All posts tagged: expat

Guilty Pleasure | southern american in itaewon

This year I decided to stop using the term guilty pleasure. I figured I’m at an age that I shouldn’t feel guilty if I want to indulge, so I don’t anymore.  But, I won’t hold that against this Southern American style restaurant in Itaewon who took on the name so cleverly and basks in the warm glow of fat, cream and cheese. Guilty Pleasure is a basement level restaurant in one of the back alleys of Itaewon. It’s become a class act staple of good brunch spots and after one visit, I get the hype. It’s cozy and dark and a perfect place to grab a meal with a little mood. Sure the name sounds like a house of ill repute, but you will only find great food here. What I mainly took away from GP (i.e. what I daydreamed about the rest of the day): all the good stuff on the breakfast plate we ordered was homemade. The biscuits-homemade. The compote-homemade. Even the sausage was homemade. It’s a small portion compared to something you would get back …

Winter Vacation!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…to travel! Actually, I’m not sure if it’s the most wonderful, but I am having winter dreams about this one…Kyoto. I’ve saved up all my yearly stress for this holiday vacation and now it’s Crystal-time! The history. The architecture. The food. I can’t wait to walk aimlessly around for seven days, landing in coffee shops and stationery stores (oh, the money I will spend).  I will take loads of pictures of all the touristy things and then try to snap every Christmas in Kyoto-y thing I can find. If I see a geisha posing near a Christmas tree I may pass out. To organize my thoughts and enthusiasm, I’ve made my ideas list below. Any suggestions? Things you loved in Kyoto that are worth it, things that are tourist traps? Please let me know! Please visit soon! Likes and follows are loved! Facebook Instagram Bloglovin Tumblr

Nonhyeon | at home series

For a long time in Korea, I used the word home as the placeholder of the city I had left to come to another country. As time marched on and that, “just one more year, probably” became a more permanent move, I grew to call Seoul my home and St. Louis, back home. I’m sure this is no surprise for someone who has lived abroad for some time. Nonhyeon has been my home for over three years now. I’ve grown to love certain dimensions of it and not love, to be kind, other parts. The nightlife, for one, has grown very tiresome. I’m too old, too sensitive, and too picky to want to see some of the scenes I’ve witnessed. Just ungodly things…on my way to work at 8:30 am for the most part. However, on the other side of that crazy coin, Nonhyeon is getting much more adorable. If you avoid the main strip of bars and noraebangs with drunks out until 2 or 3 in the afternoon from the night before, you can find loads of coffee …

Searching for France | Seorae Village

Seorae Village is not the easiest of cultural hubs to get to. In fact, it’s placed in such a distance to the closest subway stop, that it keeps the streams of people away for much of the time. A wonderful discovery on a sunny Sunday afternoon. This was my third time to the area, and I was hunting for more French influence than ever. Sadly, however, the proximity to the subway hasn’t stopped this area from being infected with the old standards here in Korea like Tom ‘n Toms, Paris Baguette and others. Not to mention, the last time I visited this area, I had the most delicious French style baguette sandwich at Paris Croissant and when I visited this time, there was nothing but Korean style be-pickled and be-sauced sandwiches that I couldn’t bring myself to try. Le sigh. Seorae Maeul grew up French around the Lysee Francais, a school which teaches in French as a first language. Something like 40% of the population in this area are French. The area has it’s charm, to be sure, but there is …

Reminiscing | Seoul’s Cherry Blossoms 2014

Seoul’s on the edge of Cherry Blossom season. A little honesty- after 4 1/2 years here in Korea, I’m over it. I do not ever feel like fighting the throngs of couples lining every street that happens to have these beautiful, delicate trees to get the perfect photo op. Seeing the cherry blossoms are  a bucket list item, for sure, but once you’ve dumped it in your bucket, it’s not worth being tangled up in the mess. Go see them once or twice and then, let the couples get their 100 pictures. In 2014, my sister and brother in law visited me in Seoul. Not only was I thrilled because it the one and only time anyone from back home has visited me here, but I was excited just to show them everything I loved about Korea. They arrived at the end of April so I told them we’d be lucky to see any cherry blossoms at that point. My sister really wanted to see the trees so I thought we would head to the National Assembly, where I …