#PrayforKorea

First of all, I would like to express my sincere condolences to all those who have lost their beloved and who are still waiting for better news.

April 16, 2014. Sewol went down along with 467 people on board, most of them students going on a field trip. I am not going to write about what happened, how the ship went down, who is to blame, etc. I am pretty sure that all the information about what happened and what is going on is all over the news.

Today, I am going to write out my anger. My writing won’t to be fact based or rational. It seems like this time, I have no choice but to let my irrational anger out through words.

Yes, the government is doing all they can about this catastrophe. What I still don’t understand is the fact the newspapers and news broadcasts published false information about this event, giving the families and every Korean false hope. What was the point in publishing news even when not a single person knew what was going on with the ship?

What are we supposed to believe in if the media is not publishing the truth? Are we to blame the media or are we to blame the government that seems to be hiding the real facts from the people?

From what I can see, there are false information and rumors spreading through social network site and blogs, creating even more confusion for both the onlookers and the government. There are others who are disrespecting the dead, making fun of all the families in grief, and laughing their asses off watching the news every night.

Then I thought…maybe we are all to blame: the government, the families, the onlookers, and myself.

I blame the government for their slow and poor reactive measures. I blame the families for adding to the chaos. I blame the onlookers for belittling the tragedy. And I blame myself for living thousands of miles away and having absolutely no power whatsoever. I blame myself for pretending to be interested and sad, then living on with my life a second later.

One article suggested that maybe the captain of Sewol has been scapegoated as the ‘evil’ one and the ones who actually caused this problem smiles in the shadows. Maybe we are the ones in the shadows.

What I worry most from this tragedy is that the lives of the people on board, especially the lives of the high school students will soon be forgotten. People will talk, the government will come up with some new laws. It’s just that. No protective measures, no compensations. Simple grievances that will last perhaps six months. Sooner or later, another ship carrying hundreds of high school students will sink and nothing, absolutely nothing will be different from the sinking of Sewol.

For the first time in years, I actually think that the world is beginning to end. Not by volcanoes or tsunamis, but by us, the people. Trust disappears, same mistakes made, the people live only for themselves. Yes this might be an overgeneralization, but I simply hope that the few selfish and mindless people do not influence all those who care.

I hope as all others hope, that miracle occurs.

기적처럼 태어났으니 기적처럼 돌아오세요.

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Continue

It’s been a while since I posted something on this blog. I had actually forgot all about the fact that I had a blog. One day, it popped up in my head that I had one and thought, might as well continue posting things on it.

Now I am off in college, studying my butt off for exams, writing papers, and doing other things that all college students do. When I first logged back on to this blog, I was embarrassed of the words set in front of my eyes.

But then, I thought again. I did this because I liked writing. I know that I am not the best writer in the world. As a matter of fact, I am not a good writer at all. One thing is for sure, though. I like writing.

I’ve remodeled my blog to contain only reviews, world news, and my experiences as a traveller. Hope you enjoy.

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Yim Jae-Beom

Yim Jae-Beom.

Y ou have never experienced anyone…

J ust like him.

B est of all singers.

(A bit cheesy..:))

He was born on October 14th, 1963.  He is a rock singer, and he debuted as a vocalist for a group called Sinawe.  Later, he became a soloist.  It was difficult to see Yim Jae-beom on television for the past few years.  However, about two months ago, everyone was surprised that he agreed to be on I am a singer (나는 가수다).  It is a TV show where seven singers perform infront of an audience, and gets ranked from first to seventh.  The seventh will be replaced by another singer.  It is a competitive TV show because all singers want to keep their reputation as talented.

No one expected Yim Jae-beom to agree.  When he did, everyone was expecting a lot from him.  During his first performance, he showed everything.  He went above the standards that the people had in their heads.  He was just amazing.  On his third performance, he showed the audience even more.  Everyone was crying, everyone was into the music.  He was able to touch the souls of millions of people.  Unfortunately, he had to get a surgery, and is now off the show.  Yet, the people are still talking about Yim Jae-beom and the impact that he gave to the people.

This is true healing music.  Through his voice, he was able to touch the souls of people.  He wet the dried out eyes of people. He made us forget about the struggles and hardships…and just be in the moment.

 

This video is third and last performance on the show I am a singer.  This had the most impact on people.

The lyrics is beautiful.  Unfortunately, it is in Korean, but I will translate a part of the chorus!  This song was originally by Yoon Bok-hee

When you are lonely 

I will be your friend 

I will be your brother forever

I will be your friend forever

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The two sides of Dongdaemun (East Gate)

When I say Dongdaemun, I am not just talking about the cultural asset of Korea. The general area around the actual gate is called Dongdaemun by most people.  I know, it says mun (meaning gate or door), but nowadays, Dongdaemun is famous among people of all age groups. The two sides of Dongdaemun (I am NOT talking about the front and back sides of the gate), are different, yet similar.

Dongdaemun is a cultural asset or property of Korea.  It is a magnificent building or gate that was built ages ago.  In 1963, it was designated as Korea’s number one treasure (Yes, Koreans have a thing for making cultural buildings into preserved treasures!).  Dongdaemun is one of the 8 gates of the castle that was built to protect the government during Chosun Era.  I do not want to get into technical things because I am not familiar with architecture and I do not want to bore my readers. However, I am going to say that the gate is beautifully built and should be preserved.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28289918@N06/3515269672/sizes/m/in/photostream/

The OTHER side of Dongdaemun is more interesting.  Beside the actual gate, there are shopping malls, morning markets, and street filled with small stores.  Places around Dongdaemun are busy all day.  From midnight to noon, lots of people go in and out of places, shopping, chilling, and having fun.  It is ironic because during the day, some shops are actually closed.  These shops reopen at around five to six in the afternoon.

The shopping malls are famous among teenagers.  The clothes are not too expensive, but most of them are comfortable and well designed.  People work at these places constantly talk to you, flatter you, and grab your arms so that you would buy some of their clothes.  Yet, the only way to survive at the place is to not fall for their sweet talks.  The small shops contain variety of products ranging from antiques to writing utensils.  Even though it may contain some products that not all people need, it still attracts all kinds of people.  I believe that people are attracted to some of the interesting products that these store sell.  It may be pens that light up or games that you can never beat.

The more interesting part of these shopping malls or stores is that the people are constantly at work.  Even when the shops are closed, people are running all over the places to get new products or new designs. Or, they go home from their tiring work, only to realize that they must come back out in few hours.  These people, these workers live such tiring lives.  As I have said before, they are constantly trying to make you buy their products.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/christopherleung/3030093180/sizes/m/in/photostream/

Dongdaemun reveals to us the cultural architecture of Korea, and also the busy lives of everyday-man.  Dongdaemun shows us how people live in Korea, and the beauty of Korea.

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Rooftop Moonlight

Rooftop Moonlight? I am guessing that everyone is wondering what I am talking about.  I have been looking through my old posts, and realized that I have never introduced Korean singers!  Today, I will be introducing a duet who writes their own songs and sings them. They are considered to be healing musicians in Korea who ‘heals’ the stressed souls and bodies of people.

Rooftop Moonlight (옥상달빛) is the literal translation of the Korean name.  I can also be translated into moonlit rooftop.  Just from the name, you get this awesome feeling, which you just want to sit and listen to some music (The feeling is so awesome that I cannot word it any better).  The duet consists of two female singers who play various instruments such as guitar, piano, xylophone, etc.  The reason I like them is because of their pure songs, and the uniqueness of each song that they come up with.

In each song, the lead singer changes between the two, allowing different people to enjoy their songs.  Along with the lead singer, the instrumentation changes.  Like I have said before, they play various instruments that they play new combinations of instruments, allowing different kind of sounds to be produced.  In addition to the sound, their lyrics are…pure, like a baby.  It has got their true feelings and true experiences in their songs.  The songs do not sound…synthetic.  No electronic sounds, no loud beats.  Some people like loud beats and noises, however, what I consider healing music for most people is closer to acoustic sounds.

Some of their songs are quite sad, and some people will ask how are sad songs healing music?  In previous posts, I defined ‘healing music’ as something that can arouse emotions.  Why do we need emotions?  Today, people live in a busy society that they simply do not have enough time to ‘be emotional.’  Some people believe that being cold and analytical can lead to success.  I think that is just an excuse to not having much feelings and emotions.  EVERYONE has a heart, and everyone feels something.  Healing music just allows those emotions to come out, or more strongly aroused in people, we do not become robots.

We are all humans.  All humans feel, so why hide those feelings?  Everyone should be able to express and enjoy  hatred, love, sorrow, and warmth.  These are what makes us human and healing music brings the emotions closer to us.

The description of the video also says that this song can comfort when stressed and tired!

Enjoy!

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Ulleungdo

What comes into mind when you here Ulleungdo?  Too far?  Seasick?  A random island?  NO (with respect of course).

Personally, I think Ulleungdo is more beautiful than Jeju island.  The tough route on ship to Ulleungdo, I believe, is worth it because of the tremendous food and scenery.  By ship, it takes about two and a half hours to get from main land to Ulleungdo.  It seems like short period of time, but if you suffer from seasick, it will feel like more than two days.  Once you arrive in Ulleungdo, you will be mesmerized by its beauty.

The first thing is the tracking course along the side of the island.  Along the rocky (yet safe) sides of the island, a tracking course is built for people to walk and enjoy the scenery.  Anyone can walk on the course and interact with the environment. The light blue color of the ocean seems like someone lit a lantern underwater,  and the small islands near Ulleungdo seem like someone carved it.  There are also waterfalls, plants, birds, uniquely shaped rocks that all come together to create the awesome view.

At the end of the tracking course, there is a lighthouse, called Hangnam lighthouse (행남등대).  It stands tall and proud on top of a hill and looks down upon all the ships at night.  It stands on a very high hill that one can see the peaks of lower mountains.

In Ulleungdo, there is also something called Nari basin, where it is a flat surface surrounded by mountains.  It is one of the few places in Korea where snow pile up to an adult’s waist.  It hosts snow festivals during the winter where it attracts thousands of people all over the country.  If you like snow, this will be the place that you should visit.

Scenery is not the only thing to enjoy when visiting Ulleungdo.  Ulleungdo is famous for squids.  There are lots of squids being captured in Ulleungdo (but of course, not over capturing that will endanger the species). Since at the island, there is no need to ship it to mainland, you can enjoy fresh squids.  In mainland, there are at least two hours of shipping, which can kill some of the squids.

I agree that Ulleungdo is far and expensive.  However, I highly recommend everyone visit the island once in their life time and enjoy the life there.  Everyone will be surprise of how fun and exciting Ulleungdo can be.

SO, still think Ulleungdo is far and boring?

  

Photos: http://cafe.naver.com/ullungbeach.cafe?iframe_url=/ArticleRead.nhn%3Farticleid=178&

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The Hottest Coldplay

Coldplay is the hottest band with millions of records sold worldwide and numerous hits.  Coldplay is an English rock band formed in 1996.  They have won many awards including Best British group, MTV Video Music awards, and many more.  I consider some of Coldplay’s music; healing music.

Similar to the previous musicians I have introduced in this blog, Coldplay has this unique sound.  Some of their music combines acoustics with electrics to create a unique sound.  Also, the singer’s voice, which is middle to high pitch goes well with the rest of the instruments.  The harmony of the acoustic guitar, the piano, the drums, and the electric sounds create a distinct sound from other bands.  The quiet, alternative rock is what defines Coldplay.  Unlike other rock bands, Coldplay’s songs are quiet and soothing to listen to.  Especially, the voice of the main singer is soothing.

I believe Coldplay’s songs are more about the melody instead of the lyrics that makes them healing music.  However, the lyrics to We Never Change from Parachutes released in 2000 have well written lyrics.

I want to live life, and never be cruel

I want to live my life, and be good to you,

I want to fly, and never come down

And live my life, and have friends around

-from We Never Change-

Coldplay’s songs are good to listen to when the weather is gloomy, that you are getting depressed yourself.

Just looking out the window, listening to Coldplay, emptying your mind.

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