OUTFIT | The Korean story continues..

18 februari 2014

silver sweater H&M TREND (old) / white bomber jacket WEEKDAY / white jeans RIVER ISLAND / earrings NELLY

Photos taken by Celina Sadijo

It has been a long time since I have last posted. In fact, I haven’t been updating my blog that much ever since I arrived in Korea. The main reason for that is that I couldn’t always find someone who – understands DSLR camera’s – and can take my photos. And to be honest, at some points I was just too busy exploring this country that I’d rather Instagram my life instead of blogging about it. Wrong, totally wrong, I know.. 

Anyway, enough about that. What have I been up to here? Unfortunately nothing much. Ever since I came back from Tokyo last month the main things that kept me busy were searching my butt off to find an internship (which I did!!!), finding a new room (which I also did!!) and having tons of goodbye drinks, dinner, parties (and more parties ) with the lovely people I have met last semester during my exchange program at Hanyang University. Most of the people went back to their home country and I’m one of the handful of people who’s staying here for another semester. So even though there are still some people staying and don’t get me wrong, I made enough Korean friends, it still feels as if I am starting all over again. Especially since I am not an exchange student anymore, because I am doing an internship. Making foreign friends was easy last semester but now I have to meet them somewhere else - which is still pretty doable since there're enough foreigners in Seoul. And now that I think of it, I actually want to get in touch with more Korean people because I also want to improve my Korean. And since I am interning at a Korean company, where I am seriously the only foreigner, I hope my Korean will get a lot better within the following 5 months. 

So far I am having a great time. The people are really nice, even though not all of them speak sufficient English. Last week they threw me a welcoming party and of course it was the Korean way. They already started popping soju bottles at 7pm and we ended up going to a club on a Wednesday night, with all of us pretty drunk at that point. This is seriously one of the best cultural things I have done and I will never forget this awesome experience, despite the horrible hangover I got the next day. Let me tell you and as my friend says, Koreans are functioning alcoholics. They can drink like crazy and go to work the next day as if nothing happened. My colleagues were nothing different, they are all in their early 30s – with me being 22 they consider me as their baby – and they could drink as if they were doing it on daily basis. It was crazy. Fun, but crazy. Definitely a culture shock I didn’t think I would experience after already living here for 6 months and already having experienced the crazy drinking culture. 

I work (I do mainly PR) at a design agency (Art & Design International) that also has their own in-house men’s life style brand (Swagger) specialized in grooming products. Swagger is a daughter company of YG Entertainment, which is actually pretty awesome because YG is one of Korea’s top record labels. Think of artist like Big Bang (which has become my new love), 2NE1 and of course Psy (we all know Gangnam Style, right?). I already met some YG managers as they come to our office weekly. Maybe I can now try and ask them if they could introduce me to Seungri, Taeyang and G-Dragon from Big Bang.. Dream on, Meda..
I have been working here for about 3/4 weeks already and the Korean work ethics is slowly getting to me. Koreans are known for having the longest working hours and for the people who have visited Seoul know what I am talking about because this city really never sleeps. By the time I am done working it is already dark (and it’s still winter) so I can already assure you that taking pictures will be impossible and this time I really have no one. Maybe I should consider buying a tripod and remote – I think I would feel really awkward. 

Extremely long post but it feels good to write on le blog again. Since I mostly blog about fashion on Ethnique Island I might as well start making posts about the fashion here - duhhh. And let me tell you, it’s dope!

PERSONAL | Tokyo: Culture

7 januari 2014

dress WEEKDAY / blazer ALAND / white coat ZARA / tote bag AMERICAN APPAREL

One of the things I love about travelling is the different cultures I get to experienced. I consider myself an open minded person and I'm one of those people who loves to experience a culture shock. Living in Seoul made me experience enough of that.

On the pictures shown above we went to explores Japan's culture. You can't visit Japan (or other Asian country) without visiting a temple/palace. And so we did, we went to the Senso-Ji Temple in Asakusa and the local market that's connected to it. There I got to explore the Buddhist side of Japan and there were lot of things that caught my eye. The Senso-Ji Temple is a huge and sacred place where Japanese people go to pray. I also saw some people tossing a coin before entering the temple, I think it's a ritual.

We also went to the Nakano Shopping Mall to visit the vintage stores and the Mangarake, which is a place where you'll find the manga/anime we all used to watch as kids. Think of Pokemon, Digimon, Naruto, Dragon Ball Z and many more. DBZ being one of my favorite anime I got my younger brothers some cool DBZ key chains of their favorite characters. We did see some confusing stuff at the Mangarake, the hentai section being the most confusing (and sometimes disturbing) one. Apparently this was not a place for a female to show herself as all the guys that entered this section all looked very surprised and shocked at me and my friends. Their facial expressions was priceless, seriously hilarious!

In Korea I visited a jimjilbang a couple of times. It's kind of like a Korean spa, but not anything like the ones we know from western countries. Anyway, we wanted to visit one in Tokyo too as Japan was the place where it all started. In Japan they're called onsen, hot springs or sometimes just public baths. It was quite similar with the ones I visited in Korea but I loved the outfits they gave us (see picture above). What's so special about these Japanese and Korean spas is that there's a women's area where everyone walks around naked. I have to say that when I visited one for the first time in Korea I experienced my real first culture shock. It was so confronting for me at first but I got used to it now. An the baths and saunas are just so relaxing you forget about everything else.

And last but not least the outfit! The weather was surprisingly good for the time of the year and it was a nice change from freezing Seoul. This dress is one of my favorite as it is very easy to throw on and it doesn't require a lot of styling.The blazer was a purchase I did in Seoul and I decided to move away from all that monochrome outfits I have been experimenting with and go for a print. I still on the search for a well fitting white blazer though..

PERSONAL | Tokyo: First Impression

3 januari 2014

blouse + white sweater H&M TREND / grey jacket MONKI / grey skirt WEEKDAY / coat ZARA 

First of all, a happy and blessed new year!

Second, Those who have been following me on Instagram might already know that I paid a visit to a city that has been on my bucket list for a while; TOKYO! I came back to Seoul last Friday and wasn't able to update my blog because the apartment me and my friends rented did not have any wifi (hard to believe, right?!). Let me tell you that arranging this trip was a huge hassle as we were really late on deciding when we should book our flights. And on top of that we couldn't book an affordable hotel as everything was fully packed around new years eve. On the day we arrived, our apartment was a lot better than it was mentioned online, except for the wifi. Tokyo is a great city but they should definitely work on more free wifi hotspots. In Seoul they're everywhere! We had to go to the Starbucks each morning to plan our entire day and for other updates. There was no time for squeezing in a blog post. I also think I have seen enough Starbucks for the upcoming weeks, maybe months.

Anyway, Tokyo is a great (and expensive) city and it looks so western, especially the areas we stayed in. Our apartment was in Harajuku, which is the place where you'll find all kinds of hipsters and stylish stores. The location was great and just 1 to 3 subways stops away from other main areas of the city. The first few days we just went exploring several areas in Shibuya and Shinjuku and it was super crowded, maybe even more crowded than Seoul. We crossed the infamous Shibuya crossing, visited the entertainment and red-light district in Kabukicho (but unfortunately not as shocking as I hoped so) and spontaneously decided to go out after we ended up having a chat with some random Japanese people. They took us to club Camelot and though I'm sure it wasn't the best it still gave me a pretty good view of how Japanese people party and I can tell you they do. I think Seoul is a bit more crazier but maybe that's just me being biased since I have been living there for the past 4 months already. 

About the outfit; layering is the key! Not anything new or fancy, just trying to wear my old(er) clothes in more ways. Luckily, and surprisingly at the same time, Tokyo wasn't that cold for the time of the year. 

Stay tuned for another Tokyo post!

OUTFIT | Back Again

20 november 2013

blouse + leather waistcoat H&M TREND /  dark grey jeans CHEAP MONDAY / necklace COS / ankle boots ZARA

This has probably been the longest time I have ever stayed away from the blog and I seriously could not wait to get back again. My apologies for this unexpected hiatus though! I am still enjoying my time here in Korea to the fullest and I don't want it to be over which is why I need to use my time wisely and start looking for an internship. My time here is definitely not over yet.

The last post I wrote was about my trip to Busan and a lot has happen since then. Living in Korea made me realize how rude and disrespectful the Dutch society can be. I really had to adjust myself to some of the social rules here, from things like accepting and handing stuff with two hands to standing in line for the subway and buses. I do have to have say that one of the coolest things I have done here is hiking on a mountain and enjoy one of the most gorgeous views ever. Having never done that before I will definitely never forget this experience. Korea is a country with lots of history and culture and the people are one of the nicest people I have met. One thing that did (and still does) make me feel uncomfortable is some of the stares I receive as a foreigner and as a woman of colour. Especially from those little children. 

I was wearing this outfit while I was visiting the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. I have been wearing these jeans non stop lately mainly because it started getting extremely could since two weeks ago and I because I haven't been able to update my winter wardrobe. And may I say that they're super comfortable and very easy to combine. One things I found very disappointing is how small some of the sizes are here. Besides the international brands, finding good fitting pants and skirts can sometimes be a bit more difficult for me as I clearly do not fit the Korean standard sizes (which are superduper tiny). 


5 oktober 2013

first photo: dress CHEAP MONDAY / necklace MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA x H&M
second photo: crop top RIVER ISLAND / dark grey jeans CHEAP MONDAY

Being away from the busy, overly crowded Seoul has done me good. Last week during the Chuseok holiday - think of it as a Korean Thanksgiving - I sat in a 6 hours (!) bus ride to to the sea side of Seoul. The hostel I stayed in was just a 2 minutes walk from the famous Haeundae beach and even though it sounds tempting to go to the gorgeous place every day I preferred to hit the road and explore Busan as much as I can during those 4 days. The first was just a lazy day. Me and friend stayed at the beach for almost the entire day doing either basically nothing or playing some games. Apparently Busan (and the beach in particular) was the place to be because I met so many exchange students from other universities in Seoul. On the second day we decided to go to the Taejongdae Resort Park. It faces the sea and the view is just breathtaking. We had to climb all the way to the top of the mountain - with 30 degrees celcius - but I can assure you that it was totally worth it. And all of that for free! You can't beat that. The third day I decided to explore Busan on my own and visited the largest fish market of Korea. I love seafood and and of course I wouldn't want to miss this experience. Seafood doesn't get any fresher over there as you can see you how they prepare the fish for you. Though the seafood is quite expensive, I managed to negotiate and pay half the price. Later that day I met up with my friend and a few other people to go to the Shinsegae Centum City Department Store, which is the largest department store in the world. They had everything, clothing stores to spa to mutliplex theater and so much more cultural facilities.

Overall I really enjoyed my stay in Busan and it's a nice change as well as some fresh air. But I was happy when I got back to the busy Seoul. Don't get me wrong, I love the beach and such but I think I'm more of a big city girl. Maybe it's just me but I noticed that I got stared a lot more in Busan as oppose to Seoul. It happened twice in Busan that people were taking photos of me and my friend without our permission. Not cool. I was always worried that it would be hard for me to adjust but most people have been so nice here in Korea.

OUTFIT | Campus Life

17 september 2013

top H&M - skirt RIVER ISLAND - shoes MANGO - sunglasses H&M  - earrings NELLY

About a little over a week ago I started university here in Korea. I'm an exchange student at Hanyang University and when I say the campus is huge, I mean really huge. It's like a mini village or something - I just don't know with what I can compare this massive campus with. It's not only big but gorgeous as well, the nature and architecture is really nice and the whole campus is so peaceful. I've already started envisioning the places I want to take my outfit photos. Starting with these! One thing I really dislike is the fact that everything is so steep, really steep. Imagine me - in heels and the burning sun - conquering those hills over and over again. Not cool. 

Moving towards my outfit. I haven't been wearing anything different than skirts, loose tops and any other flowy fabric because it's extremely warm here during the day. I got the skirt just a few weeks before I came to Korea for a bargain and it's actually a great staple piece during the summer. If styled correctly it's suitable for any occasion. From school to going out. The skirt was definitely a score. 

And those of you who follow me on Facebook and Instagram might have already read this but this week is the Chuseok holiday, which is kind of like a Korean Thanksgiving. Of course the holiday equals to no school for the rest of the week. No school equals to more time for travelling, and if you sum all of that up what will you get? Busan! Yep, tomorrow I will be in a long ass bus ride to the seaside of Korea, the city Busan. I expect myself to do nothing more than lay on the beach, enjoy the (apparently good) seafood, and of course do lots of sightseeing as much as possible. What a way to start the first weeks of school!

So tell me, what have you guys been up to?

OUTFIT | A day in Itaewon

8 september 2013

outfit H&M TREND / white loafers RIVER ISLAND

photos taken by Celina Sadijo

A very simple outfit I wore while exploring another neighborhood in Seoul last week. Photos where taken by a friend of mine, Celina. She's also a blogger and understands the pain of not having a photographer. But I might squeeze in a "photoshoot" session every now and then when I meet up with her. Me and a few friends of mine went to Itaewon, which is the most non Korean neighborhood of them all. This is the place where you'll meet a lot of foreigners from several nationalities. I will definitely visit the place more often if I get "tired" of Korea for a moment.

I even found a restaurant/shop where they sell African American (hair) products! Ah, the joy I had on my face. Priceless. Gotta love Nigerians for being everywhere in the world. The only problem is that the products are pretty expensive, so I'm quite bumped about it. Anyhow that is just one of the millions things I find funny and odd at the same time about Korea. I might write another post about it. Got lots to tell you!