Friday, April 20, 2012

SnoWBaLL

Meet Snowball!


Yes my friends, I have purchased a car!...the very first car I buy with my OWN money, hooray!

Remember I wrote on that post that I was considering buying a car because of my hectic schedule?
I mentioned it to my co-worker Kristen and she said she would help me. Last week she called a couple used car dealers here in Pohang. I was looking for a Matiz (cuz of fuel efficiency), and she asked the dealers if they had any. We found one but I thought it was too expensive. She told the dealer to give her a call if they got anything cheaper.

After that, I reconsidered (because of money) and thought maybe I should get a scooter. Ana had a scooter once and she told me that it was pretty awesome to have one. So I looked around, stalked some websites, went to a scooter shop, but there was nothing, or they were too expensive. I thought that if they were as expensive as a car, might as well buy a car. I told myself though that if I didn't find a car, I would buy the scooter because after all, it would be cheaper.

On Monday, Kristen got a call from the used car dealer and told her that he had a friend who was trying to sell his directly. We got in contact with the guy and after work, Kristen gave me a ride to see the car and talk to the guy. I drove the car to see how it felt. It had a weird noise, but the guy said that he would repair it before selling it, that it was nothing serious.

When I said yes to buying it, we started figuring out the process. First of all, I would need a license and he said he could not sell it to me unless I had one...bummer! I would also need insurance. He called a place and they wanted to charge me 900,000W!...I thought "oh man, this is gonna set me back in all my savings" :/

He said he would wait for me to get the license if I gave him a deposit so I did by Tuesday morning.

By Wednesday he called Kristen and told her that we could pick up the car on Thursday and that I did not need a license, only insurance. I was able to find a cheaper company, they charged me 660,000W for a year.

Thursday after work, we took a taxi to pick up the car. I drove it again just to make sure he had fixed that noise. Kristen then tried to bargain with the guy and he lowered the price a bit hehehe. I said it was good, so I transferred the money to the guy's account. After that, he took us to the Korean version of the DMV to register the car under my name! 4,000W in fees later, I had the document in my hands!

The guy also said that when I'm ready to resell it, he would help me...how nice of him!

Kristen drove the car back to our school (where her car was), and then I drove it from my school to my casa, hooray!

Next week I'll be going to Seoul to the American Embassy to get a document saying that my American license is valid. I will bring that back to the DMV, take a test, and voila, I should have it!

Yay it's Friday!!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

40. cHeRry bLoSsoMs!

Yes my friends who don't live in Asia, it's cherry blossom season!!...and I am in LUV!

I was surprised to find out that cherry blossoms do not last that long, they only stay on the trees for about 2 weeks, maybe less. So it's a must to go out and see them as soon as you can.

The city of Jinhae
My first stop was Jinhae for the Cherry Blossom Festival. The festival itself was not much, the usual and endless food stands and arts and crafts booths with the usual overcrowding. I did however get to buy a coconut milk IN a coconut! My! I hadn't had fresh coconut milk in a while..it was so goood! I wish they would later cut the coconut and serve it with limon y chile, but I guess here people don't care for it because people we just throwing away the coconut after finishing the milk.

Cherry blossoms along the road in Jinhae


Now Jinhae is supposed to have the most beautiful cherry blossoms, but to be honest I was not impressed. They DID look beautiful, buy those trees were deliberately planted along the roads and along the river. I was kind of expecting to go into an enchanted forest filled with cherry blossoms everywhere...not perfectly neat rows. Maybe back in the day they did have more cherry blossoms, and as the city grew they had to cut them down...who knows.

I did find out though that cherry blossoms are not native to Korea, they are all imported from Japan. This explains the neat rows of trees along the roads I guess.



On a side note, we spent the night in Masan, near Jinahe, and I had read on a blog that there was a Subway at another nearby town, Changwon, so we went on a hunt for it. Unfortunately, it wasn't a Subway anymore, it was a Lion Sub 2009, which still had the reminiscent smell and look of a Subway...damn you old blog! Nonetheless, I had a good veggie sandwich hehehe.

we KNOW there used to be a subway not that long ago cuz they still have a sign for it!


batting cages in Changwon


My second stop was Gyeonju. I was told by my co-T back in the winter that I should go there to see the cherry blossoms. So Ana, Charli (that's Jared's Spanglish name now lol), and me went yesterday to rent bicycles and ride around the city. The weather did not help too much so the pictures came out a bit ugly, but other than that the cherry blossoms were beautiful!! I think I liked it better than Jinhae. The trees in the parks were huge!



By the Anapji Pond


my attempt to get a shot of us riding the bikes lol


                           A Buddhist temple we found along the way

The Seochulji Pond


By the way, it was a trip riding those bicycles because I hadn't ridden one in a while haha. I first had to get comfortable riding it, and then I had to dodge all the people walking around and the other people on bikes. It was totally worth it though!


And lastly, there is Pohang of course! We also have cherry blossoms, but same as in Jinhae, they are the ones planted along the streets. They do brighten up the city and give off that spring feeling ^^.

Just outside my school 

And now the best part about cherry blossoms, sakuras falling all over the place!!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

39. Rice cookers

Who knew that you could bake in a rice cooker?

Here's the proof!

A soft, moist lemon cake! This is actually my second attempt at baking a cake in my rice cooker, here's the first one, not bad eh?


I found out about this a while back on this youtube video, 1:06 ^^



It does take longer than usual, these took about an hour and 15 minutes each. I do want to buy a small oven eventually, but this will do for now...I guess I should mention that ovens are not a commodity here in Korea lol.

I wish it could bake cookies though...or brownies...