Monday, 17 February 2014

Our Move to Korea ♡ Part II

Hey musers,

How have you all been?

This is Part II of my 'Our Move to Korea' Blogpost series. If you haven't read my previous post, click here to read Part I first before continuing.

- Welcome to Seoul -

After 11 long hours of sleepless flight admidst lights turning on and off, movie marathons, reading a novel I'd brought with me, chatting with oppa, and, of course, Korean Air flight food (which always includes bibimbap and marinated chilli pork), we finally touched down in Seoul, South Korea.

Up until that point, the view had been a spectacular night scene with an abundance of bright citylights filling every inch of earth I could see. Now, I looked excitedly out my flight window for the final time. It was pitch black, except for the orange lights that lined the airport runways. I couldn't wait to get out and set foot on Korean ground to begin our new journey and chapter of our lives.

It's a really amazing feeling to move country. I'm sure if William hadn't been there with me, it would've felt much scarier, but with my family by my side, all I could do was try to imagine what my life might be like. I don't know how so many people move country all by themselves, but truly, kudos to them (and any of you who are reading!) - I truly respect you for your courage and bravery.

As soon as we got out of the airport, our good ol' Sydney friend (who had moved to Korea a few years ago), his baby boy and his pastor friend were waiting for us. He had so kindly volunteered to pick us up from the airport the day before, and offered to drive us home. We were so grateful. We bought them Chanel perfumes from the dutyfree store as a token of our appreciation. :)

This is what oppa and I purchased at the dutyfree. We had planned on purchasing perfume which we'd run out of, I needed a new set of black and brown Bobbi Brown gel liners (it's cheapest in this pack of 2 at the dutyfree, plus it comes with the handy brush), and I got my sister and me each a Shiseido Ibuki eye cream (which I'm really loving).

LOVE this perfume~
Stepping outside the airport, the sudden rush of cold air was a shock to my body. Living in Sydney, you would never experience the kind of cold you get in countries that have snowy Winters. Oppa and I quickly took out our puffiest jackets from our luggage trunks before loading all our bags into the boot and rushing into the HUGE black van - and I mean HUGE - that was to drive us to our house, which I should probably mention although it is obvious.... we had never seen.

When we arrived, I was amazed at how huge our apartment was. It was so tall, I couldn't even fit it into my camera shot properly!! The foyers had receptions with guards who greeted us every time we walked in or out, security passes, huge display fish tanks, and - OMG - Subway, convenience stores, restaurants, MCDONALDS and an Olive and Young (cosmetics store) right underneath! HEAVEN.

William's mum was waiting for us at our apartment so that we could get in. She had bought us condiments for us to survive on for the night and the next morning, until we could go out and begin to do proper shipping.

On the other hand, in terms of makeup, I had only my emergency kit with me. In fact, not even my everyday makeup bag had arrived as it had been left in Sydney in the luggage bag that had to be left behind due to weight. My parents were going to help ship it over (but little did I know back then it would take weeks to arrive!), so in the meantime I had my 6 travel makeup brushes to work with, and some other random items. The rest of my makeup we had sent over a few weeks before leaving Sydney, but they didn't arrive either. I am SO going to film a video about the staple items I can't live without soon, after actually experiencing it first hand!

Our house was beautiful, clean and warm.. we had no furniture except for one mattress and two pillows, kindly leant to us by William's mum. No car, no phone, no bank accounts, no foreigner's license/number, and we had exactly 2 weeks before William started work.. So our furniture and household items shopping adventures began in the ice-cold temperatures of Seoul.

The very next day - coming out to begin our shopping adventures!
Beautiful gentle sunlight.

I can't even begin to describe how delicious the food is. There are restaurants every which-way you look. Prices are so cheap compared to Australia, we went hard out trying lots of different places whilst busily attending to our house needs and chores over the next 2 weeks.

We found a PhoMein in our apartment building! You guys know how much we love our pho. Haha ;)
Lots of other restaurants in our building.
Definitely different from Sydney's pho, but we both enjoyed it. It's a taste we can get by with! (Better than no pho lol)
Entree dish: Summer rolls, dumplings and prawns. 
Our shadows as we walked down the road to the subway station. 
Snow everywhere :)
Does it remind you of Frozen? hehe loved that movie!
Everything everyone everywhere ... so crazily busy. Lots of road AND human traffic.
Seoul by night
Now, if you've never been to Korea, and you plan to one day, Myongdong is a place you must visit. It's a huge suburb with open streets devoted to shopping and eatery. From food and accessory stalls to makeup stores (every one you would want to shop at in Korea i.e. Nature Republic, Etude House, Clio, Holika Holika, Banila Co, etc etc), cat and dog cafes to Italian restaurants, this place is a one-stop shop.
Plus, many of the shop assistants can speak many languages to cater for all the tourists - Chinese, Japanese, English etc.

We chose Japanese at Myongdong. This place was on the second floor. It was a tiny place
but it was packed with customers, and not for no reason! The food was soo good.

Now, we didn't eat out every single day, but until we purchased our electrical appliances (fridge, microwave, toaster, etc) and kitchen utilities (cooking tools, plates, knives, pots and pans etc), we really couldn't cook at home until the second week in.

The night I could finally cook something was so monumental and felt so good that I had to photo document it. The meal was still very very simple but it was the most I could do with the little we had at that point in time! It felt amazing to finally eat at home. So clean, so trustworthy, so healthy and light on the stomach. (P.S. we had no dinner table yet either, if you haven't figured!)
I will share with you the ingredients too for those who are curious, since so many of you guys are really interested in cooking Korean dishes^^

Marinated beef cooked with mushrooms, garlic, onion and shallots.
Can you tell oppa plated? :P
*hello shallots falling on the side.. what are you doing there?*
Eggplant fried in egg, flour and salt mixture. Eggplant is one of my favourite veggies, but it doesn't taste as savoury here in Korea compared to Aus :( I also did the same with zucchini: pictured below.
Kimchi - my auntie kindly made it and gave a whole tub to us on the first week! A kind of Korean way to greet family members who have just moved in to the country is to share home-cooked food such as Kimchi.
Just a healthy steamed broccoli on the side. Have to be careful not to overcook it - the 'crunch' must still be there.
Our first home-cooked meal in Korea! Humble but healthy.

We didn't just eat home-cooked meal at home. Home deliveries are the best thing ever. Seriously... why doesn't Australia have McDonald's home deliveries?!

We gave Pizza Hut a go.. and didn't regret it. Not. one. BIT.

THE CHICKEN WAS SO GOOOOOOOOOOD! Ok maybe we were just really hungry.. but seriously it was good.
The pizza melted in my mouth... cheese stuffed crusts. SO much better than Sydney Pizza Hut. It cannot even begin to compare. Haha.. sorry Sydney!!

So after 2 long, busy weeks, we finally began to settle down in Korea.

Oppa began to work, our boxes began to arrive from Sydney, and we were finally feeling a little bit more free to enjoy ourselves. We also found out about Cooper towards the middle of our second week, which was a huge blow, especially when we knew there was nothing we could do in the midst of our extremely busy schedule. We couldn't go back to Sydney to help find him. We had to just sit, wait, pray, and wait. But that's another story (I promised I would be back to normal on this post, so I will stop there.)

Oppa leaving for his first day of work. I woke up extra early to
cook him a full Korean hot meal, put his scarf on and walked
him to the station to see him off. Proud moment :)

So that's how the first few weeks flew by, and now our house is almost complete! I will show you guys our house tour and updated makeup storage and collection in March, once everything has been finalised.

Stay posted for my next Moving to Korea blogpost! Muah, muah..

Lots of love,
Jen xo