Friday, September 27, 2013

the kimchi diaries

And I am back from kimchi land!
Nothing much changed except I probably gained weight from all the over-eating,
(cannot. resist. korean. rice. WHY.)
amazingly didn't buy enough cosmetics nor masks to last a lifetime
(unlike my sister who somehow found the need to own a BB cushion, a CC cream,
one compact powder, 2 loose powders, 4 lipsticks and counting...)
permed my hair for the first time since 2 years
(eeeekkkkkss! but when in Korea, have to do Korean perm)
developed some weird dry patches on my face
(probably due to the over-zealous sampling of face masks nightly)
but all is good and I love it there!!
Didn't bump into Donghae though,
life hates me cos the moment I reached Korea,
he apparently went to Germany and only returned to Korea
when I touched down in SG.
Why can't we even breathe the same air?
-stabs my fangirl heart-

We were in Korea during their Chuseok holiday
which is a pretty grand affair so shops were closed,
there were traffic jams and such,
and all tourism spots were suddenly super crowded.
So do look out for this holiday if you intend to travel there during Sept.
And here begins the kimchi diaries account!

I went with my parents and my sis cos we didn't travel much as a family
when I was young so we are making up for lost time now :)

We had a pretty funky itinerary whereby we touched down at Incheon airport,
only to take a bus transfer to Jeonju (land of bibimbap) immediately.
The bus journey was supposed to take 4 hours but Chuseok jams made it 6,
and when we arrived at Jeonju,
we alighted at this closed down hotel,
with only the moonlight and the 2 headlights of the bus as light sources.
It was creepy. Like mad.
Then I had to figure out how to take a cab to this tiny (but charming) guesthouse
in my terribly broken Korean.
We ended up having cup ramen for dinner that night.
(don't even get me started on how the hot water dispenser,
after dispensing piping hot water for 3 bowls of ramen,
decided to give me lukewarm water for mine...
so I had half crunchy cup noodles. Not nice.)

we stayed in little rooms with paper and wood doors,
slept on the floor with heavy blankets and a tiny pillow stuffed with tea leaves.

my mum thinks I am mad to pack mini skirts for a trip
but I tell her,
one cannot sacrifice fashion for comfort. Or practicality. Or common sense.
You get the idea.

The itinerary was supposed to have us visiting the hanok village
(which both me and my sis mistakenly thought it to be a REAL village,
quaint and pretty, interesting enough to entertain the parents etc.)
Only to find out hanok village actually meant...
a cluster of cultural places where you can paint,
kick around feather shuttlecocks, admire calligraphy
and make your own ink plate or something.

we ended up finding a cafe to chill with tea

and this huge-ass lion of a dog.

whereby I felt the need to take a selca cos..
its Korea.
Everyone takes selcas.

For dinner, we opted for Hanjeongsik - a traditional Korean dinner
with a gazillion dishes
which sadly looks pathetic here cos no one could wait til they all arrived
for me to take a photo cos we were all starving.

that said, I discovered a new fav dish of mine - Galbijjim.
Its so wonderful I want to replicate it at home.
I just need to find someone willing to eat it.

We went back to Seoul the next day
(at the ungodly hour of 7am to avoid the jam. UGGGH)
and the first thing we ate was...

potato twist.
It is true. It REALLY does taste better than the ones in SG.
I had one daily til I was embarrassed the potato guy might recognize me
so I sent my mum to buy them for me instead. HAHA.

Then we went to Yoogane
which was the complex thing of choosing a set meal
and frying/mixing it together to make it into something yummy. first, you get this.

20 mins later, it turns into this.
I am not sure how it works but anything with ramyeon is good.

i spent the whole day at Myeongdong just popping in and out of shops like these.
I LOVEEEE Etude House's decor. Its adorable.
And I am mildly disturbed by PSY's endorsement.
I mean...why do I want to look like him?!

my outfit for Day 3,
and my overseas-weather-jinx struck again.
Everytime I travel overseas, I always always ALWAYS pack for the wrong weather.
If its cold, I am almost always underdressed.
That one time I went to Aussie at 14degs with a single blazer,
Sharms is still laughing at me about it.
Or that time to Taiwan at 10degs with a cardi (a holey one at that)...
in my defense, it was an unexpected cold front.
Or to Italy, expecting sunny weather and 25 degs,
only to have it rain and leave me shivering in another blazer at 12deg..
Before I left for Korea,'s temperature report said it was 17 to 24degs, max.
I packed long sleeved tops and tiny bottoms cos as usual,
I wasn't really thinking while packing.
It turned out to be 28deg everyday so while my tiny bottoms work fine,
my long sleeved tops were killing me.

i had patpingsoo cos I was dying to try it.
Its like a fancy version of shaved ice with tons of red beans.

and ordered hot chocolate just cos I heard they could do a rabbit latte art.
Conversation between me and waiter:
Me: "You will do latte art?"
-mimics drawing on coffee-
Waiter: "Ah, latte?"
Me: "Oh no no no, hot chocolate."
Waiter: "Ah, hot chocolate?"
Me: "Erm yes, but latte art? Draw? Rabbit?"
Waiter: "Latte??"
-obviously thinks I am an idiot who can't make up my mind-
Me: "Erm, draw? Erm...draw..TOKKI??? TOKKI? RABBIT?"
-finally remembered korean word for rabbit-
Waiter: "Ah yes, yes, Tokki!"
I felt so accomplished.

Day 4 saw me trying to find the Hello Kitty cafe,
but to no avail.
I walked for 30mins, from one train station to the next,
with my poor clueless parents trailing behind me
and I still couldn't find it.
Navigating sucks :(

my sister and I were all glowy and such cos we discovered CC cream.
My dad is just..oily. Haha.
I also tried on orange lip tint but it didn't really work for me :(

another shot, this time with my mum who discovered BB cream.

thank god i wore my boots instead of my booties that day.

the highlight of that day was locating this amazingly affordable samgyupsal (pork belly) place
(thanks to Lynnie and her extensive food guide)
It is at Palsaik Samgyupsal, located at Sinchon Station
and you get that huge pot of soup and 8 kinds of pork belly at just 30,000 won.

I am sorry this looks sadly unphotogenic but I was hungry,
parents were hungrier,
and it was not a good time to compose a good shot.

And since we already walked to Sinchon from Hongdae,
we somehow walked again to Edae shopping district
and it is really worth a visit.
Everything is trendy, cheap (probably cos they were clearing stocks)
I just wished I had more energy to shop.
It was also on the same day that we decided to heck it,
and went to Gangnam Underground Mall
(located strangely NOT at Gangnam, but at Seoul Express Bus Terminal)
to continue the shopping.
Also, since it was in aircon comfort,
I managed to score this lovely black skirt I wore the next day
and a denim shirt :)

post-shopping and a hell lot of walking day.
(yep, I switched my lip colour to pink cos I couldnt take the orange)

Day 5 was the day I decided to perm my hair
so we had to get the sightseeing out of the way.
We went to Namsan Tower via the cable car route
just for a peek at the famous love locks.
Parents were instead, fascinated by the mornings exercises of Korean elderly,
who were smacking their backs against the trees. No kidding.

no hint of my hair cos it was up in a bun.

started the day right with Migabon porridge
which I totally totally loved cos it was so simple, yet comforting.
I can't remember the last time I had such a nutritious breakfast.

a tiny portion of how love looks like at Namsan Tower.

we had this weird dish called jjimdak for lunch which is basically braised soy sauce chicken
with potato, carrots and glass noodles.
It was very filling and a good choice if you are craving for Chinese food.
I had it at one of the 2 outlets at Myeongdong.
Apparently both are equally popular so it doesn't matter which one you pick.

After that I went for my perm at Juno Hair,
also at Myeongdong.
There are a few outlets but I picked the one beside Adidas building
just cos I saw it first, haha.
It is located at the 3rd floor
and I just went in and said I wanted to perm my hair.
They must be used to tourists though cos they ushered me to a seat,
waved a stylist over and took out an Ipad
and it was a lot of pointing and nodding and a calculator to show the prices.
Pretty straightforward.
I used a male stylist called Seo Ho and the perm was 250,000 won.
Please budget approx 2.5 to 3 hours for a perm and treatment
cos I did the latter as well and I think I had 5 different kind of stuff
applied to my hair over the whole 3 hours.
It costed me an additional 98,000 won so..nope, perming hair in Korea isn't cheap. was on my bucket list so am happy I did it :)

the results!! (i am sorry, please excuse black hair tie.
Sharms, please don't kill me)

another clearer pic!
It has been 5 days or so from my perm and the curls aren't as defined now
but it could also be cos I didn't blow my hair at all
and just left it to air dry.
But I am loving the results, my hair is still soft and silky,
the ends are not damaged and everything looks soooo natural :)

ended the day with this watermelon ice popsicle
that I genuinely thought was supposed to be watermelon flavoured.
It turned out to bean. Hmmmmm.

My second last day in Seoul means..
more last minute shopping with the parents.
We went to Dongdaemun (but the wholesale market was closed)
so I just went to this place called Good Morning City
and it was totally quiet.
Like no customers quiet.
My dad managed to get a few stuff at the level just for menswear
but I didn't see anything I like.
So if you are looking for something trendy,
skip Dongdaemum and just head for Edae :)

wore my new flare skirt which I wanted to get from Zara at $69
but resisted and instead, got it at Korea for $30?

and cos I was determined to try all patpingsoo everywhere I go,
i even had one from Krispy Kreme. Of all places.

bibimbap for my last dinner

and an exceptionally chewy corn for supper.
Like really chewy.
Rubbery chewy kinda chewy.

Then YC sent me a pic of Buns sleeping
and I couldn't wait to come home.

i don't know why his fur is in a mess.
its sticking out everywhere, ugh.

So that concludes my Korea trip
and I will be testing out my masks/cosmetics soon
so if you want any reviews, just let me know!
Also, I stayed at J Hill Hotel in Myeongdong and the location was fantastic.
Do check it out if you want to stay in that area :)

Meanwhile, some #ootds that went on my Instagram (@passionade) the past week

I am maximizing my chances of wearing swing skirts just in case
i get too old for them :(
(psst, blue clutch is finally here and we will be launching it soon!)

in RALEIGH Black (available now HERE) for evening dinner with the girls.

my new denim shirt from Korea
and Laneige BB cushion and Etude House's Cookie Blusher.
I got the BB cushion cos I wanted something with a lighter coverage than foundation
but CC creams are honestly...a little TOO glowy.
And the blusher cos I always wanted a coral blush!

Lastly, here are the 2 ways I styled our upcoming KARA top in white and cobalt.

I think this would be perfect for a night out with the girls.
Or a evening date with the boy.

and this would be my weekend shopping outfit.

What say you? :)
Remember to check out our Instagram (@shopmissypixie)
to see how we style other outfits in the future!

much love,


Clara said...

Hey Kelly,

Getting a hair perm in Korea, especially in Edae, is pretty cheap. It’ll cost you about 50,000 or 60,000krw or more if you wish to get magic straightening followed by a perm at the ends. Juno is on the pricey end :)

Grace said...

Hi! May I know where you got your black shoes with the gold heels from? :) (I think it's the 2nd last OOTD shot)

Anonymous said...

Seems like you had fun! Please do review the products you bought. Thanks! :)


missypixie said...

Clara: ah yes! Juno is on the pricey end but it was also the first thing that popped up when I googled "hair, myeongdong' haha.

Grace: got it from Charles & Keith at the beginning of the year though!

Steph: i did! Will review soon when I have the time :)

Unknown said...

hello kelly! may i ask which cc cream brand did you and your sister used? thanks!

Unknown said...

hello kelly! may i ask which brand of cc cream did you and your sister bought? thanks!

missypixie said...

hello! i used Etude House's CC cream :)

Anonymous said...

Hello! i love the outfit u wore on day 5 :) issit a dress or two piece? and will the butterfly printed top be sold at missypixie? thank you! :))

missypixie said...

hello! its a cardigan that I wore as a top and a flare skirt :) The cardi is from MANGO :)

Anonymous said...

Hiya may i know the name of cookie blusher u bought? I bought mine in #2 strawberry choux and sadly it wasn't pigmented nor show up at all.

missypixie said...

anon: i got it in Peach Parfait and find it pretty lasting actually! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi. Can I know where you got the white grid skirt on your last 'floor' otd from? :)

missypixie said...

anon: it is from missypixie but its all sold out :)

Anonymous said...

Hi! Please consider manufacturing the zara asymmetrical hem skirt you bought in korea:)

Anonymous said...

Hi kelly! May i know what's the name of the guesthouse you stayed in in jeonju? Thank you!

missypixie said...

anon: oh dear, I am really sorry but I can't remember it :( You can google Jeonju hanok guesthouse and you will hit a list of choices! Hope that helps!