Meat n’ Chill (Singapore) review

Rating: 5/5

Meat n’ Chill is a diner on 805 Bukit Timah Rd (6th Avenue Center). It has quite a few seats, with maybe 5-6 tables inside and a few more outdoors.

The interior is really to my liking. There are simple brown tables and wooden chairs. The walls are decorated with retro style of posters like these:

Photo credits

On one side of the diner, there are shelves filled with empty beer and wine bottles with beautiful retro design, as well as jam& ketchup bottles and some flowers.

The menu is easy to see and descriptions of the food are pretty self-explanatory.

I ordered a Three Little Pigs Burger with apple juice. The burger came with salad and some fries.

“Three little pigs” burger
Apple juice

The $18 burger was packed full with pork, lettuce, spam, onion and lettuce. The bread was soft, ingredients tasted fresh (although I thought that with both the spam and the pork it was slightly salty- but it’s not so bad!) and the fries were crispy.

I tasted some of the $17 Cajun Fried Chicken and $19 New York Strip as well. The chicken was crispy on the outside and very well cooked. The steak was also soft and super juicy!

With the tasty food, professional staff, great interior and the affordable prices, I’d visit the diner in future & recommend it to my friends too!

Korean Traditional Instrument Gayageum

Photo credits. South Korean actress Lee Ha Nui playing the gayagum. She graduated from the number 1 university of Korea, “Seoul National University” with a major in Korean traditional music.

I grew up learning how to play Western instruments like the piano and recorder. I didn’t know much about the Korean traditional instrument gayageum, until recently, I came across a gayageum cover of a famous Korean song, “Fate”.

“Fate” is one of the most popular songs sang by singer Lee Sun Hee. Lee wrote the song based on what she felt watching the 2003 historical drama “Damo”. The song is also well known for being the soundtrack of the 2005 wildly popular movie “The King and the Clown” starring Lee Jun Ki.

This gayageum cover of “Fate” was so moving and beautiful that I read up more about gayagum, a traditional Korean instrument often seen in historical dramas.

Photo credits. Photograph of a gayagum

The earliest record of the gayageum is in the Three Kingdom Period (57 BC to 668 AD), during which Korea consisted of three kingdoms Goguryeo, Shilla and Baekje.

According to historical records, after Gaya (another kingdom of Korea) had fallen, a musician of Gaya brought a gayageum to King Jinheung of Shilla as a gift.

(FYI the king Park Hyung Sik acted as in drama “Hwarang” is Jinheung of Shilla)

Photo credits. Korean actor Park Hyung Sik starring as King Jinheung of Shilla in “Hwarang”

The public officials of Shilla’s royal palace were against accepting the gayageum, claiming that the gayageum was responsible for having ruined Gaya.

This sentiment stemmed from the belief in the times that some music brought chaos and unstability to a country.

King Jinheung of Shilla, however, remarked, “Gaya has fallen not because of music but because of the king.” and even provided the musician with a house and land to live in Shilla.

The gayageum is a string instrument made of wood and produces a clear sound that conplements the clear, elegant, calm and sentimental vibe of traditional Korean music.

Listening to the sound of gayageum seems to really transport me to decades ago in Korea, to the era when hanbok was worn and people lived in hanok instead of apartments. The trembling, clear sound of this instrument evokes feelings like sadness, tranquility and longing (as if I’m missing someone I haven’t met for a long time).

Photo credits. Actors Kim Tae Hee and Yoo Ah-In in drama “Jang Ok Jung”
Photo credits. Kim Soo Hyun playing the gayageum in drama “Moon embracing the sun”
마이프린세스] 김태희님 협찬 - 산호 3작 노리개 : 네이버 블로그
Photo Credits. Kim Tae Hee playing the gayaguem in drama “My princess”

I’m a little tempted to consider picking up the gayageum (lol)- although it’ll probably take a long time before I can sit down in a hanbok and play it gracefully!

Check out these other covers of gayageum! These songs are called “Hong Yeon” and “Sang Sa Hwa”, both of which were used as soundtracks of historical drama “The Rebel”.

That’s it for my post on gayageum! If you’ve liked this post, please give it a “like” and check out my other posts on “Hanstyle!”

Cheers, Han Seol 🙂

“Hong Chun Gi” (2021 drama): historical context

Synopsis (Excerpt from “MyDramaList”):

Based on a novel of the same name written by Jung Eun Gwol (who also wrote the original novels for “Sungkyunkwan Scandal” and “The Moon Embracing the Sun,”), “Hong Chun Gi” is a fantasy romance drama set in the Joseon era.

Kim Yoo Jung has been offered the role of Hong Chun Gi, Joseon’s only female painter with shining beauty and bright energy. She also possesses an extraordinary memory. Ahn Hyo Seop is in talks to play the male lead. The two actors previously met for “Clean with Passion for Now,” but Ahn Hyo Seop eventually had to withdraw due to scheduling conflicts after the drama postponed production.

Why look forward to this drama?

First, the cast. It stars Kim Yoo Jung, whose saguek (historical drama) works have all been a success. Her most recent saguek would be “Love in the moonlight”, in which she starred alongside Park Bo Gum,

구르미 그린 달빛 | 디지털 KBS
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and her most famous one being “Moon embracing the Sun”, where she acted as the younger self of actress Han Ga-in.

해를 품은 달 김유정, 한가인 긴장할 미모와 연기 감탄
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해품달> 한가인, "휜과 양명 둘 다 좋은데..." 치명적 매력 밝혀
Photo Credits. Actress Han Ga-In , the main lead in “Moon embracing the sun”

It also stars Ahn Hyo Seop, who recently starred in successful dramas like “Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim” alongside Lee Sung Kyung

이제는 다시 못 볼 '낭만닥터' 안효섭의 섹시한 '의사가운핏' - 인사이트
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of taste on Twitter: "[요청] 낭만닥터 김사부 2 비하인드 포토 #안효섭 #이성경  https://t.co/P6lOvovg3W https://t.co/5Cq0DPk1tq… "
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낭만닥터 김사부 2 : “내 수술실 뺐었잖아!” 이성경, 안효섭에 한 맺힌 분노 : SBS
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and “Abyss” alongside Park Bo Young.

전지적 비교 시점] '어비스' 되살아난 사람들 안효섭·박보영·이성재 - 경기일보
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마스터아웃 :: 안효섭 박보영 어비스 키 인스타
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With Kim Yoo Jung already a veteran actress with her acting chops and beauty proven many times over, and with Ahn Hyo Seop, a rising star with impressive visuals and equally noteworthy acting, the drama is worth looking forward to.

Plus, the script was written by Jang Eun Gwol, an unidentified script writer who has written two hits “Sungyungwan Scandal” and “The Moon Embracing the Sun”.

One fun fact about this writer is that he (or she) does not reveal his identity of a star writer even to his family members, goes to a 9 to 5 work like any average working man/woman, and writes after work.

So who was Hong Chun Gi?

Hong Chun Gi was a woman who actually lived in the Joseon era of Korea, the only woman in historical records of Joseon who was an artist working in Dohwaseo.

Dohwaseo, the Korean Royal Academy of Painting, was an office dedicated to drawing pictures requested by other offices in the royal palace.

Photo Credits. A site commemorating the existence of Dohwaseo

According to historical records, she was a beautiful woman who contributed to creating important art pieces like the map of Korea and paintings of the royal family such as the queen and the crown prince.

Women in the Joseon era were limited to very few jobs such as goongnyeo (sth like palace maid) and eui-nyeo (nurse/doctor assistant).

Although artists of Dohwaseo were considered to be of low status, they were officially considered to be a part of the administrative offices serving the royal palace, and scholars debate how it could have been possible for Hong Chun Gi to work in the palace.

Some speculate that given Hong Chun Gi was a masculine sounding name, it is possible that she disguised herself as a man or gave herself a man’s name in order to work in the palace. Others guess that she could have used the name of her father or brother.

While historical records do not reveal many details about her career or life, they do show that she was at one point taken for interrogation for a wrong-doing.

Based on this detail, and considering the fact that Joseon era, especially so in the royal palace, was a strictly patriarchal society which wouldn’t have looked favorably upon a woman working in a palace, it is likely that she didn’t have a very good ending.

Some postulate she might have been exiled, or at worst, executed for lying to the royal family about her identity.

5 Ways to Lose Weight without Exercise

Living in all-year-summer Singapore is great. It means enjoying the tropical sun 24/7, being able to go to the beach whenever I want to (except when monsoon season starts) and not having to tremble in the outdoors (I hate winter).

But it also means having to wear summer clothes all year round. Tee shirts, usually above the knee pants and skirts are convenient to throw on, but that means I don’t have an excuse to splurge on my favorite treats hiding in the safe bundle of thick winter coats and jumpers.

신예은 on Twitter: "©JYP Naver #ShinYeEun #신예은… "
Photo Credits. Actress Shin Ye Eun in summer clothes

Over the 8+ years of my on-and-off dieting life, here are the 10 weight loss diet tips I’ve been using!

1. Diet tea

I’m a little scared off by diet supplementary pills because of stuff I’ve read on the news (e.g. death/serious side effects), but I readily started drinking this tea a few years ago.

Basically, this tea helps you to go to the washroom. It’s good for you if you’re suffering from constipation, feeling bloated, or want the short-run benefit of an impressive drop in the numbers on your weighing scale.

The tea I’ve been drinking is the Organic Smooth Move tea. It’s really not delicious but does wonders, helping me to go the bathroom every time I need to. For a detailed review of this product, check out my post!

Amazon.com : Traditional Medicinals Organic Smooth Move Tea, 16 Tea Bags  (Pack of 6) : Herbal Teas : Grocery & Gourmet Food
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2. Eat filling, actually tasty and healthy food

I’m Korean so I’m a sucker for food like this:

Mul-naengmyeon (Korean cold noodles in chilled broth) 물냉면 recipe -  Maangchi.com
Photo Credits. Korean noodles “Naeyng-myun”. Super cooling, light on your stomach, delicious and low-calorie!
노르웨이 고등어 구이 맛있게 굽기!
Photo Credits. “Godeung-uh”, basically cooked mackerel. I love eating this with the rice below:
Korean Purple Rice or Black Rice (Heukmi Bap) | Kimchimari
Photo Credits. “Heuk-mi-bab”, known to non-Koreans as “purple rice”
Korean Potato Salad Recipe & Video - Seonkyoung Longest
Photo Credits. Potato salad! I don’t think I’ve seen anyone not like this mouthwatering dish..

A diet plan doesn’t have to look only like this-

What to Feed Your Pet Rabbit | Rabbit Diet
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I mean, like this:

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Don’t get me wrong- I love salads- they’re tasty, they’re healthy and there’s a dizzyingly large variety of salads nowadays- but you can’t be eating salad the whole duration of your dieting. Try to find healthy, delicious yet relatively low-calorie foods that you wouldn’t mind eating a few times!

3. Who’s your wannabe?

According to an interesting research, those who set their phone wallpapers as their diet wannabes (aka celebrities) were found to be more likely to attain their goal weights & body shapes. It’s helpful to select photos of celebrities who are around the same height as you so that you feel it is more achievable!

Even if you don’t use photos of your wannabe celebrities as your wallpaper, you could use any photos that are aligned with your goals! For example:

Quotes Archives | Fitness inspiration quotes, Motivational quotes,  Inspirational quotes
Photo Credits. A motivating quote that touches your heart
김연아 래쉬가드 - 여자 연예인 - 에펨코리아
Photo Credits. The kind of clothes you want to look good in

4. Drink delicious tea

“Drink a lot of water” and “sleep sufficiently” are tips we all know.

But personally, I’m not exactly a fan of drinking a lot of water- it gets really bland and boring after a cup or two. So that’s why I drink tea that I actually drink for the taste:

Solomon Seal Tea (82%solomon Seal,18%brown Rice; Teabags) - Buy Tea Product  on Alibaba.com
“Doong-gul-rae cha”, also known as “Solomon’s seal tea” in English
Dongsuh] Corn Tea/동서 옥수수차 150g (10g*15tb) – Hanyangmart.com
Photo Credits. “Ok-susu cha”, also known as “Corn tea” in English
무료배송] 동서 현미녹차 녹차티백 180T - 티몬
“Hyun-mi nok-cha”, which is something like green tea and hyunmi (brown rice)

I’m a uni student, which means “sleep sufficiently” isn’t exactly that realistic. Drinking tea helps improve my skin (from the lack of sleep) and ensures I’m sufficiently hydrated.

5. Drink protein shake.

I’m cautious about purchasing diet related products, so I bought one from iHerb (which sells organic and healthy products). This isn’t for bulking up but for weight loss.

During my diet period, I drink protein shake instead of having breakfast. I know they say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but I can personally continue my day very well without breakfast. I take a spoonful of this powder and put it into the blender bottle below (Which is also from iHerb)

Naturade, Total Soy, Weight Loss Shake, Chocolate, 1.2 lbs (540 g)
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iHerb Goods, Blender Bottle with Blender Ball, Green, 28 oz
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Then, I have just my usual lunch, and a slightly lighter dinner of maybe fruits & some healthy snacks. This protein shake might be healthy, but nothing can substitute real, healthy food, so I stop drinking the shake after my diet period is over.

Substituting this protein shake for my breakfast and going about my day as usual (without splurging too much for lunch and dinner) helps me lose weight, even without exercise.

If you’re interested in buying a protein shake, do read through a lot of reviews, if possible/necessary consult professionals, and buy high quality ones to make sure you don’t suffer from side effects/negative effects of harmful substances! Plus, there’s a chance your body might not be very compatible with a protein shake, so do watch out for any side effects you might experience the first few times you drink it!

~ * ~

So here are my tried and tested 5 weight loss tips! Hope you found this post helpful- if you did, please give it a “like” and check out my other posts on “Hanstyle” :))

Cheers, Han Seol

The Art of Zooming: Dos and Dont’s

I’ve spent the majority of the 3 months of my year 1 uni life on Zoom, and here are some do’s and don’ts of zoom meetings/school lessons I’ve picked up.

Do

1. Go to a quiet place to zoom.

Unless you’re going to be in a zoom call where it’s 100% you won’t have to unmute yourself, go somewhere as quiet as possible to zoom.

Being in a noisy place means you can’t hear them and/or they can’t hear you, and it’s a really frustrating affair for everyone.

If you can’t help the noisy background, it’s manners to mute yourself when you’re not talking!

2. Switch on your camera

…if it’s the situation appropriate for you to do so. For example, if you’re consulting a professor, it’d be manners to show your face and say hi instead of only unmuting yourself.

If you’re in a conference and the others have switched on their cams, it might be manners to switch on yours as well. It doesn’t feel very nice feeling like you’re talking to a zoom ID instead of a real person, especially when your own cam is on.

3. Wear something presentable

…unless you’re with your close friends.

It’s always better to be over dressed than under dressed. When in doubt, go for the classic colors like black and white. They make even simple V neck tee shirts look more put together.

4. Make use of the “personal ID” function of Zoom.

If you don’t have a premium Zoom account and you send an “invite” link, you’ll have to create new zoom meetings every time the 45 min’s up.

If you send the meeting participants your personal zoom ID invite link, they can simply click on it again, and you won’t have to create new meetings.

Don’t

1. Forget your camera/mic situation.

Really nothing awkward than inadvertently listening on to some private conversation about phone bills, next door neighbour or anything like that in a professional call.

2. Forget your background

Pretty self explanatory. If you’re not going to use a virtual background, make sure you’re not flaunting your laundry or bed sheets!

3. Be too afraid of awkward situations.

When I first started joining Zoom school project meetings, speaking up was a little hard.

It wasn’t not so much because I was shy but because I was afraid I would accidentally talk over others and create awkward situations.

Even in face to face meetings, it’s hard to fully gauge others’ non verbal cues and catch the right timing to speak up.

But everyone feels like that, not just me and you. Just start talking and let awkward situations deal with themselves later.

“River where the moon rises” (2021 drama): the folklore

Historical Korean drama “River where the moon rises” is set to air in the first half of 2021, and the cast is insanely packed with young actors with impressive acting chops.

The main cast consists of Kim So Hyun,

김소현, '당잠사'서 연기력 활짝!
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Kang Ha Neul,

양 볼 감싸는 무스탕 재킷 입고 '겨울 남친' 분위기 제대로 나는 강하늘 - 인사이트
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Ji Soo,

더스타THE STAR 16년 10월호 배우 지수 MAKING STORY - YouTube
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Lee Ji Hoon,

인터뷰②]이지훈, 체대생→전역 후 배우 도전 이유 #민영기 뮤지컬 - 중앙일보
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and Choi Yoo Hwa!

라이프' 최유화 "사람과 진실이 먼저인 기자 표현했죠" | 연합뉴스
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Synopsis: (excerpt from “AsianWiki”)

Pyunggang is princess of Goguryeo. She was raised as a soldier for Goguryeo as soon as she was born. She is ambitious enough to dream of becoming the King of Goguryeo. She meets a man named On Dal.

Cast & Characters

Kim So Hyun- as Princess Pyunggang, born with the name “Yeom Ga Jin”. She was born as Goguryeo’s princess but was raised as an assassin. She’s an intelligent, wise and brave princess.

Kang Ha Neul- as Ondal’s father “On Hyub”. As a general of Goguryeo, he is a loyal and dedicated servant of the country.

Jisoo- as Ondal. Although he’s skilled enough to be a general, he’s against violence. He fights for Pyunggang.

Lee Ji Hoon- as Goguryeo’s elite general “Gogun”. He is a handsome, powerful and well-liked man who has never lacked anything. But for the first time in his life, he begins to desire for something greatly- to have Pyunggang.

Choi Yoo Hwa- as “Hae Mo Yong”. She is beautiful, clever and even has psychic powers. She falls in love with Gogun.

Tbe actual folklore of “Idiot Ondal and Princess Pyunggang”

평강공주 - 위키백과, 우리 모두의 백과사전
Photo Credits. A statue of the idiot and the princess in South Korea
서연이와 평강공주 - YES24
Photo Credits. A popular comic book based on the folklore

Princess Pyunggang was the daughter of King Pyung-won of Goguryeo. When she was a child, she cried often that the king teasingly remarked, “Since you cry so often, you won’t be able to marry someone of high status. You’d have to get married to idiot Ondal!”

When she grew up to become of marriageable age, the king revealed his plan to get her married to a rich man of high status. But the princess broke down in tears and insisted she wanted to get married to idiot Ondal. When the king tried to dissuade her, she declared, “Even the common people try not to lie. If you as the king lie, who would follow your orders?”

칼과 꽃> 김옥빈, 고구려 공주미모 공개
Photo Credits. Kim Ok Bin, who acted as a Goguryeo princess in drama “The Blade and the Petal”

The princess’s stubbornness angered the king, prompting him to chase her out of the palace. Before she left the palace, the princess brought all kinds of jewellery and gold from the palace, and married Ondal. She sold all the riches she’d brought to support Ondal’s poor family and taught Ondal how to fight, training him to become such an unparalleled fighter of the nation.

Ondal went on to fight and win many wars for the king and the country. But tragically, in a war against Shilla, he was shot by an arrow and died.

The king, princess and the people of the country were greatly saddened by his death and tried to move his coffin for burial, but the coffin did not budge. Only when Pyunggang came, touched his coffin and said, “For life and death are pre-destined, please go in peace now.”, could they lift the coffin from the ground.

Historical records

There is no record of what happened to Princess Pyunggang after Ondal’s death. Some speculate she could have been killed due to her political position in the palace. Some speculate that the two graves in Pyeongyang (North Korea) could be that of the princess and her husband general Ondal.

Historians assert that it would not make sense for a king to simply send off his daughter to marry a true “idiot” of such humble origins, speculating that the princess was in fact sent off to marry a man who may not have been from a very illustrious family but had riches, so that the royal family could defend itself against the power of the royal officials.

Others guess that given Princess Pyunggang was skilled in swordsmanship enough to teach Ondal to become such an excellent general, and that as a woman she was unable to seize military power, she chose a man who would easily yield to and act according to her intentions.

~*~

That’s it for the true story of Ondal & Pyunggang! It’ll be even more fun watching the upcoming 2021 drama if you know the history behind the plot :)) If you enjoyed this post, please give it a “like” and check out my other posts on “Hanstyle!”

Cheers, Han Seol :))

“Deliver us from evil” movie review

Photo credits. Movie “deliver us from evil” (2020)

I watched “Deliver us from evil” because three very good actors are in it- Lee Jung Jae, Hwang Jung Min and Park Jung Min.

Photo credits. Lee Jung Jae
Photo Credits. Hwang Jung Min
Photo credits. Park Jung Min

To get straight to the point, the movie was good, but it wasn’t exactly the kind I would watch again.

What I loved:

-The 3 main actors are known to for their insane acting chops. I think what made the movie as absorbing and thrilling as it was can be largely attributed to how absorbing and real-life they made their characters. Lee Jung Jae, starring as a thug/cruel killer exudes an aura of an intimidating, ruthless and cold blooded man through the screen. Hwang Jung Min, portraying a father whose wife had been killed and daughter kidnapped, portrays his desperation to find his daughter and a little jaded, tired state (jaded of the world of assassins) excellently. Park Jung Min does a fabulous job portraying a transgender woman who initially helps Hwang Jung Min’s character out of need for money, but later, with sincere familial love for him and his daughter.

-The action scenes were exciting, fast-paced and very well done. They served their purpose of adorning the movie very well.

What I didn’t exactly like:

The plot was okay but it wasn’t exactly super original, at least for me. (SPOILER ALERT) Trained killer/assassin man separated from his wife & daughter. Daughter is kidnapped and wife is killed. Man goes out to find daughter. But he faces an obstacle- he’d assassinated a man whose blood brother is a bloodthirsty, cruel and skilled fighter/thug. At the end, (ENDING SPOILER ALERT) daughter is saved but both men die. The plot was a little special because at the end, as the two men are dying, the thug remarks, “You knew this was going to happen, didn’t you?”, and the assassin blows up the car they’re in. The thug also makes a comment in the middle of the movie, “I don’t know why I’m doing this anymore” when he’s asked why he wants to kill the assassin so badly. A sense of futility, the emptiness and nothingness of greed, blood thirst and revenge were conveyed through these lines, but I couldn’t help feel a little like the ending could’ve been better. But then again, this movie isn’t meant to be one focused on deep, philosophical meanings, and considering that, the characters and the plot are quite complex and meaningful.

-Maybe it’s because I have low tolerance for gore/cruelty, but some scenes in the movie were a little too cruel for me to bear watching them. (e.g. scenes in which the main character tortures bad guys to get information out of them)

Summary:

It’s definitely worth a watch and I’d recommend it to those who’re interested in it. Those who don’t like fast paced/a little violent movies, this isn’t for you. Those who’re fans of action/revenge genre of movies, this movie is just the right one for you.

My top 9 weird&funny movies/dramas

1. Coraline (2009)

Coraline Review | Movie - Empire
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Synopsis (Excerpt from Rotten Tomatoes):
“While exploring her new home, a girl named Coraline (Dakota Fanning) discovers a secret door, behind which lies an alternate world that closely mirrors her own but, in many ways, is better. She rejoices in her discovery, until Other Mother (Teri Hatcher) and the rest of her parallel family try to keep her there forever. Coraline must use all her resources and bravery to make it back to her own family and life.”

Remarks: I first watched it when I was 10, and have been occasionally re-watching it ever since. I can’t stand ghosts/gore, but I’m a sucker for movies like this with just the perfect interplay of a great soundtrack, plot and visuals. Really, I can never get sick of this movie.

By the end of the movie, you’d be suspicious of that doll with button eyes somewhere in your house. (SPOILER: it could be spying on you.) It’s also a perfect movie for Halloween if you’re a bit of a scaredy-cat like me.

Category: A little weird, a little scary (+ touching)

The One Weird Movie You Should Watch On Netflix Before It Goes
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Coraline movie review & film summary (2009) | Roger Ebert
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2. Princes and Princesses

Princes et Princesses - Wikipedia
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Synopsis (Excerpt from ShowTimes):

Six animated traditional fairy tales, each within different worlds, and each containing either a prince, a princess, or both. Stories of Egyptian fig trees, 19th century Japanese coats and humans turning into ants, are joined with a single narrative.

Remarks: The use of shadow play, the simple but dazzling and perfect background music and the plots that are simple, not exactly very unique but at the same time beautiful- all of these make this French film a pleasure to watch. I first watched this when I was in primary/elementary school and I’m 20 now, but I still re-watch this movie now and then. A treasure!

Category: A little weird, but very good

3. The School Nurse Files

The School Nurse Files (2020) 보건교사 안은영 – Ninenovel
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First Look: 'The School Nurse Files' is delirious fun wrapped up in dark  comedy | NME
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ManCrushMonday — Nam Joo-Hyuk Talks About his Role as Hong In-Pyo In The  School Nurse Files - Men's Folio
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Synopsis (Excerpt from AsianWiki):

Ahn Eun-Youngg (Jung Yu-Mi) is a new nurse teacher at school. She has a special ability to see jelly like monsters that are made from residue of human desire and she can also eradicate these jellies. She uses a toy knife and a BB gun to take out the jellies. She senses that a mysterious event takes place at her school

Hong In-Pyo (Nam Joo-Hyuk) is a Chinese language teacher at the same school. Hong In-Pyo has a special energy. In order to protect the students, Ahn Eun-Young and Hong In-Pyo work together to eradicate these jellies.

Remarks:

Director Lee Kyung Mi’s works are always quirky, sometimes a little controversial, but good. (she directed Gong Hyo Jin’s “Crush and blush”, Son Ye Jin’s “The truth beneath” and IU’s “Persona” among many other great works) Check out her “Love Sets” (of “Persona”) and you’ll see quite a few similarities e.g. the filmography techniques, the kind of odd atmosphere the music brings about, etc.

I loved the filmography techniques (which create an odd, slightly unsettling atmosphere) and the quirky but perfectly apt background music. It was nice to see a Korean drama with a less than conventional plot and an even less than conventional filmography techniques. The 6 episodes felt more like a movie rather than a drama.

Acting of the two leads Jung Yu Mi and Nam Joo Hyuk was excellent, no doubt. Especially for Jung Yumi, I thought she is well deserving of the title “indie film industry’s flower” (before she became popular for rom-com dramas)- her acting’s unconventional, natural and a little different from usual acting of actresses in her age range. Acting of all actors in the supporting cast was flawless, too.

Category:

Very weird, funny (+touching)

4. Psychic Kusuo

Psychic Kusuo | Netflix
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Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan (The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.) - MyAnimeList.net
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Synopsis (Excerpt from AsianWiki):

He was born with psychic powers, but he hesitates using his super powers in front of other people due to a childhood experience. Kusuo Saiki now tries to keep a distance from others to hide his psychic power ability, but his classmates with distinct individuality gather under Kusuo.

Remarks:

I’m of the opinion that everything “original” tends to be better than versions that come after. Rather than green tea or banana flavors, for example, the original “Choco Pie”‘s better. Rather than strawberry or orange, the mint flavor of “Tic tac”‘s better. (just my opinion) So I was a little cautious about trying out this movie because the original is an anime- until I watched the movie.

Kento Yamazaki (lead)’s deadpan expressions coupled with the hilarious plot makes this movie one of good laugh.

Category:

Really weird, really funny

5. Spirited away

Spirited Away (2001) - IMDb
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Synopsis (Wikipedia):

Spirited Away tells the story of Chihiro Ogino, a 10-year-old girl who, while moving to a new neighbourhood, enters the world of Kami (spirits of Japanese Shinto folklore).After her parents are turned into pigs by the witch Yubaba, Chihiro takes a job working in Yubaba’s bathhouse to find a way to free herself and her parents and return to the human world.

Remarks: Miyazaki’s films are recognized globally, so I won’t have to say much about this film: it’s good. Very, very good. The characters’ expressions are vivid- they seem not animated, but an exact replica of the kind of facial expressions real life humans would make. At age 20 I still keep a playlist of music used in Miyazaki’s films.

Category:

A little weird, very good

6. Corpse bride

Corpse Bride - Wikipedia
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Synopsis (Excerpt from Fandom Wiki):

In an unspecified Victorian-era village somewhere in Europe, Victor Van Dort, the son of nouveau riche fish merchants, and Victoria Everglot, the neglected daughter of snobbish aristocrats, are preparing for their arranged marriage, which will simultaneously raise the social class of Victor’s parents and restore the wealth of Victoria’s penniless family. Both have concerns about marrying someone they do not know, but upon meeting for the first time, they fall for each other. After the shy Victor ruins the wedding rehearsal by forgetting his vows and is scolded by Pastor Galswells, he flees and practices his wedding vows in the nearby forest, placing the wedding ring on a nearby upturned tree root.

The root turns out to be the finger of a murdered woman in a tattered bridal gown named Emily, who rises from the grave claiming that she is now Victor’s wife

Remarks:

This movie gave me similar vibes to “Coraline”. Touching but creepy at all the right moments. A masterpiece by Tim Burton himself, so I won’t have to say much. It’s an excellent movie.

Category:

A little weird

7. The invention of lying

The Invention of Lying [Blu-ray]: Amazon.co.uk: Ricky Gervais, Jennifer  Garner, Jonah Hill, Louis C.K, Rob Lowe, Ricky Gervais, Matthew Robinson,  Ricky Gervais, Jennifer Garner: DVD & Blu-ray
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Synopsis: (Excerpt from Rotten Tomatoes)

Mark Bellison (Ricky Gervais) is a down-on-his-luck writer who lives in world where falsehoods are completely unknown. When Mark suddenly develops the ability to lie, the notion that “honesty is the best policy” goes out the window, and he uses his newfound skill for personal gain

Remarks:

This movie probably made many (including myself) envy those living in a world where lying doesn’t exist. I liked the novelty of the plot- a world where falsehoods are completely unknown. If only. The ending’s a little predictable but the comedy’s excellent.

Category:

A little weird, quite funny

8. Extreme job

Review: Extreme Job - A Super Crispy Film to Satisfy Your Appetite for  Entertainment -
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Synopsis: (Excerpt from “AsianWiki“)

A drug squad consists of 5 detectives: Detective Squad Chief Go (Ryoo Seung-Ryong), Detective Jang (Lee Ha-Nee), Detective Ma (Jin Seon-Kyu), Detective Young-Ho (Lee Dong-Hwi) and Detective Jae-Hoon (Gong Myung). The team attempts to take down a criminal organization and they must go undercover to do so. The detectives begin work as employees at a chicken restaurant, but the chicken restaurant becomes famous for its delicious chicken. Due to the restaurant’s unexpected popularity, the detectives find themselves in a situation they never expected.

Remarks:

Personally, it wasn’t hilariously funny, but definitely worth a light-hearted watch. The 5 who act as the detectives have acting that seems to be perfectly suited for comedy.

Category:

Funny

9. Persona

Persona (TV series) - Wikipedia
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Synopsis: (Excerpt from “AsianWiki“)

“Persona” contains 4 separate stories and each story is directed by a different director. All four directors created their stories while motivated by IU.

Remarks: This film was controversial,

Category:

Quite weird

Am I wasting my time?

According to “16 Personalities”, I’m an ISTJ, which means I’m a pretty logical and organized person. (Yay but hmm..)

Theory Converted: 16 Personalities Personality Test Result Logistician  (ISTJ) Condensed And Categorised
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I’m a (mostly) utilitarian, practical person, especially when it comes to my life as a student.

That means I make important decisions guided by questions like “Is this necessary?”, “Is this required?” or “Is this wasting my time?”

So I’ve always envied the spontaneous type of people who have the courage of making quite major life decisions “on the whim”, like, deciding to take a gap year, travelling overseas or randomly picking up an instrument, even if these actions might not give them very tangible or concrete benefits for their career/academic lives, at least in the short run.

Then a few days ago, I came across writing by a Korean writer named Kang Ju Won,

강주원 "책 한권으로 얻은 카페…진심은 결국 통하더라"
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who uploaded this on his Instagram (loosely translated by me):

“I had a friend who could have worked for a big company, but chose to become a headhunter. The reason he chose this job was simple. He just wanted to try it. His hobby was making videos. One day, while we were drinking, he told me he recently filmed a video. He said it was a video about a game guessing words in Thai. I asked why he filmed the video, and he said it was for fun. He uploaded the video on Facebook and YouTube.

“The video my friend uploaded received massive response. Broadcasting companies from Thailand contacted him, and the number of subscribers on his Facebook and YouTube increased exponentially. When he walked down the streets, Thai tourists who’ve come to Korea would recognize him and ask for a signature.

“This friend is not in Korea. He’s working hard on something in Thailand. I didn’t ask exactly what he’s doing. He’s probably doing something he just wants to try out. His life will still probably move on well without a problem.

“What could have happened if he didn’t take the video? What would have happened if, thinking what good would filming a useless video do for my career, he didn’t press the record button? I’m not sure, but his life wouldn’t be the same as now.

“Sometimes the things we think are useless create new opportunities. The thought that leading the kind of a life doing what we like to do is a futile one can lock away any possibilities/potential.

“‘Just do it if there’s something you want to do.‘ That’s what I learned from my friend working on something fun in Thailand.”

Actress Seo Ye Ji, who recently starred in the popular series “It’s okay not to be okay”, first debuted in a sitcom called “Potato Star”, cast for many reasons, including that of her Spanish skills.

Seo Ye Ji speaking Spanish fluently in sitcom “Potato Star”

Her impressive Spanish skills are because of her decision to suddenly study in Spain just because studying Spanish was fun for her. That helped her tremendously in her path to becoming an actress!

Sometimes, the seemingly simple decision to do something we love takes a lot of courage. Sometimes, it’s hard to decide when’s the right time to be “realistic” or “practical”, and when’s the time to “follow our hearts” and do what we love, just because we want to.

My first try at doing something I love just because I want to, is blogging on “Hanstyle”. What’s your first? 🙂

Cheers, Han Seol

My 5 perfume/scent recommendations

I love collecting perfume/scented things. They’re an even more personal and subtle touch than accessories, and it’s amazing how there’s a seemingly endless array of scents and perfumes out there. I’m the kind of a person who spends most of the time in a shopping mall at the perfume section, sniffing perfumes, coffee beans and then perfumes again :))

To share with you some of my love for scents, here’s a list of some subtle, relatively affordable perfumes I have in my stock!

Chloe by Chloe – mini 5ml / 0.17fl.oz. Eau De Parfum (approx 135 USD)

Chloe By Chloe Eau De Parfum .17 Oz Mini for sale online | eBay
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The 5ml Chloé collection has a floral(?), mild scent. Each mini is maybe half the size of an average woman’s palm, but it’s made of glass so I don’t carry it around in my bag. One drop onto the floor and that’d be the end of a mini’s life 😦

The scent is not too strong, which is exactly why I think this Chloé is perfect for a daily perfume. With the collection’s affordability and mild scent, it seem to be commonly used by young women in their 20s.

The cap requires simple, light turning and a slight pull. Each mini is portable and doesn’t take up too much space.

Goldea Eau de Parfum Spray 50250 (approx 110 USD)

Bvlgari Goldea by Bvlgari - Buy online | Perfume.com
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The scent is slightly stronger than a Chloé perfume.

It’s about twice the size of a Chloé, so even though it isn’t that bad, I like to put it on before leaving the house rather than carry it around in my bag.

Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser (approx 40 USD)

Buy Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser | Sephora  Singapore
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It’s not a perfume, but it’s a foam cleanser that makes me feel like I’m in a facial massage shop every time I wash my face. The texture is a little funny (feels a little short of “cool and slimy”), but it foams really well and smells just like the kind of cleanser massage shops would use.

Chanel No. 5 (approx 140 USD)

Perfumes for women: Chanel No. 5, Dior, Marc Jacobs Daisy, Guerlain  Shalimar and other classic scents
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This is probably the strongest perfume/scent I have. I don’t wear it on a daily basis, just on days I feel a little adventurous.

Aveeno, Daily Moisturizing Yogurt Body Wash, Vanilla, 18 fl oz (532 ml) (approx 8 USD)

Aveeno, Daily Moisturizing Yogurt Body Wash, Vanilla, 18 fl oz (532 ml)
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The texture of this body wash is amazing- it’s smooth, relaxing, and goes well with hot water. The best part is the scent of vanilla. It’s subtle, but stays on quite long even after the shower.

~ * ~

I just received a perfume gift from my friend, so I thought I’d share some of my top 5 favorite scents/perfumes! If you found this post informative, please give it a “like” and check out my other posts on “Hanstyle” 🙂

Cheers, Han Seol

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