I still haven't made this blog private! I kind of need it to be active for my computer science homework/project. I need to make a personal webpage from scratch using HTML/CSS and part of the requirement is to link to other sites. So I've linked to here and Pages using the cute buttons on the sidebar (y'all should do the same ;) ) to make them relevant. I don't have Instagram or Facebook unlike everyone else; they're using their social media links.
This winter was definitely a time of growth for me. As you've read in the previous post, I "discovered" Korean culture through television and musical groups, particularly Super Junior and SHINee. They're hardworking culture and emphasis on health and food really spoke to me and especially my own background, which is quite similar. I've noticed I haven't done anything of worth this past semester, except for one or two things. I really want to work hard, so I've looked up research from faculty at the school I attend and I've been emailing around to the professors whose research interests me. Obviously, I'm not going to find a cure for cancer, but I want to have some sort of impact somewhere.
Apart from that, I felt a sense of gratitude to all my friends around me. I never realised how lucky I was to have people that enjoyed spending time with me and vice versa. I've definitely learned to treat them better, if only through small gestures like getting them a refill or a Wendys meal hahaha. I think friendship is truly one of the best experiences one can ever have. To commemorate my newfound sense of self, I've made this collage of moments from this "spring" semester, which has honestly been more of a winter one so far.
Starting from the top left and moving down and to the right:
I FaceTime-d Eleni, who currently lives in Hawaii, and we had a great time catching up! If I ever vacation in Hawaii, I'm going to get the full experience: kava, traditional Hawaiian medicine, beaches, parties etc... Below is Chaewon: "Piazza is social media". Our school uses this site called Piazza where professors, TAs, and Students can all communicate. A student can post a question, which is open for everyone to answer. We were joking about how it was like social media because Chaewon would spend her free time answering questions for other people. We're such nerds lol.
Then there's a snap that Didem took of me when we were at this historic city square and I was probably sassing her. Beneath that is a Turkish dinner/gathering ("wine party") at Didem's house that actually look place a few nights ago. It was mainly her family, who'd all gathered outside in the patio with a table full of wine bottles and giant pans of food. I enjoyed this rice dish with tomato sauce and an amazing Mediterranean salad. What was really funny was that everyone was smoking through like, twenty packs of cigarettes and a whole shelf of wine at a liquor store. Not to mention Didem's cousin starts smoking raw tobacco from a pipe. She's also the one that cracked a wine glass from toasting too much. It was a great environment to be in! I've posted a song below that played on the speakers they had--it's one of my favs now!
The top right is me with my friend Taylor <3. We went hiking up this mountain that's basically in my backyard. It was sooo warm and sunny, you can barely see my eyes since my transition lenses were full-on. I've recently picked up on my workout routine that I had last year. Once you start, it's quite hard to stop. I've actually put on a couple of pounds in the past few weeks! Beneath that is a snap Eleni sent me which perfectly describes me now. I'm so into cooking good food nowadays. My specialty is ramen. I can make anything into a ramen noodle soup dish. I've adopted a Korean side dish of cucumbers marinated in sesame oil, soy sauce, and sugar. It's almost on par with a Japanese dish called "gomae" which is lightly blanched spinach mixed with toasted sesame seeds, soy sauce, and (my version) white wine. I'd been posting so many of these on my story that people have nicknamed me Kirthi Ramsay (Taylor did, but it caught on). Right beneath that, and the final photo, is goat cheese from Turkey. Didem's grandmother made it herself and sent it over. Let me tell you that it was unlike anything I've had before. It had no smell but an amazing flavour.
As promised, here's the song:
I think for a future post, I'd like to discuss the differences between Western and Eastern cultures. Lately, I've noticed how easily I get along with people from "my" part of the world: Iranians, Indians, Koreans, Chinese, Turkish etc... I started to become aware of this this past year because my school is quite diverse. Because of this awareness, and my avid interest in Korean television, I started realising that the things I was raised to do were not just my parents being weird, but cultural beliefs in the eastern part of the world. For example, I don't drink a lot of water during a meal. I either drink before or after. Apparently, this is to help digestion. I also drink a lot of water in the morning and before bed, and I learned recently this further improves digestion. Eating fruit for dessert is common in India, China and Korea for sure. My family will cut up whatever fruit is in season. Right now, it's mango. During the summer, it's melons. I always wanted fruit after eating dinner because the meals are always savoury and spicy, so I want something juicy and sweet to balance it. Anyway! All these little things are part of a broader cultural difference that I'd love to explore in a future post. Look out for it~~
Best of luck with the rest of the semester :)