all my lipsticks and tints, my favorite.
There are all sorts of tests people take to determine which skin tone I have. I’m not sure which one I am but one thing for sure was that all the other tints I had, didn’t suit me.
If you’d like a good big picture of the 4 different skin tones, this chart by Vingle really shows the differences clearly:
Putting on dark colored lipstick really doesn’t suit me and makes me look much older than I am. Bright orange lip tint really makes the only thing visible from my face my lips, and not in a good way. Vivid pink suits me slightly better, but I’d prefer a more natural looking color. Besides, almost non-existent foundation make-up coupled with vivid pink makes me look like a child that put on her mummy’s lipstick. The almost-colorless pink lipgloss is good, but I do want something that made it obvious that I did put on some make-up- although not too much.
This lip color of Figfig really is just the perfect shade slightly darker than my lips. It’s not too bright and not too dark. It won’t look out of place even if I just dab on some sunblock and fill in my eyebrows.
Most “liquid tints” I’ve tried made my lips feel really moist for maybe 5-10 minutes and then even drier after a 1-2 hours. My lips even start peeling for some brands of lip tints.
This tint doesn’t suck moisture from my lips like many other lip tints do.
3. Ease of applying
I first started applying some lip tint on special occasions when I was 16 or 17 just because it was starting to become a thing among teens in Korea.
My first ever tint was “Cha Cha Tint Benefit” of a pink color.
I loved the color of “Cha Cha Tint Benefit” because it really emphasized my features and matched well with my pale skin tone, but applying the tint without dripping some drops of tint on my table or applying within my lips was a little difficult because first, the brush is soft and easily moveable, second, the tint in the bottle is really liquid, and third, I need a lot more practice with delicate activities like applying lipstick without ending up looking like a clown.
But while “Figfig” feels moist and soft on my lips, it doesn’t drip liquid when I’m not careful, and the brush is hard enough that it’s easy even for me, who doesn’t have steady make-up hands, to trace along and fill in the tint on my lips.
As someone who’s sensitive to smell, I don’t like putting on lip tint which has too overpoweringly sweet or fruity scents.
I’m tempted to have a tiny lick of this lip tint just because it has such a tasty fragrance. (not that of a fig, btw)
I give this product a 5 out of 5, and will continue using it for as long as it’s in stock. That’s it for the honest review of a complete beginner at make-up.
I’m grateful for my health in this Covid period, but if there’s one thing I’m really disliking about it, is the insane amount of time we have to spend on our phones and laptops. With limited face to face interactions, the time I spent on Whatsapp and Telegram has spiked dramatically, even though I’m no longer on any social media.
With the increased time on these two apps, I’ve come to more acutely realize that there are quite a few interesting types of Whatsapp/Telegram users, each type with pros and cons when it comes to working with them. Here’re a few that you might make you go “IKR.”
1. Replies you super fast
It’s like they’re on their phones 24/7.
Breakfast time, lunch time, dinner time, work time, early morning, late evening- whenever I text, the reply comes within five minutes. It’s actually quite nice to work with these types of texters (who are a little on the rare side) because they reply fast.
2. Grey-ticks you
We’re all busy people of course. We have our social lives, school, work, and personal time. But in this modern era when Whatsapp and Telegram are available on laptop and phone, when 4G’s fast and Wi-fi’s everywhere, it’s kinda hard not to see anyone’s message for more than a whole day. (or: a few days)
(With the exception of exceptional situations like e.g. phone dropped into the toilet bowl)
3. Memorized the dictionary of Internet short forms
This type makes me educate myself on the abbreviation aspect of pop culture and the Internet. As I’m texting, I have my com on one hand, searching for the many short forms that I’ve never seen before.
4. Types in full sentences
Kind of the exact opposite of the above, and self-explanatory
5. Doesn’t reply you for a few decades and then replies you with a question on a new topic
You’re discussing about something important, and then suddenly, there’s no response and “Online” changes to “last seen…”. Then there’s no reply for maybe a few days, and then suddenly a message with a question about another topic altogether.
6. Loves emoticons and gifs
7. Long responses
“Wasn’t that assignment a little hard?”
“YEAH! Question 6 was difficult because….Question 10 was easier but…”
8. Short responses
“Wasn’t that assignment a little hard?”
Some of the people I text with, even those I’m very close to, always start their texts with a “Hi”, “Hey”, “Yooo” or something in between, even if we’d just last texted a few hours ago on the same day. This is in contrast to no.10.
10. No greetings
No “hi”, “hello”, “good morning” or anything like that, straight to the point, short and direct.
11. Doesn’t reply in the group chat but updates social media
This is usually no big deal, until that required reply in the group is something important, like an upcoming group assignment. I believe no further elaboration is needed on this one.
I first set my foot into the whole other world of social media at age 13. It all began with a YouTuber, Bethany Mota, that my friends and I were fangirling over.
We loved her aesthetically pleasing videos, fun and bright energy and her content about party ideas, make-up, healthy food and everything in between.
We also subscribed to other YouTubers like Tess Christine. I first watched her videos when she was 23 and now she’s 30, already married to her then-boyfriend and expecting a baby! (wow time passes…)
By the time I was 13, Instagram had been around for 3 years and it was hard to find my peers who weren’t already actively using Instagram. Fascinated by the idea of joining a platform through which celebrities like Bethany Mota shared their personal lives, photos and video clips, I first created an Instagram account at age 14- and after nearly six years of using it, stopped using it a few weeks ago.
It’s honestly been a fun six years with Instagram. My feed, and then my Insta story (there used to be an era long ago pre-Insta story) contained snippets of my graduation days, fun outings with friends and family, warm home-cooked food by my parents and new countries I visited over holidays.
It was especially great getting in touch with friends from elementary school and middle school I’ve lost contact with through Instagram’s helpful “suggestions” function.
As cliche as this may sound, like how many others who went on “Insta detox” or deleted Insta like I did, I began to feel like Instagram was occupying too much of a space in my life. It had become almost an obligation, a “have-to” feeling to post the moments of going out with friends and eating out with family- all of these happy, golden moments- on social media.
It had started with just having fun posting photos and exchanging comments with friends on Insta, and grown into a habit that was hard to shake off. Even though I wasn’t one to frequently post on Insta, I realized that I was already under some sort of a compulsion to post, on any small or big occasion.
I was spending time uploading photos- for whom? Simply for my Insta followers who were no longer even part of my life, whom I haven’t seen for long, or were simply anonymous acquaintances?
The first one or two days without Instagram felt odd, and somewhat empty. It was like a big part of what had been my routine for six years was suddenly gone. I was concerned that I was no longer a member of this unseen but large community of Insta users that all of my friends were part of.
But a few weeks without Instagram and as expected, I’m doing fine. Instead of scrolling through my Instagram feed I scroll through the news more frequently. I’m out of the Insta community but my relationships with all my family and friends who actually matter to me, are, as expected, doing all good.
I’m not on any social media, just using Telegram and Whatsapp for uni, family and friends. It honestly still feels weird being a soon-to-be 21 year old without Instagram, but I’m liking this Insta-less state.
Here’s my favorite mix of Korean, English and Japanese songs that make me feel like I’m lying stretched out on a bench chair with a glass of iced orange punch in one hand, watching summer waves under a sunny sky!